Machete Question

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by AdamD1776, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. AdamD1776

    AdamD1776 Tracker

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    I just bought an Ontario Knife Co. 18" military machete. I am planing to re-handle it, and was considering adjusting the blade geometry. What blade shape/style do you all like for a machete, and why?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. cek

    cek Supporter Supporter

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    I prefer the bolo shaped blade for the added striking power. I live where its mostly woody stemmed brush.
     
  3. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Your potential mods will be dictated by your AO.
     
  4. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Scout

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    MrFixit nailed it, What is the terrain like in Wisconsin? I'm way down south in a pseudo jungle so a thin 18" Latin style works best on tangles of briars and vines. My friend over in Florida likes a 24" due to operating in the sawgrass country of the Everglades. Tell us about your AO. :)
     
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  5. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Bushcraft Friend

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    ^^Yeppers. I clear trails a lot through thick forest with lots of hardwood brush and vines. Too thick and long will make the tool too slow. Too short will give me a short reach. My last machete I cut down to around 16" and rounded the tip like a sarechete. I've been pretty happy with it. It was an older tramontina 24".
    IMG_20181014_093046154_HDR.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  6. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    i like this... i like that...

    i would do this... i would do that...

    why not just take it out and do with it what you intended it for and see for yourself if it even needs any alterations/customizing/fine tuning

    your hand and mine aren't the same

    your reach and mine aren't the same

    your height and mine aren't the same

    AND i know for a fact that what you experience way up there is different than what i find in my woods

    take it out and play with it and THEN fine tune it to YOUR NEEDS/DESIRES if n only if needed to achieve your personal goals
     
  7. AdamD1776

    AdamD1776 Tracker

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    Thanks for the input. Up here it is mostly hardwoods, I mostly foresee it being used for yard work (light brush clearing) and maybe some light chopping
     
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  8. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    I like having a hook in the handle ,like my bowie.
    DSCN4249.JPG
    The hook in the grip make it easier to swing and not be fearful of it slipping out of my grip.
    Not that I use this knife in heavy brush but if it comes to that, it flys quite naturally .
    I have thin machetes but to be honest they are not as efficient as heavier bladed tools.
     
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  9. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Bushcraft Friend

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    Yep, I keep this machete on my lawn mower along with a small pruning saw. As I trim the dam around my pond and the tree line, I always cut things up to head height. It is very useful in this role. I also use it to chop small unwanted brush off at ground level. The short length allows me to do this work without over extending and chopping my toes or some such nonsense. Machetes are cheap, and as you can see mine isn't pretty, but it's been in use for going on 20 years now.
     
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  10. USMCPOP

    USMCPOP Scout

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    I have an old 18" machete made in England that is similar to the Ontario. A bit heavy for light weed whacking all day, but I'm old and small. You just need to sharpen it well and try it out. There are so many variables that you just have to find out what works for you in your circumstances.
     
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  11. AdamD1776

    AdamD1776 Tracker

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    Yeah, I guess I am more interested in the strengths/weaknesses of common profiles, so I can make an informed decision, as it is much easier to take away material than to put it back...
     
  12. TWill

    TWill Guide

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    Buy two or three of different styles...latin, bolo, panga...and see what they do. You should be able to get Tramontina machetes for no more than $15 and I think Lowes had them last time I was there otherwise there are plenty of online sources.
     
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  13. MadMarcus

    MadMarcus Tracker

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    I’ve had several of those Ontario machetes over the years. Got the first when I was 12. Out of all the machetes I own (over a dozen of various brands) they have the best steel and heat treat IMO. I’ve “customized” them all sorts of different ways and I almost hate to admit it but they work pretty darn well in a wide variety of applications just the way they come. They’ll cut light grass and brush but they’ll also take down a 4” dia. tree if you insist. I’d suggest giving it a good sharpening and use it for a year. At the end of the year asses what you liked and what you didn’t and make your mods (if any). As a guy who compulsively modifies everything from cars to coffee makers that’s easier for me to say than do but well, there it is. Lol!
     
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  14. USMCPOP

    USMCPOP Scout

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    I have no idea what I like, so I have lots. This is just one box of them:

    [​IMG]

    I have other rather nice ones:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I have maybe 50 or so of the hand-forged ones and a couple dozen of the thin Latin-American pattern knives. Maybe more, I can't count anymore. Hey, for $3 to $5 or so each, why not?
     
  15. AdamD1776

    AdamD1776 Tracker

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    Yeah, thats how I am too... I hadn't even received the machete yet, and I was already thinking about how I could mod it...

    And this is why I have 3 of everything... Lol
     
  16. USMCPOP

    USMCPOP Scout

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    As they say of hand guns you like, have a pair and a spare. I have two Browning Hi-Power 9mm, but can't afford a spare.
     
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  17. mosinjoe

    mosinjoe Scout

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    Tramontina latin pattern in 18" length can cover a lot of ground without a lot strain that the heavier Ontario would impose on the user. Reprofiling the shape is a matter of preference but with Tramontinas available in a myriad of patterns, you might find an option for less than a Mora that would preclude reworking the Ontario. Just a suggestion...I've owned the Ontario in the past and gifted it to a friend who cleared deer trails here in Tidewater Virginia and he cussed the day he was born with the whoopin' that heavy blade gave him afterwards. I'm sure he used bad cutting techniqe, and learned, as I did, that there had to be a better way. The Tramontina was the way.
     
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  18. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Scout

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    Which might explain why I have 6 different types and sizes in use or rotation....and at least 16 more waiting to take their place should catastrophic failure occur! Damn this ought to be a disease in the big book of disorders! :D!!
     
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  19. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    Lowes has the tramontina for about $20 now. I like it, but all I've done to mod is sharpen it.
     
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  20. montanero

    montanero Tracker

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    For light yard work I have 2 main machetes--a 14 inch and a 24 inch., both Imacasa because that is what is sold locally and quality is good..
    18 inchers always seemed like they were designed by a committee of non-users but your mileage may vary.
    If I were buying in the US the first I would look at is a Tram or Marble's 14 inch bolo.

    And something like this for heavier work-

    https://www.machetespecialists.com/product/imacasa-24-inch-mojarra-machete/

    Give your Ontario a good workout and see if it fits your needs. If it doesn't work wack it down to 14 inch.
    As far as blade geometry, most I see in Central America end up with about a 3/8ths inch bevel--that's right a very thin edge, even for cutting wood. It's pretty resilient steel and sharpens up well with a mill bastard file.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018 at 8:38 PM
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