Archive for the ‘Axes’ Category

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)

A Little Something For The Earth Bound Klingon… Or Lord Vader…

Monday, June 7th, 2010

OK so let me pose a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you are a Klingon. Yes, you are a member of a well known warrior race from Star Trek. Got it? Good. Now lets say you get marooned on earth. No, I don’t know how that happened or what you did to deserve it. Stuff happens alright? Deal.

Anyway let’s say you are stuck on Earth. In prehistoric times. Yes, I said prehistoric. Why? Look, you are asking too many questions. I’m trying to set up a scenario here. Ok fine, we’ll say someone tweaked the nav systems and warp core configuration on your Klingon warbird so that the next time you tried to warp somewhere, you got marooned, on Earth, in the past, and the dilithium crystals in your warp core are broken, so you now cannot get back.

OK? Happy now? Can I continue?

Thank you.

So… Now you are stranded in a prehistoric earth jungle, and you need a bladed weapon to survive… Say what? Why no Disruptors? OH, for the love of… *sigh* Look, work with me here. Lets say you’ve been stranded for some time, and you’re all out of power OK? Does that work for you? Any other details you’d like me to cover before I go on? No? Are you sure…? Wait… What? Recrystallize the dilithium crystal lattice? …

… *veins popping out of forehead*

YOU @*@&#@! IDIOT!!! THIS IS PREHISTORIC EARTH! THERE ARE NO NUCLEAR REACTORS, SO YOU CAN SAFELY ASSUME THERE ARE NO SAFE AND READILY AVAILABLE SUPPLIES OF GAMMA RADIATION TO CAPTURE AND REPAIR DECRYSTALLIZED DILITHUIM CRYSTALS WITH, YOU #*&$%# INSUFFERABLE DWEEB!!!

Jiminy Christmas, enough already!! OK that’s it. No more questions. You’ve ruined my perfect set up.  I’m just going to show you the blade.

Tactical Golok

Tactical Golok

This is the tactical Golok. The Golok is a traditional chopping tool, a kind of short machete, originating in southeast Asia, characterized by a wide tipped, top heavy blade. The Tactical Golok is a a Golok on steroids. Or as would be designed by a Klingon, trapped in prehistoric ages, on earth, who had naught but primitive tools. WITH NO USABLE DILITHIUM CRYSTALS. Ok… gotta breath now… Whooosaaaahhh… alrighty then.

In fact the tactical Golok bears a vague resemblance to a traditional Klingon weapon, the MekLeh’ crossed with a traditional golok…

Klingon Mek'Leth

Klingon Mek'Leth

+

Golok

Golok

OK… Too vague. That didn’t work out quite the way I thought it would. All kinds of evil was supposed to ensue. Hmmm… What to do, what to do… Actually, now that I think about it, this Golok has more in common with Kratos’ Swords of Chaos from the game God of War:

Kratos Sword of Chaos

Kratos Sword of Chaos

+

Golok

Golok

=

Tactical Golok

Tactical Golok

Much better!! Yeah… Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout… And you made me go on that Klingon rant, and nearly pop a gasket, all for nothing. Yes, you. It’s all YOUR fault. Yeah, it’s my blog and I can blame who I want to… And today that is… YOU! Put that in your meat grinder and mince it! Bah Humbug!

<Eric Cartman> Man… I really, really hate you guys… </Eric Cartman>

Anyway, this Tactical Golok is the bees knees. Put together by the folks at Szabo Inc., it looks like a mean little chopper, a nice, evil cross between a machete and an axe. With the sweeping curvy edges and dark demeanour to match. My kind of chopper. Darth Vaders golok, if you will. I mean just look at it:

Tactical Golok Demo

Tactical Golok Demo

What more can I say. Short machete. Wide. Heavy. Evil curves. Double edged.  Integral guard and blade finger choil, possibly for choking up and better control. AND it looks like it comes in black. Which is really just all kinds of WIN.  BUT… It costs and arm and a leg. But if you can afford one, at least you’ll know they’ll be harvesting your limbs in style.

Umm… wait… Was I not supposed to say that out loud?

Tactical Golok – [Szabo Inc]

A groovy little axe…

Friday, November 27th, 2009

When I think of Feng Shui, the Chinese system of organizing your environment in order to maximize positive Chi (aka Qi/Chakra/Energy) flow, the last thing that comes to mind is an axe. However, I suppose, from my admittedly limited knowledge of how it works, there doesn’t seem to be anything in the rulebooks that says Feng Shui cannot work through an axe.

In fact, it seems kind of implicit that an axe should affect the feng shui of any environment, it is in, depending on it’s placement. But now I’m just rambling…

The topic of this post, obviously, is an interesting little axe I ran into a while back. Ostensibly called the Chinese Feng Shui Axe:

Chinese Feng Shui Axe

Chinese Feng Shui Axe

As you can see, it’s an unusual little, all metal axe, fairly simple in design, with a relatively small (as axes go) crescent shaped head, a contoured gourd shaped pommel, and a spike on top. And, or course, the requisite red hair tassel to redirect the blood that might result from employing a little “Feng Shui” reorganization of someones face with said axe..

Hey, I kid, I kid… For the record, I do not condone the arbitrary reorganization of other peoples faces with axes, or, for that matter, any other kind of weapon. Except scalpels. In which case you must be a plastic surgeon, and the person must have been absolutely hideous to start with. But I digress.

