Martindale No. 2 Golok Machete Reviews
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Comments about Martindale No. 2 Golok Machete:
This review is likely going to be read mainly by frothy fans of the legendary No. 2 golok and I doubt they'll be happy after hearing what I have to say about it. Junk is junk and the golok is junkier than most junk on the internet. Crudely manufactured using junkyard scrap, it's apparent that the Brits had little to choose from in the parts bin when crafting these original mil machetes. A big bread knife handle, half a garden shear for a blade and some cheap rivets to mate them and out the door and into battle they went. Like the weak Camillus/Ontario Pilot's Survival Knife, this tool should have been relieved of duty long ago yet it's still around and people still swear by it.
I had high expectations when I ordered mine, even promised it a backyard copperhead hunt before it arrived. The hunt never materialized. My excellent Ontario short cutlass machete went on to rack up seven coppers that summer while the No. 2 gathered dust under the bed. I just didn't trust it to cut squat. The edge is way too concave for serious slicing and dicing. It'll cut softer tropicals and it has minor axe like qualities but overall the blade is a dullard. Time with a bastard file didn't help much.
So how does the golok earn three stars and an average rating? Well, it does serve a significant purpose amongst my large blades. The golok has become my beater blade, sparing my better blades from torture. When I need to chop down Texas-sized weeds in the rock gardens it gets used and abused. When I need to split really hard wood rounds for the fire, out comes the 3 pound drill hammer, wailing away on the spine of the No. 2 until the job is done and we have heat out in the cold. As a beater blade, the golok excells simply at being remarkably tough.
Yes, the bread knife handle is split nearly in two yet that's easy to replace when the time comes and it falls apart. The blade itself has good non-brittle steel and that's all that keeps me from slinging it into the woods. Although full of nicks and dents on the edge and in spite of a heavily battered spine, it seems to get better with wear and tear. Those serrations on the edge help it cut and the spine is so rough it saws through wood efficiently between poundings. My prized RTAK-2 owes its less battered condition to this golok.
Here's the verdict, and the truth, regarding this legendary blade. It'll never be truly sharp. It'll never cut much more than softer vegetation and juicier woods. It'll rust heavily, especially along the edge. It holds no visual appeal. The handle is messed up. The overall look and feel is cheap and disappointing considering the price. The Ontario short cutlass machete will best it in every way but one - that's as a beater blade. The Ontario's too thin to pound on with a sledge or a drill hammer. The golok's thick steel stock is better suited for such extreme abuse. That's its sole attribute and frankly, it could be replaced by a quarter inch thick steel blank with an edge ground in and a duct tape handle. Don't buy one unless you're in need of a tool you can sacrifice without the least regret. That's pretty low praise for such an enduring blade.