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Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete

Recently, I had the opportunity to test out Cold Steel’s Magnum Kukri Machete. I have been a long time fan of the Kukri and have owned a couple of Kukris in the past. The blade design of the Kukri has long been famous for its chopping properties. Authentic Kukris can be somewhat expensive especially ones produced by modern knife companies. Many knife companies have manufactured modern Kukri machetes but it can be difficult to find examples that offer quality construction, ship with a good factory edge and a reasonable price point. I think Cold Steel has done a respectable job at accomplishing this task.

The Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete is manufactured from 1055 carbon steel that has been coated with a matte black anti rust compound. The blade length is a 17 inches and with its 5 handle the overall length is 22 inches. Cold Steel also manufactures a slightly smaller version of the Kukri machete that has a 13 inch blade. I was not able to test the smaller version for this article. Blade thickness is 2mm which is less than the thickness of real Kukris. The machete’s handle is made of black polypropylene that has been grooved to improve grip. Considering the overall size the machete is weighs in at just over one pound at 18.2 ounces. This light weight makes it easy to use and considering that most of the weight is in the business end of the blade makes it extremely efficient in accomplishing chopping tasks.

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To test out the Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete I unleashed it on my backyard which I had not yet had an opportunity to clean up due to the long winter. The first target was a massively overgrown rose bush that has expanded wildly over the last couple of years.  The Magnum Kukri performed quite well at removing the 10 to 12 foot branches that had grown out the stump.  After about a dozen or so swings the rose bush was eliminated except for stump which will require a shovel to dig out. Next, the Kukri was used on a section of privet hedge that had a couple of years to grow through a fence. Branches that were a quarter of an inch to half inch thick fell quickly to the Magnum Kukri as the weighted blade sheared them off with minimal effort. Lastly, the machete was used to clear swathes of unknown brush and vines that made up the rest of beds in the yard. My wife was surprised how quickly I was able to clear the backyard with the machete and admittedly I was too. I have used other straight bladed machetes to clean up my backyard in the spring and fall and usually it takes a bit longer. The weighted blade of Kukri lends itself to chopping and does not require as much strength each time you swing. for Everything Sharp. Storewide Free Shipping!

While testing the Magnum Kukri I wore rubberized work gloves that gripped nicely the polypropylene handle. At no point did my hands slip when using the machete and I recommend using gloves when using it for safety reasons. In addition, the handle of the Magnum Kukri has an oversized lanyard. I found it a bit surprising that a lanyard wasn’t included. Usually I make use of the lanyard when using a machete for chopping as well as gloves of some sort. With the right gloves and the handle material I believe that there would be very little issues using the machete even when wet or while raining.

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Once I was done using the Magnum Kukri I noticed that the blade of the machete had a few small nicks in it from where the tip struck into the ground. These small nicks will easily be removed with the application of a file to clean up the edge after use. In addition, there was some abrasion of the black anti rust finish on the blade. I expected this abrasion after using the machete and only time will tell if the anti rust finish will protect the blade from oxidation.


The sheath for the Magnum Kukri is made from Condura nylon that covers the entire blade. The machete is secured into the sheath by two snaps. This setup works best if the machete is worn on the right hip.  The end of the sheath is reinforced with plastic sheeting to minimize the wear of the Condura. Given the price point the machete the sheath is functional and should last a long time.

Overall, the Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete worked extremely well clearing all sorts of brush, bushes and saplings in the backyard.  The narrow end of the blade toward the handle can be used for much smaller camp tasks. Cold Steel’s website lists the Magnum Kukri with an M.S.R.P of $34.99. A quick search of the Internet will net you prices around the $20 range.  Whether you pay full retail for the machete, or find it cheaper elsewhere you know you are getting a quality product. If you are looking for a great tool to throw into your toolbox, bug out bag, shed or car kit the Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete will make a great addition to your heap.  Pair it with a file to keep the edge in shape and you will have a functional tool no matter what tasks you use it for.

Our review machete was provided by Knife Hog.  For more information visit:
Knife Hog

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Condor Speed Machete

When most people think about getting a machete, they often think about just heading downtown to their local major hardware chain and picking up what they see on the wall, bring it home and get going to work on whatever overgrowth that has been bothering them on their property. More times than not, this may suffice for that particular job, but for those of us looking beyond the backyard and perhaps thinking about physics and quality, I sure have something you may very well be interested in.

That being said, I must admit that I am not much of a “machete guy” and will always back up the fact that I am foremost an axe loving gentleman, who will gladly take and use a reliable machete when the job calls for it. For those who know me, you already know that I am a big fan of Condor Tool and Knife products and with few exceptions everything I have reviewed from their line has impressed me on multiple levels. For this particular review I’ve been working with Condor’s Speed Machete which is another design straight from the mind of Joe Flowers, the gentleman responsible for many of Condor’s knife and axe designs over the last few years.


