Pros: Finish, Blade Material, Handle Material, Sheath/Scabbard
Cons: Materials, None
Good Chopper, Looks great
I've had the Yoshimi machete for about a month. It seems well made (in El Salvador) and of quality materials. I tried it out on some scrub pine in my back yard. The factory edge is sharp enough for chopping through 1-inch branches with a stroke or two. It's definitely a chopper rather than a slicer. The long grip is great for 2 hands, or for extending your reach. The spine is plenty thick for batoning, and it should be useful as a draw-knife. The point is capable of penetrating thin wood or softer materials. The curve of the blade makes draw cuts possible, and I think the Yoshimi should be a good tool for the bush or camp. In a bug-out bag it could do double duty for self defense if needed. The kydex scabbard is stout and it comes with a tough nylon belt/pack strap that is MOLLE/PALS compatible. It's removable via 3 snap loops that are threaded through slots in the scabbard. Two snap straps around the grip secure it in the scabbard, which has no other retention. I took a heat gun to mine and in a few minutes I put a pair of dimples in the throat of the scabbard to securely retain the Yoshimi without straps. The two-tone micarta handle scales are functional and feature an attractive wood-grain appearance. I experienced no hot spots in a half hour of use with bare hands. The finish is rough enough to give plenty of grip without abrading your skin. Five ferrules provide plenty of options for attaching lanyards, wrist loops or whatever. The black epoxy coat on the 1075 high carbon steel blade is good and thick (if you like that). It showed no signs of wearing away during my trial run. It covers the flats of the blade, but the spine is unpainted, with a nice matte finish on the bare metal. The edges of the spine are sharp enough that I think this would work very well for fire-starting with a ferro rod (though I didn't try that). While clearing some brush I hit a rock and rolled the edge, but a couple of minutes with a file cleaned it up nicely. Overall I'm pleased with my purchase. My only complaints (nit-picks, really) concern the scabbard. There is a small drain hole at the bottom, and the throat is wide enough to let in a good deal of water if you had it out in a downpour. The grommet holes and lashing slots are well-spaced along the scabbard's length, but on its lower edge where the blade is widest, they don't have much reinforcing material. I imagine these grommets/slots could fail under hard use. The edges of the slots are quite sharp. I'd recommend smoothing them with some sandpaper or a file to avoid abrading whatever paracord or lashing material you may attach to it.