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Esee Expat cleaver as a compact machet/chopper?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by bikerector, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I know a few guys that have those for dedicated trail-clearing rides. A bit heavy for every-ride-carry. I think one guy carrys one around in a special pack and thebother uses a rear rack on his fatbike. I've looked at them as I already have the ergo electeic mower and have been pretty inpressed with it for tha small yard I have.

    Just not what I'm interested in considering for a little slasher. Maybe I should look at a leuku or something along those lines which I could make pretty easily myself.

    I love my silky big boy but the vines are a problem still, thus the desire for some else.

    I hadn't considered it strongly, but maybe a big folder might work as it would carry easy like the saw. I just like fixed blades but given the unique scenario, maybe a big folder is a consideration. Cold steel has several things possibly worth looking at.

    USMCPOP Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    Ahh, bittersweet. I encountered a huge patch of that at an old farmhouse site in NJ once. Not as bad as Kudzu, but prolific.

    For moderate viney-type stuff, I like an incurved blade or billhook. I have a couple little thin blades (2 mm?) that are shaped like a fish hook. The hook part is not much bigger than my index finger hooked over. Like a roofing knife blade but larger. They are attached to the end of a long bamboo pole and used for snagging coconuts or other fruit high up. With a shorter handle, they can be used to snag blackberry canes and the like. Snag and pull. Roofing utility blade:

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
    Henry Beige likes this.
  3. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    That Silky Chopper looks intersting by you'd need to carry it on a CamelBak ninja style.
  4. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I love billhook machetes, like the baryonyx or the condor viking before that, but they are kind of annoying to carry. That little roofing utility blade looks pretty intriguing idea. Thank you for the suggestion.
  5. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    This is one of the worst areas of bittersweet in the trail I ride most. The knife in the photo is my ratweiler which has a 7.5" blade. That's not really what I try to tackle on the regular rides, I hiked in the big guns for these on a different day.


    These are the "big guns", though I've paired the list down to the baryonyx machete and recently grabbed on of David Mary's Barong Seax to try this type of thing. The straight edge seems to grab stuff pretty decently without it falling off the belly, another reason I was initially thinking a cleaver might be a decent option for a shorter knife. These ones are for bringing in my larger pack whereas I can fit the ratweiler into my camelback.

    Just for an update on what I'm thinking, I like the serechete thingy the @Creaky Bones did and I think I may start with that, quickly followed by the falci pruners since those are always nice to have and if they can handle 2" stuff then they're a lot better than the ones I have now. I'm also going to check out that roofing utility blade as that seems like an interesting solution for the vines and small branches that could be rigged up pretty easily and lightly.

    I'm still thinking something like the cleaver could work but based on the feedback I'm much less certain that's a reasonable solution at this point for this application. Maybe something that's fun but not $150 or so fun.

    Thank you all so far for vetting through the idea with me so I can think through it from different perspectives and experiences.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
    Crag the Brewer and Creaky Bones like this.

    USMCPOP Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    Here's the hook knife thing. Very thin, very simple. The sharpening seems to be just a a single pass on each side on the outside of maybe a 6" grinding wheel, maybe less. The grind marks are horizontal across the hook. Super simple. I got a few some years back in Thailand, less than 50 cents each.

    The hook and all is hand forged.

    upload_2020-11-25_19-59-20.png upload_2020-11-25_20-0-12.png
  7. Shotgun


    Feb 3, 2006
    I didn’t read through all the posts so sorry if this was mentioned;

    A thin machete will give you more speed which helps with vines and lighter brambles. By thin I mean 3/32 or thinner. Light and fast is what you want. Google how to snap a machete for extra speed. Imacasa and tramontina if you can put an edge on it or go with condor(imacasa premium:D) for a more finished option.
    maximus83 and bikerector like this.
  8. wroughndt

    wroughndt Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 31, 2011
    I’m in the same boat as the last guy, haven’t read through every post. Have you considered a Svord Kiwi machete? They are light and chop way above their league.
    Crag the Brewer and bikerector like this.
  9. Mikel_24


