Questionaire... please read.


Go with one of his modified knives, very much worth the money.

Review should be up in soon, am sending pictures to Spark on Tue...


BTW, your knife is going out Mon, didn't make it to the PO today, my apologies...
Lookinf forward to that review. As many here have gathered, I am a BIG fan of the AFCK.
As to your survey, have used all but the Barong. Is it known by any other name? Never heard of it. Somebody else mentioned Pangas. I've heard of them but never seen one. Pic?
I use a machete quite often. Standard Ontario knives with the Blackie Collins handle. NOT impressed with that handle design. Forget your gloves and you're gonna have some VERY serious blisters at the end of the day. But the blade itself has a very nice sweet spot and I can slip it through a three or four inch thick hardwood sapling like hot butter.
Looks VERY impressive to the uninitiated.

I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!

Ken, the Blackie Collins handle is pure junk. As you've noticed it raises blisters, doesn't fit anybody's hand and if you use it long enough will loosen the rivets since the crappy plastic that is used transmits too much shock vibrations. It's an example of an "improved" version being far, far, far worse than the original.

Get yourself the USGI configuration, either the 12" (my fav.) or the 18" *real* ones, add a plastic GI or homemade Kydex sheath and you've got the beginnings of a real working tool. To make it great you'll likely need to file down the handle to smooth out the rough spots and the inevitable channel between the handle slabs and the tang. Add grip tape and you're set.

I've posted this so often on rec.knives that I know folks are bored with it, but in every test that I've done the lowly USGI Ontario machete simply blows away the CS LTC Kukri. We won't even talk about those highly inferior lowend import kukris that one gets from places like Atlanta Cutlery.

The Kukri is a very old, very good design and done right it's very tough to beat. Unfortunately the only folks that I know of that are consistantly doing it right seem to be Himalayan Imports, and they're prices are a bit much for the casual user.

MDP-- I'm not sure what exactly you're hoping to learn by this thread but you might add Dao's and Kyhber Knives, as well as Choora, Adya katti, and Smatchets. ;-)

.....Some of my favorites. I use the this class of tool/knife alot.

Kukri's,...have used and abused about a dozen of the cheap imports. My current fav.'s are the CS Gurkha and the old BlackJack/Rhienhart Combat Kukri. Both perform very well, with the 'edge going to the CS.

Growning up in the countryside of South Carolina, I have used[read WORKED] with machetes all my life. I really like the cheap[$10] 15" Tamotina machete's we buy locally. the handles need a little work, and they need to be sharpened out of the box, but boy do they take an edge, and hold it pretty well, for a machete. I like them MUCH better than the Collins machete's.

I have an early Woodsman's Pal. Its a very intesting design, and while I really like the chisel ground hook on the back, he handle is not the best. It is a real blister producer, made out of leather rings. I understand that the new one's have improved wooden handles...might have to give that a try.

I've never really decided what catagory to put the old BK&T BRUTE in, but its one of my very best favorites. Its not too large or heavy, and I find myself carrying it when I don't carry hatchets or big kukri's. I also use the 'hammering flat' on the back of the blade alot for splitting small kindeling. Good edge geometry, comfy handle. Really needs kydex. Tim to call Tim Wegner at BladeTech.....

For rural folks, this class of cutlery is often used alot. We use this stuff out at the farm virtually every weekend. Cutting limbs, small trees, and undergrowth. You really get a measure of what works, and what doesn't real fast. The brute and the Kukri's are also very helpful dressing and quartering large game. Hope this helps....

Stay Sharp!
Will Fennell
President-EDI Knives
I have used Machete's including some of the better ones, but now I have no need for any chopper or lopper other than my HI Khukuri's, which can outchop even my AXE. If you want to add something that is tougher than most anything you can get to your list, the HI khukuri is it.

Are you saying the 12" Ontario machete outperforms the LTC kukri?I would expect the 18" machete to do so but not the 12".I really like Ontarios 18" machete but my cheap Indian -British kukri (which I think performs way better than people give them credit) outperforms the 12" machete.And by the way, some people who use machetes alot like the Blackie Collins handle,I am not one of them but I like the guy in front of me to use it, especialy if he doesn't use a lanyard.We tend to use gloves alot, not so much to protect from blisters but from thorns.

Will Fennell-

Have you used Ontario's machetes? How do they compare to the Tramontinas?

mps- Good additions to my list, Dao is that the same as a Dha? Long handle, about as long as the blade?

Ken- Pangas are out of Africa, some banana shaped, I have seen a production one that was more of a short sword. Barongs are leaf shaped around 12 inches of blade.

I am trying to find out about designs I don't know about, and get a feel for how common the knowledge about these designs is...

Have used the Cold Steel LTC Kukri. One of my all-time faves. Will go through branches bigger than my wrist with one blow.
Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who is less than impressed with Blackie's machete grip. Fortunately, mine is a leftover from my military days. An easy fix for the loose rivets is to go ahead and pry thm out, apply a liberal amount of JB Weld to the tang of the 'chete and the groove in the grip then cram it all back together, rivets included. After it dries, you can file off any excess. This doesn't help with the ergonomics, but it will be SOLID. Then just wear gloves and forget about it.

