Which of these machete/prybar tools ought I get?

Partly inspired by a recent thread on ‘what to carry in your car’, and partly inspired by an accident we came upon on our last long drive, I’ve decided to add to my in-car tool kit by getting a machete/prybar type tool, for busting windows, opening jammed doors, chopping brush so that the stretcher bearers can get out of the woods (this is what I needed last time), as well as more general use stuff. I already have a kukri, but it needs to stay in the kitchen in case zombies show up, orMilla Jovovich drops by and needs a loaner.

Two current contenders are:

The Becker Ka-Bar BK-3


the Ontario SP8 Spek Plus

(Jeez these are stupid names.) The SP8 is currently in the lead, driven by it’s lower price, and general similarity. Other suggestions are welcome as well. Note that while I’ve linked Amazon.com pages, I’ll have to find these somewhere else, as I’m in the great white north. I know there are knive-guy forums, but I’d rather hear the opinion of other dopers. Your opinion is solicited.

I’d go with the ka bar, mostly because it doesn’t have saw teeth along the spine. Saw-backed knives and machetes aren’t even half-assed good at actual sawing. Anything you might cut with a saw that short you can more quickly and easily just chop. The teeth, in the meantime, get in the way of doing really useful things like batoning. Since this will be part of a car’s kit, if you think you might need a saw add a bow saw or one of these.

Before I noted the prices I was going to recommend the Ka-Bar. I have a couple of Ka-Bars that I beat the snot out of in my teens and they’re still running strong. Also, I like the look of the BK-3 better.

There’s probably not a thing wrong with the SP8 though. I’ve never owned an Ontario knife.

I prefer the glass-filled nylon sheath of the Ka-Bar. Sure, it isn’t Kydex but it cleans up nicely and makes it easier to mount your knife on a pack or in the car.

Leaning toward the Ka-Bar myself but for something that’s going to ride around your car most of the time, you could just as well save $20.

I’ve got to say, if I’m gonna take advice on a machete, it’s nice to have someone named “Chopper” giving it.

Since you already have a kukri, my vote is for the Ka Bar. Simple but complete.

I do this kind of thing a lot, so please heed my advice:

Do not use any machete/knife kind of tool to pry anything!

If someone’s doors are jammed, no machete is going to open it, and all that will happen is you break your tool, and have it come whipping at you, pointy parts first. Trust me, I know.

Second, a machete is not a good entry tool. Busting a car window is harder than you think. I think your best bet is 2 tools.

I found thison Amazon for 47 bucks. Stanley makes several sizes, and you can find them at Home Depot, or whatever you hosers have instead!

Then, you can find a simple machete anywhere for under 10-12 bucks.

I applaud your foresight and attempt to save weight and space with one useful tool,
but anything not meant for prying is a bloody mess waiting to happen.

And really, if the damage is bad, you will have a pretty rough time prying a door open, anyway. Best to just pop a window and be as careful as you can.

To that end…
I have a couple of thesein my trucks as well.

It’s great for zipping thru seatbelts, and has a carbon spike in the butt that breaks a window very easily. Here’sa too-long video of some kids testing glass breakers.

The Assist is awesome and works first time, every time.

The widgets mentioned in the OP are basically semi-sharpened prybars, not so much machetes. The things you bring up are part of the reason the kukri stays in the anti-zombie command center - a.k.a. the kitchen.

You’ll be glad to know that my Spyderco H-1 Salt wound up being the tool of the day at the accident that started all this thought and discussion. I’ve thought about the Fubar - although it looks like it’s designed with [del]another[/del] a zombie outbreak in mind as well.

I appreciate your suggestions and comments. What is it that you do, anyway?

I agree with Ducati, don’t use a cutting tool as a prying tool. The only benefit would be when you return to your car after rescuing those folks from their almost ready to explode automobile will be that you can tell your kids that now you can use much cheaper microscopes (monocular).

These tools would be emergency tools that you will keep in your car. You are not the Highway patrol (or the RCMP). Yes, you are a doctor but rescuing folks from their crashed cars is not your pimary job. These tools will sit in your car and be used maybe once. I go for cheap.

flat bar for $ 11.

