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Thread: Ontario 6420 OHC Kukri or Becker BK4 Machaxe

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    Tracker ajd's Avatar
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    Default Ontario 6420 OHC Kukri or Becker BK4 Machaxe

    So I've been wanting to get a Kabar BK4 Machaxe for a while and was reading the reviews for it on amazon and one reader really didn't like it and suggested the Ontario 6420 OHC Kukri instead. Any recommendations to either one? I should probably tell you all what I want to use it for to you give more context. I absolutely love my Wetterlings large hunters axe and consider that my go to cutting tool. However, its too heavy for climbing 14's and for backpacking trips where you are moving to a new camp site everyday or there is a fire ban - no point in carrying an axe when you can't have a fire and are only going to us it to make a chair. My Mora isn't big enough to use as a stand alone knife and I want something with more chopping power than my Knives of Alaska Defense knife (zero chopping power). I really like the chopping actions and motion of swinging but still would like something that I can put a convex edge on and be able to make feather sticks. I guess what I'm trying to say is: I want a weighted tip to simulate the swinging action of a hammer but something lighter and that provides a more all round option than an axe. Your thoughts?

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    Here's the man himself showing off the BK4 (and others). Not a giant fan of Ontario but Beckers rock. I'd get the BK4 (particularly since you already like that one).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Ycl2nX-qE


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    Beckerhead #42

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    The Kukri will chop as well as any hatchet. I have both, and I really like both but the OKC will do more chopping than the Machax. The OKC is a longer and heavier blade. Ontario calls it a machete for some strange reason but the blade is 1/4" thick and heavier than any machete. Also it is designed like most traditional Kukri's, that bend is a lot of its power. Unless you want to order a kukri from Nepal the Ontario is a good choice.

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    Let me start off by saying that I own neither of these blades, however, I have handled both. From what you (the op) are looking for I would suggest the Ontario. The Becker is smaller (9 3/4 blade) and lighter (by a half pound) making me think that it would not perform as well as the Ontario (11.5 blade) in chopping. The Ontario also has a thicker blade which can aid in batoning and splitting wood. Both are made of 1095, but I'm not sure how the heat treat compares between them. Both have long enough blades for draw knife use, either can be convexed (but there may be more work to do with the Ontario since it is thicker), and both are made in the USA, so tie there. I the mechax handles can be replaced, you can't do that with the Ontario. The Mechax comes with a Kydex (or similar material) sheath vs. the codura sheath with the Ontario. I'm sure that both blades are great, but if I were trying to replace an ax I would definitely go with the Ontario.

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    Default BK4

    I'd be going for the becker machaxe.

    I'm not sure I'd ever base a decision on an amazon users feedback.

    You can get nice wood or mircata handles for the machaxe to make it that bit more yours..

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    Normally I take the Wetterlings axe and a Mora to do feathersticks and other finer work, more or less. I posted this topic because I don't trust amazon reviews that much, but sometimes they bring up issues that I would further like to research.

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    The Machax is a lot more versatile than the Ontario Kukri, IMHO. The Ontario is a serious chopper, no doubt. It'll get the job done. But the Machax is a better all-around knife. It is lighter, but it does chop pretty well, especially once you figure out the sweet spot, use the two-finger-and-lanyard grip, and get a little practice in. It works great as a draw knife, which I've found to be very useful. Batoning is easy as well. You can get right in there and do fine work with the Machax, such as feathersticking, thanks to the heel of the blade being so close to the hand. It's nice and light on the belt, and comes with a very useable sheath from the factory, complete with MOLLE attachments and a big pouch for an Altoids tin survival kit and a BK-13 Remora knife.

    If pressed into use as an emergency defensive blade, it comes to point dead-on, and would be a wicked stabby-stabby. Snap cuts and slashes are easy and fast. More than enough knife to decapitate your average hordes of zombies and werewolves. Also, once you've convexed the edge, the Machax seems to stay sharp forever. I attribute this to Paul Tsujimoto's heat treat on the 1095CV steel and the inherent strength of the convex edge. Mine usually only needs to be stropped to get back to paper-slicing sharp, even after a long session of weed-wacking, chopping, and batoning.

    As I've said, the Ontario is a great chopper, but it's a heavy blade and harder to use for things other than chopping. The Spec Plus line of sheaths are god-awful, so a new sheath is definitely in order. I've also found the kraton grip on the Spec Plus line creates hot spots and even blisters if used without gloves for an extended period. Oddly enough, the above mentioned Paul Tsujimoto who works for Ka-bar and helped redesign this new Machax also did much of the design work on the Ontario Spec Plus line, so you can't really go wrong with either brand, as far as I'm concerned. I'm a big Tooj fan. Price-wise, the Ontario is the winner, but you will have to get another sheath, so it'll be a wash, I think.

    As far as the heat treat goes, according to Tooj, a fella named Dan Maragni is the engineer/heat treat guy at Ontario and he knows his shite, so no worries there with either blade. I prefer Ka-bar's 1095CV, though. It's some great stuff.

    Bottom line is, if you want a dedicated, heavy-use chopper, then get the Ontario. If you're looking for a multi-use big knife, the Machax might be the best choice. If pressed, I'd go with the Machax, but I've got a lot of time in with mine and have grown to respect the design a lot. It works better with my style of bushcraft.

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