Ka-Bar 14-Inch Grass Machete Knife Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars based on 19 customer reviews

Product Description

KA-BAR grass machete fixed 14-Inch plain blade with Zytel handles and nylon sheath included. Blade length: 14″-Inch, overall length: 19-1/2-Inch. Steel: 1085 carbon, grind:Duplux. Weight: 1.2-Pounds. Made in Taiwan.

Customer Reviews

A Misinterpreted KA-BAR ~ reviewed by Tim

Here are some specifics that people need to realize about the Grass Machete, first it isn’t the same type of blade as the Cutlass or Kukri. Do not expect it to hack through woody growth. I asked KA-BAR customer service directly and they said that the knife is intended essentially for cutting grass. The duplex grind provides a very fine edge which prevents this knife from being an effective limb chopping tool. This knife is intended for clearing soft, leafy plants such as all types of grass, weeds, poke berries, new bamboo shoots, and the occasional small fresh saplings is fine. It is not a tree chopper and it is unreasonable to call this machete crap because it doesn’t perform that task well. In general, knife users need to realize the purpose of every knife they own. For example, just because a knife can’t cut through a cinderblock and keep its edge doesn’t mean it’s an ineffective survival knife. Knives are not hacking and chopping tools, every knife manufacturer will tell you not to throw, chop, pry, etc. with your knife. A knife is a fine cutting instrument so if you need to whack stuff buy a hatchet. A machete is a compromise between a hatchet and a knife and is generally lesser quality than a knife. The steel is softer and most of the time not stainless. That’s the reason why most every machete blade is coated.
But back to the Grass Machete, I have ultimately been very happy with mine. I bought 3 when they first became available in June 2011 and gave 2 as graduation gifts to my best friends. Unfortunately, I lost mine while deep in the swamp right after Hurricane Irene hit. We spent hours wading through the bayou searching for that machete but we never found it. I had been walking around with the snaps unfastened and at some point the knife slipped out. I was not expecting a 14″ blade to just “slip out” but it did. Note to self “always keep knife fastened when exploring mosquito invested swamps.” I promptly bought a replacement which has been just fine. As others have noted, the blade does jiggle a bit in the handle, I noticed this on all 4 I bought. Also, I noticed that the blade was marked “KA BAR” instead of “KA-BAR” with the dash in between. The official trademark is “KA – BAR” and should not have been produced as something other. KA-BAR said that the first production run had this error so maybe the problem will be fixed in the future. The sheath is just a sheath and partly the reason why I lost it in the first place. I figure it is worth about $10. The blade is extremely sharp and the machete is basically a large knife which I like. This is the largest knife KA-BAR is currently making and possibly the largest ever. The bottom line is if you live in the literal Jungle or at least the Eastern to Southeastern US you will get more use from this than anyone else. This knife is a true working machine when used properly. Enjoy KA-BAR nation!!

Had a Rough Start But Came Out in the End, Great Knife ~ reviewed by OuroborosCHC

Well despite a bit of a false start in getting this product, first one came without a sheath, first replacement never got to me, I am actually very satisfied with this KaBar. Amazon came through and sorted all the other stuff out and I got to really go over this beauty finally. Not sure what knife the other fellows are talking about, since the one I have is tops. In response to a few comments from the other reviews, this is made in Taiwan, not Thailand, and some really top notch knives are produced there. I have many from there and no complaints but, that’s me so whatever. The Ski jump your talking about, if that is in reference to where the edge stops or something to do with the duplex grind I am not sure but it all seems fine and intentional to me. I own a KaBar Kukri, and a couple of the Heavy Bowie knives, both with the awesome Tooj handle just like the Grass Machete. This seems just as well made to me as those and I can tell its a worker. It is not exactly a machete, more of a really large knife that is being called a machete. Its way thicker then any machete your normally gonna see at about .165 inches thick, or a little over 1/8th of an inche on my ruler. Oh also, this is a full push tang knife, just like all the other Kabar knives that have the Tooj handle. Its fastened at the end where the lanyard hole is with that metal roller, if you were to cut that out you could slip the blade out and see that it runs the whole way through the grip, so another point that was wrong from another reviewer.

I took this out and did some work with it in my backyard to get a feel for it, do some bush-craft with it to see how it held up. It did some chopping and it was great, not as good as my kukri but pretty dang good, worked well as a machete in cutting through smaller brush and such, and when it came to batoning through some logs it was a champ. Its grind is a little funky but nice looking in my opinion and if you know how to sharpen a knife shouldn’t be a problem really, so not sure what the other person was talking about. At present my first impression is a good one, maybe in time I will change my mind but at present it seems like an overall great knife and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a large blade to take into the woods.

Now to be fair, the sheath isn’t the best in the world but its not horrible either, and to take into account that pretty much all other machetes don’t come with one, minus a few exceptions, I am pretty happy with it. It does the job so far but again maybe I will change my mind in the future, or like I do at times, just make a better one for it myself.
To reiterate, though everyone is entitled to their opinion, I think the last few reviewers didn’t give this blade a fair assessment, its pretty dang good and will be a good camp or survival knife. I intend to take it camping soon with others and do some more with it to really put it through its paces. Its a good hybrid of chopper and machete really and one that I am happy to own along with my other KaBars and the hundreds of other knives I own.

