Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Cheap Gear Review: Fiskars Machete and Saw (18 inch)

Aside from regular festivities with a hockey mask, few people feel the need to have a machete on hand on a regular basis. That said, it can prove very useful to have one for a number of tasks.


The Good: the Machete
This not only came quite sharp from the factory, it stays sharp for some time, and it sharpens up nicely. I have a Lansky Puck that I like to use for sharpening it, and only a couple of minutes are needed to put a quite sharp edge on it.

I have used this to trim trees, roses, and various bushes, all quite neatly and with no hanging leftovers. I have used it quite a number of times to cut kindling from a larger log, cut small (under 1 inch diameter) sticks down to size, and so forth. 

It has survived being used by teenage boys, being run through the dishwasher, being dipped in motor oil, being carried around daily for a couple of months, and being run over by several vehicles, all with no apparent ill effect.

As a machete, it works great.

The Bad: the Saw
I tend to want all aspects of my tools to work well, and the saw is problematic.

The saw is sharp to start out, and it does take a while to dull, but it doesn't cut as quickly or as smoothly as my old bow saw that I put generic replacement blades into. It is rather difficult to saw anything with it, since the only grip area on it is the handle, and that gets tiring fairly quickly. The saw teeth also become clogged with material from whatever you're sawing on, and it is obnoxious to clear unless you have a wire brush on hand.

In short, it works but not well.

The Ugly: the Ergonomics
Using this as a machete is fine and dandy, but using it as anything else (including a saw) is a pain. The wrist angle required to use it as a saw for an extended period is physically exhausting, and I have found my wrist hurting the next day when I had to use the saw to cut through any significant amount.

Unlike the vast majority of edged tools that I own, I have never even tried to use this in cooking. This is not true of other machetes that I own, and I find this to be a unique issue. That said, I do not expect that the vast majority of my readers will care one way or the other if it works well for other tasks.

The other issue that I have found is that it is almost impossible to pack without ripping into something: the saw blade on the back makes it very difficult to place on a pack without worry that it will catch on something, and I have had issues with it catching on the pack itself and tearing it up. I have attempted several times to make a sheath, and have yet to have any success in finding one that will protect the surroundings from the blade and saw, and which will last for more than a couple of days of hard use. I really don’t want to spend more than I did on the blade on a sheath, so it has been an ongoing quest to find something.

I don’t see this being a viable bug-out tool at all.

As an all-around tool, though, I give this an 8/10. It's not a bug out tool, and it has its drawbacks as a survival tool, but for the price it is excellent, and it works quite well.

I have mixed feelings in regards to the saw. I have found it useful at times, but it is not quite useful enough to outweigh the frustration I have had with trying to transport it. With a proper sheath of some sort at about the same price point, this would be a 10/10.

Good luck, and don’t forget to practice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.