In Knives

Introduction

The word “Machete” is a Spanish term that indicates a long, broad, relatively lightweight, knife originating from Central America and the Caribbean and is another ethnic knife design that has always fascinated me. However, because the vegetation in Central and South America tends to be less woody than that found in southeast Asia, the Machete generally features a significantly thinner spine than southeast Asian knife designs such as the Parang, the Barong, the Bolo, and the Golok. In addition, because the Machete is specifically designed to be a lightweight chopping and cutting tool, it’s usually made from a tough, low to medium Carbon steel with a spring temper and it has a blade that commonly measures between 13 and 18 inches with a spine that measures less than 3mm (7/64 in.) in width. In addition, it commonly features either a straight back or a trailing point weight-forward blade design that usually has a straight edge with a saber grind. Consequently, while the longer versions are generally used as chopping and/or agricultural tools, the shorter versions often serve as general purpose cutting and slicing tools for household chores as well as food preparation. But, they also serve as formidable weapons for tribal warfare as well as for self-defense. Last, although the traditional Machete generally features either a straight back or a tailing point, there are several other distinctive blade designs endemic to other regions of the world such as the Panga which is endemic to Eastern and Southern Africa and the Bolo which is endemic to the Philippine Islands.

Sale
Cold Steel Tanto Machete 97BTMZ, Black
Cold Steel - Sports
$16.99
Cold Steel Jungle Machete
Cold Steel - Sports
$34.81
Sale
Cold Steel 97KMSZ Machete, Kukri W/Sheath
Cold Steel - Sports
$16.99
Sale
Sale
Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum Kukri
Cold Steel - Sports
$26.19

About Cold Steel Blades

Cold Steel, Inc. was founded in 1980 in Ventura, California as a company dedicated to making the strongest, sharpest, knives in the world. However, over the years, their product line has grown to encompass the widest range of knives, swords, and other edged weapons and tools of any present-day knife company. Thus, in order to meet the demand for their products, they employ manufactures from the United States, Japan, China, Taiwan, India, and South Africa who have particular expertise in making knives, swords, and tools to produce their prodigious line of products. However, their focus is not only on producing an extremely wide range of products, Cold Steel has helped to define the knife industry as a whole by introducing many innovations that have helped to define the knife industry. For instance, the introduction of the American Tanto point and checkered Kraton handles and are now industry-wide standards. In addition, they are responsible for the introduction of unique new blade steels such as San Mai III which uses an ancient Japanese method of laminating two layers of low carbon steel to a single core layer of high carbon steel to produce an exceptionally strong blade that does an exceptional job of holding an edge. Plus, they have also gone to great lengths to drastically improve traditional locking mechanisms for folding knives by developing their proprietary “Tri-Ad Lock” locking mechanism which they claim is the strongest folding knife locking mechanism in the world. Thus, Cold Steel is constantly looking toward the future while striving to produce the world’s strongest, sharpest knives and the Cold Steel’s line of machetes is a prime example of this type of progressive thought and design.

Our Top 5 Cold Steel Machetes

Because the Machete is specifically designed to be both a general purpose knife and a heavy duty chopping tool, a Machete makes an excellent bush knife or camp knife. Thus, I have chosen the five Machetes listed below because they are among what I feel are the best designs on the market and, because they each exhibit certain properties that I feel makes them stand out from the rest.

Cold Steel Tanto Machete

Sale
Cold Steel Tanto Machete 97BTMZ, Black
  • We've prototyped a whole host of different short bladed machete shapes over the years, but the tanto remains one of the Best we've tested
  • In our tests the tanto machete cut and pierced exceptionally well
  • Its solid full-tang construction and hard wearing weather-resistant polypropylene handle only add to its durability and functionality

The Cold Steel Tanto Machete is, as the name implies, based on the Japanese Tanto knife but, it’s quite a bit longer and has a significantly thinner spine which measures just under 1/8 of an inch; thus classifying it as a true Machete. Also, it features an overall length of 15 5/8 inches with a blade length of 13 inches and weighs 16.6 oz. In addition, it features a straight back with a clip point and the straight edge has a saber grind. Plus, the blade is made from SAE 1055 (which is an American, high carbon, Plain Tool Steel) with an unknown Rockwell Hardness and it has a matte black, corrosion resistant, finish. Furthermore, it features a hidden tang with a very ergonomic handle made from polypropylene that provides a very positive grip and, the traditional machete pommel ensures that the knife can easily be retained in the user’s hand even when the handle is wet. Last, it includes a heavy-duty, black, Cor-Ex nylon belt sheath with a protective Kydex tip.

PROS CONS
(+) Made from a tough blade steel (-) 1055 tool steel is not corrosion resistant
(+) Hidden tang construction (-) Thin spine is somewhat weak
(+) Ergonomic handle design (-) Not particularly effective as a chopping tool
(+) Includes a heavy-duty nylon sheath

Cold Steel Jungle Machete

Cold Steel Jungle Machete
  • 1055 Carbon Steel with Black Baked-On Anti Rust Matte Finish
  • Cor-Ex Sheath
  • Blade Thick: 2.8 mm

The Cold Steel Jungle Machete is similar to the Thai Enep with its weight-forward blade design but, it has a significantly thinner spine which measures just under 1/8 of an inch; thus classifying it as a true Machete. Also, it features an overall length of 22 inches with a blade length of 16 inches and weighs 22.8 oz. In addition, it features a slightly curved back with a drop point blade design and the recurved edge has a saber grind. Plus, the blade is made from SAE 1055 (which is an American, high carbon, Plain Tool Steel) with an unknown Rockwell Hardness and it has a matte black, corrosion resistant, finish. Furthermore, it features a hidden tang with a very ergonomic handle made from polypropylene that provides a very positive grip and, the bird’s head pommel ensures that the knife can easily be retained in the user’s hand even when the handle is wet. Last, it includes a heavy-duty, black, Cor-Ex nylon belt sheath with a protective Kydex tip.

