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Machete 5 pack info needed.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Gingahippy, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Gingahippy


    Jul 12, 2013
    Good day ladies and gentlemen.

    This is my first post on here but I have been visiting for a few months. I couldn't find a machete specific thread so thought I'd start here and it could be moved later if need be.


    I just bought the Cheaper Than Dirt machete 5- pack for 19.99 plus $15 shipping.
    Based in what I had seen on here and saw in the photos on the website I expected to get Incolma machetes which are very well renowned.

    What I actually got was one Corneta machete which says it is made by Gebrüder Weyersberg from Solingen. I know from my straight razor days that anything from Solingen is good steel.

    The other 4 were all Prima brand which I can find no info on the web about although they do have "made with British Steel" stamped on them. I know Sheffield steel was good back in the day but not sure about British in general.

    My main reason for asking is that I want to know if these are as good as the Incolma/ Imacasa/ Tramontina/ Gavilan brands or not. I don't want to waste my time putting a good edge on them if not.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

  2. Gingahippy


    Jul 12, 2013
    I've just noticed that they all get thinner from the base toward the tip, is that what is referred to as tapered?
  3. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    No idea about "Prima" but the Gebruder Weyersberg piece is pre-Imacasa production. Nice snag--got pics? :)

    And yes--sounds like you're describing distal taper. :thumbup:
  4. Convex


    May 7, 2009
    Distal taper = good stuff!

    Like fortytwo, I've never heard of Prima either, but if all those blades have distal taper (blade spine is thicker at the handle than the tip), you may have something there... and yes, old german solingen steel IS good stuff indeed!

    I'm no expert, but here are a few tests you can do:

    1) Flick the spine of each blade with your fingernail. They should ring. Good machete steel rings like a bell when struck. In fact, if you chop some hard wood with them, you will hear them ring with every stroke due to good and even heat treatment.

    2) Slam the point deeply into a piece of wood (a tree stump is ideal, a tree trunk will work). Now pull the handle towards you and try to bend the blade as far as it will go. Release it. It should return to "true" (straight). A crappy blade will stay bent (too soft), or snap in two (too hard). Repeat in the other direction. Warning: This test will either ruin your machete, or prove its worth.

    3) Sharpen them. Good machete steel will easily sharpen with a decent flat file. The rough edge left by the file greatly aids the cutting ability of a machete by leaving micro serrations at the edge. No need for "hair popping sharp". It is not for shaving.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Dan57


    Apr 8, 2012
    This is horrible advice. Use sandstone or granite instead, it will grip the blade better.
  6. Convex


    May 7, 2009
    Sorry, no disrespect sir but this is not horrible advice... In fact, using rock for this purpose will almost guarantee that the blade's spring temper will vibrate its way loose from said rock upon releasing the handle. Rock has no "give" to absorb that vibration. Wood does.
    Sink that tip a good 2 -3 inches into a tree, and it will hold just fine (read very tightly). Don't be afraid. We've done it this way throughout the Caribbean for decades.
    Can 40 million people all be wrong?

    Maybe some caveats are in order:
    If you do try this, hold the handle so that the spine is facing the stump / trunk. And when you release it, do so slowly.
    A machete's tip is only about 1/16" thick. Try this with something thick like a Busse, and the blade won't give. The tree will. And that is indeed dangerous.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  7. stvpourciau


    Dec 20, 2012
    hmm, learned somethimg new today.

    "Distal Taper" my Ontario does not have, and to think i percieved that as a good thing..
  8. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Distal taper is not needed in all designs as long as the lack thereof is taken deliberately into account, but in MOST cases distal taper is advantageous. My Baryonx Machete design, for instance, is an example of an untapered design that does not require the feature, because it was specifically designed to perform at its peak in untapered stock. The Imacasa Rozador, by contrast, is a great example of a design taking maximum advantage of distal taper.
  9. Gingahippy


    Jul 12, 2013

    Thrusting my machete into granite?

    This is all beginning to sound a bit King Arthur to me.

    So basically if I can't bend or snap it then it's a good blade. If I can then it wasn't and "oh well".

    I am curious about the ringing. I also have a Legitimus Collins and a Gavilan sugar cane knife. The Gavilan sound like a bell every time it touches anything. The Collins does not ring at all when I flick it but they are both fantastic blades. The Corneta has the same type of steel as the Collins with no ring at all yet we know that is good. So I guess the ringing is an indicator in certain types of steel but not others. It's all quite new to me. I also have a Chines made Corona from Ace that isn't so good and rings nicely. My sense told me ringing was good until I got all these machetes.

    Further research tells me that Corneta is owned and made by Imcasa as the South American branch of Weyesberg.

    As for the Prima there is nothing online at all. Nothing!!!
  10. Gingahippy


    Jul 12, 2013

    The red lines show possible mods to be performed.

    If you zoom in you can see the PRIMA stamp at the base of the blades. I'm posting on the iphone so new pics may need to go up later. I'm giving a few away as gifts, will keep the large 22" Corneta though.
  11. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Yeah I wouldn't bother with the whole flex testing thing. They should all be fairly decent if they're tapered. Ringing is more of an indication of a strong/tight handle fit. If the scales have a slightly looser fit then they dampen the vibration that would otherwise cause ringing. That's not the limit of the indications, but it's the biggest one.
  12. Convex


    May 7, 2009
    "... a bit King Arthur to me" LMAO :D

    Yes, the ringing thing...
    I believe this is a holdover from the days when good machetes were forged and heat treated like the really old Collins and Martindales with a bit of inconsistency from batch to batch. In my grandpa's day, that's how they would judge them (they called it "singing") and I guess that info gets passed down to each generation as "common knowledge".

    Ironically, the cheap knockoff companies quickly learned that a machete that sings, sells. I think that's why so many el cheapos have a bell like blade sound, but are total crap in use - low edge retention, high edge rolling, hard to sharpen, etc.

    Most of those blade shapes look just like Ralph Martindale & co. patterns. Google them. I believe Imacasa also has similar designs.

    Regarding the mods you want to do, IMHO stay away from any design that will leave a very narrow tip, it will be much weaker than a design with more "meat" left, when exposed to the high twisting and impact forces a machete blade experiences. That angled straight Sharpie line on the last one in your last photo looks pretty good I think..
  13. Gingahippy


    Jul 12, 2013
    I'm thinking either scallop the back edge to create a billhook shape and have it double edged with the square end or just cut from the tip back at 45 degrees like a few other mods I have seen on here.

    Thanks for you help gents, I know now that I have some worthy blades to play around with. I just know I will never need the Collins and the Corneta since they are both so alike but cannot see myself giving up either of such fine blades, especially if they are NOS and possibly no longer made.

    And thus begins another collection, along with 8 long skateboards and over 25 antique straight razors. It's a man thing. I don't get it, but it's definitely man thing.

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