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Tramontina or Imacasa ?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by JD Miller, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. JD Miller

    JD Miller Scout

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    Tramontina or Imacasa

    Is one better quality than the other?
    Or any other good or better material or made different or by bare footed, chain smoking craftsman in different countries? Or ?
     
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  2. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    FWIW, Tramontina uses 1070 steel while Imacasa uses 1075 steel. Tram uses wood for handles, Imacasa has molded plastic handle...
    I've used a 12" or 14" Tram myself...It works for me. I've yet to use the Imacasa machete so I can't compare the two.

    Dom
     
  3. caoutdoorsman

    caoutdoorsman Scout

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    Either will work fine. Tramontinas tend to have better factory edges, but that is the only practical difference I've seen.
     
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  4. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    The steel on the Imacasa is harder and holds an edge longer, however, it's not ready for use as it comes from the factory. The steel is hard and unless you have a belt grinder expect to spend at least an hour using other power tools to put an edge on it. The plastic handle is excellent and takes very minor sanding to clean it up.

    The other difference is the tramontina has even blade thickness where the imacasa's are tapered.

    My preference is the Imacasa mainly because of the excellent plastic handle.
     
  5. Faiaoga

    Faiaoga Guide

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    Either brand is good. One good bargain I have found is the Marbles brand sold by several outdoor suppliers. My experience with these is :44:that they are Imacasa (El Salvador) machetes but sold by an American company. These come sharp and come with an excellent nylon sheath. :44:
     
  6. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    Come in you know the answer ......


    BOTH
     
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  7. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    My marbles Bowie machete sheath was a little lopsided the point ended up going through the sheath
     
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  8. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    I have imacasas with wood handles and plastic and I have teams with plastic and wood handles
     
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  9. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    I am going to jump slightly off but look at Martindale machetes.
    I am very pleased with mine. They are a bit more substantial.
     
  10. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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  11. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Tracker

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    My only experience with Imasca was an Esee Lite Machete, it would get to scary sharp! As said earlier you usually have to work on the edges of both. Also outside of your brand parameters but look at Condor as well. More expensive but better finished products IMHO.
     
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  12. rockport

    rockport Tracker

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    I must need to try a different Imacasa. I have the 12" and its not even close to my Trams. More shock and less chop
     
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  13. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    I've got a 12" Tramontina thats over 30 years old. Still a workhorse
     
  14. batmanacw

    batmanacw Supporter Supporter

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    I ordered a 12" Imcasa to play with. I hope it fits the Ontario sheath I bought for it.
     
  15. rockport

    rockport Tracker

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    Its a little tight but fits

    IMO the ontario classic 12" cutlass is the best bang for the buck Ive found in a 12" machete. Its about $22ish (on sale at midway for $15.50 right now). I don't really care for the Imacasa or the tram in the 12" but the 18" tram and 14" tram bolo are both great.
    Modified ontario, 12" Imacasa, 12" tram , 14" bolo tram cut down to 12" , 14" Bolo tram cut down to about 13"
    [​IMG]

    Imacasa is hands down the worst chopper but also the lightest weight.

    Here is another tram Bolo I'm working on. Its cut down to 10" but this one I cut off from the other end. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  16. mosinjoe

    mosinjoe Scout

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    Have two Tramontina blades, 14 inch and 18 inch Latin patterns and love them to bits. Both are bodacious hunks oc blade steel that have a nice ring when used. I bought and giftex an Imacasa "Rambo" blade to a friend as it was an impulse buy and not really my cup of tea. I would imagine that it's six of one, half a dozen of the other and comes down to preference. The wood handles on my blades feel good with no hot spots and cut very well when used properly.
     
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  17. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    I have a few of both, the Trams are really nice but whenever I have to really do a lot of work with a machete i grab my 22" Imacasa.

    The thinner blade is easier to use, the steel holds it's edge better, and the handle is more comfortable.
     
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  18. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    You need to tell us what you're chopping!

    If you're using the machete on wood that you would normally choose an axe to chop then yes the lightest weight machete won't work as well.

    Those heavier machete's get much less preference when cutting thinner vegetation. There's a point where you skip the heavy machete all together and move right to an axe. Bridging that with a heavy machete as a do-all is the compromise one makes!
     
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  19. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Tracker

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    Another brand that Machete Specialist carries is Hansa. I bought a 18 inch bolo tip for cutting up compost for a vermicompost project. The blade needed final sharpening and the steel is hard enough that it would be a pain with out a grinder. Once i sharpened it up it has performed flawlessly. Hansa is from Ecuador, another country that specializes in jungle.
     
