In praise of machetes

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D5CAV
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:48 am

In praise of machetes

Post by D5CAV » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:59 am

This little tidbit about the socialist paradise of Venezuela got me thinking about machetes: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/s ... a_03272018

My field kit alternated between a Gransfors hunters axe and a machete for years. I gravitate to the machete because it's "good enough", but then take out my axe and it saves about 30% of the time and effort as the machete. Then gravitate back to the machete, because it's "good enough", lighter and easier to carry.

Yes, I also carry a Silky saw (yes, I've used all the other brands of folding saw that are carried by Walmart, Cabelas, local surplus store, etc. - do yourself a favor, throw them all away, and buy more Silky saws), but I find I still need some kind of generic chopper.

I've used many brands of machete over the years. I even have a real Ontario US Army marked machete. It's heavy. I don't carry it.

The two brands I recommend are Gavilan (Columbia) and Tremontina (Brazil). Both are light and fast. Machetes are used all the time in South America, so you figure someone there would get good at them.

The other great thing about machetes is they are cheap. I've found Gavilans and Tremontinas on sale for $5 or $6 each. When that happened, I backed up the truck and made sure every sister, brother, cousin, niece, nephew, etc. had one in the trunk of their car. I used to carry an axe in my trunk, but the thought of losing a $70 Gransfors axe made me switch to a machete. If it gets rusty, I don't care. If it gets stolen, I don't care. It cost me $6.

Everyday prices are about $10 each.

https://www.discountcutlery.net/Machete ... _5545.html

http://www.cutleryusa.com/Gavilan-Can-B ... e-21-25778

Between the two, I like Tremontina a little better, but both are good. They come dull. It takes about an hour with a file to get a good edge. I've tried a power grinder, but a hand file works better.

I've tried 14", 18" and 21". I recommend 18". 21" is a little unwieldy, anything less than 18" doesn't get enough velocity for good cutting.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Netpackrat
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: In praise of machetes

Post by Netpackrat » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:08 am

D5CAV wrote:Yes, I also carry a Silky saw (yes, I've used all the other brands of folding saw that are carried by Walmart, Cabelas, local surplus store, etc. - do yourself a favor, throw them all away, and buy more Silky saws), but I find I still need some kind of generic chopper.
I really like my Sawvivor saw but they have gotten kind of hard to find.
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