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Thread: Collins Machete

  1. #1
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    Collins Machete


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    Hey all. I also posted this in the wilderness and survival forum and decided to throw this out to all you knowledgeable RATs as well. I was able to find a few US made Collins machetes and I ordered the 22" 323 model. Does Collins still manufacture these? If not when did they stop? From what I understand these are really good machetes, I'm just a little unsure of exactly what I bought as I don't know what year the machete was made and I was wondering if there are differences in quality of the older (vintage) ones vs. the "newer" ones. We all know how quality can decline over time.

    Thanks for the help!

    Also, if anyone is interested I can tell you where I got mine.
    Last edited by gottahaveit27; 12-29-2009 at 12:03 AM.

  2. #2
    The 323 is a very cool machete!
    The middle machete, with the red handles in this picture is a vintage, 1940's/ 1950's era Collins 323- I would imagine that it qualifies as "one of the old ones". Minus the custom handle, of course. Andy Roy (Fiddleback Forge) gave mine the special treatment.

    Here's the thread about the project:
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=692736
    Gottahaveit, I'd be interested in hearing about your Collins when it arrives! Specifically, whether or not it has the same "as forged" surface, and the sweet taper. Sweet find! There aren't many of those bad boys out there.

    :edit: And yes, I would be interested in hearing where you found yours!
    Last edited by moonwilson; 12-29-2009 at 08:29 AM.

  3. #3
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    Collins & Company was founded in 1826 as axe manufacturers and sold their first machete in 1845; they went out of business in 1966. They're hard to find and still very good tools. I know that Imacasa makes a "Colin style" machete that's inspired by the Collins machete, and they state as such, but it's not a Collins.

    Please tell us where you got yours, yes. I want
    Last edited by JNieporte; 12-29-2009 at 12:04 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNieporte View Post
    Collins & Company was founded in 1826 as axe manufacturers and sold their first machete in 1845; they went out of business in 1966. They're hard to find and still very good tools. I know that Imacasta makes a "Colin style" machete that's inspired by the Collins machete, and they state as such, but it's not a Collins.

    Please tell us where you got yours, yes. I want

    What he said.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the responses J and Alan. I appreciate the link moonwilson, congrats that looks like a really cool project and a beautiful mod!

    Alright... now the important stuff. I thought that there might be some interest in these with all of the machete talk around here lately.

    http://www.armynavysales.com/c-129-machetes.aspx

    The price looks pretty good on these too. Let me know what you guys think.

  6. #6
    Okay, I'll bite. Those look VERY similar to the one I already have. From the picture, the blade finish looks similar, but it's kinda hard to tell. I wonder what the odds are that somebody unearthed another, completely different stash of unissued, USA made, #323 Collins machetes. From what I heard, apparently Joezilla's original source had found around 500 of those bad boys, and then "realized" they only had 10 more after Fiddleback had already modded 5 of them up, and planned on doing more. And then the source dropped off of the map. Hopefully these are the same ones, because they are about as nice as it gets when it comes to machetes.

  7. #7
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    I'm getting more and more excited about this...keep talking moonwilson I'm thinking about ordering one of the 18's too.

  8. #8
    It's also interesting that the source of the Joezilla/ Fiddleback machetes also had a number of the rounded-tip "butter-knife looking" 18 inchers, just like the ones that site is selling. I never heard about anyone finding any 20" Collins, which look very similar to the Imacasa "rozador" pattern


    I think it's pretty clear where Imacasa got their inspiration for that model!
    I had to order one of those as well as the 323.

    As for the tip on the 323 and the 20" model, it has nothing to do with "holding brush down". It's because models that were for import into Cuba had their tips removed as a gesture of "de-weaponizing" them.

  9. #9
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    That's uncanny. Imacasa certainly didn't try very hard to be original with that one. Very cool!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by gottahaveit27 View Post
    That's uncanny. Imacasa certainly didn't try very hard to be original with that one. Very cool!
    With machetes, I don't think anyone really cares. Machete patterns are kind of like slipjoint patterns, as far as I can tell. Public domain, more or less. Unless you're talking about a contemporary model that has been developed and is being actively marketed by a company that's still in business.

