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-   -   Is that a machete? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=805061)

Canadjun 09-19-2016 09:07 AM

Is that a machete?
 
Do I have a misunderstanding of what machetes are, or is this really a machete? I thought machetes had much larger blades. The linked item looks like something you stab with rather than swing with.

MrDibble 09-19-2016 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canadjun (Post 19638033)
Do I have a misunderstanding of what machetes are, or is this really a machete? I thought machetes had much larger blades.

How can you tell from that photo how large the blade is? There's no scale given.

Assuming the opening for the handle is ~10cm (which is a minimum, really, the average male hand is just over 8cm wide and you want some leeway), that's a 50cm blade. That's actually at the long side for machetes.

It does have more of a kukri shape, but a kukri's just a kind of machete with a particular cultural history, IMO.

Quote:

The linked item looks like something you stab with rather than swing with.
If it was a stabber, it wouldn't be so wide towards the end. That's a good indication of a chopper - puts all the weight at the outside of the swing, for momentum.

Canadjun 09-19-2016 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrDibble (Post 19638056)
How can you tell from that photo how large the blade is? There's no scale given.

I meant width relative to length as well as size of the blade relative to the handle (and the handle itself strikes me as rather odd)

Chimera 09-19-2016 09:24 AM

Helpfully labeled with its manufacturer's name in the article's picture, another article calls it a Kopsis machete.

https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-97.../dp/B006YBY9T2

Kopsis/Kukri/Falcata are blades angled and weighted as hacking weapons rather than stabbing or slashing weapons.

K2500 09-19-2016 09:25 AM

Edit: guess you have to be fast around here, I got beat to the punch, twice.

Shakester 09-19-2016 09:28 AM

It says right there in the sub heading how long it is: Blade measured at 48.3 centimetres

running coach 09-19-2016 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrDibble (Post 19638056)
How can you tell from that photo how large the blade is? There's no scale given.

Assuming the opening for the handle is ~10cm (which is a minimum, really, the average male hand is just over 8cm wide and you want some leeway), that's a 50cm blade. That's actually at the long side for machetes.

It does have more of a kukri shape, but a kukri's just a kind of machete with a particular cultural history, IMO.


If it was a stabber, it wouldn't be so wide towards the end. That's a good indication of a chopper - puts all the weight at the outside of the swing, for momentum.

Good estimate. Under the main headline:
Quote:

Blade measured at 48.3 centimetres

Chimera 09-19-2016 09:38 AM

Cold Steel Kopis Machete, 97KPM18S:
Weight: 25.3 oz
Blade thickness: 2.8mm
Blade length: 19"
Handle: polypropylene, 7" long
Overall: 26"
Steel: 1055 carbon steel with black baked-on anti-rust matte finish
Sheath: Cor-ex sheath

Machine Elf 09-19-2016 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrDibble (Post 19638056)
How can you tell from that photo how large the blade is? There's no scale given.

:confused: The yellow police evidence marker (with the large "3" on it) has a scale on it.

Canadjun 09-19-2016 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chimera (Post 19638066)
Helpfully labeled with its manufacturer's name in the article's picture, .

You can read that?? I looked again and I still can't read the little label. Guess your screen has much better resolution than mine. :)

gytalf2000 09-19-2016 10:32 AM

Oh, that's from "Cold Steel". Nice-looking machete! I have bought several items from that company. They make excellent knives, swords, axes, etc. I don't think that this news item is good advertising for them, though...

Colibri 09-19-2016 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canadjun (Post 19638062)
I meant width relative to length as well as size of the blade relative to the handle (and the handle itself strikes me as rather odd)

Obviously it's a non-traditional design. The shape of the blade and handle are unconventional, but it doesn't look that our of line for a machete to me.

It's not like machete is a technical designation.

MrDibble 09-19-2016 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machine Elf (Post 19638112)
:confused: The yellow police evidence marker (with the large "3" on it) has a scale on it.

Not on my tiny screen, it doesn't :)

Kamino Neko 09-19-2016 02:46 PM

Pretty much everything about that design is terrible for stabbing...at least by a human. On top of what was already mentioned, to stab with that, you'd have to be holding it in a position the handle is not designed for, or moving your arm in a motion it's not designed for.

