Machete time!

Aug 7, 2011
After using cheap Harbor freight or wal mart machetes all my life I splurged several years ago on a Condor El Salvador model. ( I believe that's the model). The first kayaking trip of he year is when we use our machetes the most but it goes on every trip. Like night and day vs the old cheap ones. Don't know if its the type of steal or blade geometry but 5 other friends bought and use Condor machetes as well.

One trip we had all it did was rain. I showed everyone how to baton wood to get to the dry stuff using that condor and had no damage at all. Plus it came with a nice heavy duty leather sheath. CD

Henry Beige

Gold Member
Jun 1, 2015
I don’t know the specs on the El Salvador, but my Condor machetes are on the thicker side, 4-6mm, much heavier and sturdier (and a lot more expensive) than lighter machetes. It comes as no surprise that they are better at chopping and coping with the woody vegetation.

The Tramontinas and Imacasas run thinner, probably in the range of 2-2.5mm. They do well on grasses and lighter green vegetation. The 18” Tramontina strikes me as a little thicker than the norm, more in the neighborhood of 3mm. It is still light enough to swing for extended stretches, but tough enough to tackle more chopping than the lighter blades.
Jul 31, 2002
Since I last posted in this thread, I've used my Kingfisher out in the pastures more. It has definitely become my go-to tool for multiflora rose thorns (if l can't access them with the loader tractor). It seems to work well on thinner stuff; basically anything you can snick through in one or two whacks. It binds on thicker branches more.

I traditionally used my big bowie with an 18" blade for heavier brush, but I've semi retired it from farm use for now because the job comes with alot of abuse, and I don't wanna sharpen the blade down to a fillet knife that quickly. So I now carry a Kershaw Camp 14 for saplings and such. Even when I'm lugging around a chainsaw all day the Kershaw gets plenty of use. I do not recommend the 18" Kershaw version though, since it's poorly balanced. They got the balance pretty good on the 14", seemingly by pure luck. It was also only $35, so I don't mind abusing it.