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Gray Man
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Discussion Starter #6
Condor https://www.machetespecialists.com/filter/brand/condor/ has a nicer machete than many of the common use peasant machetes from South America.

I’ve used a Ontario machete https://www.machetespecialists.com/filter/brand/ontario-knife-company/ heavily with no complaints!

Several of the Cold Steel https://www.machetespecialists.com/filter/brand/cold-steel/ ones are quite useful!

SD
THIS is exactly what I was looking for! The Condor's seem to be the quality/weight I'd like, but had the Ontario SP-8 in mind when I posted this.

Thanks, all!
 

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Make sure the handle is a good shape and size for your hands. I've found that after a while it is very difficult to grip a handle which is too small or too straight.
You may need to enlarge or shape the handle a bit if you have big hands or don't find it a good fit for your hands.
 

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Currently looking for a SOLID machete option, and preferably one with a good sheath. What have you bought ‘retail’ that you like and/or is better than expected?
What exactly do you want a machete for? I know that can sound like a pretty stupid question, but there are numerous machete designs and for various applications:





I've always like how the Machete Specialist defines many of them:

https://www.machetespecialists.com/buying-guide/machete-types/

In addition to the actual blade designs are the blade thickness, handle (already mentioned as an important aspect), and blade size/length. What I think most immediately think of when they hear "machete", is the typical Latin-American, "bush" machete that was a common adoption in the Army with an 18" blade. Several survival schools (and a few I attended) have always touted the slightly shorter 12" model of that same machete as the "gold standard" survival tool.

I'm sure that's debatable, but having spend some time in South America around some small mountain and jungle villages, machetes have proven to be the ubiquitous Swiss-Army tool for many of them, including kids as young as 8-10 years old.

I personally like the smaller machetes styles in the 12-14" blade ranges. Thinner ones for the spring and summer; thicker, slightly more weight-forward ones for the winter months:





Different cultures, climates, environments, needs, and applications will show in their machete-designs. Some are much thicker and meant for thick vines and harder woods. While they chop much better than the thinner/lighter versions, you will get tired if you're trying to clear long grass or just light, leafy foliage. There's the whole "physics" aspect to blade shape, weight, length, and thickness...knowing what you want or need a machete for will help in the selection.

ROCK6
 

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Indefatigable
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We don't belong to a survivalist "group" other than our family. But we do socialize with a small group of preppers.
For a while after the movie first came out you couldn't get hubby out of his "300" T-shirt. He got what was intended to be a gag gift at the holiday get together. A "300" Gladius Machete. Everybody had a good laugh.
https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/cold-steel-gladius-machete
Currently out of stock because this tool is NO laughing matter. Read the reviews. We bought 3 more.
 

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Run Silent, Run Dark
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Cold Steel 97DRMZ Cutlass Machete with Sheath 30in Overall 24in BLD, Black
https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-97DRMZ-Cutlass-Machete/dp/B01AALX48I?ref_=ast_sto_dp

Bought two of these for use as toys. They are very usable for cutting and slashing under-growth. I bought factory 2nd versions that Amazon sells of this same machete. They use 97DRMX as the model and were $24 each.

They came out of the box very sharp. Whacked a few limbs and some underbrush. While outdoors at the property, carried one in the sheath on my belt for the weekend. Drew it out and re-sheathed it a couple of times.

Then, hung them crossed on the wall of our cabin for decoration. For repelling boarders and what not. :)
 

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I recently picked up a woodman's pal, it's a pretty nice tool, a bit heavy, but all in all I'm pleased with it. It's not a machete in the traditional sense of the word yet it does a lot of the same things.
Edit add; It also comes with a nice leather sheath and sharpening stone...
 
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I made the mistake of getting a SOG sogfari 18" several years ago, it is a decent enough blade, haven't broke it yet but it has a saw back that I though at the time might be useful.... it's not. The saw back actually stops me from being able to get a decent kydex sheath for it and I hate the sheath it came with. Can't do anything with it but hang it from a belt. The saw back tears up any kydex it comes in contact with but doesn't do very well on limbs or branches, to awkward to use. Now my first question when looking at machete's is "does it have a saw back?"

And for those that might suggest I get a leather sheath... I'm just not a fan of leather sheaths on knives, machetes or even firearms.
 

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I feel the same way about the sp8, great chopper but the saw, makes it a PITA to use as a draw knife (remove bark) or smooth wood. The sheath is nylon with three snaps down the front, so there is no danger of sawing the sheath.

The two machetes that work well in my area (northern woodland/riparian) are the 18" Ontario and the Woodman's pal.
 

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Not a machete per se but I bought a fiskars brush axe because it was marked down to $12.00. Might be the most useful tool I have bought in a while. It is the hand held style. I put some grip tape for a tennis racket on the handle and she is perfect. I have used it to clear brush, limbs, small trees, and some y’all grasses. It is amazing! Like I said not a machete but I never use my machete now because I always use the fiskars brush axe.
I wasn’t able to load a picture but google image search fiskars brush axe for pix
 
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