High Quality Machetes ?

Oct 31, 2000
Does anyone know a company that makes a really good quality machete? I know of several companies that make inexpensive machetes, but I am willing to pay more to get a better product. This machete would have to be able to cut through hanging vines and branches in an area like the everglades.
Go to the Himalayan Imports forum and look at some Khukuri's. Many models would work well for your purposes. They are handmade in Nepal by highly skilled craftsman and would outlast any machete I've ever seen. They are also very reasonably priced.

Here is a link to HI's website:
That Bush Hog that Jeff Randall linked to looks pretty nice.

Martindale also makes Machetes.... http://www.ralphmartindale.co.uk/ralphmartindale/europe1.html http://www.jungleknife.com

Barteaux is here in America, less expensive. http://rogue.northwest.com/~neil1525/

Thank you,
Marion David Poff aka Eye, Cd'A ID, USA mdpoff@hotmail.com

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In my opinion, you cannot get a better machete than the ones made by Ross Aki of Hawaii. His stuff is NICE. I have owned one for two years and it is a superb tool. 1/16" ATS-34! He makes stouter blades and different styles for different types of use, so he will certainly be able to recommend what would work best for you. The URL is: http://www.macheteman.com

Hope you like what you see!

Steve Agocs, D.C.

I've posted this a couple of times on the forum hoping someone would try them out.

In an old issue of Combat Knives the Bushmaster Machete was profiled. Needless to say, they raved about it. Quote: "Suffice it to say, the Spanish-made Bushmaster machete is in a class of its own, and few, if any, other production machetes offer craftsmanship that is even relatively close."

Prices are in the $155 to $185 range. If anyone is interested, the website is:


I get some pleasure from finding a relentlessly peaceful use for a combative looking knife.
Has anyone heard any updates on how Ross is doing these days? I look forward to his return hopefully soon.

I've taken a look at those Miami machetes and I also wish someone could give us an impartial review of their performance. I've thought about taking the plunge myself, but without a reliable third party endorsement, I just can't justify parting with $150 for a blade made from an unspecified grade of 420 stainless steel.

For anyone who's interested, Jerry Hossom made some edge grind modifications to a standard Ontario machete and the resulting increase in performance was quite noticeable:

Semper Fi

The Aki machetes are great. Newt Livesay also makes a mean machete (several in fact) that are designed with a very different kind of material (to be cut) in mind. Have a look here at http://www.sonic.net/~quine/sbm_rcm.html for a review and comparison between Ross Aki and Newt Livesay.

[This message has been edited by matthew rapaport (edited 11-13-2000).]

[This message has been edited by matthew rapaport (edited 11-13-2000).]
Wow! Thank you for the many responses. I will go to all the web sites that were listed and take a look. I am sure I will find several machetes that will fill my needs.
I've been impressed with Tramontia machetes. They cost about $5 at gun shows. They are thin, to cut vegatation well. I give them a coat of car wax and don't worry about them. If you hit a rock with your $150 machete you'll cry. If you hit one with a Tramontia, you'll shrug it off.

I do have one SBM on order from Ross Aki -- hope he is doing well, and I also hope he returns to knife-making if he wishes. The SBM is more of a "belt machete" for occasional hacking. If you need to do alot of serious clearing, a 22" or 24" long blade will probably serve you better.
After looking at all the sites, I ordered a BK&T Bush Hog. I believe the machetes from Livesay and Aki are the best but they cost twice what the Bush Hog listed for. By the way I paid $74.95 plus $5 shipping. They are not in stock, but I have been assured they will be in about a week. Again, thanks for all the info.
Have you heard anything about the exact type of steel Martindale is using on their blades? Unfortunately, the info on their Web site is vague to the point of being useless.

Semper Fi

RTAK from www.newt.livesay.com
My review http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/002088.html
A knife you can trust your life on.

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Can any of you Livesay fans give me a quick rundown on the critical differences between the RTAK and the RCM? From visits to Newt's Web site it appears that both share the same blade steel and treatment process, the same handle materials, and similar sheath designs. The only difference I can see is that the RCM has a blade that is 1.75" longer. So, I guess I'm really wondering what advantage the RTAK (with its shorter blade) would have over the RCM.

Semper Fi


Sorry for the lateness of my reply.

I have not, though I would surmise some sort of spring steel, 5160 or L6.

For hanging vines and branches you need a thin and long machete. You need edge speed and thinness to go through fibrous materials that give easily when you swipe at them. You are depending on the small inertia of the plants to hold them in place while you swipe at them. The faster you hit them the better your chance of going through. You also want a very sharp edge.

Ideally you swipe right through the material without it piling up on your blade. I would look at thin 22" long machetes that are as light as possible. Tramontinas or Barteauxs might be your best bet. Generally you need to get out a file or belt sander and improve the edge bevel for optimum performance.

You should do just fine with the Becker Bush Hog. Just don't mess up my 'Glades too much, okay?
The best machete I have ever had was one of those $5.50 ones from Smokey Mountain Knife Works. I beat the heck out of it for about two years and it held up great. It finally broke when I tried to pry with it. What I mean by pry is bend it clear into a U before it broke. I suggest you try one of these and you will be pleased. Hope this helped.
I think the RCM is designed as a chopper, while the RTAK is an all-around knife, that can chop. It might be a little thicker as well.