View Poll Results: Axe or Machete?

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  • Axe!

    64 65.31%
  • Machete!

    34 34.69%
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Thread: Axe or Machete? Why?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    Thanks for reminding us of that video.
    I didn't know they had "invented" survival, back in 1954.



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    LOL,, I agree ! Loved watching that was that Bears Grandpa ? LOL


  2. #22
    Senior Member Pict's Avatar
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    Machete, because I have a reputation to uphold.

    Seriously it all depends on where and what time of year. Here in Brazil, year round you have to carry a machete and an axe is dead weight.

    Back in PA during the summer I'd rather have a short machete. In winter there or anywhere north of there I'd rather have an axe.

    Both can be either the right (essential) tool for the job or just a useless item on a trip. I think it is a fact that neither of them is "better" just which is appropriate for the task at hand. Learn them both and choose your tools wisely.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Cutting instruments evolve in an environment and climate that they suit.

    The guys in AZ, soCal, are not dealing with real wood. They are clipping twigs and digging holes. A machette is fine for them.

    Us folk that deal with real wood need the cutting instrument that was designed for out needs, the axe.

    People do not realize that when the Europeans got to North America they had to redesign the axe for the first time in 5,000 years. Our environment required a completely different type of cutting tool.

    Anything else is a poor substitute for an axe in the North American forest. Note the words: "almost, nearly, could be used and so far" when discribing any other tool outside jungle or desert conditions.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    Cutting instruments evolve in an environment and climate that they suit.

    The guys in AZ, soCal, are not dealing with real wood. They are clipping twigs and digging holes. A machette is fine for them.

    Us folk that deal with real wood need the cutting instrument that was designed for out needs, the axe.

    People do not realize that when the Europeans got to North America they had to redesign the axe for the first time in 5,000 years. Our environment required a completely different type of cutting tool.

    Anything else is a poor substitute for an axe in the North American forest. Note the words: "almost, nearly, could be used and so far" when discribing any other tool outside jungle or desert conditions.
    We have Big trees too, just depends where you are

  5. #25
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    I went with axe because without specifying a terrain, I assume you mean my terrain. I am in the south, mostly around old woods, or planted pines. Most of the thick underbrush is patchy at best. If I can only carry one, I prefer the more versatile, and heavy duty tool. I can walk around the brush. Usually if it's thick enough to need chopping with a machete, it's near a "bottom" where you really don't wanna go anyway (unless you're hunting). We just don't have thick-jungle type woods around here everywhere. I prefer the heavy-duty, but I do intend to add a machete to my kit. As Mac has shown, a machete can be a more versatile in certain situations and I would love to have one with the mods he's done to his!
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  6. #26

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    I have said before, we seldom use either. We gather dead wood for fire and anything that needs to be smaller we use leverage between trees or if close to the fire. We just burn it and keep moving it into the fire.

    I would probably choose the machete first for short camps. Long term I would want the axe.

    Who here carries an axe the size Angus used in the video with them when they hike?

    I carry an axe in the truck and the quad. But, not when I am walking. But, I'll stick a machete in my pack. Sometimes...

  7. #27
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    When I picked -Axe......This is what I had in mind.
    On my hunting fanny pack;
    I do what a machete, carry it in the back of the truck, along with a lot of other "stuff".


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  8. #28
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    Cool Hmmmm...

    Okay, if I'm fighting off Zombies I want either a Machete or a Katana...along with Howie Britain, of course! Anyway, I have the lightweight backpacking hand axe made by Buck, it's even smaller than Hunter's.

    Here's the problem, S.D., The members on here are all different & live in different areas; there's no "one size fits all" answer here. What you might like & want will more than likely be different than what the rest of us want & like. I consider my Becker Combat Bowie just a knife...a really huge knife, to be sure, but a knife just the same. You may see it differently, I don't really care. It's what I'd take along with an axe; the biggest of which is a youth's model Scout axe, BTW.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member aflineman's Avatar
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    I prefer an ax, just bacause that is what I am used to. I do not feel I would be losing much by carrying a machete, but I just don't carry one.
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  10. #30

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    I think as others have said it really does depend on the environment and more importantly what you're used to.

    Only time I "really" used an axe was chopping wood when I had a fireplace and that was mostly just using a maul to split wood. But, I have used a machete to clear a path, chop trees, branches for a deer stand, shooting lane, etc. A machete does make quick work of this.

    I think overall the machete is the more versatile of the two in any wilderness setting unless your intent is to build a log cabin.

    I'm kinda with Batch though. I pretty much just use a knife. It'll take down small saplings if needed and I just burn thru bigger logs for the fire.

    Here in Michigan there is lotsa mature woods, scrub woods, brush, vines, fields and swamp so a machete would definitely be the more versatile of the two. Some areas are virtually impassable due to all the vines and deadfalls and there's been many a time I wish I'da brought the machete. It would have saved me miles of backtracking. I've never had a situation where I wish I'da brought an axe or hatchet.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Ole WV Coot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    In order to make an intelligent decision, or give good advice, you (we) need to know what environments you plan on using either of these. If it's the woods that you normally hike in, what are they like? Do you hike on paths or trail blaze? I imagine that Pict's answer to the question might be different than Sourdough's.
    I agree. A machete always rides on the ATV front rack. I will add an axe only if I think I may need one.
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge47 View Post
    Okay, if I'm fighting off Zombies I want either a Machete or a Katana...along with Howie Britain, of course!
    This is actually a half-way legitimate point: In a pinch, a machete would (IMO) be a more effective defensive or offensive weapon than an axe.

