I forgot to mention that one of my Maine colleagues cut off the end of his left thumb a few years ago cutting woody Maine growth with a machete.
I will never swing another bush axe or ditch bank blade if I can avoid it and since I do not own one it is certainly avoidable.
I never like the regular machetes because of the handles and last year I went and bought this Fiskars 2 handed machete. It is more of a scimitar and a straight blade drop sheath will not work so I had to take it to a leather shop in town.
Saddle leather and stitching.
I used a machete for many years. When I went to Oregon I was introduced to the "reverse brush hook"
let the weight and momentum of the tool do the work, save your shoulders and elbows.
It also doubles as a pounding tool.
I keep the inner blade sharp, the outer blade gets a different hatchet like treatment.
my machetes have gone unused (by me) for several decades.
PS: the hooked part gets used to pull the cruft aside, saves getting my arms into the mess
PPS: the handles are the same as a common axe handle, easy to find in any hardware store. I keep spare handles for all tools.
Like Brad said in a post above about machete use.
We neither use nor possess anything for cutting line (I think one crew chief has a pocket knife), onsite bulldozers do it for us. ?
Once, a long time ago we had a crew member damn near amputate his kneecap with a friggin machete.
Geography is a major driver in tool choice. I use a gerber sawback for small stuff and a chainsaw to clear trees from the road. Neither gets a lot of use. I've only been hospitalized a few times with machete issues, none in the last 25 years.
The gerber is awesome. The handle is a tacky soft rubber. The blade is light enough to not notice carrying but very tough. The sheath was crap. I picked up the sokkia leather sheath and cut the top to cover the blade and half the handle.