My Condor Speed Machete arrived from Monkey Headquarters in a timely manner with the standard paperwork that comes with all Condor Tool & Knife products. What you receive is a small pamphlet that contains all of their products from their 2013 lineup, along with everything from previous years. Funny note, even though I have a short stack of these catalogs I will like to look through each one when they arrive.  Extracting the Speed Machete from the box, the first thing that strikes me as impressive is the black leather sheath that contains the machete itself. Condor has a great history of providing quality leather sheathes for many of their products and in this case they didn’t spare any of the cow to save on quality. The machete in encased in a nearly full length, hand crafted black leather welted sheath that keeps the machete head in place nice and tight (almost too tight, but more on that later). The sheath has Condors signature logo stamped on the front, and a well stitched, thick swiveling belt loop that should last for years.


The first think that came to mind when extracting the machete from the sheath was how light it was. I admit, I was one of those guys mentioned above who went to the hardware store some years back and bought the machete hanging in the wall. Compared to the Speed Machete, that store bought piece weighed a ton! What I had previously read about the Speed Machete was true; weight was really taken into consideration when designing this piece. The blade itself is 16” and coated with a sand blasted finish that looks impressive and has a nice “feel” to it. The factory edge was sharp enough to do the job, but I wanted to add to it some before heading into the woods for real-time testing. The handle, a high impact polypropylene mold, feels great in my hand and offers excellent control of the blade, without sacrificing weight to do so. The 2.5mm thick, 1075 high carbon steel blade runs all the way to the hilt of the handle, making it a full tang machete. The Condor logo is also stamped on the blade close to the top of the handle. The overall length of the machete comes in at 22 and 5/8”. This offers just enough room to work with the machete and clear a path, but not tire you out with extra material. All that being said, it was time to take this impressive piece out to the woods and do some clearing.


Since I live in southern Indiana, one of the places I love to go frequently is the Hoosier National Forest for hiking, camping and practicing bushcraft. Lake Monroe, Indiana’s largest lake runs along part of the Hoosier national Forest and offers a lot of “comfort camping” locations. For this particular trip, I decided to get a campsite close to the lake, but also close to the forest so I could work with this machete (and maybe get a little fishing in).  Along with the Speed Machete, I brought along a few other Condor items that are a staple to my adventure kit. I should note that before I left the house, I did take my Lansky Dual Grit Sharpening Stone to the Speed Machete for a little while and managed to refine the edge to my liking. It was easy to do and I was looking forward to seeing how the end would hold up after some abuse.

After getting camp set up. It was time to venture into the overgrowth and see how the Speed Machete would hold up to come of Indiana’s thick wilderness.  Along the way, I used the machete to clear a path to a hillside that had a bunch of thick vines and overgrowth; the perfect place to put this machete to the test. I feel it’s important to note that while testing, I didn’t disturb any of the larger trees or native flowering trees within the forest and stuck completely to the thick overgrowth that contained “junk” trees, thin and thick vines, dead trees and other areas.


Needless to say, the Speed Machete not only performed its job admirably, but also was a great pleasure to work with! First and foremost, I could have easily used this machete for the entire day and I doubt I would tire from its weight at all. At just 1.88 lbs. I see why this unit has the name “Speed” attached to it. As you’re working along, you get into a rhythm and literally lose track of time. With its reduced weight, the machete’s “flicking” quality is amazing! Using just a half-strength swing, I was able to chop through some of the thickest vines and branches I could find, usually with just one swing.  Within ten minutes, I had cleared a path and an area suitable for camping that was otherwise unlivable beforehand. The base of the handle is curved which helps you in each swing and adds that “flick” that is so desired in machetes. Another added bonus to the handle is a lanyard hole at the base, for those of us who like to add a little paracord or leather strap for added safety while working away. My edge held up very well and didn’t need to be touched up after several hours of land clearing. I was having so much fun that I completely forgot about fishing that day!


I do have one minor complaint that is worth mentioning, even though it seemed to have fixed itself over time. The machete was a bear to extract from the sheath at first, as well as re-sheath. It was very tight and required some muscle to deal with. Some online research shows that others have had this issue as well, and some interesting ideas for fixing it, like putting the sheathed machete under your mattress while you sleep. I found that when you go to extract the machete, it’s easiest to give the thick leather sheath a light squeeze a few inches from the handle when extracting or sheathing. It’s not a big deal really, the leather is just tight and it is in no way a deal breaker.


To finalize this, I am a huge fan of this machete for its simplicity, quality and feature set. This is easily the lightest machete I have ever lifted and could have used it non-stop for an entire day. The handle is easy to grip, will not break or bend on you and molded in a way to provide the maximum flick machete users desire. The blasted satin blade looks good, cleans up well and maintains and edge very well. The leather sheath alone is worth the price of the machete (MSRP $74.98, found online for a mere $46.95) and it will easily last the lifetime of the machete, if not longer. Need another reason to check into this machete? How about the lifetime warranty that it comes with, the same as with all other Condor Tool & Knife products. Spend a little more and pick up this gem, you will not be disappointed at all.