If I were to take a machete into the North American wilderness, I think I'd like one that was shorter and heavier than the jungle variety. Maybe something that would fit into a belt sheath, so I could use my hands for other things; something with a secure grip instead of the plain handle most machetes have.
Ontario SP8 pretty much fits the bill and I liked this knife as soon as I saw it. It's a modern knife built for modern times, but follows the pattern of traditional North American backwoods blades, heavy but not overly long. If this doesn't make sense to you then you've not spent a lot of time in thickets so dense you can't even swing anything with a long blade. What you need in those conditions is something shorter and sort of heavy, like a tomahawk--or this machete.
The Ontario SP-8 was sharp right out of the box. There were no issues with the cosmetic quality of the knife or the standard issue Ontario sheath. The 1095 carbon steel blade is a full 1/4″ thick almost all the way forward to the tip. The main cutting edge is flat ground while the forward cutting edge has a convex grind. Overall length is around 15″. It’s close in size and weight to the SP10 Raider Bowie.
The Ontario SP8 Machete even has a saw blade back that could actually cut through a fair sized branch, something a decorative knife with a dozen jagged teeth won't do. You'd have to be careful, because the dangerous side would be aimed toward you, but this knife design hasn't set aside the finger guard so you wouldn't be risking much by trying.
Black anodized carbon steel adds to the plus side of this survival knife's features. The best survival tools aren't the "do everything" knives with LED lights and a packet of Band-Aids lashed to the sheath; the best are the simple ones that work. Put your first aid kit in the pack where it should be. This knife is a tool.
The sheath is made of heavy black Cordura and black leather. On the side, there are three snaps attached to a leather flap, and they attach to snaps on the front of the sheath. I'm assuming this is so the sawback doesn't shred your sheath. You also get a standard snap that goes over the back of the knife, but it's not really needed. You cannot remove the knife from the sheath without undoing the sides first; a portion of the top of the sheath is sewn (and riveted) together. The sheath comes with a plastic D-ring that has some more black shoestring cord attached. The sheath is attached to your belt via leather belt loop. The leather loop attaches to the leather on the sheath, and there's no plastic involved. The D-ring that acts as the dangler is blackened steel. The belt loop will accommodate a belt up to 2-1/2" wide.
If you are looking for a great survival tool, the Ontario Spec Plus Machete can serve you as an excellent and very affordable wilderness or urban survival tool.
To buy or get more information on the Ontario SP8 Spec Plus Machete with 10" Blade, click the link below.
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