Friday, April 3, 2009

Riverwalker's Gear - The Machete

New Machete

Machetes can be very useful tools. I like to use mine when I'm practicing what I call "Rural Bushcraft" at the farm. Your choice of any tool should be determined by its ability to perform the job. A tool that can't perform in the manner you require is going to be next to useless otherwise.

My new machete that I obtained from our local Ace Hardware affiliate has replaced my old machete. It's basically the same size at 22 1/2 inches in overall length with a blade length of 17 1/2 inches. It also cost only $6.99 plus tax whcih makes it somewhat cheaper than the big box store brand cost of my old one. It is also twice as heavy but that is not a problem. Its main use is for clearing small saplings of cedar and mesquite from the fence line at the farm and is a lot easier to pack than a chainsaw. It also does a terrific job on grapevines which I have more than enough to deal with at the farm. It also has a hardwood handle that has the plastic handle on my old machete beat hands down. It's a comfortable grip for me and that's important for obvious safety reasons. No way do I want a big sharp blade to get away from me. I'm kind of fond of my body parts!

The only problem with my new machete is that it didn't come with a blade sheaf. I plan on making a home-made holding tube out of some scrap 3" pvc pipe and some old strap material that will allow me to carry it on my back. This will make it a lot easier and safer to carry.

Old Machete

Pictured above is my old machete. It has the typical black plastic handle you find on a lot of the garden variety machetes that are out there. It is also relatively lightweight and although it is a lot easier to carry as a result, it doesn't really get the job done.. While it probably does a decent job on banana leaves, it's not been much use to me around the farm when I'm cleaning around the creek bank or clearing brush and small saplings along the fence line.

Choosing the right tool for the job will make your work a lot simpler!

As the blind monk says in the old Kung Fu TV series "Choose wisely grasshopper!"

Staying above the water line!



Bitmap said...

My dad has a USMC WWII Corpsmen bolo knife. I like it very much. The blade is at least 1/4" thick, maybe 5/16". It cuts very well, but is heavy to lug around.

I would want it by my side if I ever watched a zombie movie.

riverwalker said...

To: Bitmap

The heavy to lug around part is the same with this new one. A carry tube for it will make it perfect for me. Will post a pic of the carry tube once I get it fabricated. Been working on my camera skills lately so you will probably see a lot more pics of everything. It seems like what I mainly needed was a new camera! Being the tightwad that I am made me reluctant to spend the cash on a new camera.

Those bolo knifes are awesome!Don't have one but it's on my list. I really like blades of all kinds. Small ones, big ones and sharp ones! Very sharp ones! Thanks.


Chris W said...

I made a sheath for mine from PVC pipe too, but I flattened mine to make it less cumbersome. I just warmed it up in a large stockpot of boiling water (outside over a fire) then flattened it between two pieces of 2x6 in a bench vice.( same way I made one for a hunting knife from an old horn I had for powder) I just drilled a hole in the top for a large split ring, like for keys, and it attaches easily to a beltloop hook for a keyring.
hahaha Bitmap on the zombie comment. People always ask why there is a sword in my gun cabinet..I tell em its for zombies.

riverwalker said...

To: Chris W.

Yep! Got a blade handy with almost all my's a winning combination.

They work good on "mall ninjas" also. LOL


Anonymous said...

Woodsmans Pal is pretty costly ($60 plus), but that brush hook on top is handy for dragging off thorny cuttings, and same time not have to bend over so much, as length of blades just gives you that much reach. I have one - and like it a lot.

Another machete design to keep an eye out for is the old Air Force machete with saw blade top - offset handle. That saw blade rocks - saves hauling around a bow saw.

Great post RW - have a great weekend.

riverwalker said...

To: anoymous 4:56

Woodsman Pal is a great blade also but right now I've got to put most of my funds into some needed repairs. Repairs I've put off for too long now. Have a good weekend yourself. This machete was cheaper than the Wally World special also. Thanks.


Mayberry said...

I got the Harbor Freight special. At least it came with a nifty green canvas sheath.....

We gonna see you at the battleground April 19th RW?

riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

Going to try and make it if possible. Depends upon the work thing, but I'm going to try and make it. It may be for just a little while as I'll probably have to go into work, hopefully I won't have to go in early that afternoon.
Just waiting to find out where and when it's going to be taking place. I told ye old furt in an e-mail that I couldn't help with organizing it but that I'd try to attend if even for a little while.


Mayberry said...

Well hopefully we'll see ya there!

riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

Going to try and be there but may only be an hour or so.


Pwag said...

My dad migrated (my personal theory is he followed the magnetic waves emanating from the north pole much the same way geese do) here from Mexico and used Machetes down there as a daily tool. From what he says, and what I've observed the best ones come from down south. I bought a craptacular Coleman one and after some serious use the blade was seriously wavy and dented up. I now have a Jaguar and a Collins (he also had a Nicholoson brand one the whole time I was growing up and it was awesome until some skeevy SOB stole it)brand machete and love them both. They are as good as a small axe. I want a cold steel one, from what i hear they are awesome too.

A handy improvised sheath can be rigged up from a piece of cardboard folded up wide enough for the blade to slide into three times and duct-taped. Leave enough length in your cardboard sheath to keep the tip from protruding.

riverwalker said...

To: Pwag


There is no substitute for a quality blade!

Thanks for the great tip on making an improvised sheath.


Related Posts with Thumbnails