PROS CONS
(+) Weight-forward blade design increases chopping ability (-) Plain Tool Steel is not corrosion resistant
(+) A good choice of blade steel for the intended purpose (-) Thin spine can cause the blade to break
(+) The hidden tang makes a strong handle

Cold Steel Kukri Machete

Sale
Cold Steel 97KMSZ Machete, Kukri W/Sheath
  • Blade thickness: 2 mm
  • Handle: 5" long Polypropylene
  • Overall length: 18"

The Cold Steel Kukri Machete is based on the Malaysian Khukuri and thus, it features the characteristic weight-forward blade design with a recurved edge but, it has a significantly thinner spine which measures just under 1/8 of an inch and thus, it’s significantly lighter than a true Khukuri with a weight of 16 ounces. Also, it features an overall length of 18 inches with a blade that measures 13 inches in length and it features a slightly curved back with a drop point blade design while, the recurved edge has a saber grind. Plus, the blade is made from SAE 1055 (which is an American, high carbon, Plain Tool Steel) with an unknown Rockwell Hardness and it has a matte black, corrosion resistant, finish. Furthermore, it features a hidden tang with a very ergonomic handle made from polypropylene that provides a very positive grip and, the flared pommel ensures that the knife can easily be retained in the user’s hand even when the handle is wet. Last, it includes a heavy-duty, black, Cor-Ex nylon belt sheath with a protective Kydex tip.

PROS CONS
(+) Positive blade angle improves cutting ability (-) Plain Tool Steels are prone to corrosion
(+) Short blade makes it more controllable (-) The recurved edge is difficult to sharpen
(+) Corrosion resistant finish
(+) Polypropylene handle is very comfortable

Cold Steel Kukri Plus Machete

Sale
Cold Steel 97KMPS Machete, Kukri Plus W/Sheath
  • Blade thickness: 2.8 mm
  • Handle: 5" long Polypropylene
  • Overall length: 18"

The Cold Steel Kukri Plus Machete is also based on the Malaysian Khukuri and thus, it too features the characteristic weight-forward blade design with a recurved edge but, it has a significantly thinner spine which measures just under 1/8 of an inch and thus, it’s significantly lighter than a true Khukuri with a weight of 20 ounces. Also, it features an overall length of 18 inches and a blade that measures 13 inches in length with a slightly curved back and a drop point combined with a recurved edge and a saber grind. However, although its dimensions are the same as the Cold Steel Kukri Machete, it is a bit heavier and the blade features a more traditional style angled back with a single quillion on the cutting edge. In addition, the blade is made from SAE 1055 (which is an American, high carbon, Plain Tool Steel) with an unknown Rockwell Hardness and it has a matte black, corrosion resistant, finish. Furthermore, it features a hidden tang with a very ergonomic handle made from polypropylene that provides a very positive grip and, the flared pommel ensures that the knife can easily be retained in the user’s hand even when the handle is wet. Last, it includes a heavy-duty, black, Cor-Ex nylon belt sheath with a protective Kydex tip.

PROS CONS
(+) Angled blade design improves cutting ability (-) Plain Tool Steels are prone to corrosion
(+) 1055 is a good choice of blade steels (-) Recurved edges are difficult to sharpen
(+) The handle design is very comfortable

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete

Sale
Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum Kukri
  • Blade Thickness: 2 mm
  • Handle: 5" Long Polypropylene
  • Overall Length: 22"

Although it’s called a “Kukri”, the Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete is actually far more similar to the Turkish Yatagan even though it too features the characteristic weight-forward blade design with a recurved edge. Also, it features an overall length of 22 inches with a blade length of 17 inches, a spine that measures just under 1/8 of an inch, and weighs 20.1 oz. In addition, it features a drop point blade design and the recurved edge has a saber grind. Plus, the blade is made from SAE 1055 (which is an American, high carbon, Plain Tool Steel) with an unknown Rockwell Hardness and it has a matte black, corrosion resistant, finish. Furthermore, it features a hidden tang with a very ergonomic handle made from polypropylene that provides a very positive grip and, the flared pommel ensures that the knife can easily be retained in the user’s hand even when the handle is wet. Last, it includes a heavy-duty, black, Cor-Ex nylon belt sheath with a protective Kydex tip.

PROS CONS
(+) Less radical blade design (-) The recurved edge is difficult to sharpen
(+) Made from a tough blade steel (-) Plain Tool Steels are prone to corrosion
(+) Longer blade increases cutting ability
(+) Ergonomic handle is very comfortable

Conclusion

So, if you are in need of a camp or bush knife with a wide range of capabilities, then the Machete is a design that you should definitely consider since it is capable of performing a wide range of outdoor tasks. In fact, a Machete makes an excellent tool for both campers and wilderness survivalists due to its general purpose, weight forward, blade design and its many possible uses and that is why it’s so widely used by so many different ethnic groups across the globe. Thus, while some campers and survivalist have a preference for either a Khukuri or a Parang, many others feel that the Machete is a better general purpose tool due to its traditionally conventional blade design. However, if you do choose a Machete, then those made by Cold Steel are hard to beat since they are well made from a good blade steel for the intended purpose and have very ergonomic handle designs.

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