Machete?

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by TechAdmin, Oct 27, 2009.

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  1. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    Who makes a good Machete? I want to stock up on a few but want them to last. Previously I would go down to my surplus store but I find that all they carry are just stamped metal and that's to flimsy.
     
  2. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    I think most machetes are stamped metal. Pretty cheap and useful, the one I have, purchased from a surplus store, has a black resin handle and has lasted for years, they usually bend before breaking. Get one of the sheaths to keep it in, keeps it sharper and protects you from the sharp blade.:cry:
     

  3. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    I've heard Cold Steel makes several good ones.
     
  4. jjtraveler70

    jjtraveler70 Guest

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    Machetes

    There are machetes for every occasion. In the US it is a bit difficult to find a good selection. Here are some goods sites for variety:

    Discount Cutlery
    Machete Specialist
    Knife Supply Company



    In general terms, if you need a working tool, choose a carbon steel machete since the metal is tougher and retains its edge better (the drawback is that they rust). Stainless is good for decoration, but not for real work. If only using occasionally, and you are willing to pay a bit extra, then go for high carbon stainless like 420HC. With both anti-corrosion properties as well as good edge retention, you won't have to worry about it rusting while you wait to use it. There is some good info on the different styles of survival machete here.
     
  5. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

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    Cold Steel and Kabar make very good machetes. The first three are by Cold Steel and run around $15. The fourth pic is a Kabar and runs around $60. I can get the Kabar for $50 shipped. I can also get the Cold Steel machetes. The have seevral kukuri styles as well.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  6. allen_idaho

    allen_idaho Well-Known Member

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    If you want a machete that is really going to stand up to time and punishment, I would suggest getting ahold of a spare leaf spring from a auto salvage yard. Then, just shape and sharpen however you like, drill 2 holes and fasten on a wood or plastic handle.

    The benefit is that the leaf spring is already a very resilient piece of metal. It has already been heat treated and the steel alloy is designed to withstand massive amounts of stress and shock. Plus it has a natural springiness so you will not have to worry about your blade bending out of shape very easily.

    Plus, it will probably cost you a fraction of what a commercially available machete goes for.
     
  7. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

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    This suggestion was already made in another thread about 4 months ago. A great reminder on improvising.
     
  8. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    I like the leaf spring Idea. I was looking into cold steel, but have never used any of there products. I sent off for a video that demonstrates it and a million other things in there catalog.
     
  9. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    If you have ever thought of making your own "broad-sword", use the flattest / thinnest leaf-spring from a 1/2-ton truck and draw your sword (or machette) pattern on it, cut profile with steel-cutting jig-saw blade, use a hand-grinder (5" or 7") to shape an edge onto it, a drill with HSS bits to drill out the holes for the handle - and a laser to make the hand-guards.

    If you have a local spring-shop handy - you can get them to put the temper back into the steel for long-life after all the heat has been applied to it. Alternatively - you can get a spring-shop to supply you with very flat "never used" steel to make your spring-steel sword or machette out of.

    More information about sword / machette materials - check here: http://www.realarmorofgod.com/sword-materials.html
     
  10. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Naekid-if you use a grinder to shape the edge, do you have to be careful not to overheat it or anything?
     
  11. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Keep the grinder doing even strokes and don't allow the steel to glow. Hot to the touch is fine - an orange color that stays for a while isn't. If you reach blue-hot - it is way (way) too much. After you get the metal to the right general shape, you can use a few different files to remove the heat-affected zones and fine-tune the shape of the blade, the back, etc.

    The best thing to do prior to putting the handle on is to get it heat-treated to bring all the molecules back into alignment - which means when it gets used, it will be less likely to crack or break completely.
     
  12. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    I'm really interested in trying this. I have plenty of old leaf springs around. Is it expensive to have the thing heat treated? And say the spring is rusty-do you just sand it smooth, or how would you de-rust it? I do have a small blast cabinet. Not sure I'd want a blast-profiled machete, though.
     
  13. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    The rust would not cause you any real grief, unless it is really pitted. A simple wire-wheel on a hand-grinder would remove any rust left on the spring and leave it looking fairly polished.

    Prices for heat-treating? I work in the metal industry and the company I work for supplies one of Canada's major leaf / coil spring manufacturers ... I would be able to just toss it into one of their ovens to be treated in the middle of a production run ... if you have a suspension-shop near-by, they may do the same for you.

    I did an online yellow-pages search for "metal heat treating" for the Calgary area and was given 34 local hits. I would suggest you do something similar after you have profiled the machete ..
     
  14. allen_idaho

    allen_idaho Well-Known Member

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    You can do the heat treating yourself if you have access to a forge or at the very least an oxy-acetylene setup.

    All you need to do once you have finished the blade is heat the metal until it is red hot. Then quench it in a bucket of water.

    Now, after you have quenched the blade, you are going to slowly heat it again. As you do, you will see the color of the metal change. You are going to only want to heat it enough to turn blue. But if you overheat it a bit, that is fine too.

    Once you have the blued the blade, quench it in the bucket again. Viola. One heat treated machete.
     
  15. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Most people do not have the equipment to properly heat-treat metals. It is a bit of an exacting science. For one of my blades that I forged (damascus-steel), I used a kiln (like used for firing ceramics), placed a "bucket" inside filled with salt. Heat the kiln to 1500°F and watch the salt turn to a liquid. At that point, the blade was slipped into the liquid-salt and allowed to stay in there for 24hrs. The blade was then brought out of the liquid-salt and allowed to cool on the lid of the kiln at the rate that the kiln itself cooled at.

    The only thing that makes spring steel "springy" is the amount of hardness to which the steel has been tempered. To understand this, it is important to know that steel when heated and quenched rapidly it becomes hard - sometimes hard as glass depending on the formula of steel you have. Slow, even tempering of a lower heat is what brings the steel down from a very hard state to one that is more resilient and much more relaxed, yet springy.
     
  16. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    I did not know any of that. Thanks for the info, guys.
     
  17. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    NaeKid, I didn't know you forged. I just made a single brick forge like the one in BackWoods Mag. I walked the RR tracks, found some old spikes and want to try my hand at making some Knives.
     
  18. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I learned how to make damascus steel (aka, Japanese sword folded 200 times) from a local master. I have made several knives now, some good, some not so good. I don't have my own forge (yet) so I make do with what I have handy. Because I work in the metal industry, I have access to some varied materials. I have tried to make knives from QT-100, AR-200, AR-500, 304 stainless, 409 stainless, 316 stainless .... and I haven't been too happy with any of them.

    I haven't made a sword yet - it is on my list of projects to complete .. I know the theory, have the books (blade smithing, advanced blade smiithing, sword making, forging, farm-tool-making via forge, etc), read most of them - just need to continue the practice.
     
  19. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    I want to see pics when your done! I love steel. Love blades.
     
  20. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

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    Just remember Daniel-san: Wax On.............Wax Off!!!!