Known throughout Asia and Pacific Rim, the Bolo Machete features a “fat” point that shifts its weight forward where it can do the most good when heavy chopping or slashing is called for. It’s an excellent survival tool and will open a coconut or chop down a tree with equal ease.
Can be made into an excellent tool ~ reviewed by JE
I have owned mine now for about two years. I agree with the others that have suggested that a functional sheath should be made commercially available. Fortunately for me, my brother is a professional leatherworker so I had little difficulty in acquiring a sturdy and attractive sheath. The handle might be comfortable for someone with very large hands, but it took a lot of work filing and sanding the handle down to fit my own hands before I could use it comfortably. Now, after considerable work, it fits my hand perfectly and it’s a joy to use. Some people complain about the thickness of the blade, but I would suggest that the quality of the spring steel that Cold Steel used to make this has entirely compensated for the thinner blade, and the reduced weight actually makes it more comfortable to carry on long excursions. The balance is, as is proper for a tool of this nature, blade forward without being heavy or clumsy. After I had sharpened it to my satisfaction, it honestly chops wood better than any hatchet I’ve ever owned. The blade takes and keeps a razor’s edge for those experienced with sharpening such tools, and is springy enough to bounce back from numerous blows of a nature severe enough to have utterly destroyed some of the other machetes I’ve owned. Don’t let the thin blade fool you. I’ve chopped through numerous thick hardwood logs with this along with the usual assortment of brambles and vines that any machete in North America is expected to routinely devour, and the blade has suffered no ill effects at all. My heavily modified version of this blade has become my favorite camping tool, and I seldom enter the woods for more than a day at a time without it.
For $14.20, it is the best machete you could get. ~ reviewed by Luke I. Terpstra
I am in the state the seller is in, so it arrived here like 4 days ahead of the original estimate.
1. The handle is actually quite a good fit for my hand, I must have really big hands compared to the other people who are having a problem with it. I suspect it is just because it looks cheap and says ‘made in south africa’, but the value kind of brings the quality to question as a given in any blade this price.
2. The steel will lose the edge, so I almost suggest at the cost of more hard work, give the blade a more gradual grind, it comes with quite a steep grind on it.
3. You will need to sharpen this, after you have used it and bent the edge that is. DO NOT SHARPEN THE EDGE RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX, it will lose its protective coating, which doesn’t effect the blades use at all.
4. If you need this blade to last, use it for brush clearing, not wood chopping or log splitting. Even so, the machete will make an excellent butcher knife for camping, or for cutting off the limbs of small game and trees, or head of fish. What ever you do, remember that if you still take care of this blade, regardless of the cheap steel, you will have a tool useful for many things.
Bolo machete review. ~ reviewed by USN Sailor
This machete is perfect for what it is intended for. After sharpening the blade, its chops and slices with ease. The design of the bolo is great, not too big to lug around, not too small to chop big branches. The “bolo” head on the blade is perfect for giving it just the right amount of weight distribution for chopping the big stuff. I recommend this machete to anyone who hikes, camps, or just needs the right tool for the right job …for yard-work or whatever.
Does not fit the Cold Steel Bolo Machete properly. ~ reviewed by A. C. Luke
I was excited when I came home and opened the package. I thought this Machete would be awesome because it is made of 1055 Carbon Steel, and the Bolo design is supposedly proven, because that’s what is used in South East Asia. The natives hack the Vietnam, and Phillipino Jungles with the Bolo blade.
I took this out of the package, noticed the machete has no blade markings (no SAE1055, Carbon Steel, Cold Steel, USA). So essentially it could have been made anywhere and of any material. Except for a sticker placed on the blade which had the Cold Steel Company Logo and said it was made in South Africa. South Africa!?? In that part of the world they use a Panga style blade. Bolos are made to split coconuts! Including the coconut that is above your neck.
Anyway, I was still excited and ran out to my back yard to reclaim some land there. It hacks through weeds, tall grass, and thin branches, less than a 1/4″ diameter in one stroke. So its not that bad. But then I tried to hack a Thorny plant whose stem was about 3/4″ to 1″ in diameter and this Cold Steel Bolo Machete bounced, it barely chiped the plant. So then I bent the plant’s stalk and held it tight… And tried to hack through it. Focused deeply and beyond the stalk, because I wanted to slice through with one stroke. This bolo failed miserably. It took about 8 strong strokes to slice that stalk, with one hand holding the plant firmly bent.
