Ontario SP8 Machete (Black)
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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2011
First, let me just say, that this is not a fighting blade and really is not a machete, either. If I had to give it an aptly descriptive name, it would be SP-8 SURVIVAL TOOL ... In short, you could build a log cabin, with this thing ... a good one !

Here are the tasks it excels at, by order of efficiency.

* SPLITTING LOGS: Using an impact baton (on par with a Cold Steel Trailmaster ).
This blade has the span, the thickness and the height to split logs over 6" in diameter.
Because the stock is so thick (a full quarter inch), you only need to baton half way through ... if that far.
Because the edge is straight and there is no point or belly, it is the strongest "hand axe", period.

* LIMBING: Sheer mass and reach ... Rakes limbs off like whiskers (often with one chop).

* FELLING: Certainly, at least as efficient as ANY hand-axe, hatchet, or hawk ... Long, massive, 1095 edge. Consider that the LONG edge is much safer to use than a hatchet or hand axe, especially when you are fatigued or under stress or if the light is not good or if your footing or position is awkward. I am just saying that you are more likely to connect more consistently (to miss or "glance" less often) because the edge is much longer than a hand-axe. If you DO manage to chip or roll or dull PART OF your edge, you will still have MORE SHARP EDGE, remaining, to work with, until you can repair your edge.

* DRAW BLADE: Will strip bark and shape logs like a dedicated draw-blade.

* "CHISEL": You can use a hammer, mallet, or baton to impact the butt/pommel and shape notches, bowls, joints, etc. The tip is not an actual chisel grind ... it has the same (flat saber primary grind) profile as the main blade.

* PRY-TOOL: Just look at it ! ... You can re-profile the tip any way you like ... as a crow-bar or as a "chisel" (I prefer the factory profile)

* RASP: Contrary to what most users think, the "saw-back" is VERY useful, as a RASP, for shaping joints and notches and removing chips and material, as well as flatting knots, stripping bark or for manufacturing fine tinder-dust, from the dry, inner wood.

* MEAT PROCESSING: Particularly, quartering, hide-fleshing and cutting bone, joints, sinew, chopping and cutting larger steaks & roasts, etc.

* HAMMER: Don't try this, But ... I have used the flat side of the SLAB, as a hammer, to drive stakes. I have used the spine as a lever, to pull stakes out of the ground (I typically do not baby the tip-edge because I do not do much finer timber-shaping work, but your mileage may vary).

WHAT IT DOES NOT DO (well) ?? : Drilling, Jerking, Trail-Breaking, Fighting, Carving, Fillet. You are not going to gut and skin a squirrel, with this tool. It is not a "Bird and Trout" type blade. Sure, the SP-8 will cut cordage and shave feather sticks, etc., if pressed to do so but it is really not intended to take the place of a handy camp-utility blade (let's face it).

I could totally get by with just this blade and my MORA BUSHCRAFT BLACK knife, but a BAHCO LAPLANDER folding Saw (or a SVEN SAW) and a fillet knife are also good to have along.

THE SHEATH, BTW, is VERY robust. I lash this wicked beast to the outside of my pack, by running my top compression strap thru the belt loop and I run a loop of P-cord between the bottom ring and a carabiner, which is clipped to the bottom row of the MOLLE/PALS webbing ... It is secured tightly, is out of the way, and easy to access.

Just do this, while they are still available ! ... Under $60, delivered ?! ... DUDE !!

The handle is perfect and grippy and will NEVER break (like a hatchet).

The One thing I would change about this tool is that I would like for the lanyard hole to be TWICE the size (diameter) because, while a single thickness of 550 paracord will EASILY slide thru the hole, *I* (personally) would prefer to be able to (easily) pass a double-thickness LOOP of p-cord thru this hole, as a temporary wrist-lanyard, for the most "violent" tasks and in colder weather. I have come to appreciate this feature on my TOPS BoB Fieldcraft Knife and I would VERY much welcome a larger lanyard hole on the SP-8. Still ... I can pass a short (single thickness) length of p-cord thru and tie an expedient knot, almost instantly ... so ... not a serious issue.