GIGObuster 09-19-2016 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 19638528)
Obviously it's a non-traditional design. The shape of the blade and handle are unconventional, but it doesn't look that our of line for a machete to me.

It's not like machete is a technical designation.

Yep, non-tradicional, but it is still in that area where it can qualify as one, one seller does point also at the one in the OP as a kind of Machete:

https://www.knife-depot.com/learn/machete-buying-guide/

I like the description of how it was and is more useful as a tool to work in the farm. Kinda like a "plowshare" that can be turned into a sword when the need arises.


If one wants more information contact Danny Trejo... ;)

JRDelirious 09-19-2016 03:25 PM

Yeah, machetes in general are not optimized for stabbing but for hacking. And they hack real good ... easy to take off your other hand if you are not careful.

Duckster 09-19-2016 03:44 PM

Take your pick. (SFW)

Kobal2 09-19-2016 04:32 PM

Personally I'd call that a kopis, one type of single-edged sword Greek soldiers used way back when. It's too big for a kukri even though the shapes are obviously similar (and probably cribbed from another, either via Alexander's continental drive-by or possibly when the Muslims set up shop all across the area).

Whereas to me, while it may have a curved blade the defining characteristic of a machete is its straight back, like so. Another defining characteristic would be that Machete don't text.

gytalf2000 09-19-2016 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kobal2 (Post 19639117)
Personally I'd call that a kopis, one type of single-edged sword Greek soldiers used way back when. It's too big for a kukri even though the shapes are obviously similar (and probably cribbed from another, either via Alexander's continental drive-by or possibly when the Muslims set up shop all across the area).

Whereas to me, while it may have a curved blade the defining characteristic of a machete is its straight back, like so. Another defining characteristic would be that Machete don't text.


Yeah, it is definitely a kopis-style machete! Here is is in action :


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLhiBvrd-30

Canadjun 09-19-2016 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gytalf2000 (Post 19639247)
Yeah, it is definitely a kopis-style machete! Here is is in action :


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLhiBvrd-30

And you just relieved my curiosity about the handle! Thank you! Yes, it should have been painfully obvious that the fingers go in the handle, not around it but for some reason that didn't "click" with me.

gigi 09-19-2016 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GIGObuster (Post 19638821)
Kinda like a "plowshare" that can be turned into a sword when the need arises.

I think you're doing it backwards. :)

md2000 09-19-2016 06:01 PM

"That's not a knife, this is a knife."

(Sorry, 21 posts and nobody's said it yet...)

Chronos 09-19-2016 06:02 PM

A machete is any large knife that's designed for clearing brush. There are a wide variety of shapes that will accomplish that task.

Colibri 09-19-2016 06:07 PM

I found it interesting that in Trinidad (and I think elsewhere in the English speaking Caribbean) what is basically a machete is called a cutlass, which has nice piratical overtones.

MrDibble 09-20-2016 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kobal2 (Post 19639117)
Whereas to me, while it may have a curved blade the defining characteristic of a machete is its straight back,

The standard Southern African machete, the panga, has a curved back. You also get ones with drop points. I'd say the most infamous usage of machetes was the Rwanda genocide - look at what they used.

Smapti 09-20-2016 05:39 AM

Is that a machete?
 
No, I'm just happy to see you.

gytalf2000 09-21-2016 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 19639391)
I found it interesting that in Trinidad (and I think elsewhere in the English speaking Caribbean) what is basically a machete is called a cutlass, which has nice piratical overtones.

That's interesting! Cold Steel also offers a "cutlass machete" :


http://www.coldsteel.com/cutlass-machete.html



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B9v-4BOIyg


Their videos are extremely entertaining, at least to my partially-demented mind.

westhou 09-22-2016 08:31 PM

This doesn't add anything to the OP's question but I have a WW2 U.S. Navy machete and it is stamped "Made in the Phillipines".

Sleel 09-22-2016 11:04 PM

Basically the form of a falcata or kopis in a modern rendition. Since the market for historical weapons is probably smaller than the market for practical tools, looks like Cold Steel straddled the line and used a little from column a and column b in the name.

