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The Gerber Gator Machete is the kind of knife you want on your side if you wind up lost in the wilderness.
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A Great Tool
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've been using mine for over a year now. I've taken it with on a trip in the northwoods and chopped and sawed countless piles of fire wood. Its light and the sleeve is very well made. Mine has taken a beating. I regularly have it on my belt (using the belt loop) when walking the property I hunt to help in cleaning up any downed trees or branches from storms. The saw is very effective. You'll be amazed how few whacks are needed to get through hard timber. It came very sharp and I have yet to work on the edge.
- Familiarity: I gave it as a gift, but have feedback to share
Who wants to be ready for the end of the world? Get one.
TOO LEGIT TO QUIT
Bought this bad boy a couple days ago, ready to make slow motion fruit chopping videos. :)
Great price point chete!
Pick this up for the price as I won't be using it a lot but seems pretty legit so far. Ever since I got it I have been whacking it on most everything and has not shown any wear yet. So far so good!
my Gator stays razor sharp
I can shave my arm easily with my Gator. If I'm not really careful I could hurt myself with this tool. But I am careful.
The trick to sharpening a Gator is to get it sharp in the first place. You have to cut a proper edge angle to allow it to be sharp. After that it's easy. I used a grinder originally to shape the edge the way I wanted it. It got me a great edge but of course using a grinder every time would destroy the black quickly.
After I got the blade where I wanted I experimented with several different sharpening methods to get it sharp again without digging into the metal to make a new edge. I found that the Gerber sharpener that is made to sharpen axes and hatchets worked great. It was a common cross stone setup where you draw the blade across stones set at angles on either side of the blade. It worked great but I wore out two of those sharpeners in two years. So I tried out just a regular cross metal sharpener like the ones you can pick up anywhere for $5.
I generally try 4 or 5 of those to get the one that works best for a particular tool. Once I got the one I liked it has kept my Gator razor sharp. All I have to do is run the sharpener over the blade about 10 times and it is as sharp as ever.
The thing would easily cut my fingers right off if I hit them on a full swing. It will get dangerously sharp! Be careful with it. I have cut lots of 2" branches with one swing with that machete. I can cut a slice of wood off a piece of pine as long as I want to cut it (which is how some people judge sharpness).
I generally put the machete in a vise to cut down on the flexing of the metal when I run the sharpener over it. Even still it can be dangerous to sharpen it. If your hand slips off that sharpener it will get cut and possibly badly. Don't sharpen it without someone around to help you if you get injured. You just need someone that can call 911. But just be careful because that blade will get very, very sharp and sliding off that sharpener will be bad news.
In fact I have bought a belt sander to sharpen my tools to avoid some of the danger of sharpening them. I guess I just know how to get a good edge on things because i have all sorts of tools (machetes, briar axes, axes, hatchets, etc.) that are super sharp. I wanted a safer way to sharpen them and the belt sander seems to want to work very, very well. I just bought it a month ago so I'm not sure how it will work out yet but it appears to be the best system I've found yet. I bought the belt sander at Harbor Freight for $40. I've sharpened the machete with it and it did a great job. It's probably the sharpest it has ever been but again I've just started using this thing so I'm not saying it is the best. Not yet anyway.
As for sharpening the teeth on the saw blade I use a triangle file and I pay close attention to which way the teeth are cut. They alternate from being cut one way to being cut the other way. You have to sharpen with the direction the teeth are cut or you will file them right off. It's like sharpening any hand saw. For you people too young to remember hand saws you should look it up. It's a common method and it's easy. There are many sites on the net that tell you how.
Just one flaw.....
This machete cuts well. Makes for short work of any task you put it to from clearing brush, blazing a path, or fire wood for the campfire.
The blade isn't thick- it's rather thin. Good for weight, but makes it tough to sharpen (I have yet to figure that out, I just bring it to my local knife-sharpener. If anyone has a good method for sharpening let me know). Also, the steel is soft. This makes for a rather sturdy blade, as I said the blade is flimsy so the soft steel is a plus in this fashion. However the soft steel makes for easy dulling. I find that after 2 weekend camping trips i'm already dull.
great price point machete
Zombies, alligators, and soon-to-be bike trails don't stand a chance.
Great machete for a great price
I got this machete a few years ago and have put it through hell and back. The quality of this tool is astounding to say the least.
Pros: Extremely durable, night weight, good handle, and a great price. Works great in the rain.
Cons: Blade is extremely dull, even by machete standards. Sheath is poorly constructed but gets the job done.
After I got this and sharpened it, I have had no problems. The sheath fell apart from constant use but it was nothing a bit of duct-tape couldn't fix. Cut's through brush and large branches with ease and is light-weight so it wont wear you out from constant use. Blade is flexible and can be stressed without the worry of it breaking on you. The saw-teeth can be useful but are still no-where up to par with a good saw.
Blade has been covered in sap but a bit of gas and a match burned it off just fine without causing any permanent damage to the blade. For it's price, you wont find any better. Better machetes certainly do exist, but this one will serve you just fine for years to come, even on a daily basis.
This machete has same the great quality of all Gerber products! The blade is strong and very durable. It fits snug in the sheath too. I have been using it for a little over a week now and have had no real problems what-so-ever with it.
The only bad thing I have noticed with it has to do with the sheath. The belt-loop where you are suppose to attach it is located at the middle of the handle. While carrying it that way it seems to dangle and drag down your belt, making walking very uncomfortable. A solution I came up with is to tighten your belt to a comfortable position around your waist without attaching the sheath. Then you slide the sheath between two belt loops where it is comfortable and easy for you to use.This way is a lot better for me and may also work for you.
Overall it is a great machete. When you first start out using it, you may notice some scratches. These are just minor ones that don't affect the efficiency of the blade. I recommend cleaning/wiping off the blade afterwards too.