Archive for September, 2011

The All Natural Trench Knife! Don’t mess with Mother Nature…

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

So let me pose a hypothetical question. IF you were given a choice of a weapon made of wood, and one made of steel, which one would you pick? I’m sure most of you would, without hesitation, pick the one made of steel. I, on the other hand, would be on the fence. Especially given that I tend to like things that are just… Cool. That’s not to say that wooden blades are entirely worthless, after all, you can do a lot of damage with a piece of wood, and even more if it has been sharpened and the edge hardened.

But what if it had teeth as well? Yeah… You heard me… A wooden knife. With a wicked set of teeth for a blade. Uh huh. Yeah… Now things get interesting… Imagine, if you will, an all natural fighting implement… Made entirely of natural materials, and edged with rows of razor-sharp shark teeth. Oh, but I’m not done yet. How about we throw in a spike. From a swordfish no less. Awwww Yeah… Now we’re talking…

Think about it. We are talking about the hand weapon equivalent of  a shark with a rapier attached to its snout. Certainly a laser attached to its head might be far more impressive, but with a spike, you’ll never have to replace the batteries. I’m just saying.  A spike is nothing to sneeze at. Take that and make a weapon out of it, and voilà! you have a personal, wooden hand shark. With a spike attached to its freakin’ head!

A fearsome weapon capable of horrific damage, but so stealthy that would not even set off metal detectors in an airport. Unless, of course you happened to use teeth from a shark that had somehow had the benefit of a modern dental plan, and had braces and amalgam fillings to boot. No, don’t laugh. It could happen. No, seriously. Go watch “Finding Nemo” and tell me that can’t happen. But I digress.

Today, I fawn over a very old but very cool all natural weapon of war called the Pahoa A’u Ku, also known as the Swordfish Bill Dagger. A combination of this:

A`u ku - Marlinspike Dagger

A`u ku - Marlinspike Dagger

And this:

Leiomano pahoa a`u

Leiomano pahoa a`u

 

To create this:

Pahoa A'u Ku - Marlinspike Leiomano Dagger

Pahoa A'u Ku - Marlinspike Leiomano Dagger

 

In case you didn’t quite catch just how much awesome I just laid on you up there, let me recap. The A`u ku is a dagger made from the spike of the broad bill Marlin a large fish with a very distinctive spike, much like a swordfish. Sometimes swordfish swords were used. The Leiomano pahoa a`u is a mêlée weapon, usually made of Koa wood, with a row of fairly wicked looking shark teeth affixed to the front edge of it.

Both weapons are relatively cool and awesome in their own right, but combine to produce the Pahoa A’u Ku, a weapon more awesome than the Decepticon Devastator! And all with materials straight from nature, in an almost unmodified form… WIN!

Proof, once again, that in spite of all the cool things we can do with steel nowadays, Mother nature was a total BAMF long before Chuck Norris and Samuel L. Jackson came along…

Yeah, I said it. Don’t hate. You know it’s true…

A`u ku -[Kumulau]
Pahoa A’u Ku – [Kumulau]
Leiomano pahoa a`u – [My Armory]

The Mighty Machete!

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you may know that I have a good amount of experience with machetes. I have done many things with them, clearing fields of 10ft tall elephant grass, felling small trees, even carving field hockey balls. (Yeah. Betcha didn’t know you could carve a hockey ball using a machete did you!)

Indeed, there was a time when I used them routinely, I dare say even more often than I did my laundry!  The result, is that I tend to reach for a machete where most folks would reach for an axe. As a matter of fact, I consider machetes a blade that is highly underrated in North America. This may or may not actually be true, however when people start looking for a medium to heavy-duty chopper, the first thing people seem to reach for is a camp hatchet or axe.

Smith & Wesson Bullseye Paul Bunyan Hatchet.

Smith & Wesson Bullseye Paul Bunyan Hatchet.

Now to be fair, there are many things an axe is just better for. For instance, you don’t hear much about machete murderers in the good old U.S. of A. Axe murderers, on the other hand… Common knowledge. And look at how under represented machetes are in the media. You see hunting and survival knives portrayed prominently in movies all the time, like the Rambo movies, The Hunted, etc. Even in games, machetes get a bad rap. You see throwing knives, in all kinds of First person shooters, ballistic knives in Call of Duty, etc, etc, etc, the list goes on forever!

