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Ontario Knife Co 1-18" Military Machete
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The Ontario Knife Company has been manufacturing the 1-18 Machete under U.S. Government specifications for over 60 years. The same high quality machete that our troops expect is found in all the machetes OKC makes. Overall length is 24". Made of 1095 Carbon Steel. Blade is hardened to 50-55 HRC. Molded plastic and riveted handle. Sheath sold separately.
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Top customer reviews
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It is strong and cuts through bushes, shrubs and small branches like a champ. I even cut a small tree down with this.
It is suprisenly durable and holds up to harsh environments and treatment. So as long as you maintain it, it will last for years. That's probably because Ontario makes this machete for the military.
The handle can be somewhat slippery, so I would advise covering it with a sports grip tape or cord. Or you can where gloves while using it. Also the black finish to the blade does take to scratches easily, but that doesn't make the performance go down. It doesn't come with a sheath but you can order one or make one. I made one.
Another thing I noticed about the blade is that it is not quite perfect in it's shape or weight distribution. It is so much mass, I felt like the blade needed to be about 3-4" shorter. Also, since the blade is has so much depth (think airplane wing) that if you don't swing straight, it wants to drift off-course. All that said, for a 20$ machete, I think it is a great value for the price and I can overlook some of these short-comings, hence my 4 star rating.
Many of the earlier reviewers complained of the machete arriving dull. Mine didn't. Mine arrived razor sharp, seriously. As in, I sliced a sheet of paper in half with a single, gentle stroke...right out of the box. The seller for the one I received was Ontario Knife Co. and it came from the Amazon Fulfillment Center. I don't know if other sellers in other parts of the country are shipping "unfinished" tools or not--but as I said, mine arrived razor sharp.
There have been lots of complaints about the handle being uncomfortable or slipping--or feeling like it will slip--out of the hand during use. I think I understand the problem with the handle: It's not because the handle scales are plastic; it's because they are too small for many of us.
I wear Medium surgical gloves and Size 7 military dress gloves. That basically means I have medium/average sized hands for the average American male. The handle on this machete is too small for me. Yes, it's a bit squarish and boxy as some reviewers have pointed out; however, that doesn't mean the grip is large. It just means it's not an ergonomic shape. What I found is the grip doesn't fill my hand at the heel of my palm and my hand wraps around the handle (at the hilt) to the point that my thumb is all the way over the first knuckle of my index finger. It makes sense if you think about what the military needs to consider. These machetes need to be usable for soldiers with smaller hands who won't have a means of making the handle smaller in the field. Soldiers with medium to large hands can always wrap some 550 cord (parachute cord) around the handle while in the field to make it thicker if need be.
Some reviewers have also mentioned that the scale rivets come loose after awhile and the handle falls apart. At the point when that happens to mine, I will make some comfortable, ergonomic wooden scales that fit my hand well and attach them with screws.
As you can see in the photo, this is a "Latin style" machete. The tip is slightly wider than the edge closer to the bolster (like a Parang style) which puts the weight of this machete near the tip. This aids in giving you more power in your strike. Yet, this machete doesn't feel heavy and I can (and you probably can too) easily use this for hours without much fatigue. Overall, this is an amazing design and this particular machete is an amazingly efficient and TOUGH workhorse! Once you figure out how to make the handle more comfortable for you, you won't be disappointed by this machete. Made in the USA from 1095 high carbon steel. If you didn't already know, 1095 is an incredibly strong blend of steel and nearly indestructible even with hard use.
Don't waste your money on a more expensive machete which will likely be of lower quality than this anyway...get this one. You won't regret it. This has been issued to the US military since the 1940's and has been used on the battlefields of numerous engagements. This machete is a professional soldier's machete; the real deal.
UPDATE EDIT: With all the reviews written about this tool, I know my little review won't push anyone over the edge one way or the other as far as buying this or not, but I wanted to add some additional detail about the handle on this thing in case I can help someone else. Since the handle is a bit squarish, I found that I was getting a sore spot that wanted to become a blister on my thumb. Fortunately, the last few inches at the bolster is not sharpened on this blade. I was able to choke up on the blade a little by allowing my index finger and thumb to hold the blade while the rest of my hand was on the grip. That seemed to help. I also wrapped the handle in sports tape. I rolled up 3 small lumps that I then taped to the handle. One lump was put on the back of the handle where the heel of my hand rests. The other 2 lumps were laid across the handle on the front so that one sits between my pinky and ring finger and the other sits between my index and middle finger (if I were holding the handle and not grabbing the blade as mentioned earlier. I wrapped the handle in sports tape with these 3 bumps under the tape. That seems to have helped a lot with holding the tool; however, like I said the handle is kind of square shaped under your thumb and tends to irritate it so I had to choke up on the blade. The cutting power of this machete is insane! While that "Lowes Special" (the Corona machete) was bouncing off twigs and vines, this machete was slicing right through 1" thick dense wood Azalea branches in 1 stroke (2 strokes if the branches gave way when hit). I'm so glad I bought this! Goofy handle or not, the blade on this thing is all business and no B.S.
1. The steel is good quality and holds and edge really well. I cut down a small tree (6" diameter) and the edge was still sharp after.
2. Thick and sturdy. This could be a pro or a con, because it does mean that this tool doesn't clear brush as well as a thinner machete, but it does have plenty of mass for chopping. This is a really thick machete.
3. The coating on the blade holds up pretty well.
4. Good sturdy full tang.
1. The grind out at the round part of the blade was lopsided and rough. It took a file and a bit of time to correct it. Not a big deal, but I expected better.
2. The handle. I hate the handle. It is weirdly square in the front which makes it really tiring to use. Just a bad design. Also the plastic does not provide much grip, but this is a quick fix with some silicone tape or bat tape (or whatever).