Pros: Blade Material, Weight, None
Cons: Finish, Blade Sharpness, Sheath/Scabbard
Takes some work - but can be made great
Here is the bad news - the sheath is pretty cheap and it comes from the factory with one of the roughest edges I've ever seen. It looked like the factory edge was put on with like a 20 grit belt sander. I realize this is a tool and not a knife, but I had to get a small grinder out to clean up the edge before I even started sharpening it.Once I had the deep grooves out of the edge, it still took some time on the stones to get a nice edge on it. But eventually it took a very nice edge. So expect to put in some time on the front-end with this. But if you are willing to do a little work you can make this into an absolute beast of a tool. I bought it mainly for limbing downed trees and for hiking/camping firewood prep. Now that it is properly sharp, it is amazing at both of those tasks. It goes through smaller limbs with almost no power behind the swing and chops larger pieces of wood almost as well as a small axe even though it weighs far less. It bites deep and the design lets you put a lot of power behind your stroke. It also will hold its edge a good while - the quality of the steel is excellent for something in this price range. The handle is nothing special, but it is all day comfortable. I would not buy this to use like a traditional machete on tall grass etc. I tried it and although it worked ok, it is not really what you want for that kind of work. The blade is too short and too heavy. What this thing is ideal for is processing wood without weighing you down excessively. Given how little it cost and what it can ultimately be made into - it is a good value.