If you were thinking about buying this one, I say go for it and enjoy.

Good for whats its intended for. ~ reviewed by Reallybigmonkey1

All Ive heard about this machete is people dont like it because its not a good chopper of trees, branches and firewood. Like one poster said, its not intended for heavy wood cutting. Thats what the shorter thicker machetes are for. This has a duplex grind making it cut through grass,brush and small vines with little effort. It comes pretty sharp but, once you sharpen it and use it for what its intended it will hold an edge for quite awhile. My handle has yet to come loose like some ofthe others did. Believe everyone when they say the sheath is garbage because it is. The fithe star missing is because of the junk sheath.

Machete is high quality useful for landscaping. ~ reviewed by Daniel J Danies

Very Sharp. Excellent handle. Well balanced.
Made short work of dismembering large cactus.
The finnish is tough and well applied.
Worth the price. I would buy it again.

For more than grass. ~ reviewed by bigghoss

To be honest, this thing is probably too thick and heavy for grass and light vegetation. It seems much better suited for clearing branches and wood processing than cutting grasses and the like. I’m fine with that though, I knew what I was getting when I ordered it. There have been many reports of the handles loosening up with use. There was an issue with the manufacturing of the handles and it has been addressed by Ka-Bar and shouldn’t show up in any more machetes. If you’re still worried about it there are two important things to know 1. the handle is held on by the lanyard tube so even if it gets loose the blade wont go flying while you’re using it. 2. Ka-Bar has a great warranty and customer service so they will fix or replace the machete if there is something wrong with it. So buy with confidence. I have tested mine out on wood and I think it may be starting to develop side-to-side play but it’s very difficult to feel, so maybe I’m just imagining it. I don’t know but I can say that I have faith that Ka-Bar will make it right if the handle comes loose based on what I have seen through numerous interactions with folks on bladeforums.com.

The only other gripe, and possibly my biggest one, is the sheath. It’s not going to fall apart on you but the design is so poor as to be next to useless for actually carrying it on a belt or outside a pack. It basically serves as a blade cover and that’s all. I have found though that the machete fits very nicely in a marbles sheath for their 14″ scout machete. That sheath is a little better in quality and retains the machete well but still lacks mounting options. The marbles sheath is a little better if you want to carry the machete on a simple sling under your weak arm.

I would not recommend this machete for what the name suggests or if you don’t have the means to upgrade the sheath. Keep in mind a custom sheath is probably going to cost more than the machete itself but you can always make one yourself, even out of simple PVC pipe heated and flattened.

… I bought this Kabar grass machete because of the great recommendations on line ~ reviewed by WB

After doing quite a bit of research I bought this Kabar grass machete because of the great recommendations on line, the design and the Kabar brand name. When it arrived I was amazed at the level of fit and finish and by how great the large comfortable Tooj handle feels in hand. Could shave hair out of the box and the duplex grind gives it a very cool look. Really feels like a very large knife more than machete is light and quick in hand. Perfect for limping and chopping small trees clearing trails or collecting firewood. Handle is most comfortable and secure feeling handle on any large cutting implement I have ever used. While does not cut grass all that well it does cut through small to large brush unbelievably well. Cuts through two inch softwood branches with a satisfying thunk. The sheath is functional but would be cooler if it was kydex but at this price acceptable. Overall you can’t beat the Kabar quality and it’s the best value machete on Amazon. Check out my photos!

razor sharp ~ reviewed by KEN E. II

it comes razor sharp but i still sharpened it more great solid machete.

Sharp and Heavy Weight ~ reviewed by Chris

It’s sharp, feels pretty massive and sturdy. (A little disappointed: for some reason, I’ve always thought KA-BAR was an Made-In-America company…)

Update 6/8/2013: First swing with this bad boy sliced through five or six pinkie-finger thick weed plants with ease. Soon I was slashing paths through tall grasses, thick small brush, thin dead branches, everything. I will probably be using this a lot over the years.

Better than the average machete ~ reviewed by cafeazul

I just recieved the Ka bar grass machete today as a gift. I had considered buying it myself but was detered by the previous reviews. However, after playing around with it, I was pleased with the machete. Granted it is not of the same quality as a Becker Combat Bowie, it is far beter than most machetes on the market. It is lighter than I expected, but it is still heavy enough to be effective. The tang does go through the full length of the handle unlike what one reviewer posted, but he was right to say that the blade and handle do flex significantly. This is also true of the Ka bar Kukri, which I also own. It is just not as apparent in the kukri’s blade because it is shorter and wider. Even so, the flex is normal considering that the blade is made out of spring metal; otherwise, it would be more prone to snap in half rather than bend should you hit something too hard. The protective coating could be better as could the sheath. The multi angled grind is interesting and looks nice. I believe that the designers came up with this grind to increase the blades strength while making the cutting edge thin enough to cut easily. I still don’t know why they call it a “grass machete,” though. Anyway, to sum up what I just said: I like the machete enough to recommend it as upgrade from the standard machete, but not so much if your a die hard knife collector.



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