    Sep 19, 2007
    Clearing trails and cutting free hanging stuff is machete territory. Pick your poison (either a propper machete or something long, thin and light, such as the suggested Bushman). Cleavers or anything cleaver-shaped is meant to chop stuff over a chopping block, they are usually too thick, too short and too heavy, no way arround it.

    bikerector likes this.
  10. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    @Shotgun @wroughndt and @Mikel_24 one of my limitations for this thread is length, about a 6" blade, which is why there was a consideration for a cleaver blade shape. Very specific application, carrying something in the backpocket of a cycling jersey where a 6x3? blade would fit and most of the handle would stick out. It would be easily accessible and convenient to carry. So the big question is, would it work acceptably?

    Most responses have pointed me in different directions, better pruners or figuring out a better carry method to ditch the backpack is kind of where things have landed. Cutting down a machete to test out the idea for a little cost but the lack of length is still going to be a physics problem in terms of tip speed and able to use a thin blade that still hits hard like a machete would.

    I could make something thin, or have one made, so thickness of a cleaver design can be varied. The shape, however, is what I'm curious about because if you remove thickness you remove mass so a way to get that with thin steel is to increase the width and thus how I got to the thought of a cleaver style blade. With the shape becoming so popular recently I thought some people may have tried them in less common applications like yardwork and such. But, that doesn't seem to be the case.

    To be fair, every review I watched of the Expat Cleaver stated something like, "it's a fun knife and if you like the novelty of it, it can do work but it would never be my first choice and not my 'one' choice if I needed something in the woods. It's well made, like all Esee's." Basically, they have to talk themselves into a product that isn't for them for the review and it's starting to feel like I'm trying to talk myself into a sub-optimal tool, even for this application, because it would be easy to carry but unlikely to be able to do the work I want well enough.

    Pre-coffee... posts are fun. I apologize if some of this doesn't make sense. I'll have to proofread later when I'm better caffeinated.

    Happy Thanksgiving y'all.
  11. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    It seems the world will soon be covered in vines. They are nasty.
  12. inkynate


    Sep 4, 2010

    iirc, they make a stainless as well as the standard carbon steel model.
    buckfynn and The Zieg like this.
  13. GAGL


    Jan 1, 2016
    [​IMG] have you looked at the cold steel heavy machete?
    buckfynn and The Zieg like this.
  14. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Had no idea they had a stainless model, now I'm going to have to go look. I think the mini-skrama would be about the right size.

    For the folks familiar with pruners, would an anvil pruner be a reasonable option, so a felco 31? They are supposed to be a lot better on deadwood, which I do cut occasionally, but the vines and small branches are definitely in the softer and normally green territory. I guess it just seemed that that might be better for varied use since I don't care how clean the cut is but I certainly care a lot about hand fatigue so if the Felco 2 is a lot less effort, probably still a good option.

    I have, and it's just too wide and long for the method I want to carry. The general shape is what I was thinking though, just make it about 1/2 the size so I can carry it easily. A cane machete seems like it would be in the same boat.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  15. inkynate


    Sep 4, 2010
    Your reasoning on the 31 sounds about right, but I’ve only used the 2’s. Can say that while the #2 is a fantastic pruner for green wood, using them on hard, dead wood is no fun ime.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020

    USMCPOP Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 6, 2016
  17. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    I wouldn't want to carry any tool big enough to work with in a jersey pocket. It's awkward, it'll be a hazard if you come off the bike and those pockets just aren't that big. Maybe a pocket chainsaw but that's about it.

    Tagging in @Lorien since I think he does a lot of trail work by bike.
    Lee D and Henry Beige like this.
  18. MayHemAndHaw


    May 5, 2020
    Sounds like a job for a khukri.
  19. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    I'd go with a golok, or even a Fiskars billhook.
  20. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015

    That thing chops quite well. I would not care to lug it on a bicycle. It weighs more than o Condor Golok, a lot more than the Eco Parang.I don't think it is any heavier than tha Baryonyx machete, but the Baryonyx is better balanced, and feels lighter if you choke up on the long handle.

    I would not mind getting one with the wood handle instead of the plastic one mine came with.
    buckfynn likes this.

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