One of the tools I bought for camping was a machete. I picked up this Harbor Freight piece when I happened to be in a store, and since it was only about $5 I figured I didn’t have much to lose.
When I first opened it I was surprised at how sharp it was, both the cutting edge and the serrated saw edge. This is a tool that needs to be treated with respect.
I immediately didn’t like the blade stiffness. It’s quite ‘bendy’, however, this may be more of a matter of preference. I’m used to machete’s with stiffer blades. I’m not sure but the bendy blade may have reduced accuracy when chopping wood since it would be wobbling around while I tried to chop in the same spot over and over. Or maybe I’m just out of practice…
As mentioned, the blade is very sharp and we chopped thru a 6 inch log with reasonable effort. We did try sawing thru this log but the blade would bind after a few cuts. This may have been a function of the wood which was damp. In any case, we weren’t successful in using the saw blade even tho it seems very sharp. I did read at least one review that made a similar comment.
But the biggest issue we had was the blade slipping out of the handle or grip. The grip is molded rubber and seemed to be well-secured to the blade. However, after using only a couple of times, it slipped out. This could have been a very dangerous situation. Had the blade slipped completely out mid-chop it could have hit someone.
I read a few of the reviews on the HF page and no-one else mentioned this problem, so maybe it’s not common. I am going to try and glue the grip back on.
This tool gets a mediocre rating because of the grip loosening. Otherwise I would have given it a good rating for good performance at a value price.