Woodsman Pal model 481-worth it?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Mr. Tettnanger, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I've looked at these online about a thousand times. I may have handled one at a gun show or something but can't remember. For some reason, I am jonesing to try one.

    Any recent users want to comment? Want to talk me out of one? Got one to unload?

    I'm looking at the non guard one with the wooden handle.
     
  2. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Scout

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    I've had one for about 20 years, it's a great tool for working around the farm, fence lines, earthen dams, ect. Good steel, cuts well. The hook is handy for dragging thorny stuff, works as designed. Not truly a machete though, too short for it. Brush, woody stuff, downed limbs, great for that.
     
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  3. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I'm not sure what all their model numbers are, but I have this one https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/the-woodmans-pal-my-thoughts.215006/#post-3675524
    I like my goluk better for chopping. For whatever reason I can hit where I'm aiming and where I want to hit on the blade better. But the Pal has better utility and I don't hesitate to chop and pull at roots springing out of the ground with it. Like mentioned, the hook is like a second hand for dragging branches or thorny stuff out of your way. I've taken it out back to clear brush a few times when I wasn't sure what I'd run into. It's a tool you don't mind beating on.
     
  4. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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    I have been using the 481 to clear brush in the back yard along a fence line, works pretty well and is durable. Made short work of a couple downed limbs across the road, smaller size fits under the back seat in my truck.
     
  5. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Still keep one in my truck, and no it ain't for sell young fellar. I don't need it often, but when I do it's there. No guard on mine either, no problems either. joe
     
  6. mcdudr

    mcdudr Supporter Supporter

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  7. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've played with the guard & leather stack handle model with a nice leather sheath at a bushcraft meetup outing. Not overly impressed for the weight vs capability for packing. If ATV or truck/car camping then I could see the utility of having one around.
    I'm kind of glad that bug never bit me.
    IMG_3516.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  8. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    I had one. The wood handle was not very comfortable so I sanded down the edges. I ended up using an axe , hatchet or two handed bank blade more. So I sold it. It seemed a little too light for the brush I was chopping. It is a well-made tool though.
     
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  9. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    I bought one for cutting brush survey stakes and the like at work 20 years ago. Wanted one for years. I can honestly say that I've never been more disappointed in a tool.

    The hooked back edge on the handle prevents it from slipping out of your hand when used with the cutting edge, but when using the hooked end, it digs right into your wrist. Very uncomfortable/painful to use. So I cut it off and filed it down.

    The blade is short and lacks heft, so isn't that great for cutting wood. The leading edge at the tip is unsharpened. As such, the corner where the main cutting edge meets the tip is unsharpened. That's right where a lot of cutting takes place.

    The hook is OK for pull-cutting small brush like blackberry stems, but isn't effective when swung hard. A billhook is a much better tool.

    The blade is too short when cutting thorny brush like greenbriar, rose bush, brambles, etc. You end up ripping up your hands on the thorns.

    Save your money. Better yet, buy a Fiskars Brush Axe (billhook). They are less than 1/3 the price, more versatile, and provide better distance from the thorns.
     
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  10. schapm

    schapm Incompetent City Dweller Supporter

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  11. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    These things are still being sold after many other knives have went by the wayside, the only one I ever had was a military one and though it was lighter than the version you are looking at it worked real good, like a fool I gave it away years ago and now you rarely find the US version.
    Got lots of other choppers but that one was the ROUGH use king.

    Larry
     
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  12. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks to the generosity of @mcdudr , I got a Woodsman Pal in my possession!

    It’s been raining and dreary so I haven’t had much of a chance to take it for a spin.

    I took it out in the yard a little bit ago to test drive it! I whacked down some jeweleeed and small junk saplings. I also tried batoning some hard oak.

    First impressions:

    *Feels good in hand
    *Light enough to whip around like a machete.
    *decent leather cover/sheath
    *This thing is more dull than my social life! The “edge” doesn’t run the whole length of the blade. It would have a hard time slicing butter if heated up!


    If I can get someone to grind a decent, full length, edge on it, it will be sweet! It needs the tip area sharpened as well-like a Serechete. The weed knuckle on the back is also about as sharp as a basketball. If it was sharpened up proper-it will be a great weed/tall grass remover!

    Thanks goes to @mcdudr for sending this my way! I’m going to have a lot of fun with it!
     

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  13. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I had thought about taking mine down from 1/8 to 1/16 to make the end more shovel-like. I'd still leave the end/tip of the edge as is because it makes a good hammer and gives you a place to grab for draw cuts.
    It's worth customizing to get it where you want it. Like any utility tool.
     
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  14. mcdudr

    mcdudr Supporter Supporter

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    You're welcome, once it's sharp hope to see more pics.
     
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  15. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    Woodman's Pal Military Premium Model 284, with natural leather sheath, owner here. Don't use it much but it is handy when clearing brush.

    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018 at 8:25 AM
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