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  20. JD Miller

    JD Miller Scout

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    On the ontario cutlass, does the tang metal extend sandwiched into the pinky finger extension at the butt, or is that just plastic with no metal inbetween?
    [​IMG]

    I noticed this type loop guard handle is molded with no rivets. Looks like in might be larger beefyer grip because its molted around the tang.
    Hmmm,,,,,, cut the loop guard off if you wanted to
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  21. SC T100

    SC T100 Scout

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    I have and use both. I have the 14" Tram bolo, which is excellent. I also have a 12" Tram and 2 18" tram latin machetes (one cut down). The 12 is a little light for anything but soft stuff, but it's small, packable, and light. All of my Trams take a wicked edge and hold it well, but they are all rough when new. Handle sanding, and many coats of BLO are needed, as well as filing the bevels to get nice convex working edges that will shave. I like all of them. The bolo is an excellent all-arounder, the 18s are great choppers with the right edge, and the 12 is a lightweight but surprisingly versatile and capable little machete. The Tram in my avi was my first, and is modded (cut tip down). It's a favorite, and quite a chopper.

    I also have two Marbles (Imacasa) machetes (the 14" and the 18" bush machetes). They have the Marbles-specific wood handles. I prefer the wood of the Trams (darker, harder, feel better), but I don't have any complaints about the handles on the Marbles. They, too, require quite a bit of sanding and oiling to get right. As stated above, the Marbles have a distal taper, so they are better I feel at slashing vegetation with the tip, and the factory grind was surprisingly thin and sharp. As a result, mine have taken a little more damage initially...but no biggie. I mean, any machete is going to dent and ding when contacting hidden metal fencing. I do feel the Marbles hold their edge a bit longer than the Trams. The 14 is a great all-arounder, and the 18 is definitely the slasher. Because of the thin factory edge, these slash better, but my more robust convex edges on the Trams are more durable.

    Overall you can't go wrong with any of them really. Some file time and some stones, some sanding and some oiling, and you have world-class machetes for not much money.

    As a note on the Ontarios...they are much thicker and heaver, so if you want pure chopping power, they may be a better choice. I dislike theri handles greatly though, and wish they were wood so I could mod them easier. They also require a lot of edge work to make a nice convex, hair popping edge. But as they are thicker, they cause more fatigue too, depending upon the work. Slashing brush all day with one would be terrible with the Ontario, whereas the Marbles/Trams would excel. Chopping cold, dorman wood and hardwoods and splitting firewood wood with the Ontario would be much better, whereas the thinner latin machetes may struggle. It's all in what you want to do with them.

    If choosing one all-arounder, the 14" Tram bolo is hard to beat, along with the 14" Marbles bush machete.
     
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  22. tobiism

    tobiism Supporter Supporter

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    Oh man thats a GREAT idea!!!
     
  23. fatcat55

    fatcat55 Tracker

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    My .02-
    Tramontina- very good
    Imacasa- no experience but always heard positive reports
    Ontario-very good- my choice
    Marble's- surprising quality
    and...
    .
    .
    .
    Gerber Gator-CRAP!
     
  24. batmanacw

    batmanacw Supporter Supporter

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    I just modded a machete and posted it in my Collins machete thread.
     
  25. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    Yes, the ontario 12" sheath fits perfectly.

    You could also use a 18" plastic US style machete scabbard and cut it off at ~12 1/2".
     
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  26. rockport

    rockport Tracker

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    I chop small trees, small low hanging tree limbs etc. The 12" Ontario outperforms the 12" Imacasa and an axe for the jobs I use it for.

    If I am cutting vegetation I'm using a light weight machete but I don't use a 12" machete for vegetation.

    I don't care for the 18" Ontario(too heavy) or the 12" Imacasa(to light)

    I prefer my shorter blades thicker and longer blades thinner when it comes to machetes but I'm sure as different environments vary so would the usefulness of the tools we use.

    I personally have a broad set of tasks where the short beefier machete outworks the 12" Imacasa and an axe hands down. I do have lots of axes/hatchets I use when needed but have personally found little use for light weight 12" machete. If I'm cutting vegetation I generally want to be cutting it to the ground without having to be bent over the whole time.
     
  27. rockport

    rockport Tracker

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    Thanks but I can't take credit for the idea, I copied it from a picture I saw somewhere on the internet.
     
  28. rockport

    rockport Tracker

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    Its been awhile since I modified the handle on mine but I believe the tang did extend through the extension
     
  29. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist Scout

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    Yes the tang extends to the little pinky thing.
     
  30. montanero

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    The barefoot chain smoking guys guys must work out back, behind the 1/4 million SF factory or the 150,000 SF warehouse or one of the 6 distribution centers in other countries.
    http://www.imacasa.com/infrastructure.html

    Imacasas are great working tools, whether machetes or shovels or whatever. They do come dull, so plan on a flap wheel on an angle grinder or my favorite, a 3 x 18 sander placed belly up in a vice. Touch up is done with a mill bastard file, although I usually prefer a coarse sharpening stone.

    I have one tramontina but I have never gotten around to using it. They have good reviews so buy which ever brand is available. My preferences for yard work, etc. are 14 inch and 24 inch, and nothing in between.
     
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