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Thread: Help choosing a machete

  1. #1

    Help choosing a machete


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    I'm trying to put together a BOB/hunting/hiking/camping bag. I want a machete to clear brush, chop limbs, maybe clear out small trees. Short of buying and trying everything I don't know what to get. Here is what I'm looking at.

    http://www.amazon.com/Condor-Knives-...s=condor+kukri

    http://www.amazon.com/Condor-14-Inch...s=condor+golok

    http://www.amazon.com/Condor-PackGol...s=condor+golok

    http://www.amazon.com/Ontario-6420-K...=ontario+kukri

    and http://www.amazon.com/Ontario-1-18-i...litary+machete

    I've been leaning towards the Ontario Kukri, but then I started looking around at saw all the other options and got confused. For the price difference on some of the others I could pick up a tomahawk or something too.

  2. #2
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    To me the 6420 kukri looks the best out of the bunch.

  3. #3
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    I for one am impressed a great deal, by my 14'' Condor Golok. While the blade profile isn't the best for foliage, mine will chop all out of proportion to its size. Very handy in the woods to say the least.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 9blades View Post
    To me the 6420 kukri looks the best out of the bunch.
    Why do you feel it is the best?

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I am partial to the various Cold Steel machetes, but I have had much more experience with them than any others.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by me2 View Post
    I am partial to the various Cold Steel machetes, but I have had much more experience with them than any others.
    I looked at them all, but they all look so dull that I could stand on the edge without any harm. I'm not really an expert on sharpening either.

  7. #7
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    Sharpening machetes isn't a huge chore, and quite easy to get the hang of. The Cold Steel machetes are made of 1055 which is pretty forgiving, and can be made respectably sharp with a bit of elbow grease, and a good metal file or two.

  8. #8
    Are you open to any options other than the five you posted?

  9. #9
    Of course I am. What do you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan57 View Post
    Are you open to any options other than the five you posted?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Chitrod View Post
    Of course I am. What do you recommend?
    That depends

    1. How good are you at sharpening? Some machetes, like the Cold Steels previously mentioned, come very, very dull.
    2. Can you sharpen convex edges?
    3. What's your preferred overall length and/or weight? If you have no idea, that's fine, but a general number would really help narrow things down.
    4. Do you want your machete to come with a sheath?
    5. What's your price range? Machetes can go for as little as $10, (sheathless and unsharpened,) to about $100. (Custom handle work, hand ground/modified blades, high quality sheaths, e.t.c.) If you want both an established edge and a sheath, you can expect to pay around $30, maybe a bit less in some instances. (Which is still really, really cheap, considering what you get.)
    6. Thanks for using proper spelling and grammar. Too few people do that.

    There're plenty of other factors, too, but that should narrow it down pretty well.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan57 View Post
    That depends

    1. How good are you at sharpening? Some machetes, like the Cold Steels previously mentioned, come very, very dull.
    2. Can you sharpen convex edges?
    3. What's your preferred overall length and/or weight? If you have no idea, that's fine, but a general number would really help narrow things down.
    4. Do you want your machete to come with a sheath?
    5. What's your price range? Machetes can go for as little as $10, (sheathless and unsharpened,) to about $100. (Custom handle work, hand ground/modified blades, high quality sheaths, e.t.c.) If you want both an established edge and a sheath, you can expect to pay around $30, maybe a bit less in some instances. (Which is still really, really cheap, considering what you get.)
    6. Thanks for using proper spelling and grammar. Too few people do that.

    There're plenty of other factors, too, but that should narrow it down pretty well.
    1. I'm not very good at sharpening. I haven't really had much practice since I was in Boy Scouts 15 years ago.
    2. Not sure what the difference in sharpening different edges is.
    3. I would say blade length of at least 10 inches max of 18. Total 16-24. Plus or minis a little on each if necessary.
    4. I would prefer a sheath just to try to keep from cutting myself or anyone else while its being transported.
    5. I would say the Ontario I listed above is at the top of my price range.
    6. Thanks. I never even realized I was being all proper.

  12. #12
    Sharpening a Convex Edge

    Most machetes that don't come completely dull come convexed. Do you think you could do what they show in the video? Sandpaper is all you really need.

  13. #13
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    Yep, having a small belt sander mzkes all the difference. Cold steel would sell many more if they could be bothered to sharpen them. Some of the newer ones might be better. Mine are fairly old.

  14. #14
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    Ontario & Condor are 2 GREAT names in machetes. I have a 12" & 18" Ontario. AWESOME blades. Condor also makes some awesome machetes. I am sure 42Blades will be along shortly to answer any Condor questions. He knows his stuff.

  15. #15
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    I Second the 12" from 42. I have one it is is great, came with a usable sheath and he convex e the edge so it cuts very well. Much easier to sharpen now that he set up the initial edge.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitrod View Post
    Why do you feel it is the best?
    to me out of the links provided it seems to be the best all around. good steel (1095) kukri blade shape which I'm partial to and not to heavy. that's just me all of them are quality tools. Just my $0.02.

  17. #17
    I'd go with an longer blade, personally. It'll do the job much better both in terms of brush clearing as well as tree felling. My top choice is the Condor 18" El Salvador or, if you want to keep the weight down, the Eco Survivor. The Cold Steel Jungle Machete isn't a bad choice, either, or the Condor 15" Bolo. As far as sharpening goes, don't worry about maintaining a perfect convex. The main advantage is that it has a thinner geometry compared to a "V" edge of equal angle. You want that puppy with an edge around 15 degrees per side and it'll be sailing through targets without any trouble at all. Just sharpen it like you would a regular edge and you'll be fine. I like to use either a DMT Diafold or Jewelstik "Stubby" diamond steel. With a long blade like a machete it's usually easiest to bring the stone to the blade rather than the other way 'round.


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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan57 View Post
    Sharpening a Convex Edge

    Most machetes that don't come completely dull come convexed. Do you think you could do what they show in the video? Sandpaper is all you really need.
    So just lay sandpaper on a mouse pad and pull the blade back?

  19. #19
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    I personally love my Svord Kiwi machete. I would honestly just get with 42blades and have a good talk with him about what you want to cut where you live things like that, and he will steer you in the right direction. He will even put a wicked sharp edge on your new tool before he ships it to you for a couple bucks more.

    Honestly when it comes to machettes he is the man with the plan.

  20. #20
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    I own and have tried many machetes. My personal favorite is the Ontario 18 inch. No idea why, I just like it. The handle takes a little shaping to be comfortable but the bevel that comes on it is very serviceable. Definitely pony up for the plastic sheath though, it is much nicer than the canvas one. You really can't go wrong with a Condor El Salvador machete either.

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