Chimera 09-23-2016 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gytalf2000 (Post 19643328)
That's interesting! Cold Steel also offers a "cutlass machete" :


http://www.coldsteel.com/cutlass-machete.html

I might actually have to buy that. I've been looking for a "Short Sword" and despite statements in Pathfinder (for one example) about how they're ubiquitous, they really aren't. I've been casting about for something with a 22-24" blade that isn't some gimmicked piece of shit and has at least minimal aesthetic appeal. This isn't perfect, and I'll hold off for now pending finding something better, but I'll keep it in mind.

Corner Case 09-23-2016 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gytalf2000 (Post 19643328)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B9v-4BOIyg
Their videos are extremely entertaining, at least to my partially-demented mind.

I'll never look at Swan Lake the same way again!! Suck it, Baryshnikov :D

Chronos 09-23-2016 02:12 PM

The video was fun to watch, and I'll bet it was even more fun to make, but the ballistic-gel torso didn't really seem to make the point they wanted it to. It looked to me like they got in a good three or four hits before one that would be reliably fatal, and that even with a stationary target.

And I'm not sure what the two-liter bottles were supposed to prove.

Melbourne 09-24-2016 06:01 PM

I'll just add, that when I was in PNG in 1969, a machete was the cheapest, simplest machete you can imagine: straight sides, flat blade, for people that couldn't afford anything flash.

Tje inside curve of the item shown means it can be used with less wrist effort, and also has an effect like a reaper (gathering light material into the bite). And I'm guessing it has a slightly thickened spine as well.

It looks like it would be an effective machete, but too expensive for the people I knew.

Billdo 09-24-2016 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 19648607)
The video was fun to watch, and I'll bet it was even more fun to make, but the ballistic-gel torso didn't really seem to make the point they wanted it to. It looked to me like they got in a good three or four hits before one that would be reliably fatal, and that even with a stationary target.

And I'm not sure what the two-liter bottles were supposed to prove.

Are you talking about the first linked video of the Kopis Machete, where they severed the entire torso at navel height with one blow. That was scary as fuck.

On the second linked video, with the Cutlass Machete, the first cut penetrated about a third of the way through the rib area. I don't know if that cut would be "reliably fatal", but whoever got slashed like that would not be having a good day. Taking three or four cuts before the shoulder section is entirely severed does not say to me "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy."

And my guess about the soda bottles is that it just looks cool. Though, thinking about it, a filled two-liter soda bottle would be pretty tough to cut through with an ordinary knife.

Kobal2 09-25-2016 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chimera (Post 19647855)
I might actually have to buy that. I've been looking for a "Short Sword" and despite statements in Pathfinder (for one example) about how they're ubiquitous, they really aren't. I've been casting about for something with a 22-24" blade that isn't some gimmicked piece of shit and has at least minimal aesthetic appeal. This isn't perfect, and I'll hold off for now pending finding something better, but I'll keep it in mind.

You should look into replica gladii (gladius singular). That's the iconic short sword, no frills whatsoever. Another choice would be a Greek xiphos (a short sword with a kind of leaf-shaped blade). This site has a few, but they don't come cheap !

Randolph 09-25-2016 06:52 PM

Is that a machete?
 
No, I'm just happy to see you.

MacLir 09-26-2016 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 19639391)
I found it interesting that in Trinidad (and I think elsewhere in the English speaking Caribbean) what is basically a machete is called a cutlass, which has nice piratical overtones.

♫ Swing my cut-lass
At the tall grass
And anything that gets in my way ♫
Jimmy Buffett - "Hippolyte's Habitat" :rolleyes:

For those that might wonder, the rhythm sound is a machete being sharpened.

Atamasama 09-26-2016 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chimera (Post 19647855)
I might actually have to buy that. I've been looking for a "Short Sword" and despite statements in Pathfinder (for one example) about how they're ubiquitous, they really aren't. I've been casting about for something with a 22-24" blade that isn't some gimmicked piece of shit and has at least minimal aesthetic appeal. This isn't perfect, and I'll hold off for now pending finding something better, but I'll keep it in mind.

I've owned Cold Steel knives for years and though I'm primarily a Gerber fan, Cold Steel makes great products. My folding tanto has held up for 15 years to lots of abuse.


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