Report: the “Rambo” Hunting Machete
One of the post-stroke rehab tasks I assigned myself was to clear some backyard jungle and make way for a badly-needed cleanup. Normally for brush clearing, I would turn to my Ontario Blackwind, or perhaps another of my mid-sized blades, even turning to my petrol powered brush-clearer. But I wanted to get some physical exercise, and didn’t want to swing long blades where there were metal posts and the like.
As it happened, I had a RAMBO TACTICAL Combat Survival 14″ Fixed Blade Bowie Hunting Machete sitting on a shelf, unused. The backyard jungle is clogged with morning glory vine, a fast-growing and tenacious vine, that needs a fair amount of chopping to get through and I thought the Ontario Blackwind would really do the trick. It weighs in at 1.25kg (2.75 lbs) with an overall length of 37 cm (14.5″), with the blade making up a hefty 20cm (8″) of that.
Some of the things I liked about the Rambo’s big-ass blade are the wide broad blade with its keen edge and the steel bar handguard which runs from the base of the edge all the way to the pommel. A full tang gives it both sturdiness and rigidity. I am never too keen on cutaway holes, or the exaggerated sawback, but the simple short serrations on the front of the blade are a nice touch.
I don’t usually care about extra features like glass breakers and saw blades on my knives, but both felt useful and well thought out. The painted wooden handle, though lurid zombie-toxic-green, was well finished and it felt good in my hand, even though I wore heavy gloves to protect from the sap of the vines.
As a heavy-use tool, the Rambo Hunting Machete did its job admirably, allowing me to tame the jungle back into a Tactical Baby and Triceratops-girl stompable level in about half an hour. The trampoline was again visible and I didn’t damage anything, including myself, in the process. It handled nicely for a blade of its bulk. Not as nice as my kukris mind you, but well enough, and didn’t strain my arm or wrist.
The Rambo Tactical Hunting Machete comes with a decent nylon sheath with a wide, broad belt loop, and several press-stud closures to keep it secure. It seats nicely on the hip and was unobtrusive as I got on with the rest of my chores.
The black-powder-coated finish held up well, and even though it’s made from the fairly pedestrian 440 steel, it kept its edge nicely even though I DID find a couple of star-pickets in the jungle with it. It was certainly cutting as well at the end of the task as at the beginning, though I was tired. A quick lick of a sharpening stone and a wipe of oil and it was ready to go back on the wall, not nearly as ornamental as I first suspected it to be.
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About the Author: Josh Orth (“Apocalypse Equipped”) is a second generation expat currently dwelling in the arguably civilized outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. He’s lived in deserts, jungles and urban sprawls around the world and traveled/adventured into assorted inhospitable places all over the globe, from near-dystopian parts to cities to Gabon, West Africa. Thus he has a keen sense of the speed with which the trappings of ‘civilized Western life’ can disappear. This has led him to begin writing about his interests and observations when it comes to the gear, skills and other necessities of self-reliance of being equipped for whatever a capricious, occasionally indurate life might throw at him. This isn’t by any means to say our eccentric friend truly experiences genuine vorfreude about dystopian life, but if he had to he might not complain. Read more by Josh at Apocalypse Equipped.
We’re not saying Josh flies a PL-12 Airtruk. We’re just saying this guy and Josh have never been seen in the same room together at the same time.