NOTE: This SP-8 is not "technically" legal to carry in Texas but, since it has no point, and is not a Bowie or a spear or a sword or a dagger or a tomahawk, it really does not fit the description of any "expressly prohibited weapon" and, even though it exceeds our 5.5" blade limit, I have successfully convinced law enforcement officials that this TOOL has no value as a weapon (either for agression or for defense) ... It is a CAMP TOOL ... Period (and a truly world-class camp tool, at WAY less than half the cost of a Cold Steel Trailmaster) ... Hmmm ? My BK-2 does not even come close (cannot compare) to this SP-8, even though it is the same price.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
I got this tool for use with traditional Bow Hunting (Long Bow) to go in my Rucksack as a XMAS gift. I also have the long handled Woodsman's pal. This tool is superior to the historic and excellent Woodsman's Pal. It has a excellent weight and balance to it. My only wish is that the sawback surface is not a cross cut type sawback. My Woodman's Pal is going to became a hand me down to a family menmber who also hunts. THe sheath is also excellent. The sheath is made of steel hardware, treated leather, and ballistic nylon. Shop aroud and you can find this item at somewhat below retail. The OKSP8 can be used as a machete, saw, or axe/hatchet, or crash/rescue tool. As a bonus this item is made in the U.S.A. by American workers. The hard rubber/nylon (Kraton polymer handle) grips are very comfortable, durable and solid. The resin type enamel (epoxy powder coating) finish is non-reflective and very durable. The steel is high quality high carbon 1095 steel. The edge of the tool comes sharpened, but a turn on a Arkansas stone or ceramic V stick would help bring it wonders. Overall you will be very happy with this tool for gardening, brush clearing, general camp use, survival, or as a crash/rescue tool. You will be prowd to own this tool. It should give you years of service. This is an excellent tool at an excellent price even at twice the retail price!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2014
I use as the SP8 as a general purpose camping wood processing tool to prep firewood for campfires, clear trails and fabricate wood seats, tables and tools in the woods of NH. I also wear it while dog walking through woodland trails to clear hanging branches and fallen trees. The SP8 is specifically designed to be carried with you, it's relatively light weight comfortable to wear and has so many effective uses you only need to bring one tool reducing your packs weight. Works incredibly well splitting logs and raking small limbs off trees and does most any cutting tasks very well, Chop through 2+ inch hardwood in one swing. The rounded corner/tip on the SP8 is absolutely perfect for fire by friction using a bow drill, specifically by quickly drilling a hole in your fire board for your spindle. It's compact size compared to other machetes makes it ideal to cut dense brush where you don't have a lot of room to swing. It's also comfortable and effortless to wear on your belt, I have walked over 100 miles wearing the SP8 and just love it.

I Prefer the SP8 instead of a hatchet or large knife or other similar choppers for a few reasons. It chops as well as a small hatchet but has a safer wider striking surface and is easier to wear or pack than a hatchet. Most large survival knives can chop and baton ok but such use voids the warranty and they just aren't meant for that type of abuse. The SP8 however has proper blade geometry for chopping and battening, and no tip to snap off! The SP8 is also not threatening like a large knife can be or many modern hawks/hatchets, the SP8 looks more like a tool making it more usable/carry able around people. It's also relatively cheap, indestructible, and made in the USA!

Sheath: The sheath is just as BA, functional and durable as the SP8. The sheath is a dangler which make it very comfortable to wear as it moves with you. You can run, hike, ride ATV's or sit and it stays right where it should. Other reviewers have complained you have to unfasten several buttons to remove the SP8 from the sheath, this is not the true anymore at least. You only have to unfasten the top button on the sheath to remove the blade(SEE CUSTOMER PIC). The other three buttons seem to be there to allow you to clean the inside of the sheath. I am not sure if this is a change in design from previous reviews or if they were mistaken about the sheath.

Rasp/Saw: Works well for notching, bark removal and as a notch for removing hanging cook pots from the fire. You will not be sawing down trees with this as it is more of a rasp not a saw that being said it is possible but chopping would be much easier.

Edge: I have seen several reviewers mention removing the factory compound bevel in favor of a flat gring on the blade. The factory edge on the SP8 is a compound bevel designed to be the most durable and easy to maintain type blade edge, it is designed to split while it cuts, do area damage and send up big wood chips. A flat gring is less durable, harder to maintain and more likely to get stuck in the wood, so while it may bite deeper I don't think it would chop better/faster.

Unique Destgn: The unique non threading tool like design is what drew me to it initially and give me a satisfied feeling every time I use it. The choil is uniquely large, giving you more inches when splitting logs and allowing you to choke up on the blade comfortably and do more precise work. Over time I am using it more and more for fine work and find it works great for regular knife tasks although the weight could be an issue for weaker people than myself. NO tip to break off! Designed for chopping, digging, and prying all thing you should avoid with almost any other knife but the SP8 is designed specifically for this hard use. The wide flat tip has a flat point and round point along with the flat edge, all three have different uses when processing wood overall more useful than standard tip of large knife.

Modifications: (SEE CUSTOMER PICS) The SP8's sheath lends itself well to lashing other knives to it, first I had lashed a cold steel bird and trout knife to the sheath for fine work like filleting fish but that knife rusted so then I used a Kabar BK14 but that came with uneven edges so I now have a ESEE Izula 2 lashed to the sheath and The Izula 2 is perfect for the job and will not be replaced any time soon. Between these two blades I can handle any cutting job. I have also used O rings on the handle to help keep my grip from slipping down the handle while swinging(SEE CUSTOMER PIC).I also included pics of the box it came in, it seems like a new box compared to older reviews I have seen.

