Best Tool For The Bush

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by nipsip, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. grunt soldier

    grunt soldier

    Dec 4, 2009
    well I was at tractor supply comp and they had the fiskars billhook on clearance for 15 bucks. I picked it up just to play with it and it's actually a pretty solid tool. I was testing it on some seasoned hard maple and it has a solid bite to it. light weight, handle absorbs the shock pretty well. and you can get that big 2 handed grip on it. it was actually out chopping my condor golok.
     
  2. froggy the gremlin

    froggy the gremlin

    16
    Dec 28, 2011
    I had a US Marine Bolo machete that I liked a whole lot. It "disappeared" from a surveying class I was taking. I haven't been able to find one for a price I want to pay.

    I make do with an old Atlanta Cutlery Bolo machete with a custom handle made from ironwood, the sandy stuff so it wont slip in my hand. It's got a thick enough blade to mean business and sufficient weight for the job of cutting brush up to around 3 - 4 inches. It is a little bulky to cut thin stuff; for that I use a long bladed Collins. Atlanta Cutlery is now out of business, alas.

    I've tried gurkhas, pachangas, and every other kind of machete there is, and always come back to the above 2, my favorite all around one being the bolo. It's got what I think is the ideal length and balance, with the bulb the "sweet spot".

    [​IMG]

    I have a Cold Steel Brush Axe which I use from time to time. I guess I like it, but it could be thicker. There is a large ditch axe made that will take down a respectable tree with a few whacks, but that's not really a machete.

    They are all kept razor sharp, of course.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  3. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Atlanta Cutlery is definitely still around...unless you're talking about a different one??? Also Cold Steel doesn't make a brush axe... :confused:
     
  4. Fonly

    Fonly

    Sep 24, 2006
    I have been running around the Boreal forest for quite a few years now, only used an axe for the most of that time.

    However, had a buddy who owns a store in town, he got in some of CS's cheaper kuk machetes, had to try one. Honestly, I have been impressed with it, I use a folding saw for most wood precessing (shelters, fire wood) but the kuk is great for collecting brush, and clearing trails.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. froggy the gremlin

    froggy the gremlin

    16
    Dec 28, 2011
    Right about AC, they still are (seems like I lost them for a while), but I couldn't find my old machete there.

    Here's the Cold Steel brush ax (they call it a two handed machete, but it seems to me like a brush ax, of which I've handled several):
    [​IMG]

    It takes brush removal from a retail operation to a wholesale one. It's light enough to swing a lot.
     
  6. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    This is what would be classically considered a brush axe. :)

    [​IMG]

    The Cold Steel piece is a two handed cane machete. Their two handed panga would be closest in resemblance to a brush axe, though it's edged on the wrong side of the blade. If you sharpened the backside of it as well you'd have something resembling a ditch bank blade, which is a close cousin of the brush axe. :thumbup:
     
  7. gunknifenut

    gunknifenut KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 9, 2006
    I have been wanting to get one of those! Reminds me of the Condor Enep machete a lot...
    Cool to see it works up your way!
     
  8. PayetteRucker

    PayetteRucker

    Aug 4, 2009
    FortyTwo, I've found a few supply sites that sell that Council Tool 12 inch brush axe for a decent price. They are a very fine looking tool. Next time I order from a woodcraft site I'll throw one in. Cool part about having birthday and christmas so close together is I get loads of cool new gear to hang on my packs. I'd imagine there's a learning curve to using a brush axe- wouldn't want to chop and wind up breaking the tip on that hook. There appears to be a fine line between a successful chop and a broken blade or a broken haft. Like any tool though, learning how to use it generally pays off in the end.
     
  9. fmajor007

    fmajor007

    Apr 1, 2010
    Hey PR - my son's birthday is just *after* Christmas and it's a challenge balancing out gifts between the two celebrations! He get's his entire Annual Present "Payload" within a few days. Is it a bummer going all year between the huge gift days?

    We've been trying to set aside a day in the fall (near to my daughters birthday) and give him a "pre-birthday" gift (or 3!!!).

    Sorry for the slight thread-jack!!!!
     
  10. lupus55

    lupus55

    28
    Nov 21, 2009
    I won't go bush without my Woodsman's Pal or my el cheapo Coghlans folding saw.
     
  11. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008

    The biggest learning curve with a brush axe is learning the different swing. It has an axe handle, but you don't swing it the same since you're using it on very different targets. They're a great tool for removing swaths of woody or thorny growth but they're very specialized in use. I've not seen the Council one in person, but many modern-made ones have a thin machete-like blade, while most antiques are done in heftier stock with either a full flat or saber grind. I have a thick saber ground one myself.
     
  12. Fonly

    Fonly

    Sep 24, 2006
    Very much, I can imagine the condor is higher quality though.

    I never thought I'd get into the larger knives, choppers I guess you would call them. The kuk lives in the jeep now, but its never far away due to its multifunctionalness... :D
     
  13. PayetteRucker

    PayetteRucker

    Aug 4, 2009
    FortyTwo, I officially dub thee on behalf of the W&SS community, the official Daisy Cutter. I guess I'll just have to put the Scythe Song by Doubie Maclean on repeat until I get it...

