PUBLISHED: 11:33 04 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 August 2016
The editor asks if this innovative tool is better than the rest.
I seem to have a lot of these kinds machete/hide making tools sent to me recently, and to be honest, most of them are much of a muchness in terms of performance. Because of this I have to confess that I was very pleased to unpack the Carnivore X. It looks and works like no other machete I’ve ever used and exudes a confidence I’ve never seen in a tool like this.
The profile is what you’d describe as a tanto-style, with the cutting edge and the saw back being parallel almost to the tip. This gives a huge cutting area for hacking and slicing through all kinds of brambles and nettles, as well as the ability to cut through some thicker sticks. Most machetes don’t do well on any hard wood, but the combination of the quality of the titanium-bonded steel and the grind used to make it stand out from the crowd.
The lower third of the blade features a hollow grind that helps it to penetrate massively better than the usual deep bevel that you’d find on inferior blades. A hollow grind is usually kept for meat-cutting blades because it makes the impact area think, and therefore weak, unless the steel quality is good enough.
To honour my role as tester, I ripped into some branches that deserved an axe, with everything I had, and the Carnivore X came up smiling. Thick nettles and brambles were sliced as if they weren’t there. As a saw it worked okay, but I don’t see that as its main purpose.
Camillus promotes this as a survival tool and includes a neat little drop-point knife in the side of the sheath. It actually makes a great pigeon/rabbit/squirrel preparation knife, as well as being your Bear Grylls survival spear tip. The notches in the sides and barbs in the spine have it ready to become a spear head for catching fish, but back in the real world it’s just a good bonus knife.
For me, this is an excellent machete that clears brambles and brush with little effort and has a greater capacity to cut thicker limbs of wood than any others in its class. The textured pattern, anatomical grip is superb; the cutting power is the best I’ve seen, and at £30 I think it’s a bit of a bargain.