Author Topic: Machetes  (Read 9328 times)

alfsauve

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Machetes
« on: February 24, 2015, 08:06:17 AM »
Kevin in his blog, Misfires and Light Strikes, brought up the subject of machetes.  He was thinking of what model to put in his bug-out bag.   If you search on-line you'll find 100's of models out there.  Everything from a Ronco, all in one, kills 'em, skins 'em, dresses 'em out, chops, dices and stirs Margerittas to taciticool ones to plain ones made from leaf springs.   And the prices vary from $9 to $90.

So I know just enough about machetes to be dangerous.  ;)

What my daddy imparted to me along with his machete is that Collins was THE name in machetes at least up until the 1960s. The name was so famous that in many countries  “un Collins” was synonymous with the word machete. Sadly, they went out of business in 1965-66, though if you ply the flea markets you might be able to find some.    They have a distinctive logo of a crown with an extended arm holding a hammer.   Typical picture (not mine) below.



Robert Mole was the other “name”, but they were UK, I think, and are scarce this side of the Atlantic, though some might be found in the West Indies.

I have two Collins, dating from 50’s-60’s. One full length 22" was my father's and the sheath is original.  A # 13.  The short one,  13" I bought used when I was in the AF.   I suspect it left the factory a might longer and was shortened by a former owner.  And yes, sadly I have abused them.  This renewed interest though will  pushed me to clean them up.   They've been on many a trip and hacked many a bush, both here and in the western pacific area when I was in the AF



So what's your favorite?   What would you buy today to go into your bug-out/get-home bag?  What's a good price point?    $25?

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Big Frank

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 11:56:12 AM »
I had an 18" Ontario Knife (of New York) brand that was just like the G.I. machete except it had saw teeth on the back of it. It cost a dollar more than G.I. at the time and was a good machete but someone stole it. So I bought a 12" Ontario Knife with a knuckle guard built into the handle. The 12" blade is nearly useless to me and I disliked the knuckle guard enough to cut half of it off. I left a piece at each end to keep my hand from slipping off and may cut more off of it. My last machete is an 18" Cold Steel Latin machete and I haven't used it much but I like it so far. If I was buying another machete it would be a Cold Steel or Ontario Knife in 18" size. No need to spend $100 on some fancy zombie slayer.

http://ontarioknife.com/tools/machetes2013-09-03-16-51-11/1-18sbk-machete-sawback-detail
http://ontarioknife.com/tools/machetes2013-09-03-16-51-11/okc-12-camper-black-d-handle-detail
http://www.coldsteel.com/Product/97AM18S/LATIN_MACHETE_18.aspx
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

alfsauve

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 03:00:21 PM »
I like both of those Frank.  Good price on the Cold Steel.     I think if I were buying one an 18" would be about right as a utility tool.
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kmitch200

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 06:38:40 PM »
Not having huge experience with machetes, what do you guys like for length as the 'sweet spot'?
I've used a kukri to clear stuff in small areas that had grown into the road the but things with lots of pointy sharp things on them like mesquite and cat claw had me wanting a bit more reach.   
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Solus

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 09:37:18 AM »
If I were to pick a machete, I'd go with something along the lines of Cold Steel's Jungle Machete.  The design has higher weight for it's length and that weight is at the tip end.  The blade being fully curved along it's working length is also a plus.

http://www.coldsteel.com/Product/97JMS/JUNGLE_MACHETE_W_SHEATH.aspx

As far as length, how you intend to use it would matter.

Think about the difference in lengths of wood axes and hatchets.  An axe is more effective but not as "handy".

I'd prefer at least 18" blade maybe 20 or 21 inches max for me. 
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
—Patrick Henry

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
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Re: Machetes
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:56:43 PM »

alfsauve

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 01:37:21 PM »
For throwing in a bag as an emergency tool, I'd go with something in the 14"-18" class.

At home for bramble and briar type of  things I have a sling blade, so my 13" shorty is fine for easy chopping of small limb/twigs.

But for a "walk" in the woods I have always used the 22".  It allows me to reach out just a little bit further.
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Big Frank

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 02:23:57 PM »
I've never used anything longer than an 18" blade but after using the 12" I don't want anything less than 18". More may be better but 18" seems to be a good medium between the two extremes. Even if the reach was okay the 12" just doesn't have enough weight and it feels like I'm trying to cut with a dull blade because it just doesn't cut as well.
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

les snyder

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 10:08:45 PM »
my GI 1944 Collins I had since my Scout days was stolen from my Camaro in the late 70s... its replacement was a Guatemalan Collins SA that I shortened to about 14"... my latest is a Tramontina 14" Bolo... I used a grinding wheel to trim the top of the handle flush with the blade... I would be my go-to for the type of vegetation I encounter down here in Florida


http://www.amazon.com/Tramontina-Bolo-Machete-26624-014/dp/B00JNRF196/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426216148&sr=8-1&keywords=tramontina+bolo+machete

alfsauve

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 05:11:57 AM »
What amazes me is how cheap machetes are.  The one above posted by Les is only $15.11, free shipping.

Obviously we need to created a line of Tacticool ones.  Maybe with modern coatings in earth green and other camo shades.  Some with a short rail extending out from the handle.  And maybe some with custom laser engravings.

Then we could add $100 to the price.

OOH OOH.  Then a line of tactical, quick draw sheaths. 
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Solus

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Re: Machetes
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 04:07:43 PM »
Over the shoulder sheath like Michael Douglas in "Jewel of the Nile"
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
—Patrick Henry

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
— Daniel Webster

 

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