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Cold Steel machetes (help)

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by J.Davey, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Joshua J.

    Joshua J.

    Feb 27, 2005
  2. fudo


    Aug 27, 1999
    I have several CS machetes. They all perform very well and they all needed to have an edge put on them when i got them.
  3. Preacher Man

    Preacher Man Moderator Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    CS machetes are a good value for the price. I have the Kukri machete and really like it. Actually, I've bought 4 of them because I keep giving them away. The last one I gave away was to my mother-in-law. She fell in love with it. That machete bought me a LOT of point. :D

    My only beef with CS machetes is quality control. Depending what "batch" you got, you get a great machete out of the bag, or you'll have to reprofile the edge to avoid easy chipping and edge rolling.
  4. J.Davey


    Feb 10, 2004
    Cougars???? Never seen one in these parts. Seriously, I've grown up in Northern MN, and have OFTEN seen wolf and bear (not to mention fox, racoons, etc.). Yes, black bears tend to avoid humans, but if they do come at you it's usually not going to end with you 'playing' dead. The tend to eat what they attack. I've had bears right outside of my cabin's windows trying to get in. I appreciate the sarcasm, and found it humorous, but you obviously don't know how I 'hike' and 'camp'. No disrespect intended. I appreciate all of the comments from everyone. The 'piercing ability' is just a worst case scenerio type of thing, as I believe I stated already.
  5. Vulturedoors


    May 19, 2007
    I just finished using my CS bolo machete to hack some weeds on the property here at work. We have big, honkin' blackberry vines (3/4" diameter) that are covered with giant thorns. I've used shears on them in the past and it's slow, tedious work and you wind up getting the hell scratched out of you in the process. Electric hedge trimmers jam on them because the vines are fibrous.

    I used a metal file this morning to put a better edge on the machete, and it clears those vines in a single pass -- *WHACK* -- and I don't get scratched. :D

    I agree with Preacher Man about the edge quality, however. Mine needs to be completely reprofiled, as any wayward contact with pavement (even the soft asphalt here) puts a big nick in the blade. It can be smoothed out, but the edge tends to remain fairly rough to the touch.
  6. psycho78


    Jun 17, 2006
    Most of the CS machetes I've come across had very thick and uncomfortable handles.

    Never held it, but the Kukri machete seems to have the best handle of the bunch. Also, it looks single beveled....true?
  7. steelscout30


    Aug 1, 2006
    My Scoutmaster actually gave the entire troop the economical version of the Kukhri in their catalog for Christmas after he learned that the Camp Michael directors wanted us to clear some camp sites. After using it at several camp sites since, I've made some observations.

    The most important: I wouldn't have bought one.

    For just under $20, it's a great deal, but if I was in the back-country I'd spend just a bit more and purchase something like the Ontario SF machete that would be more durable and more reliable. The handles are tough, hard plastic and are thick and not very ergonomic. They have hot spots for me, which become painful after chopping for any extended period of time.

    The assistant Scoutmaster used it after I threw it in the back of my Osprey pack on an extended hike in Hocking Hills. He tried to split a log with it and promptly rolled the edge near the tip; still haven't had the time lately to fix that with my diamond hones. I was annoyed. I assumed that 1055 high carbon would have been a little more tough than that. Also, the grind is not good for chores, although the blades are thin (3mm---I wouldve expected something a little larger for a hard-use, wide chopper, but hey...). About 3/8" from the actual edge, they start to come down in what is usually called a chisel grind or something like that. I suppose that is the easiest way to manufacture them. Despite my gripes about the rolling and chipping of the edge, the knife is very easy to resharpen. Be warned that you WILL be sharpening it often. Despite the size of the blades, they work well with a Spyderco Sharpmaker.

    The sheaths are surprisingly good for the money, however.

    All in all, they're a good value for under twenty bucks---I just wouldn't spend my twenty bucks on them. Even if I'm going to beat the hell out of something, I'd prefer to spend a little more and get some comfort out of using it.

    God bless you, America, and our men and women overseas.


  8. GarageBoy


    May 23, 2003
    Okay, when would you use a machete over a big wood chopping knife?
  9. 3rdMusketeer


    Mar 24, 2006
    The Bolo and Panga have the largest grips, the Latin has a conventional grip and the Kukri has the most comfortable grip. All my CS machetes have double bevel, even though they are not the same on both sides, sometimes you have to reprofile one side a lot more than the other.....
  10. moonwilson


    Aug 10, 2006
    Never. I'll take a 10.5" knife over a machete any day of the week. A machete is good for clearing brambles, but I find a heavy chopping knife to be more useful in the woods. My Busse FFBM will outchop any machete I've ever used. 3" or so deep into solid wood with a single, not-even-that-hard chop. You can chop through green branches the thickness of your wrist with a Battle Mistress in one swing. A knife may be heavier than a machete, but is shorter and handier. Plus most machetes are cheap and crappy, with God-awful handles and sheaths.
  11. shecky


    May 3, 2006
    Whenever I have one. I find big heavy choppers to be more like knife shaped hatchets, and the machete a little more utilitarian. Big heavy choppers do tend to use harder steel, but also tend to cost many times more than a machete. They definitely have their place, but for 90% of my uses, I go for the machete first.

