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Harold
Posts: 472
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(@harold)
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Joined: 7 years ago

Because of the wearing out of my shoulder and elbow joints and tissue, I am retiring my Blackie Collins 22-inch heavy D-handle machete with custom leather Amish-made sheath.  I like the convenience of having one of my hands free when surveying, and the less I have to carry, the better I like it.    I bought a Gerber Gator Brush Thinner that came with a gimpy little nylon sheath that will probably last less than a week under normal working conditions.  The sheath belt loop mounts the brush blade too high, and the two-handed handle sticks up above the belt.  Mounting it upside down could work, but both ways make the handle prone to snagging on just about everything.  Getting to the little zipper and hook & loop fastener is difficult anyway.  

I will either switch back to a bank blade (aka kaiser blade or joe blade) or try hand-held pruning shears if this new blade does not work out.  I already carry a folding pruning saw that is very handy to use that fits into my tool belt pouch very well along with my 6-foot folding rule.

My main question is this: Does anyone use this blade, and how do you carry it?  I am looking for a leather sheath to fit the 9-inch blade into and a loop of some sort that will secure the long handle.  I would want it to hang below my tool belt and be easy to remove with one hand and put back in and secured with one hand.  I searched the internet, but nothing comes up.  I could contact the Amish leather craftsman I used last time and see what we could come up with, but I wanted to reach out this community to see what you guys are using for cutting blades.

Gerber Gator

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Cee Gee
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(@cee-gee)
Joined: 9 years ago

250+ posts
Posts: 461

For about 40 years I've been using a Sandvik bush axe, which is mostly suited to the woody growth we have here in Maine. With enough persistence and elbow grease it will cut down stuff up to 3 or 4 inches wide; with a good blade it slices through the smaller stuff like butter. You can wear a hammer holster to lug it with your hands free. The boss with whom I apprenticed used to send two guys out with chain saws to set every job up before we ever brought in any actual surveying equipment. Not me. Here's the Sandvik:

https://www.hayesinstrument.com/st_prod.html?p_prodid=2817

If you buy one order some spare blades. The blade can come off if you whack something the wrong way.

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Allen Wrench
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(@allen-wrench)
Joined: 7 years ago

100+ posts
Posts: 191

I love the brush axe (aka Swede Axe) and use it frequently.  My elbows are destroyed from years of topo surveys with a GPS rover, and I found the machete takes much more effort than the brush axe.  There's something about the balance and weight of the brush axe that makes it way more efficient.  Not to mention there's a lot less cutting edge flying through the air.  Plus, the Swede Ax can be used one or two-handed if you need more precision.

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Ken Salzmann
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(@ken-salzmann)
Joined: 9 years ago

250+ posts
Posts: 497

I have been using Felco pruners, No 9 (I am a southpaw) for about 25 years.  Parts are easy to obtain if needed.

I have never been a machete fan; too many horror stories about worn out shoulders and bad cuts.  I like the Sandvik when in the upland woods.  The extra blade is a must, as is the leather belt sheath.  It is small and easy to carry, but enough heft that it does most of the work.  Just not good for roses and blackberries.  When dealing with briars and phragmites I use a brush hook, the curved blade on an ax handle.  A bit to carry, but again, it does most of the work.

Ken

 

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Norman Oklahoma
Posts: 4200
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I still have a long machete (Ontario Knife) in the truck but I'm not using it as much as I used to.  I also have loppers and hand clippers (Fiskars, from Home Depot) , which get more and more use these days.  

For big jobs maybe find somebody with a brush cutter equipped Bobcat. They can clear more in an hour than you can in a hard day of machette-ing.   Probably end up saving you money. 

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Brad Ott
Posts: 4487
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Joined: 9 years ago

Fiskars Ratchet Drive Anvil Lopper https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003BC79KS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_o5HXBbT35T51J

 

Have not touched my machete for three years.

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1 Reply
RasmussenLS
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Joined: 11 months ago

5+ posts
Posts: 9
Posted by: Brad Ott

Fiskars Ratchet Drive Anvil Lopper https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003BC79KS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_o5HXBbT35T51J

 

Have not touched my machete for three years.

I will ditto this, plus they have a lifetime guarantee. I have used a machete, and my men in the field still prefer them (more MANLY), although I can trim just as fast and far with these puppies. I carry a small pair of hand clippers with me as well, fit nicely into cargo pockets. The loppers make for a great workout on both sides of the body without resulting in elbow pain or over-sized biceps, lol.  Typically do not cut anything over 2" anyway. Most landowners have a special connection with their trees. 

Armothy

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Daniel Ralph
Posts: 582
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(@daniel-ralph)
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Joined: 5 years ago

I had a Collins machette shortened about eight inches and a new contoured handle put on it. This customization lightened the blade enough that it is easier to carry, swing and cut. I don't get into much that it can't handle.  

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Paul in PA
Posts: 5683
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I gave up on swinging blade tools the day I cut my thigh. Currently have Fiskars extendable arm compound lopers. If I can get it in the jaw I can cut it.

Paul in PA

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