I got these for 4 reasons, they're cheap (40-60$ after shipping each), their 1/8" thick, they have comfortable looking lightweight handles, and they're L6 steel. All of those things are fairly accurate now that I have them in hand.
top to bottom - peasant knife in pink, kgo (kiwi general outdoor), trapper
Its quite a bit larger than I thought it would be, larger feeling than my BOSS jack which is the limit of what I'll edc
The kgo is a much better package size. I would edc this, save for some modifications to the handle. I'd seriously consider buying another one and removing the handle, then replacing it with a thinner more streamlined and compact g10 one.
The first thing I thought of doing when I got it is removing the triangle of polypropylene above the blade/ricasso, and removing the end knob which just seems way bigger than it needs to be. I don't ever really use the rear lanyard hole so I'm not sacrificing anything by removing it.
The machete compared to a busse b10:
The edge is set to .030" from the factory on the machete, and if you measure the same distance on the b10 as the height of the bevel on the machete, the angle of the main grind is the same. The b10 gets thick at the same rate, but continues on after the 1/8" stock thickness up to .220"
After modifications including reshaping the handles, convexing the edge down to where a thin 18 degree bevel could be applied, straightening out the belly of the kgo, and bringing it to a higher polish for easier cleaning. Now all edges are set to .030" behind the bevel. I didn't think to measure the trapper/kgo, but they were probably around .045-.050" thick behind the edge. Not terrible, but thicker than I like. By removing the triangle above the edge I did uncover one of the tang notches. I don't think it hinders the strength of the tang at all, I just didn't expect the notches to start that far forward. Total cost of this set = 157$ after shipping.
old vs. new grip/size:
I find the new grip and compactness much more palatable:
The sheaths appear to be leather, they smell like it. They are full coverage pouch style, not what I'd buy or make for myself, but they are functional. I don't really understand how the attachment system works on the machete, the tabs of leather aren't fully cut out and are held on by about 1mm of leather at the top and bottom. I don't know if that works as a loop, or if you are supposed to pull them out then slip your belt into the slot, which would bring your belt into contact with he machetes edge.... either way, it's functional storage.
not a big fan of having to fish knives out of their sheaths...
next to a b10 and boss jack:
and i finally got another can of ballistol for these and my axes. Good for everything, wood leather and metal. Being alkaline it neutralizes tannins and sweat acidity, never resinifies, emulsifies with water and continues to protect, remains when moisture evaporates, etc etc etc
so final thoughts, having only used the peasant knife. The peasant knife had enough edge holding that I could use it for a few days on cardboard without feeling like I absolutely had to sharpen it, so I feel reasonably sure that the other knives will be similar. Capable of deforming before chipping, but hard enough to have some edge holding. I would love a kgo at 62-64rc, but I'll probably have to make something for myself to get that.
The trapper is larger than I'd ever carry in city. It's a fine size for general outdoor use, but with the large handle it becomes a bit large on the hip even for outdoor use. With the shaved down handle I consider it a nice overall package, one that I'd probably take with me camping. I prefer the bowie style tip to the KGO's huge belly.
The KGO is awesome. It's a great size, and with the shaved down handle it's a nice degree of solid filling handle and reasonable edge length. I'm not a big fan of such a round belly, thus straightened it out. The reason for this is that I want the tip to puncture - not push cut. When the belly is that round, when you push the tip straight in the edge is parallel with your media, you have to push the edge into it. With the modified handle/belly, I will use this as my replacement backup edc hip knife if my BOSS jack should ever break or go missing.
The machete is the best of the lot. It's a great length, light but blade heavy, and stiff in the hand. It feels surprisingly solid for being 1/8" and it's very lively in the hand. It's the perfect length for escrima, an it feels like it was made for it. The bevel is lower than the others, but the edge is set to be thinner from the factory. I'm going camping next week and will definitely put this through it's wood working paces.
Even though these aren't going to be edc users I consider all of them worth the money as backups/camping knives.