    To roll an edge, it seems likely to have impacted something of significant hardness other than wood, especially when splitting.

    1055 used IS tough, as witnessed by edge rolling rather than chipping. This is typical with all machetes. Also, 3mm is rather thick for a machete. Most of mine are more like .080", and are perfectly serviceable.

    I find splitting is very easily done with a machete by batoning, pretty similar to the way shown in this thread.
  12. Tonie Nichols

    Tonie Nichols

    Apr 8, 2004
    If you want a good machete check out the Condor line of blades. They were a German company that settled in El Salvador.


    I have a friend who has used all sorts of machetes and brush knives around his three acres of woodland and he loves these things. They come with a convex edge and about three times as sharp as the Cold Steel stuff.
  13. Vulturedoors


    May 19, 2007
    This is one of my gripes about the CS Bolo. I have small hands and it isn't comfortable even for a few minutes.

    Rolling the edge is better than chipping the edge. Soft, tough steel would be expected to roll rather than chip.

    Thank you for that information. I've decided to upgrade my CS Bolo with something that can cut easily through green wood. The CS doesn't do it so well.

    I wondered if that was my imagination, or my crappy sharpening skills.

    Overall I think the CS machetes are probably a very good value, as they are quite cheap. But for serious work, or if the flaws of the CS annoys you, other blades mentioned in this thread should be considered.
  14. psinide


    Nov 10, 2006
    I have the CS Kukri, its pretty good, I plan on getting some of the newer styles of their machetes also. Seriously, they are like 15-20 bucks, for that price you won't be disappointed.

    You will need to sharpen them yourself, mine came with a real shoddy edge and the handle leaves a bit to be desired.
  15. Rat Finkenstein

    Rat Finkenstein Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2005

    I was not being sarcastic. If you want protection against a bear, get a gun. A machete is a great tool to have, but you are fooling yourself if you think it makes a passable last ditch weapon against a bear.
    I cannot think of a worse scenario than facing a bear with only a machete. . . Maybe 3 bears with a spatula, or a dozen bears with a pair of salad tongs.

    There are Cougars in MN, one was spotted a couple miles from my house. .

    You say I "obviously don't know how (you) hike and camp". . . .

    Do you cover yourself in honey and bacon grease, dragging a ripe deer carcass behind you? :D

    If you are preparing for a worst case scenario, the only reasonable weapon to carry against a bear is a firearm. Maybe Bear Mace if you are a felon unable to own guns.
  16. penls


    Jan 28, 2007
    :) bullets have good piercing capabilities :thumbup:
  17. Torm


    Jul 12, 2007
    I have the same complaints about the factory edge and handle ergonomics but for the price its almost expected. After sharpening it and wrapping the handle in paracord its now very comfortable in the hand. I'll be heading camping this upcoming weekend and will have a chance to test it more extensively.
  18. zenheretic

    zenheretic Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    and since there was no disclaimer and folks from California read these posts:

    *Not a recommended hiking method.

  19. ziptrickhead


    Sep 1, 2004
    I don't know how many of you have seen it, but in the newer CS DVD the machete part shows them in the actual factory stamping out the machetes and when they put the edge on it, its just a pass or 2 on each side on a grinding wheel. So yea, don't expect much from the factory edge. Then again probably most machete edges are put on in the same fashion.
  20. melt


    Nov 20, 2006
    I recently wanted to have a machete with a sharp tip, so I just bought a cheap but American made and tough Ontario Knife Company machete that has a hand guard for 18 bucks at a local dealer, then used a hack saw to cut a new point on it at an angle I liked. To do this, lay the machete flat on a wood surface and drive one nail into the wood on the edged side of the tip and another nail into the wood on the unsharpened side of the tip and place the nails in such a way that an invisible line between the two nails is the angle of tip point you want. The nails will help stabilize the machete and you can let the hacksaw blade slide beside the nails to help keep the edge straight. Cut flat with the blade surface (on the side of the blade when it is laying flat on the wood). I found that if you try to cut on the edge or spine of the blade down through the tip, you wear out the hacksaw blade very quickly. Also, don't even fool with some "general purpose" hacksaw blades. Go to a hardware store and get hacksaw blades meant for tough metal.

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