Machetes were originally designed to be farm and trail tools–that’s an application few of us will need these days unless we cut sugar cane for a living or wander about in Tarzan quality jungles. This machete is the standard Army issue, which says a lot about it (the Army buys from the low bidder). The only improvement over the traditional design is the black oxide coating, which actually does make good military sense. The polymer handle undoubtedly is shatterproof and long lasting, but if you expect to actually use this machete rather than hang it on the wall, I would warn you that plastic is much less hand-friendly than wood. Plastic makes blisters faster than natural materials.
This isn’t a cheap machete built of steel that dents or bends when you chop something with it–it’s a solid and quality tool. For most of us it simply isn’t something we need. In spite of that, I have a machete myself (a cheaper one by a different manufacturer) and I’ve spent many hours learning to use it and seeking excuses to carry it with me in the woods. I like old things, and traditional tools, and the best way to learn about them is to use them.
The first thing I learned about machetes is that they are designed to cut succulents, not woody plants. If you hit something like an oak branch with a machete it will painfully resound all the way to your shoulder blade and the machete will try to jump out of your stunned hand, causing the ephemeral spirits of the African porters around you to laugh and laugh. In spite of that, I did use mine to cut trails on my property in the Ozarks, learning to hit with the right part of the blade and not to expect miracles. It isn’t the right tool for the American woods, but there’s a mystique about this knife that I still enjoy.
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[phpbay]Ontario Knife Machete, 2[/phpbay]