Overall I would recommend the SP8 to anyone looking for large indestructible blade for camping, bushcraft, utility and survival, IMO it is the most useful wood processing tool available at any price.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2007
What I really wanted was a Becker TacTool, but then Camillus went out of business and I was looking for something similar. This is a good, solid knife with a decent balance between heft and portability. The rubber grip is comfortable and doesn't get too slippery when you're sweating from heat in the Outback or nervous tension in the bathtub.

...maybe I've said too much.

I sharpened this thing with an Accusharp sharpener and it's kept its edge well after I got my agressions out on some heavy brush. It's a pain to sharpen the rounded corner, though.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2011
This knife is quite a chopper! It is heavy, with most of the weight out toward the front. It chops through downed tree branches better than some hatchets I own! It did require a little touch-up on a hone, as it wasn't terribly sharp when I got it. This is one of the only Spec-Plus blades I've seen that won't shave hair off my arm.

There is no "point" on this knife, although the flat end is sharpened. The back has saw teeth, but I'm not sure they'd be terribly effective. I haven't tried them. You can "choke up" on the blade some, as it has a broad finger groove above the hilt for that purpose. The kraton handle helps dampen shock from chopping.

The sheath is a little overly-compicated, but I don't anticipate any trouble carrying this knife. If I needed to be able to deploy it quickly with one hand, I'd definitely replace the sheath though.

The blade is quite thick and, with no point to break off, entirely suitable for prying. The Spec Plus knives are tempered a little soft, so breaking them through chopping or prying is awfully unlikely. Keeping one of these in your car would provide an almost perfect tool for escape in the event of an accident. The back of the blade can be use to break glass, and the front edge would rip through sheet metal and seatbelts like there's no tomorrow. Prying open a stuck door would also be easy. The tool would be extremely useful for urban or wilderness survival too. Every car in the country ought to have one of these.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2014
Smaller than most machetes. REALLY thick blade that gets the job done others might not, due to being able to let the weight do the work. It's therefore REALLY versatile and can pretty much replace a camp hatchet and is thick enough to split wood but not get caught. Due to it's small size, I can go hiking and pack this in my small 5L Osprey pack as well as a 22oz water bottle and extra compression shirt or light jacket.

Plainly put, this is a BEAST of a tool that's more than a machete and ultra pack-able. I've used this as a wood pallet pry bar - break down for wood, chopping 6 inch cedar logs in half, splitting wood, cutting pineapples (adult beverages), watermelon slicing, and in a crunch it'll even cut through chicken wire and 18g wire. The notching isn't razor sharp but it's not made for being a saw back, just for notching into branches for bushcraft.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2011
So far with this sweet blade I have chopped through brush, chopped down firewood, and killed a rattlesnake. This will not disappoint. If you're looking for a great camp/hunting/survival tool, this is it. It is built solid, heavy, balanced, sharp and convenient. Not too big for regular old campgrounds as to not scare off the liberals here in Cali, but still big and strong enough to get most jobs done. I wouldn't recommend it for a tropical jungle, but for your 48 states United States camping adventures, this thing is where it's at. Every camping trip I go on, I use this thing for something. Also if zombies attack I'm sure you could bash one in really good with it. Just sayin..
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is a great machete, with excellent quality. Has good weight and heft to it. Definitely not a flimsy "knockoff." I bought this and the Ontario LSA to compliment my backpacking and survival kits. Came rather sharp out of the box. Slight touchup to get to my "standard."
Definitely up to the job of getting through even something you may consider large for a machete. Good grip and lanyard to wrap on your wrist.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I love this knife and I never go camping without it. I wish they would improve the sheath, it is a great quality sheath but it doesnt have and MOLLE attachments or any way to attach it to a pack. That aside I use mine to hammer my tent stakes down, chop wood and any other task I have out in the desert. The grip is comfortable and the knife has a nice weight to it. I beat mine to death, then bring it home, clean it and oil it and it always looks new. I do have a couple of very small chips in the blade but I have hit some rocks with it by accident. I'm sure you will love this knife. I also have the KA-Bar Becker knife which is similar to this one. I havent tried it in the field yet but I do like the sheath better, its smaller and lighter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2014
Hardcorecamper has written an excellent review that is spot on. The only improvement in this tool that I would see as beneficial would be a Strong metal Pommel as it would give the tip (chisel edge) a little more versatility.
If you are on a budget, this is a great choice and would be complimented with the purchase of a smaller lighter knife such as the offerings available from Morakniv.
After some hard use over time, I have found that the sp8 handle tends to transfer more "Shock" while chopping than many tools however this was partly remedied by making a paracord wrap over the handle. Looks nice also. I still wish it had a pommel that was tough enough to allow me to use this as a chisel. I have also found that giving it a convex edge extends the time between sharpenings and makes it less prone to chipping. Still a bargain for an awesome tool.
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