Just to remind everyone, I had some significant brush clearing around the yard and took the opportunity to test three machetes that I own. All had been professionally sharpened to a razor’s edge. They represented three dramatically different blade designs. All machetes were tested for their ability to work in confined spaces and on chopping heavier trees and brush. Overall scores were given a Beast rating from 1 to 5 stars, 1 being leave it at home and 5 being a must have. The second machete was Gil Hibben’s take on the kukri, the famous combat machete of the Gurkha Regiments. It looks like it was born to behead zombies and was the lightest machete evaluated at 1 pound 8 ounces. The lower cutting edge is 12 inches of the overall 18 inches leaving just 6 inches for the handle. All tests were conducted wearing leather work gloves.
Confined space test:
The blade was incredibly easy to swing in any size space. It feels light and well balanced, with the agility of a far smaller blade. The balance was more difficult to find due to the curve of the blade at around 10 inches from the tip. I used it to clear 60 feet of brush and my hand and arm never became fatigued. It was very forgiving when using it on a step ladder or with uncertain footing.
The khukuri felt more like a hand axe or tomahawk when chopping thicker branches between 1-2 inches thick. You really had to ensure the meaty “head” portion of the blade was the contact/chopping point. The khukuri also has a tendency to get stuck in the branch you are chopping. I did not expect the curved design of the blade to be so difficult to remove once stuck.
This machete had an adequate guard and lanyard hole for a retention strap that I will be adding. For smaller or less muscular folks, it is highly agile and easy to swing for long periods of time due to its light weight. As a general brush machete, I would recommend it. However, it loses some of its utility when required to chop more significant obstacles.
I would give it a Beast Rating of 3.5 Stars. The guard is decent and the wrapped handle removes most vibration. Of the machetes tested, this is the one I would buy for my spouse. It is light and efficient when clearing brush and vines.
-Blade gets stuck