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What are short light macetes for?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by Shotgun, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Shotgun


    Feb 3, 2006
    I'm talking about machetes like the 12" tram. It's short and thin. What are these types of machetes generally used for? The smallest I see people talking about are the 14 inchers so was just curious.
  2. Rprecision


    Aug 17, 2008

    They are geared towards thin vegitation.

    They are quick in the hand and alot more versitile then they appear. Give one a try I am sure you will be suprised
  3. MoldyJoe


    Oct 19, 2010
    My boys and I just cut down a Chinese Elm in my front yard and my 12" tram was the best at triming the little branches, light and easy to use up close. Also my son loves it because in his words "I don't have to aim like with the Hatchet". Joe
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  4. Faiaoga


    Jul 3, 2012
    They are very good utility knives that a person can carry on a belt to clear weeds, trim branches or perform other chores, especially when used with an axe or other large tools. They can be carried on a belt and stay out of the way when walking about or mowing the lawn. :cool: When performing yard work, they are handy for edging a flower bed or for digging up a clump of weeds.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  5. fatcat55


    Jan 1, 2010
    12 inch is my favorite size. Good for reasons already mentioned above. Very handy and easier to use than longer blades in areas with woody undergrowth. Tramontina makes an excellent one as does Ontario.
  6. flexo


    Mar 14, 2013
    South american people cook ,butcher, with machete, (as far as they are big knives, by the way...) and a small one fits our standards better
  7. ThePeacent


    Sep 15, 2013
    My favorite size as well.

    THey do almost everything with relative ease, and fit inside most backpacks when laid diagonally.
    A great example of versatile 12 inch blade is the CS Bowie Machete.
  8. neeman


    Apr 5, 2007
    I have a 12"
    I use instead of a hatchet
    Does not bite as well as a hatchet
    But it is $10 and 9 oz so there is the trade off for carrying
    It is very versatile but not for batoning
  9. Charlie Fox

    Charlie Fox

    Oct 3, 2000
    I've used a 12" machete as my survival knife since the 80's. I find its sturdy enough to handle most cutting chores and small enough to be portable without a ton of weight. I carry a small file and round stone to reshape and sharpen the blade.
  10. Faiaoga


    Jul 3, 2012
    Yes, they fit inside most backpacks very well, an important advantage for a science teacher leading a field trip with a group of students:cool:
  11. DPC


    Dec 28, 2013
    The traditional survival knife.

    Before batoning and zombiepocalypse tacticlol half inch thick knives were a thing, it was either a thin short knife or a compact machete or both.

    Just as a reference, parangs are 10/10 in the jungle and are around that size or slightly smaller even.
  12. Getahl


    Dec 22, 2007
    A 12 inch Tram is my only machete, because I don't have a ton of vegetation around my house that requires a machete to clear. They're great for chopping the limbs off the Xmas tree before sawing the trunk into several pieces for the green waste can. Whole process took 5 minutes from full tree to can. Much quicker than using the pruners. Also, since I don't care if I bung up the edge, great for cutting those stubborn, thick weeds that like to grow near the edge of my patio, whose stem breaks off when I try to pull it from the ground.
  13. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    I have 2 Ontario 12" machetes. I do not live near a jungle so they are all I need.
    So far they have done everything I have expected.
    As others have said. Great survival blade on a budget.
  14. The cow

    The cow

    Jul 3, 2014
    My old man wants one because he's tired of the 18 inch Ontario hitting his knee when he's in the woods.
  15. Swampdog

    Swampdog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 14, 2007
    The cow -
    Talk your Dad into buying a BK-20 Bundok Bowie, and you get the BK-4 and BK-5 free when you order it from Ka-Bar.
  16. Brian Jones

    Brian Jones Moderator Moderator

    Jan 17, 1999
    Another thing: because they are thin they greatly reduce fatigue when clearing brush.
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I think they substitute well for a "survival knife" in the woods. I really like the short stiff machetes. Would prefer a longer one for thin wispy vegetation, but you can get by with it for a limited amount of work. The short ones are simply easy to carry relative to normal sized machetes and are generally geared toward chopping. Since most machetes are not real heavy, I don't have a big problem carrying one in the woods in the belt sheath.

    I very much dislike the 12" Ontario. Have two and they were my very first short machetes. They have poor handles that eat your hands up. I got them to place in my vehicles for emergencies. But after using one a bit, I shifted to the more golok type for short machetes. The Condor handles are much more hand friendly and that makes all the difference in the world.

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