When I went home and cleaned the blade, the blade was not damaged, but then i tired to feel the edge and realized that this bolo has no real edge. Cold Steel didn’t ground an edge on it. Major Bummer! So I took my sharpening stone and spent half an hour putting a good hair cutting edge on it. Also I noticed that the handle is crappy plastic and that the tang is not full tang, maybe half tang. The handle isnt even glued on so that it is butt against the blade. You can see that if you look at the picture closely there is about a 3/8 inch gap between the base of the blade and the glued on handle. The Machete blade is also very thin. Cold Steel says 5/64…. but essentially its just a litle bigger than 1/16 of an inch. 5/64″ is 0.07″ very thin, even for a machete, its about as thick as a letterman blade.
The Sheath provided is made in Taiwan and doesnt fit the blade properly. It is junk. The blade is not snug in the sheeth, because the cordura sheath has bulges and pockets forming when you button it close or try to put the point into where it is supposed to go. SHEATH DOES NOT FIT THIS BLADE!
Today, I bought two coconuts for a dollar from the supermarked and tried to split them open like in the movies. LOL. What a joke. This Bolo just barely cracks them. The blade only went about 1/4 inch into the coconut and got stuck. How lame. I’m better off with my Chinese Meat Cleaver!
Very Disappointed in this Cold Steel Machete. Then I went to their website. Cold Steel always have cool videos to demonstrate how impressive their products are. But Cold Steel did not do any videos on their machetes. HMMM???? Maybe they know that their Cold Steel Machetes are crap! Think about it. Every other product Cold Steel sells show how they can slice slabs of meat, cut through hakama straw mats, punch through car hoods and doors, slice through rope … but there is none on their Machetes.
DO NOT BUY COLD STEEL MACHETES… any of them… be it the Bolo, Panga, Latin, Bowie, Barong, Kukri, etc. All of the Cold Steel Machetes must be JUNK! I just now purchased the Ka Bar Kukri Machete… the Ka Bar is 1085 Carbon steel, which is a stronger and harder Carbon Steel, and it is thicker. Hopefully the Ka Bar Kukri machete is better. I’ll let you know and review that when I get it.
Nice piece but ~ reviewed by BigAl
Nice solid piece…..Feels good in hand but almost useless without coming in some sort of sheath, kydex or leather would be nice and well worth a few more dollars in my opinion.
Good machete ~ reviewed by RWF
This machete also has a thinner blade than I expected but witll certainly do some superior cutting with much of the blade weight forward. This is a good all around unit, but it would be nice if a sheath came with them, A shealth has to be ordered separately. A big knife of any kind needs to be protected! A machete is not a screw driver that just thrown in to a tool but. They are sharp and you just don’t to have near anything that you don’t want cut! Ontario machetes are excellent tools and deserve a good sheath!
good for the price ~ reviewed by Russ Huguley
I have purchased a couple of these. Works good for chopping out tree roots for a drainage ditch. I dinged up the blade really well on rocks in the process but for the price I can get another one. Mine came sharp enough to cut through tree roots so I am not sure how much sharper you would want a machete.
I would rate it higher if a decent sheath was available for it.
Worth the price ~ reviewed by Jason VanDeKop
I’ve had my bolo machete for about 2 years now, and am pretty tickled with it. It took me a bit of time to put a good edge on it, but after that it was a pleasure to use – mostly limbing small trees and clearing branches too big for the pruners. A decent sheath would be nice, at least for packing. I’m quite happy with it, and I’d buy it again, for sure.
Great Value ~ reviewed by BostonDolfan72
For the price this is an awesome machete. The added weight of the bolo makes for a more powerful compact machete. The handle is simple but it gets the job done keeps your hand safe. It is also not sharpened so you can goof around with it and not get hurt.
nice and big. ~ reviewed by Justin J. Smith
The handle could be textured for some type of a reduced slip handle. Really wish the sheath came with it. A bit dull out of the box, but easy to put an edge on it, and it holds that edge nice. My 3rd cold steel machete and will continue to buy others.