Machete vs Kukri vs tomahawk

Khukuri, Bolo, Parang, etc
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NeckRed Gringo
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Re: Machete vs Kukri vs tomahawk

Post by NeckRed Gringo » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:27 pm

YoungBlacksmith wrote:I still love my machetes for work around the camp. I have an Ontario 18" and a Gerber saw back 12" machete. I also have an Estwing 26" camp axe I use for limbing after I cut down trees, but I have not really used it for bushcraft tasks, and a smaller hatchet I've been tuning up for woods time. I mostly use it to split kindling for the wood stove.

I've always hated folding saws, but hopefully Santa will bring a Bahco so I can try that. I occasionally use a 21" bow saw but find myself getting lazy and pulling out the chainsaw if I need to saw something up.... ;)

My goal is to start using the hatchet and axe a bit more and see if my love of machetes is just being comfortable with the tool or is it really superior for where we live. If I like either one I'll look at upgrading to a boy's axe or get a tomahawk like the CRKT Woods Chogan. I've never used a tomahawk, but I've been intrigued by them for ages. The hatchet is like a short tomahawk, the Estwing is just a longer and slightly heavier version. Depending on how I feel about the two tools I have will determine the direction I go, if I decide to get another tool.

I've never had a hook knife/brush axe. They could be fun, but low on the desire list.
I've got the CRKT woods Cogan and live it man. Can't go wrong with that one. And even if you break the handle it sounds like you are crafty enough to make a new one. Goodluck brotha

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Re: Machete vs Kukri vs tomahawk

Post by YoungBlacksmith » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:14 pm

Good to hear! I've heard lots of good things about the Woods Chogan. Also looking at a cold steel rifleman's hawk, the largest of their line.
Aaron

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Re: Machete vs Kukri vs tomahawk

Post by NeckRed Gringo » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:30 pm

YoungBlacksmith wrote:Good to hear! I've heard lots of good things about the Woods Chogan. Also looking at a cold steel rifleman's hawk, the largest of their line.
Is good one to customize. The Cogan has a pretty heavy head on it, gives it some umff

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Re: Machete vs Kukri vs tomahawk

Post by joseph_d » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:27 am

Not to start another thread, came here searching for answers. I hope that's not prohibited.
I was going to go buy a small hatchet (Gerber Pack Axe), to go in my hiking pack this week, but after reading some threads (including this one), I'm also considering either a quality machete, or even a kukri knife.

Can anyone give me some pros/cons around these three choices?
Most of what I will use it for will be general camping use and clearing young/dead trees (both in the wild and in the garden).
The advantages I see to the hatchet is that it is small, doesn't draw attention, and can be used as a hammer for nailing in tent pegs. Not sure about the advantages to the other two over this, but I am open to thoughts. I've been looking at Ka-Bar (as I see, this one was already mentioned above by NeckRed Gringo), though I'm not sure whether it's a kukri or some kind of a hybrid knife.
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Re: Machete vs Kukri vs tomahawk

Post by YoungBlacksmith » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:30 am

Here's my opinions:

Hatchet, good for splitting up smaller stuff, good for hammering, traditional.
Machete, good for splitting up smaller stuff, no worry about grubbing out roots or hitting the dirt, can be dual ground to act like a knife,
Tomahawk, good for splitting up smaller stuff, decent hammering, lighter faster swing.

I prefer a machete, mostly just due to my familiarity with it vs the other options. I usually grab an 18" Ontario. If I hit the dirt or stones, no big deal. I can baton with it, and I usually use my fire to cut long wood in pieces, or a folding saw if I really have to cut precisely. Clearing vines and small brush is easier with a machete. I don't usually have to hammer in stakes, where you camp it may be different. A rock can work for that somewhat, not great, but for a few minutes it'll do.
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Aaron

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Re: Machete vs Kukri vs tomahawk

Post by BigJesse » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:21 pm

IMO.

HATCHET
Pros:
1. Can process wood of all sizes, quickly.
2. Given it is a single edge it can be used as a hammer.
3. The edge is less susceptible to wear (if the bevel is right).
4. Can be used a a thrown weapon fairly easily.
5. Maintenance is minimal and can be done with natural resources like river stones.
Cons:
1. Heavy and bulky. Most likely will be on the exterior of a pack.
2. Finesse work (like trap making) is difficult if not impossible.
3. Practically useless for clearing heavy thin brush like brambles.
4. Heavy calorie expenditure.

MACHETE
Pros:
1. Lightweight.
2. Very sharp.
3. Makes light work of brush and vines.
4. Can be used to process game.
5. If the spine is sharpened can be used as a strike for flint or ferro rods.
6. With practice can be used for finesse.
7. Can be used as an impromptu draw knife.
8. Can replace a belt knife for many tasks.
Cons:
1. Fine edge is prone to damage and wear.
2. High maintenance especially if the edge is damaged.
3. Can not process large wood (batoning is impossible especially if it's thin and flexible).

TOMAHAWK
Pros:
1. Lightweight. You can get away with just carrying the head if you're willing to make your own handle in the field.
2. Versitile. Removable head. (Imagine put the head on a crook of a branch and using it as an adze or draw knife).
3. One of the most successful thrown weapons in history.
4. Medium maintenance (if bevel is correct).
5. Makes light work of processing smalls for fire building.
6. Head can be held in the hand for a multitude of things like processing game or finesse work.
7. Can be used as a hammer if the design allows it.
Cons.
1. Lightweight, cannot process bigger wood.
2. Batoning is difficult if not impossible.
3. Inefficient at chopping.
4. Can't clear brush.
5. Small cutting edge.

KUKURI
I'm not going to go into detail with this one. It's in the middle of a machete and a hatchet. Essentially a heavy machete with the weight distribution of an axe. A great option IMO.

I'm sure I missed some things but this my pros and cons of the options. I am an axe man if I had to choose between them all but in all honesty a folding saw is king at bucking small wood for camp craft. An axe is king a pure unadulterated wood processing. Machetes are king at clearing brush.

I almost always carry both an axe and a folding saw.
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