    FMajor, my birthday is 1/15 and I have never really minded the post-Christmas birthday as far as spread of gifts. It's just that all through high school my birthday wound up on Semester Finals and usually got swept under the rug as far as celebrations, cake and such-just no time to prep or enjoy it when you're studying pre-calc and AP Politics :( Damn high school... Now that I'm in college my birthday lands solidly before semester starts, which is nice. The other thing I noticed was everybody's scrapped for money immediately after Christmas, so from a little kid standpoint, the pile of loot between my birthday and my little brother's, who was born in mid June, was always noticeably different. Mom did a good job of getting me really thoughtful inexpensive stuff that she knew I'd enjoy long term, and made the most of it. I was always more of the self-entertained type-grew up in my dad's shop, which was full of woodworking stuff and a bicycle museum, so I was typically happy with some wet-n-dry, cheap socket wrenches, XC ski stuff (considering the time of year) and some books. My mom moved out on my dad 3 days before Christmas this year and lots of old junk has been showing up in the moving process. It's interesting looking at my brother's pile of unused Game Boys, my sisters' piles of unused dolls, and my old stuff, which is mostly stuff I made, or tools and gear that I can pass down to my kids. Going to make a note in the back of my mind to try to give timeless stuff to my kids for Christmas and birthday, because it goes so much farther in the end. I rescued a set of old fiberglass-laminated beech core Nordica skate skis yesterday that are kid-sized. I think I got em when I was 6 or 7. Ancient bindings but the boots are in good shape and they can definitely go through another generation or two. Those kinds of things are treasured alot more than Rock-n-Roll Elmos, IMO.

    PS My old Legitimus Boy's Axe is still in the garage ;) handle's a little dry but the axe is completely functional. I was 10 or 11 when I got that, wound up skiing into a cabin with Dad the weekend after my birthday and learned how to swing a full length haft. Picked up some linseed oil to leave at home for Dad and conditioned it last night while catching up on Hell on Wheels. I'm kind of interested to see what kind of old Scandinavian woodworking tools are in my late Grandfather's shop, he was a craftsman as well.

    Fonly, I now have both South African and Chinese produced Cold Steel Machetes, and many Condors. Can't comment on the specific models but as far as overall user tool quality, they're pretty close. The Cold Steel edge doesn't roll as much, but doesn't come shaving sharp like the Condors do. It does have an evenly applied grind, down to maybe 320 grit, and is user sharp from the box. Finish is impressively durable on both brands. Condor's handles are more durable-the Cold Steel overmold is pretty darn cheap, though ergonomic other than the pronounced molded checkering in the grip-causes lots of friction in the palm while chopping. It's the kinda deal where you might as well get both.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  14. fmajor007

    fmajor007

    Apr 1, 2010
    Thanks PR!!! My boy's b-day is smack in between Christmas and New Year - Dec 29th and my wife is fixated on making Birthday's *the* personal holiday so she buys for him throughout the year catching sales and such. I agree with presents and such - the plasticty junk that's cool today is tomorrows give-away. We can't afford much of that sorta stuff anyway, so we concentrate on gifts that when they're in their 20's will still be amazing - for example, snowglobes from everywhere in the world we travel - and we travel *alot* (i'm so past travel - like anything, too much isn't good). Sorry to hear your folks are no-longer living together - that sucks and those sorta things are hard - regardless of good or bad reasons.

    Enjoy the snow and Happy Birthday early!!!!
     
  15. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Oh man I haven't listened to Dougie Maclean in so long! :cool:

    I'm counting down the days until I can bust out the scythe again. Until then clearing up blown-down trees with the Baryonyx will have to do. :D
     
  16. PayetteRucker

    PayetteRucker

    Aug 4, 2009
    Anyone try the new high carbon 10 incher from Kershaw? At 40 bucks it's right in the Kabar Heavy Duty pricerange. Slight recurve and a fatty blade, sort of a flat ground version of the Outcast.
     
  17. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Is it actually out already? That's an awful nice price for a flat-ground chopper! Though the Outcast was flat ground as well, IIRC
     
  18. PayetteRucker

    PayetteRucker

    Aug 4, 2009
    [​IMG] no posted blade thickness yet, but looks like it'd make a helluva Bush Tool!
     
  19. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Yeah that looks like a computer rendering, so I'm guessing it's not out yet. Looks like it'll be quite the value though!
     
  20. hiwa

    hiwa

    Jun 7, 2009
    Since I got this Kabar cutlass I haven't used my BK-9 or Junglas lately. I freaking love this knife for all sorts of bush chopping. I sharpen it with an Eze-lap diamond rod for the recurve . I made a baldric-type strap out of braided para for it to wear under my arm.
    I have the Cold Steel Kukri but don't like it very much. It chops sure , but doesn't feel well balanced to me. Even though the Kabar is hollow ground I have no problems with it sticking normally.

    [​IMG]
     

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