I tested different knives to see how they perform when chopping side by side. The knives used were: Cold Steel Kukri machete, a modified Tramiontins machete (which I cut a clip point to, added back serrations and made a new grip for many years ago) Busse Bushwacher Mistress, Busse Team Gemini Light Brigade, GK&Co. Nepalese Kukri and Hultafors Knife.
Keep in mind that this test isn’t just about cutting wood, which may be one of the tasks demanded of a knife, but also gives you an idea of what to expect when cutting other media like meat (cutting game) or when used for defense. There’s hardly any surprises for those of use that have been using and collecting knives for some time but its still a fun exercise.
1)Heavier blades do chop better. Even shorter ones like the 7” Busse TGLB did ok for its size. Being blade heavy and having a lighter I beam tang helps.
2) I was pleasantly surprised by how well lighter machetes (Tramontina and Cold Steel Kukri) did compared to the heavier blades which are supposed to excel at chopping. Thin bladed machetes are often intended for thinner and green vegetation but both of them did very well on wood too. The long reach of the Tramontina and thin profile of both machetes made them bite into the wood with authority. No wonder machetes are such versatile blades, and pretty light to compared to the heavier ones!
3)None of the blades had any problems with chipping or rolling. I’m not surprised given that all the knives tested are outstanding and I highly recommend each one. I’ll include the Amazon links for them below. The Cold Steel Kukri Machete is a bargain knife. I’ve been recommending for years.
Cold Steel Kukri Machete with PVC Handle
Tramontina Brazilian Machete
4)Kukris rock! I’ll do a proper review later on but the one I just received, the GK&Co. is made in Nepal by real Biswakarma, the caste of Nepalese blacksmiths that make khukuri knives. I’ll do a proper review later on but for now lets say that if you’re looking for a genuine kukri, this is the one I have and I highly recommend it. I’ll do a proper review later this week.
Genuine Gurkha Kukri -AEOF Kukri/Brown Sheath
5)Size matters. Don’t believe anyone saying otherwise! The handy Hultafors felt punny in comparison and batoning simply cant keep up with bigger blades that can just chop away. Still an excellent 4” knife, great value at that price. I used that same Hultafors that same day to carve a base for a sharpening stone, at times hammering on its spine using it as a wood chisel. By the end of the day the knife was still hair popping razor sharp.
6)Big thick blades are nice but they do get heavy fast. They are heavy to carry, heavy to swing all day long, not much of a revelation there. At the same time they can be used for prying and hammering tasks which may be beyond the capabilities of a thin bladed machete.