Down in Central America, the machete is ubiquitous. It is a badge of manhood and you almost never see an adult male without having one stuck in his belt as he goes about his days work. These guys tend to be very polite as machete fights are not unheard of as a way to settle disputes. (They are rare though) The local men were all very disdainful of our issue machetes with their puny little 18 inch blades. Average down there is around 22 inches. I don't personally like this length, but I've seen 20 or so of these guys clear a 200 yard perimeter in a morning. They seemed to know what they were doing.

Love the Khyber knives, more of a sword to my way of thinking though and too thick for use as a machete.
Never was very happy with the Smatchet. Devastating fighter, but so body heavy and point light that it's usless for utility. Anything that heavy needs to be an all purpose tool. Ang Khola kukri comes to mind, I'm gonna have to talk to Jim about one of those.

I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!

I have used and really like the G.I. Ontario machete. It can't really be beat for the price. Several years ago I picked up a couple of Ontario beavertail machetes (I think it was from Brigade Quartermasters). Anyway, The blade shape is very similar to a bolo and the wide blade makes for a good chopper for the blade length (about 12 inches). Notice you didn't mention the B,K and T Machax. I've got one but have never used it. I could really kick myself for not picking up the Reinhart kukri when they wre available.
While the LTC khukuri isn't much of a khukuri with an almost neutral balance, low weight, feather thin blade (1/8"), and not too much of a blade angle at all - I would still expect it to significantly outperform a machete from the brief handling I had of one in a store. Your comments MPS are surprising almost enough in fact to make me want to buy a LTC to see where I went so grossly off in my prediction.

As for price, the LTC is like $85 at the discount internet stores. The top of the line in that size khukuri from HI is only $175 and there are lighter models at $125, $150. These prices all include shipping and handling. Not to mention that if you don't mind cosmetic flaws you can drop a note to the owner of HI and get a "blem" with a heavy discount and come away with a 15" Ang Khola at pennies more than the LTC.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 01 March 1999).]
Cliff, I agree, although I don't expect the CS LTC to handle better than the ghurka light from CS, due to it's more shallow bend in the blade, I would be surprised if it didn't easily outhandle any machete. In fact Burke listed in here that his LTC can go through wrist size branches. I don't think a typical 18 inch machete could do that. But maybe I'm wrong, since I have not tried it.
Alright let's clear some things up. (or maybe muddy everything beyond recognition)

M-- I've never tested the 12" Ontario Campers machete head to head with the CS LTC Kukri. I was so disgusted with the results of testing the LTC against several hatchets and machetes, that if I remember right, I sold it to another rec.knives guy just prior to getting a couple 12 inchers. What I did do was test the LTC Kukri head to head with the 18" USGI Ontario machete, and it lost very badly in tests with 2x2"s, 2x4"s, and large logs. The reason it looses is that it's got too much belly for a real kukri, and too much angle to the blade and too thin a 'waist' section, (if it's proper to call it that).

The bottom line is that it's centre of percussion is not optimized for horizontal chopping of wood. It's 'sweet spot' is substantially smaller than that of the USGI machete and while the hooked shape of the kukri can compensate for some things, having a small sweet spot, (or center of percussion) can't be overcome just by chopping angle. If it could then the smallest hatchet would greatly outperform any machete. Such is not the case.

It's fairly easy to pick up a thin vaguely kukri shape and be impressed with the way that it "traps" small limbs up to about 3". The trouble is that same "trapping" shape will cause the knife to bind up pretty badly in larger hardwoods. The real trouble with the LTC is that the center of percussion comes to early to be useful in all the ways that a better machete is useful.

I don't know enough about the battle uses of a kukri to know if the LTC is optimized for that use, but it's not an optimized wood chopper. I've never tried the CS Gurkha Kukris since I'd rather save for an HI. I don't want to get into it in this post, but if you want me to I'll do my best to discuss centres of percussion and sweet spots and how to tell alot about a wood chopper just based on a picture or outline of it.

Anyway, getting back to the 12" camper's machetes, I'd not be too awfully surprised if they would indeed best the CS LTC in wood chopping. BTW, it's surprisingly easy to get a stout machete to sever hardwoods up to at least 2.5-3" (the size of my wrist) in one blow. In fact, practiced folks using the 22 and 24 inch blades could likely do substantially better than that. It's common practice in machete weilding cultures to use the lowly machete on all sorts of thick palms, and other trees I don't even know the names of.

As for Tramontinas, I've tried about 4 of them and I've never seen one that I liked or that could compare to the Ontario GI versions, but it's worth pointing out that in may machete cultures the lowly Tramontinas are considered the 'good' ones, and better ones are almost unheard of.

MDP-- As far as I know, (and could be quite wrong), *Dha* is a really terrible Indian or Burmese copy of a Katana, while *Dao* is sort of a catchall Asian (often Chinese) sword shape that
as near as I can tell can be most any single edged chopper. (It's not as ambiguous a term as parang, -- which can be a whole bunch of things.) *Dao* is a very old word that has it's origins in myth, and unfortunately for us "Johnny-come-latelys" has meant different things to different cultures from Assam to Nepal to China.