I carry a pocket knife when I drive to and from work that I have never used except for cutting teri-beef mini plate from Lagoon drive in. I picked it up in a mall in Georgia. It has a dedicated slot with blade for cutting seat belts and a semi-serrated blade and also a point on the butt for breaking car windows. I am sure you can google and find similar stuff.

A cheap machete from the local hardware store would be what ? 10 or 15 ?

If each of the above tools were twenty bucks, your total outlay for new emergency tools would be sixty bucks.

my advice is go cheap and send more photos of Milla Jovovich.


I am not trying to be the rescue squad, however I should point out that I live in a very rural and inhospitable area, and routinely drive 3-5 hours across very very underpopulated rural areas. It’s not like Hawai’i, it snows any month of the year here. Pretty much everyone I know has come across some horrible accident or other, and had to dive in. One friend of mine wound up splayed across a guy’s car roof - car partially submerged - keeping the guy’s head out of water, unable to open the door, waiting for the ambulance and rescue squad to show up.

After the last time I was in a situation where I had to help out, I started thinking that some gear- not doctor or medic gear, just basic tools - might be of value. A cutting tool - as I mentioned, that time we had to get the guy up a slope to an ambulance through brush, - a seatbelt cutter, a thing to bust a window and a prybar would seem to be reasonable. Plus matches, which with the cutting tool would allow for a fire if I get stuck someplace. I also only have so much room in the car, although I could make room for Milla if she needs a ride.

Missed the edit window, sorry.

How 'bout this? It is a bit more ‘rescue worker’ than I actually need, but it is cheaper

Ooooh! excited

This is exactly what I thought of when I first read your post. I’ve no need whatsoever for a choppy-rescue tool but the MAK-1 is just appealing as all get out. I’ve always been a big fan of Razel knives (don’t have one though) and I’m positively jacked that CRKT is cranking out some affordable versions.

Let us know which one you pick!

I’ve got a few KA-BAR products and they’re consistently excellent.

However, judging by what you describe you’d use it for, I think something like this could be worth a look. Could be a worthless POS but at that price, you never know.

Okay, enough screwing around. This is the page for you my friend, lots of practical tools specifically designed for auto rescue and some of them have spectacular names to boot.

Consider the modestly priced Ajax Rescue Tools: Strip and Peek Extrication Rescue Tool What about the Zico Quic Axe? It’s 9 functions in 1 durable tool for the low low price of $225! Touted as both a rescue and forcible entry tool it cracks my shit up that a safety hood that looks a lot like a ski mask is advertised on the Zico page.

I know these aren’t as pretty as the machete/pry bars but seriously, how can you pass up 26 All-American ounces of window-punching, valve-twisting, wire-cutting, life-saving power in one hand?

Wow. I’m so stoked that y’all have gone out onto the internet and come back with some many more options. Some of them I have no idea what they do, but I’m sure I need one, and if I don’t I’m sure my brother does. Actually, I might have to get him the Pac II Nomex hood, pink. I think he barbecues.

If I remember correctly from my days flying in helicopters, Nomex will last 11 seconds in a JP-4 fire. Better get me two of the hoods to wear, one on top of the other. that would be 22 seconds, it ought to give me enough time to finish cooking if everyone likes theirs rare.

The color doesn’t matter because it will be black by the time dinner is served.

I like the MAK-1. reasonably cheap. good reviews. can cut brush, pry doors and shatter windows. a single tool for your limited space.

You want one while I’m shopping? I know your brother took your kukri.

You said ‘prybar’ and my subconsicous immediately brought up this, it’s not what you’re looking for, but I guarantee you’ll have the most testosterone at the crime scene.

Not to be a party pooper, but you may want to check on the laws in your jurisdiction concerning possession of burglary tools in a motor vehicle. Might save you some future annoyance. I have no idea what the law of Soviet Canuckistan may be, but I think there are some jurisdictions where you probably don’t want to be caught driving around with a collection of implements suitable for smashing glass and/or forcing open doors.