    But, then again, a machete is probably perceived as a weapon more often than an axe, which I suppose might possibly get you in hot water with the authorities, depending on what area you happen to find yourself in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge47 View Post
    Here's the problem, S.D., The members on here are all different & live in different areas; there's no "one size fits all" answer here.
    Oh yeah, I realize that. I'm interested in the reasoning behind their choices though, so that if I ever find myself in a different area, that I'm perhaps less familiar with than some of the other folks on here, I might better be able to decide whether I should bring an axe, or a machete.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwc1969 View Post
    Only time I "really" used an axe was chopping wood when I had a fireplace and that was mostly just using a maul to split wood. But, I have used a machete to clear a path, chop trees, branches for a deer stand, shooting lane, etc. A machete does make quick work of this.

    I think overall the machete is the more versatile of the two in any wilderness setting unless your intent is to build a log cabin.

    <snip>

    Some areas are virtually impassable due to all the vines and deadfalls and there's been many a time I wish I'da brought the machete. It would have saved me miles of backtracking. I've never had a situation where I wish I'da brought an axe or hatchet.
    rwc's thinking pretty much echoes my own, except that he probably has a helluva lot more practical experience than I do. But "Axe" is so popular, I have to think I'm missing something regarding it's "versatility."

    Unless I'm going to be chopping things that are really, really big, I'd think a machete would do that chopping just as well. Maybe even better! Everything else that an axe can do, seems to me to be something that I could fairly easily fashion a quick primitive tool to accomplish almost as well. Alternatively, there are things a machete can do that there is just no easy way to duplicate, especially with an axe.

    A related idea: What are your thoughts on just packing an axe head in your gear, and then fashioning a handle if you find you really absolutely need to use it?
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  13. #33
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    and depending on the style of machete you have, you could make a really cool spear

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtdraino View Post
    But "Axe" is so popular, I have to think I'm missing something regarding it's "versatility." ?

    It is called "Boots in the Field" experience. Take a wild guess how many members have ever hacked there way through a jungle or Alder thicket........YEP, not very many. Now how many members have split some kindling at some point in there life........"Boots in the Field".

  15. #35

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    I'm really not very experienced with an axe, hatchet, or machete.

    The only other thing I can think of is to me an axe feels much safer than a hatchet, or especially a machete.

    Whenever I do use the machete, which is rare, i am always real careful how I'm carrying it and swinging it. it's such a lengthy blade and you can fall or swing and hack yourself pretty easy.

    Hatchets are short and if you miss you can wack yourself too, unless you make sure a missed swing won't hit you. I've seen lots of vids where the guys aren't keeping this in mind and until recently I had considered it enough myself.

  16. #36
    Senior Member tipacanoe's Avatar
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    I have the machete, and a folding saw, which together don't weigh what my small axe does, about the same amount of space. I keep my axe in the suv. Carry the other two.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtdraino View Post
    A related idea: What are your thoughts on just packing an axe head in your gear, and then fashioning a handle if you find you really absolutely need to use it?
    There ya go, making more work & expanding more energy. I suppose if one were backpacking that might be a good idea, however, since I'm mobile inside a motorized vehicle I'd pack the following:

    1.) Machete, filed down blade to increase cutting ability.

    2.) Youth model axe, blade also filed for maximum effectiveness.

    3.) Small hand axe.

    4.) Small bow saw.

    5.) Large bow saw.

    6.) Small shovel.

    If I was going to be doing a lot of wood splitting I'd add a good splitting maul & a few wood wedges into the mix; & yes, Sourdough, I HAVE split more than my share of kindling as well as hacked through brush. The hacking, however was NOT done with a machete, but with a very long military bayonet with a real sharp blade.(didn't have a machete & the bayonet was there...)
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  18. #38

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    No Offense Sgt.Draino...But you are talking about large cutting tools from totally opposite ends of the spectrum.
    Machete- Light,thin, long cutting surface, soft metal, flexible
    Axe -Heavy.thick,short cutting surface, Hard metal, rigid
    If I were trying to strike a spark from a piece of flint, I would choose the axe over a machete. True the machete can do it, but it's easier with a harder metal.

    As for the machete/weapon analogy, Axes have been used far longer as weapons than machetes, knives and swords. Even if it doesn't cut, it's gonna' break something. Stone axes were used as weapons,as well as tools.

    The machete has a softer metal so that if it hits something hard like a rock...it doesn't chip. While in MOST of the world that has enough "woods" that a cutting tool would really be necessary. The machete wins hands down. Used mainly to cut thin vegetation,grasses, and vines. Anything much bigger than that and you will want an axe.

    It is for this reason that I include BOTH a small axe/Tomahawk AND a small 12" Ontario machete in my BOB.Also I carry a small saw, and extra knife or two. Each tool has a function....true a wrench Can be used as a hammer. But wouldn't you really rather have the hammer?
    Last edited by Pocomoonskyeyes3; 07-24-2010 at 09:01 PM.

  19. #39
    Senior Member Pict's Avatar
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    To make it simple, anyplace that has a year round growing season you need a machete. Anyplace that has an actual winter, you need an axe. Mac
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  20. #40
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    Makes sense to me

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