This axe actually looks kinda cool, and seems like it would be a little heavy, but fairly effective. But it is, in fact, supposed to frighten bad Chi away. At least according to the website I found it on. Me personally, I think I’d employ a much larger, quite a lot more intimidating axe for that particular task.

I mean seriously. Have you seen the sheer amount of bad Chi floating around nowadays? 😀

Chinese Feng Shui Axe – [Online Oriental]

Wood: the other dark steel…

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Ok, So I will readily admit that the title of todays post was highly influenced by thoughts of thanksgiving turkey…Light meat or dark meat… It’s all good… But I digress.

You may recall a few posts I’ve done in the past on weapons made of wood. Some of them have been about reproduction, prop or cosplay weapons, weapons you could give to your little rascals, or for cosplay (costume play), designed primarily to be a safe alternative to the real thing.

Macahuitl

Macahuitl

However, I’ve also posted about weapon designs that, while made primarily of wood, were still quite lethal as edged weapons. The Macahuitl was one such weapon, using flint or obsidian blades, embedded in a wood frame shaped like a club, or a large broadsword. And then there was the Leiomano, which accomplished the same thing, using shark teeth, but packaged in a small axe form factor.

Leiomano

Leiomano

But I recently ran across an even more beautiful design, yet another based on the small axe form factor, but without any kind of hard blade material whatsoever… Just wood. Really hard wood… Have a gander at this:

Samoan War Axe

Samoan War Axe

Now chances are, the edge would be nowhere as keen as that of a macahuitl, so this would be more likely used freehand as a club, or to break or dislocate bones than an actual cleaving device,  (unless you had a hard surface to chop against and were willing to keep whacking away until the job was done :/ )  However,  it is just a beautiful piece of work.

I just love this thing. Between the smooth and highly polished finish on the weapon, the Samoan patterns on the blade, and the absolutely evil lines on this axe, I just love it to death. Ok, maybe not to death, since I kind of like being alive, but you get the point.

The points on this thing are amazing. The deep bevel of the edge is accentuated by the light colored patterning of the blade area, making it look almost like a thick slab of dark steel. The patterning runs all the way down the shaft, stopping just short of the light colored jute or twine wrapped grip. The combination is just sweet.

Truth be told, I think this wooden axe looks more both more beautiful  and sinister than most of the other evil steel axes I’ve posted on this site so far…

And that’s no small feat for a weapon made entirely of wood.

Samoan War Axe – [My Armory]

If the Grim Reaper used an Axe…

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Yes. That is the question of the day. If old man Grim used and axe instead of a scythe, what would it look like? To be honest I have no clue. I just can’t imagine my O’l buddy Grim using anything other than a scythe. He’s really quite attached to that thing. They have some symbolic history together, something about harvesting souls or some other sappy poetic schmaltz.

Not my cup of tea, really, but he’s all about it. For a guy who spends a lot of time snatching the life right out of unsuspecting peeps at the drop of a hat, he always comes across as a bit of a tragic emo/goth. The perpetually covered face, the dark clothes, the endless angst, always carrying that blasted scythe around regardless of whether he’s actually on the clock or not… Meh. But I apologize. I ramble.

Back to the question at hand. If Mr. G. Reaper were to use an axe, what would it look like? Well, I still can’t say. I admit it. I have no imagination. Sue me. So instead I’m going to show you what some one else thinks it might look like. Allow me present the Grim Reaper Battle Axe:

Grim Reaper Battle Axe

Grim Reaper Battle Axe

Now this is an evil axe. Just the kind of thing I like. Big, crude, heavy, evil edges and lots of points and hooks and barbs and such, with but a token attempt at finesse. Just look at it. Not that Mr R. would ever use it, but you cannot possibly argue that this isn’t a an axe worthy of a reaper-type entity. Heck I’d use it, and reaping is just a hobby I indulge in part time when I’m bored. 😉

What we have here is a huge, 51″ slab of solid, polished stainless steel. On one end a large almost medieval glaive-like double bladed axe head, complete with center spike. Coming down from the head, we have a leather wrapped grip, and then a short, but particularly nasty looking section of serrated blade. below that, we have another leather wrapped grip section, and below that we have a triple barbed hook, ending in a sharp, rather unforgiving looking, talon like point.

Now truth be told, I think the mechanics of this weapon are horrific. I mean, ergonomically speaking, you’d have to be a Klingon, or Vulcan, or have trained using a Bathleth or a Lirpa, or some similarly esoteric weapon, in order for this weapon to make sense. And that void/spike in the center really violates my sense of mechanical aesthetics. Why the huge void cut out of the center of the the Axe head? For weight reduction maybe?

And even then, why attach that point just above that by two really thin looking stems. It’s certainly a cool design feature, but it seems like it would be the first thing to break if subjected to any bending forces. And then, as if those weren’t enough, there’s a serrated blade in the very section of the weapon that your hand would be likely to slide into? I dunno ’bout all that. I would rather think most folks would like to keep their fingers. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

It just seems to me that a person wielding this weapon would be cruisin’ for a bruisin’… Or didn’t really like their fingers very much. Which would be a shame. BUT on the other hand, every inch of this thing says “I mean business.” And by “business”, I mean “Bringing the pain”. Big time. So I’m on the fence. And unfortunately my old pal Mr. R has remained strangely silent on the issue. No surprise, I suppose, given that none of my concerns regarding self mutilation at the hands of this monstrosity would apply to him.

So what do you think? Is this… Axe Thing… (of ultimate evil) reaper material? Or not? 😀

Grim Reaper Battle Axe – [North Star Collectibles]

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