    The resemblance IS uncanny though, don't you think?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonwilson View Post
    With machetes, I don't think anyone really cares. Machete patterns are kind of like slipjoint patterns, as far as I can tell. Public domain, more or less. Unless you're talking about a contemporary model that has been developed and is being actively marketed by a company that's still in business.

    That's true. Collins has also been gone for some 40 plus years, so I really couldn't see it being an issue anyway.

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    Welp, thanks for the link gottahaveit, i think i'll be getting one of each!

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    After hearing all you guys rave about collins machetes, I had to order a 22 incher. Here's hoping it's better than my $10 agway model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gottahaveit27 View Post
    That's uncanny. Imacasa certainly didn't try very hard to be original with that one. Very cool!
    Not only does Imacasa make Collins-style machetes, their performance is right up there with Collins, especially if you include the Condor line. And this is from an old Collins user from way back.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Horn Dog View Post
    Not only does Imacasa make Collins-style machetes, their performance is right up there with Collins, especially if you include the Condor line. And this is from an old Collins user from way back.
    Horn Dog speaks truth. Imacasas are great. They're the only current machete maker that I'm aware of that still tapers their machetes. Just like Collins used to.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horn Dog View Post
    Not only does Imacasa make Collins-style machetes, their performance is right up there with Collins, especially if you include the Condor line. And this is from an old Collins user from way back.
    I've heard that Imacasas are great. Though I don't own one, I have been looking into getting one for a while and I know that they are certainly not some cheap collins knock-off. I just thought it was funny how thoroughly the Collins machete (which is very uniquely designed) was duplicated. I'm really looking forward to the Imacasa/RAT collaboration. It will be one bad ass machete.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by gottahaveit27 View Post
    I'm really looking forward to the Imacasa/RAT collaboration. It will be one bad ass machete.
    Yes. Yes it will.


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  18. #18
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    Just an update: The Collins 323 is no longer up on the site. They must have sold out. I don't know how many they had...but man they went quick. So who else snatched one of these up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonwilson View Post
    It's also interesting that the source of the Joezilla/ Fiddleback machetes also had a number of the rounded-tip "butter-knife looking" 18 inchers, just like the ones that site is selling. I never heard about anyone finding any 20" Collins, which look very similar to the Imacasa "rozador" pattern


    I think it's pretty clear where Imacasa got their inspiration for that model!
    I had to order one of those as well as the 323.

    As for the tip on the 323 and the 20" model, it has nothing to do with "holding brush down". It's because models that were for import into Cuba had their tips removed as a gesture of "de-weaponizing" them.
    Not just Imacasa. Just about every machete company has a version like this. Can one state the same about the latin style machete too? Its kinda hard for machetes to be original or copied. It is normal and accepted for machetes to have similar styles around the world. I have a bellota like this, and have seen a Hanso, a Tramontina, and a Gavilan exactly like it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joezilla View Post
    Not just Imacasa. Just about every machete company has a version like this. Can one state the same about the latin style machete too? Its kinda hard for machetes to be original or copied. It is normal and accepted for machetes to have similar styles around the world. I have a bellota like this, and have seen a Hanso, a Tramontina, and a Gavilan exactly like it.
    Of course these designs are repeated from company to company. Why change what works, and beyond that there isn't really that much that can be changed among machetes of a particular style. Altering the blade just for the sake of making it different makes no sense at all, especially when it is already in its most effective form. I think that we were just amazed at how exact a copy the Imacasa is. The handle is exactly the same, the sweep of the blade looks very close and the tip is cut off just like the Collins. That detail especially is not needed on the Imacasa but they apparently wanted to make theirs just like the Collins. This is not a criticism of Imacasa. They are perfectly justified in trying to replicate the Collins, and from the looks of it they turned out a great machete.

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