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Help me choose a bushcraft machete

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by EdgyEddy, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. bikerector

    bikerector Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 16, 2016
    Condor golok is a nice machete. It's a bit thick for grass but it will work. It's great on thorns and bushes and thinner woody targets. Mine got stolen so now I have a Scrap yard 1311, another nice golok style.

    My parang has some nice stuff.

    Fox knives pathfinder has a few features you're looking for.

    The saw back will be the hardest piece to find. I've only seen latin machetes with tgat setup.

    A standard latin machete, even the cheap ones, should last a long time if you don't hit a ton of stones with it. Joe Flowers has a few vids about using a machete for bushcraft, if memory serves me right.

    For a straight up kuhkri, the only one I've seen that isn't really thick is the HI foxy folly. It's pretty nice, but still not machete thin. I would compare more to a parang in use than a machete. But, it's a lot thinner than the standard kuhkri which is closer to a hatchet than a machete in utilization.
    betover likes this.
  2. NapalmCheese


    Aug 24, 2006
    No Imacasa fans? When it comes to machetes I like them 18-20 inches and plenty flexible. When it comes to chopping I prefer an axe, hatchet, or kukri. I currently have a Fiskars machete and don't much care for it; too heavy, too stiff. Fiskars does make a machete with a sawback if I recall.


    Feb 23, 2000
    I live in the UK, the Skrama and a Siky does the heavy work before getting out the chainsaw. Anything smaller its a small knife, fixed or folder.
    I do like a long springy machete for the reach but use a ditch hook more (billhook on a long shaft/handle). Machete's rig ding too much in my neck of the woods, best for the jungle.
    A Skrama is about 11/4lbs which is plenty enough before go for an axe at 2lbs plus. The thinking mans golok, its a fantastic tool. Beaten the snot out of mine and its still doing the biz; a reach for tool. I don't need anything heavier for the work I put it to. Its stiffer, more compact, and as controllable as a machete. Works for me.
  4. ShannonSteelLabs

    ShannonSteelLabs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 9, 2015
    Hmm. What will you be cutting?
    I dont reccomend a saw back. It creates stress risers.

    I have a 3V machete in stock but it's not the kukri profile you are looking for. But it has excellent cutting geometry and is light.
    Once my books reopen I could build something like this for you.

    I have a thinner kukri that uses 3/16ths stock and machetes that use 0.150 stock. All can be 3V or 8670. IMG_20170710_124633.jpg Screenshot_20190328-121746_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190328-121813_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190328-121847_Gallery.jpg
    bikerector likes this.
  5. Dirtbiker


    Jul 2, 2010
    Nice work! Love that bolo
    ShannonSteelLabs likes this.
  6. Dirtbiker


    Jul 2, 2010
    I'd recommend the Baryonyx machete too but it's a big one If you dont mind the added heft it's a fantastic piece.

    Unless you are looking for flash $100 is top buck in machetes. When I spend more than that I dont use them much. That's why I like modding tramontina and imacasa machetes. Inexpensive and disposable. If you damage or loose one you're out $20. If I lost my Bark River Bravo machete I'd cry.
  7. ShannonSteelLabs

    ShannonSteelLabs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 9, 2015
    The bottom one?
    I kind just made a machete profile.
    These run 350-400. But CPM 3V.. .damn near indestructible. And the cutting geometry is impressive.
  8. Dirtbiker


    Jul 2, 2010
    The first one From that angle it looked more bolo than kukri to me. Beautiful either way.
  9. ShannonSteelLabs

    ShannonSteelLabs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 9, 2015
    Ahh ok
    thanks!!! I kinda do whatever with my designs.
    Appreciate the input!
  10. sylvan archer

    sylvan archer

    Oct 31, 2016
    Others have more experience with the machetes; but for a folding saw, if you want something strong, practical, and well made, look at the "Wicked" brand saws. Definitely not flimsy; quality construction and materials.
  11. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    I love my Big Chris 3V machete.. I took her out for an hour or two today even. It’s more hard use than light duty, but it fits both roles exceptionally well. It’s 22” overall, 16” blade. Weighs-in about 23 ounces, and I believe it’s .15 thick(not 100% on that, but I think that’s what I measured it to). It’s pretty fantastic. I’ve abused this to the extent where I’m checking the edge expecting damage, only to see absolutely none at all.


    It wouldn’t be my first choice to fillet a fish with, or even something I’d want to swing it all day, but it can handle a lot more than your average machete. I’d throw out all of my others in favor of this one. Though, my deltoids and biceps would grow by a few more inches if that were the case, haha.
    Lee D likes this.
  12. bikerector

    bikerector Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 16, 2016
    That's awesome
    McFeeli likes this.
  13. schwep


    Jan 4, 2017
    Oh dear, you'll end up with a zombiekiller blade that is totally unpractical. I do second the opinion that you don't need to go further than a Tramontina if yoy want a real machete, south-american style. I'd take the 14-inch bolo in that case, which is an extremely effective blade due to its forward weight. You will need to get a third-party sheath for it or have one made to your liking. A Tramontina needs adapting as they come rough, you will typically need to put your own grind on it, smooth the spine and sand the handle to make it more comfortable.
    Sawbacks are really a no-no. They tend to be a best a bad saw, at worst useless and you will hurt your off hand with them. Sawback injuries are really nasty. Just carry a good folding saw. For trail clearing, which is what you typically carry a machete for, a saw does not help much.
    If you are looking for a European/nordic short machete that you can use in more boreal environments and that can be carried on the belt or in a sling over the shoulder, get a Skrama. Seller Varusteleka in Finland (the only place that sells them) has very nice sheaths for them, for belt carry, or you can use a molle-style sheath and attach a sling to that. There are practically no chopping blades out there that can beat a Skrama with a factory edge, no matter how expensive (if you want a good laugh look at the comparison video by Dutch Burhcraft Knives where it destroys everything else). On or two are equal. Just. Put a convex edge on it and it's simply the ultimate chopper (my personal opinion; some will disagree I suppose, although very few will disagree that it is likely the best chopper/nordic type machete you can get for the money, given its price).
    Just for your info, I had a typical sawback machete that I got to hate; I took the sawteeth off with a disc grinder after I hurt myself with it (it bounced back and hit my off hand, ripping right through my glove). I have a heavily modified Tramontina bolo that is wonderful for clearing trails from flexible nasty stuff like brambles, and is so light that you can use it for hours without even a hotspot on your hand; and I have been using a Skrama for almost two years, during which time it became my favorite delimbing, batoning and chopping tool, not for playing in the bush but for serious pruning and clearing our property and for making stacks of firewood for our home.
    The greatest Youtube expert on machetes is Dave Pearson 'reallybigmonkey'. He has a lot of rigs like you describe, with knives and other stuff attached to the sheaths. Fun to watch, too. I think his favorite is an Ontario.
    Oh, and I'm Dutch too, although I live in France.
  14. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013

    You need a custom-forged, hardened titanium alloy machete. It can't rust and will last forever, and will also do both heavy chopping and deal with thin wispy targets all in one blade.

    But most importantly, I need to cross the Netherlands off of my "sent a blade there" country list.





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