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Best Machete fro actual use

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by erhodes, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. erhodes

    erhodes Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    A few months ago my grandfather had his machete stolen that was handmade for him in Panama while he was stationed there. He has been asking me if I know of any good machetes but this is not my area of expertise. I have tried out several of the normal production machetes including Gerber, Ontario, Cold Steel, and SOG. All of them have had some sort of issue with the steel either being too soft or hard and not being able to hold an edge very well.

    I was wondering if anyone knew of a machete that was made of good steel with a good heat treat so that it can hold up to anysort of camping/hiking shore that you would throw at it (my grandfather is a scout master now so he uses it on a normal basis). Maybe there aren't any production machetes out there that meet this criteria and if so does anyone know of a good custom maker of machetes? Thanks for the help
  2. rctk1

    rctk1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    Use the search function, there are tons of topics in regards to what you are looking for.
  3. perryman

    perryman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 7, 2012
    I know it is not technically a machete, but I would try a woodsmans pal. I replaced my GI machete with it a few years back, and it is much better suited to the eastern US brush that I use is on. My propery has TONS of wild rose bushes, and it makes short work of them. They keep a wicked edge, and are easy to resharpen. I live in PA and they are local, so that is a bonus. My father in law and my buddy both have tried it out and became converts so I bought them each one for Christmas.
  4. Misanthropia

    Misanthropia Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    There's been a lot of buzz about the TOPS .230 Machete recently, it's expensive but apparently well worth it.
  5. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    My suggestion is something from Imacasa or Condor. The question is what sort of tasks would he be doing with it, what his primary and secondary targets are, how he intends on carrying it, etc. etc. That sort of info will help us guide you towards a model that will fit his needs properly. :)
  6. erhodes

    erhodes Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    He tends to chop a lot of vegetation and small branches for starting fires. I think he also chops some heavier things like larger branches (1.5" to 2" tops). He lives in Tennessee and does a lot of camping/hiking in the Appalachian moutains so that is the type of area that he will be using it in mostly. I am not sure how he would like to carry it. I know he old machete was belt carry so I think that is what he is used to.
  7. gomipile


    Apr 17, 2010
    To me, the Imacasa Pata de Cuche is the most comfortable and effective. The Marble's is a good blade if you want wood handles and like the orange blade. Either way, you probably want to go with a latin style blade 18"-20".
  8. erhodes

    erhodes Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    What makes the Condor machete so much more than the Imacasa? Is it just made better? I'm not above spending this much on a machete as I am working with around a $100 budget so if its worth it then I'll pay it.
  9. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    Better fit and finish, better handles, pre-sharpened and convexed edges, better sheaths, and in many cases slightly thicker blades. How long was his old machete?
  10. erhodes

    erhodes Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    I believe that his old machete was around 20" long and an el salvador type or at least it looked closest to that. I think something in the 18"-22" range would be a good fit for him. He's also a big guy so weight is not an issue.
  11. CapitalizedLiving


    Dec 1, 2007
    Imacasa or Condor. Also, if you want something really nice you can pick up a Fiddleback machete. The ESEE Lite Machete is a good design and I hear some of them actually ship with a sharp edge. Finally there are custom makers who excel at reasonably priced custom machetes, such as David Farmer.
  12. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    The 18 "Condor El Salvador looks quite nice.
  13. Moosez45

    Moosez45 Custom Antlers, Factory Knives... Moderator

    Jul 14, 2010
    Tramontina 18".

    You'll have to grind the final edge it, but that's just part of the game with the awesomeness that is Tramontina.

  14. Tasmaniac

    Tasmaniac Incurable Bladeaholic Platinum Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    I fully understand your point but there is a distinct likelihood that almost every conceivable question has been posed in this forum. Unless it's a "What EDC knife do you recommend for under $50" I say let it go.
  15. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    The Condors are more expensive than Imacasa machetes due to a number of factors. Primarily, the inclusion of a high quality leather sheath and a fully ground and polished edge. The wooden-handled models use walnut which is flushed to the scales and contoured rather than generic Central/South American hardwood with oversized scales left proud of the tang. On the polypropylene handled models an aluminum or brass flared lanyard tube passes through the tang of the knife or machete. Finally, many Condor models feature more complex grinds.

    Well worth the money, though the Imacasas a a great budget alternative. Condor is a premium machete line geared mostly towards North American and European users while the standard Imacasas are the "working man's" machetes used by field workers throughout Central and South America. They require elbow grease to finish them out, but that keeps the cost low. They provide the sturdy foundation of the machete and cut out the parts you can easily do yourself.
  16. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    Well said.

    Although I find the imacasas and trams fine, as anyone who is afraid or too lazy to finish a machete likely shouldn't go out to do machete tasks.:) jokes aside.....finishing a tram or imacasa is easy and rewarding as sooner or later you'll have to do the work anyways and reset the bevel to account for what you want it to do etc. So for the money it is pretty hard to beat a tram or imacasa.......that said I carry a condor often so even a guy like me appreciates what condor brings to the table.

    For the op those three brands will be an equal replacement. All come from south america from companies who make machetes for what they were designed for. Also folks running around the amazon have these in their hands. Not cold steels or gerbers or stuff you find in the box stores like home depots.
  17. erhodes

    erhodes Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    Great suggestions everyone. I am really liking the look of the condor for him although I might pick up a tram and imacasa for myself since I enjoy sharpening my knives almost as much as I enjoy using them
  18. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Another point as far as Imacasa vs. Condor lines goes is that the two offer very different models from one another. Some models of the Imacasa line are more "purebred" machetes that really require developed understanding of the machete as a tool and appropriate technique in order to maximize their potential. The Condor line offers many pseudo-machete options like the Golok that are a half-way compromise between the aspects of a machete and a large chopping knife, which folks in North America often can feel more at home with due to more exposure to chopping knives than exposure to more "true" machetes. They also, of course, offer many "true" machetes as well, but with a bit more focus on heavier or thicker models compared to the Imacasa offerings.
  19. formulafun

    formulafun Banned by Moderators

    Oct 18, 2012
    ive got the esee lite and tops 230and would recommend both, they are top shelf machetes. i also have an old 22 " collins from down there. whichever you pick should be good so just pick the one you like. tops esee condor tramontina marbles imacasa
  20. Street Samurai1978

    Street Samurai1978 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    +1 for the TOPS .230 as a user. It's not too heavy, not too thick/thin (1/8" thick). I'd still prefer a convex grind vs. the hollow grind, but its easy enough to shape it yourself. Its usable on thick bush and even wood targets, though not for anything bigger than saplings. Condor's machetes are thick, great for harder brush and the occasional small tree.

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