*Dao* often are wide, blunt choppers. Some look like they are optimized for fighting and others look like they might be quite useful for brush clearing. The one I was thinking of when I mentioned them is the large Indian or Nepalese two handed "Ram Dao" used for ritual be-heading of oxen and the like. I don't know that I'd want to carry one, or that it would be in any
way superior to a very large HI kukri, but if you wanted a two-handed hybrid between a mongo machete and a bush blade.....

mps--- BTW, Don't take my word for any of this. Do your own testing and your own research. ;-) ;-)
Use: khukuri

Handled: Bolo, Machete, Woodsman's Pal,Hardwood cane, Rattan cane.

I found that the LTC was a slightly better chopper than my Estwing and Sweedish hatchet for pine and spruce. It is a poor performer compared to my other khukuris (CS Gurkha, H.I. models). I have never gotten along with hatchets.

I can believe the Ontario G.I. machette will out perform the LTC, the machette has all the advantages. The blade thickness for both is about the same (similar resistance for penetration). There is really very little forward angle in the LTC. The G.I. machette is heavier (22 oz vs 18 oz) and longer (higher velocity). One of these days I will get a G.I. machette to compare the two in the real world.

Would the CS Gurkha lite be any better, its even lighter than the LTC but has better geometery?

It would be interesting to see how the machette compares to a real khukuri (CS or H.I.) How about a Sirupati, one of the lighter khukuris.


[This message has been edited by Will Kwan (edited 01 March 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Will Kwan (edited 01 March 1999).]
Will, mps, It would be interesting to compare the ghurka light CS khukuri, since it is more traditional style with the thickness of a machette. Wouldn't the LTC behave more like a bolo machete. I don't care for the looks of the LTC, but have liked the ghurka light, but for $80.00, I think I would get something else.
I'm looking forward to testing my Ontario soft beak, CS Special Forces Shovel, Gerber Bowie, as soon as I can get into a woodlot somewhere. Have even thought about modifications the the SPAX to make it into a camping/woods utility chopper.
- Brian
My personal favorite ethnic knife would have to be the navaja, beloved by the Romani and at one time the lower classes of Spain in general.

The navaja is a real old(dating back from 15th-16th century) fighting megafolder, traditional blade dimensions are three to four fingers wide and a palm's length long, giving them an overall length(open) of 16 inches, give or take. They also come in sword-like lengths, blades of up to two feet. Traditionaly they were tucked closed into a shash, but the smaller versions conform quite well to a pants pocket and are quite concealable.

They come in single or double edged versions, clip points, drop points, and leaf shaped blades are common. Handles are typicaly curved, and they have a ratchet-like opening mechanism that makes the charachteristic loud snaps(carakas) when you open it, but they can be opened silently if you lift the backspring first.

Nobody seems to know much about them, on the internet anyway. Most of the places I post questions about them, I end up being the leading authority.

They still get used quite a bit, but being ethnic knives, they are uncommonly encountered.

There are no good quality comercialy available reproductions on the market I am aware of. If you want one, find an antique in good condition, or find a Romani or Hispanic bladesmith.

I'm hoping to open a shop next year that specializes in these sorts of knives.
Played, read about, and handled most of your list except for the canes.

You missed a good one though... a long time ago I decided to replace my hiking staff with a (non-technical) mountaneering Ice Axe and I never went back.

The Ice Axe provide a very comfortable and secure third point of support. The ground spike can easily take hold on most terrain and is especially useful on ice. The shaft tend to be very strong (most modern metal or syntethic shafts can handle 300-400lbs of lateral pressure with ease), and I have found the pick and horizontal axe to be very helpful on the rougher trails (what six foot bolder in the way...just hook your pick over the top edge and walk right over it).

Other advantages include:
1) a shorter overall length than a walking staff (come in various sizes but would recommend you select a length that barely allows the pick to touch the ground as you palm the axe head - arm straight and at your side - on flat terrain - this will provide you with good leverage when hiking up an incline). Usually, you can comfortably attach it to your backpack when not in use.

2) Will not upset the tourist (hmmm...mountains - mountaneering tool - makes sense)

3) Can be an excellent tool for self defense if needed (the configuration makes it practically a modern rendition of the medieval war hammer)

4) designed to be light in weight

A warning though - you should select a non-technical axe (no sharpened edges - simpler/lighter design) unless you plan to take the time to train with one. Its very easy to get hurt with a technical axe; and, the price premium (~300%) is not worth spending unless you plan to practice advance ice techniques. Don't forget to order the rubber spike and blade guards (usually sold separately) - these will protect the metal surfaces and help to keep your car interior etc. looking the way it should.

How many of you have heard of, read about, seen, held, used, own, or regularly use any of the following...
Yup, Cold Steel version. I would love an HI or GH version.



Hell yes

Woodsmans Pal
Kellam Billhook or other billhook variant like the Cobra

Hardwood cane

Rattan cane
Ya just beat Spark with one

Thank You,

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!