Those of you who have been reading JTT for a while will know that I am a big fan of machetes as general purpose outdoors tools. In my corner of the world a good machete can nearly replace a hatchet and fixed blade knife for most camp chores. This is even true for places that aren’t what you typically picture when you think of machete country.
TOPS Knives just introduced a new machete option that has all the hallmarks of a great tool – the Machete .230. The new machete is a collaboration between TOPS Knives and Joe Flowers who knows more than a thing or two about machetes, the outdoors, and survival skills. Joe is somewhat of a machete apologist and much of my own appreciation for them as a tool, even in North American forests, comes from his influence.
The Machete .230 has several features that set it apart from other high end machetes. One of the most interesting features to me is that this machete is 100% made in the USA. This is extremely uncommon among machetes. Typically, the best quality machetes come out of South America which is no surprise given their prominence there.
The handle also sets the Machete .230 apart. It features micarta handle slabs and a distinct long shape. Micarta is tough stuff that is more than capable of standing up to abuse in the woods. The long handle shape allows the user to choke up on the blade for maximum control for tasks like notching or the user can slide lower on the grip to maximize chopping power. In addition to the handle that allows choking up, the ability of this machete to do detail work is enhanced by the fact that the sharpened edge comes much closer to the handle on the Machete .230 than a typical machete. In skilled hands, this machete can do anything from fine work like creating deadfalls to rough work like splitting wood for a fire.
The handle also features an interesting set of 3 lanyard holes that allows for some unique lanyard configurations. A lanyard is often a good idea on a machete, especially when working around other people. Large sharp knives flying through the air unexpectedly in the presence of polite company is rarely a good thing.
The Machete .230 has a 15 3/4″ long, 1/8″ thick 1095 steel blade. 1095 is a classic machete steel (and an all around great cutlery steel). The much loved US military issue machetes that are manufactured by Ontario Knife Company have long proven 1095’s suitability as a machete steel.
Very few machetes come with serviceable sheaths. The Machete .230 comes with what looks like a more than decent sheath. The sheath offers full coverage for the blade, can be belt worn, and has two pouches so that you can add sharpeners or survival kit items.
The Machete .230 from TOPS Knives is one of the slickest machetes that I have seen in quite some time. I hope to be able to spend some quality time with one soon. Check out the Machete .230 on TOPSKnives.com.