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FIELD BLADE REVIEWS
Cold Steel Kukri Machete
Want a great deal on a khukri? You may be surprised by this one...
A blade doesn't have to be expensive to perform. A working blade should never be so hard as to be brittle. It should be somewhat easily re-sharpened in the field with a small file or stone. Finally, it should be cheap enough that you just donít give a shit about really beating on it. Thatís a blade that you wonít be afraid to use and abuse... and the Cold Steel Kukri Machete is a perfect example.
I found this blade for $12 here: http://store.botachtactical.com/costkuma.html. Now I realize that "cheap" is a matter of perspective, but I think this one is cheap in anyone's estimation.
I've been putting in a patio over the past few weekends, and had to deal with a LOT of roots while digging in the yard. I was about to grab the old standby... an old Ontario US military machete. I figured I'd give it a break this time, and instead I used my $12 Cold Steel khukri machete. For a few straight weeks, I was hacking away through roots, sand and soil, hitting the occasional rock, etc. I was even using it to transplant sod. I was cutting 1' square chunks of grass and topsoil to move to another area.
So there I was with this $12 blade. It had somehow survived a few weeks of beatings... a few weeks left out in the rain and elements... myself and friends chopping into roots, soil and often as not... rocks. I wish I'd taken a picture before cleaning it up. It was hardly recognizable. Anyhow, I cleaned off the rust and grime with a 3M pad under the faucet, and then ran the edge across the belt sander a few times. As you can see, itís still a serviceable working blade. The finish is largely worn off, especially at the end where I was shoving it under the grass to slice the roots loose... back and forth through the dirt in a sawing motion... essentially the worst thing you could ever do to a blade!
I can think of quite a few of those $300 blades that would look a lot worse if subjected to the same level of abuse I've given this piece. I shudder at the thought of even trying this with some of my more expensive blades.
Remember... if youíve never really beat the crap out of something, how do you know you can trust it, or just how far you can push it? I've taken this blade to the gates of knife hell, and it's still in one piece. In a real hard working environment, I would use this carbon steel khukri over any of the fashionable $300 ďsurvivalĒ knives any day of the week.
About the only thing I would do to customize this blade further would be to shove one of those really squishy rubber bicycle grips over the existing handle. This would make it a total joy to work with. The sheath pretty much sucks, so I could fit it with some Kydex... then again... in this case, who gives a crap? It's a $12 workhorse, and I don't really need to worry about protecting it. Nuff said?
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