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Greetings all - Machetes, axes, clearing foot paths?

Discussion in 'Kit Chatter' started by Edtwozeronine, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. TLM

    TLM Nomad

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    Read the starting post again. In my opinion a machete is not the tool to use when trying to cut an actual tree trunk lets say over 15cm dia.

    An axe, chainsaw, bowsaw all work much better. Even TNT is easier (used that in the army, the result is not pretty but not much effort used).
     
  2. Deekin

    Deekin Full Member

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    May differ depending on area, but I do my work through the Countryside Ranger Service.
     
  3. Oliver G

    Oliver G Full Member

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    There's a birch wooded area where I walk the dog most nights and if it's been windy we tend to get a lot of tree fall. I tend to keep a little bacho laplander (silky saw type affair) on me, it fits nicely in your map pocket on breast pocket. it's ideal for anything smaller than 10".

    My partner is the ranger who looks after the woodland (county council land) so i figure if I clear the path at night it saves her time the next day and keeps the public from complaining.

    I did once forget my saw and sorted a tree out with an entrenching tool; that took a while, but it did chop through.

    I would council against carrying a machete in public, too many people jump to conclusions and you could save both yourself and them from unnecessary stress if they decide to call the authorities.
     
  4. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    I agree with Oliver G. A pocket saw is fine for most smaller stuff quite often quicker and neater and less likely to cause concern from others.
    Does nobody use bill hooks anymore?
    I've cleared many a path or bit of woodland with a bill hook and bowsaw. Looks much more professional and less likely to raise people's anxiety levels than a machete, and the resulting legal battles should someone take fright with your antics.
    We don't want bushcrafters getting a bad name now do we?
     
    Oliver G likes this.
  5. Oliver G

    Oliver G Full Member

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    I bought my partner a bill hook for her birthday last year, she was hunting for a Yorkshire pattern with a one / two handed handle and I got one made for her. She only uses it when in uniform though so it causes no concern for the public, if I was milling around with it there would understandably be questions.

    Edited: one / two handed, the word I used was blanked out.
     
    #25 Oliver G, Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  6. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Not at all, but your previous comment that you would call 999 was a bit weird?
    You, (and the rest of us) should be more understandable than the average if we saw somebody 'carrying' ? No?
     
    #26 Janne, Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  7. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    This. Surely you do not mean that??
    Somebody clearing a footpath with a machete?
     
  8. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    So I'm a bit weird... deal with it!
    As for being a bit more understanding.... seriously?
     
  9. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Why would I not mean what I say?
    I'm not in the habit of spouting rubbish for the sake of getting my post count up.
     
  10. C_Claycomb

    Mod

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    Deep breath and cool off, please.

    I think Woody girl has provided a very timely and pertinent reminder of the risks of practising bushcraft, particularly with cutting tools, where you do not have permission. Even in the farthest flung corners of the country you cannot be certain that you have not been quietly observed and reported to police.

    Once upon a time, for someone to report you they would have had to physically go home to make a call, by which time you would be somewhere else. Now they can call the police, provide a sat-nav grid reference and take your photo.

    I was thinking, there is a strange similarity to how people once viewed large predators in the UK, and North America too. They were afraid of them so they killed them. They didn't wait around to see if the bear was only interested in eating roots and berries, or the wolf was looking for deer, not lambs and toddlers.
     
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  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Ok, if I go back on track:

    I have two Machetes, Brazilian Tramontina. Slightly different length, same overall shape, different handles.
    I also have two billhooks, a modern Fiskars, and an old Marttiini.

    Both machetes are made from quite thin steel, soft-ish. Flexible.
    The billhooks are much stiffer. Have a greater angle, and much better steel

    But - your choice!

    The machetes are fine cutting twigs, bamboo, soft stems like banana. Anything more than 4 cm or so is very difficult, imo Also as the steel is soft, they blunt rapidly.
    The billhooks are superior in everything, except bananas.

    The guys that do my garden all use machetes, and if any thicker branches need to be taken down, they have to hack away like mad. And I have to go back and tidy up the cut with a saw, and wax.

    It can be the skill set/level, but if a machete was any good (better than) a billhook, we would use more of them in Europe?

    I used to clear the footpaths around where I lived in UK, mainly from intruding brambles ( had two Cocker Spaniels, their hair and brambles do not mix) and I found that a billhook was excellent. The 'hook' part was useful in pulling out the bramble lianas, and the angle and stiffness was perfect.
     
  12. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Well I used a Martindale machete to clear the nettles along the path beside the burn, and a dog walking neighbour looked at me with horror. :sigh:
    So, I put it away and I found a sickle instead. (Known as a heuk around here) and not another soul commented apart to make conversation about how the council used to have enough money to be able to do this.....

    https://www.machetespecialists.com/filter/brand/martindale/

    Buy and use something innocuous, something that looks 'gardening' and no one will bother you.

    M
     
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  13. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I have one of their grass slashers - works a treat :)

    However, I suspect that even if you were using a traditional billhook let alone a machete on a 'substantial tree trunk' you'd get some funny looks - it would look a bit manic I suspect.
     
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  14. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    It certainly would :D
    I took out a bowsaw and one of the little Laplander (those are absolutely bomb proof tools, and they do an excellent job) saws (and a pair of ratchet pruners) to clear the path of a fallen Ash tree. No fuss, no bother, and no suspicious or worried looks either.
    A folding bowsaw packs neatly into a pack, and the laplander is really easy to carry.
     
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  15. Deekin

    Deekin Full Member

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    like this,
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Yes. Seriously.
     
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  17. Deekin

    Deekin Full Member

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    I suppose the D@ily Mail take would be;

    "woods in lock down after pensioner spotted with blade,"

    [​IMG]

    Or, "Grim Reaper spotted in local woods,"
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Tiley

    Tiley Full Member

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    I have never owned a machete but always understood them to be specifically useful for clearing foliage and thin plant material in rain forest/jungle environments.

    At home, I find that a parang is a very good tool for clearing established brambles and small-ish wood. I suppose it's a bit like a billhook but with a better blade shape for the cutting action required to get the job done. The steel on the blades tends to be a bit thicker than a machete, meaning there's a bit more weight behind your cutting strokes; the blades tend to be a bit shorter, too, making them easier and safer to wield.

    That said, my sheep do a pretty comprehensive job of clearing things but they do take their time!
     
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  19. Jared

    Jared Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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  20. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Might be a stupid question: Who owns a footpath/bridleway/green lane?
    The state? The county?
     

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