Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gear Review: Gerber Machete Pro

You might not think a family of 3 foragers needs a machete, but it turns out we do. Sometimes a giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea) is off trail in the brush, or we are picking gallons of wineberries (Rubus phoenicolasius) in a forest of thorns and it would be great to bushwack our way out without bleeding to death. I happened to be browsing through Outdoor Blogger Network where our blog is a member, and I saw the chance to review some gear, including knives and a machete. I signed up for the chance, won, and waited for our new machete to arrive, checking the mail eagerly for several weeks.

This machete is a Gerber Gator Machete Pro. Included with the machete is a nylon sheath which can be carried on a belt and also has a small pocket for the included mini sharpening stone. The machete is really solid and well balanced, weighing 18 oz. The handle has a comfortable grip and an included lanyard to wrap around your wrist to prevent slipping. The end of the blade is extended and curved, with a sharp edge on the inside of the curve. Overall, the machete is 16.5" long, 10.5" is the blade. It is made from high carbon steel, covered with a black protective coating.

Robert and I both used the machete in several jobs. We chopped brush and small shrubs to make paths more passable with the main edge. He chopped down a small black birch tree with ease, it took less than a minute to go through a 3" tree. Chopping overhead branches is also easy. The factory edge is adequate, but we are having it sharpened further by a professional. Robert sees other possible uses while camping such as chopping kindling.

The curved section of the machete is really good for several applications. With a swift upwards motion, I can debranch small trees, or even something tender but spiny like a common thistle (genus Cirsium). The curved blade also worked fantastically to remove the inner bark from a black birch (Betula lenta) so we could remove the cambium layer to make a refreshing wintergreen flavored drink. Later in the season, I can use the curved edge to cut through berry canes to access the center of a patch. It seems reasonable to say the curved inner edge is better for precision cutting, while the main edge is great for chopping like a standard axe or machete.

**The following review is our honest opinion, we received the Gerber Gator Machete Pro free of charge and agreed  to provide a review in exchange.  The 3 Foragers is not sponsored by or associated with Gerber and are accepting no other compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review. **


Mike said...

I don't know why, but I need that

Anonymous said...

I just purchased one and despite other reviews saying the blades is too thin, I find that the blade is quite thick and not that bendable.
I plan on using it this week in the back yard to do in some weed trees!! From that above review I don't think I will having much difficulty. !!
Thank you for the review and photo's.

Fred Frith.