Even on Youtube, machetes get little love. There was recently a game of “Name your two favorite knives” tag on Youtube, and not a single person (whose videos I have seen so far) has even mentioned a machete. It is a sad state of affairs people. Especially when you look at what you can do with a good machete. Chopping, carving, wood processing, digging, brush clearing, dismemberment… etc. (And just so we are all clear, I mean dismembering large game animals, not people. Not that it hasn’t been done before, but it’s just not my style. I’m just saying.)

Anyway, a machete can do it all! And what is most amazing about it is that you can get a good machete for a mere fraction of the cost of many of the fancy schmancy designer knives that people all seem to love. But you can thrash a machete and not have to worry about, ride it hard, put it away wet (thought if you do that, you deserve to be flogged, hung from you hair from the tree of woe, for wild emu to slowly pick at you… No seriously.)

The fact of the matter is, machetes get no love. At least not in North America. In Africa, South America, and many developing nations, it is the hero of large utility blades, and today, I’d like to speak out on behalf of all the poor neglected machetes of ‘Merica! I’d like to show you that machetes are not only good, but that they can be cool too!
First, allow me to introduce you to the working mans machete, two of my favorites from the Ontario Knife Co:

Ontario 12in Camper Machete

Ontario 12in Camper Machete


 The Ontario 12″ camper machete. This one has a saw blade spine and a “D” handle to offer added protection to the user, though I must say that as a seasoned machete user, I can’t recommend either, as the saw back is incredibly inefficient at sawing anything. It is best used for notching, but that is about it. And the D handle simply makes it harder to use that saw back anyway, so this is what I would consider a bad combination. Moving on to one of my more favored workhorse machetes:

Ontario 18in Military Machete

Ontario 18in Military Machete

The Ontario 18in Military Machete is my go to machete for camping trips and such, it is versatile, tough, and best of all, Cheap! I have both the 12in and the 18in version of this machete, and I really don’t know why every outdoorsman doesn’t have the 12in version in their pack. They are awesome! Next up, a light duty machete: The Gerber Gator Machete.

Gerber Gator Machete

Gerber Gator Machete

Now this is a nice, easy to use machete, ideal for someone who wants to pack light. It is not as heavy-duty as the Ontario or Cold Steel Offerings, but is light weight, low fatigue, and has one of the best grip ergonomics I have run into on a machete for a long time. It also has a saw spine, however its performance is surprisingly disappointing, especially given that they know how to make a good utility saw. Phail on you Gerber! PHAIL!! >:{

And now, on to the machetes that I classify simply as “Cool beyond Words”. Ok, so they aren’t really cool beyond words. But they are pretty darn cool. I refer, in this case, to Cold steels line of machetes, starting with their quite impressive Kukri Machetes:

Cold Steel Kukri Machete

Cold Steel Kukri Machete

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete

Both the Regular and Magnum Kukri machetes from Cold steel are simply quite good. Strong, tough, can be made shaving sharp, and quite versatile, I have both versions, and can say that they are great, especially for the price, being excellent low cost choppers and all around bush whacking blades.

Last but not least, allow me to introduce you to my favorite machete design of all time, the Cold Steel Kopis Machete.

Cold Steel Kopis Machete

Cold Steel Kopis Machete

Now this machete is just beautiful. Based on the ancient Greek Kopis sword, the Cold Steel Kopis Machete is a beautiful piece of work, a combination of style, function, strength and beauty that is really hard to come by these days. And, of course, as if simply to spite me, it is no longer being made. Curses. CURSES!!! Curse the machete gods for depriving me of this thing of beauty! Oh well. C’est la Vie. It is my own fault for not getting one while I could.

Anyway, there are a gazillion other machete designs i could talk about today, but these are some of my favorites. And hopefully I have demonstrated that Machetes are not just ugly choppers, and that you can have it all; strength, style, beauty and utility… with the Mighty MACHETE!! 😀

P.S.

By the way… Anyone got a Cold Steel Kopis machete they want to… umm… donate to… “charity”? I can take care of that for you… Yes, yes, it will be for a good cause. You know, like the Happy Balrog Knife Charity… No, no, it’s a real charity… It goes to Balrogs in desperate need of hard to find knives… No, really… 😀

Smith & Wesson Bullseye Paul Bunyan Hatchet – [True Swords]
Ontario 12″ Camper Machete – [True Swords]
Ontario 18″ Military Machete – [True Swords]
Gerber Gator Machete – [True Swords]
Cold Steel Kukri Machete – [True Swords]
Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete – [True Swords]
Cold Steel Kopis Machete – (no longer made)

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