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Best machete for under $50?


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A custom would do you well. Bush swords are better than machetes for most brush clearing. Lol

I have heard good things about the Marble brand machetes.

Sent from the backwoods of Nowhere

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Tramontina is sort of a world standard, Cold Steel's stuff ain't bad, bit on thin side but indestructible, if you want to step up some, look at Condor's machete line, they're brutes and pretty too -- the sheaths alone are worth the price, and several of them are under $50 street price:

 

http://www.condortk.com/index.php

 

- OS

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As much as I hate Bear Grylls I have bought a parang of his for a friend. It is a very nice piece that has a full tang. It feels great in the hand with a good heft without being too heavy. The only issue I had with it is it came dull. It would probably still cut most stuff and would be easy to sharpen. If I had to buy another this would be it.

 

My personal machete is a standard one with a few mods done to it to help function as a day to day tool if I need it. I have sharpened it with a working edge and then I added a razor sharp section close tot eh handle for stripping stuff easily.

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I've a Corona (made in Columbia) & a Imacasa (made in El Salvador).

The Corona is the better of the two, better steel, better handle, I like the smaller blade & shape of the Imacasa though, it works better in tight spaces where getting a good swing with the much larger Corona is difficult, so the combo of the two of them seems to work pretty well together.
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I got a Gerber gator I think is the name it was 24.99 plus tax. Cleared a path about 80 yards through the woods to get to my range and it did pretty well. The handle is comfortable and it came with a nylon sheath it was pretty sharp but got a few dings already and needs resharpened the whole opposite side is a saw.

It'll do for me, I won't use it much more than I have already.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

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Trams are the standard.  Realize that they don't come very sharp and you will have to work on the edge a bit. And they don't come with a sheath.  Just get you a "C" Clamp and a bastard file and sharpen it up and it will do what you want it to do.  We used Collins Latin style machetes on the survey crew I was on in the 80's and that's how we sharpened them up.

 

I've had good luck with CS.  I have an older Kopis with a real sharp point that has worked well for me. But if I had it to do over again, I'd go with an Ontario or spend a bit more and get a Condor.  They are a bit more expensive, but they are better quality too.

 

Ontarios come in 1095, and in two blade thicknesses (get the thicker one), with a nylon sheath in 12" or 18" and have either a regular or "D-Guard" hilt and either a plain or saw toothed back.  They are hard to beat.  Condors are also great purchases.  They tend to be a little more, but they make just about every style of machete found in the world!  They are either stainless or 1075.  They almost always come with a quality leather sheath.  I honestly, think they are the best deal on the market and they are usually under $50.

 

So if you want one that is going to last a life time go with one of these two makers.  Of course, that's just my opinion.  But if price is an issue and you really want to stay cheap, go with the Tram.

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Tramontina is hard to beat at $6. Add another few bucks and you've got a sheath. Yes, they do come dull but you'll evevtually be sharpening any machete anyway so might as well learn how to on the front end.

I got mine from suvival-pax.com. They also carry Ontario and Gerber. Good stuff cheap and good people to deal with (and the paracord by the pound deal is pretty cool).
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18" for clearing work is fine, but if I'm dealing with lots of briars, longer is better.  If you are looking for an occassional chopper/camp knife, then 10" to 12".

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I can tell you which one to stay away from. I bought a couple of the cheap ones from Walmart and they are cheap.

sent barefoot from the hills of Tennessee

 

You can stay away from most stuff Walmart sells since 98 percent of their stuff is cheap junk.

 

To the OP's original question, I picked one up from Gander Mountain for about 20 bucks and it has held up well, but I have not used it a whole lot.  I don't recall the brand, but it has a heavy blade.

Edited by East_TN_Patriot
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daddyo:  Pick yourself up a machete from here:  http://www.machetespecialists.com/imacasa-machetes.html.

The Imacasa's are as good as ya can get and cost next to nothin.   Be prepared to spend about an hour (...unless ya have a belt sander...) sharpenin it and straightening up the handle.  I've done a couple of them and they are great; but they need the handles sanded (...and trimmed...) down to keep from cutting your hand up.  You'll need an x coarse diamond stone if ya want to straighten up the edge quick (...and it will need straightenin up...)by hand.   I dont like a file to do this with; they dont cut quick enough for me.

 

If ya dont want to do that work; pick one of these guys up:  http://www.knifeworks.com/eseekniveslite-machete.aspx

 

They are a bit above your limit of 50 smacks but all the work is done.  They come sharp as a razor and have micarta handles added.  They are first class.  I've got one myself.  By the way, the blades are made by imacasa too.

 

Hope this helps,

leroy

Edited by leroy
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....

The Imacasa's are as good as ya can get and cost next to nothin. ...

 

Imacasa keeps getting mentioned -- just for info, Condor which I mentioned is a part of that larger endeavor, making spiffier bladed stuff with lots of both traditional and innovative designs.

 

http://www.condortk.com/section.php?seccion=1

 

Btw, SMKW is a pretty good place to get Condor stuff at a competitive price.

 

- OS

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I finally decided on an Ontario 18" Military Machete for the 1095 carbon steel blade and the decent price. My knife addiction being what it is, it probably won't be the only one I'll own.

 

Fellas, thanks so much for all the suggestions and ideas. I really appreciate all of them.

Edited by daddyo
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I think you will be happy with your choice.  Check around for one of those miitary surplus sheaths for it.  They were the plastic pea green color sheaths with the built in sharpener (which is junk in my opinion).  They are 10 times the sheath, compared to the nylon sheath that comes with it.  If you treat it as a knife and not a disposable razor (like I tend to look at machetes; they are tools made to be abused and replaced when no longer usable), you might even want to step up to a leather sheath for it.

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I've got a ka-bar cutlass machete that is one of the best brush clearing tools I've ever used. Can't recommend it enough.

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Marble's with out a doubt.  I have found them to be super easy to sharpen and they hold their edge long enough to do the job.

 

I am mad at Ontario right now.  I got one of their cutlass machete's and the grind on it was super obtuse.  Not just the grind but I am going to have to thin blade behind the edge just so I can sharpen it.  Several hours worth of work with a file.  Yes, I should have caught the grind at the store.  I expect to sharpen any machete I buy but I don't think you should have to regrind a new machete.

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