CRKT Liong Mah Mah-Chete


By: Dr. Jim and Mary Clary


We decided to test and review the Mah Chete because most of the "conventionally" designed machetes on the market fail miserably in the field.  The reasons being that they are either too light, made with cheap steel, or so poorly constructed that they do not hold up... OR a combination of all three (especially their cloth sheaths). 


We learned this the hard way when we purchased a well-known name brand machete to tackle some Russian thistle (a.k.a. tumbleweeds) that got out of control last summer during the monsoon season.  After much frustration, my son-in-law threw it away and decided to use a hand axe to clear the area around our sheds.  Even then, it was a chore and we finally waited until they dried out and torched the rest with a burner.


When we laid eyes on the Mah-Chete at the 2016 SHOT Show, and having the memory of last summer etched in my mind, I knew we had to check it out.  Although we are not familiar with Liong Mah's background, given the design of his Mah-Chete, it is apparent that he was well-aware of the shortcomings of the majority of the conventional machetes on the market.  As such, he designed one that would do what machetes were intended to do... chop weeds, brush, and foliage with a minimum of effort. 


The Mah-Chete is heavy enough to take out all of the brush and weeds that we have encountered, but not so heavy that it "tortures" our arms.  The upswept shape greatly enhances its efficiency, and unlike most conventional machetes, the hammer-forged steel remains sharp, only requiring an occasional touchup. 


Add in the reinforced nylon sheath that has a "drop down" option allowing you to strap it to your leg and you have a very useful tool.  This is not only an excellent survival blade, but it will be invaluable to any backpacker or hunter who ventures into the mountains.


The specifications of the Mah-Chete are:

  • Overall Length:  17.44 inches

  • Weight:  1 lb 3.2 ounces

  • Blade Length:  12 inches

  • Blade Thickness:  0.18 inches

  • Blade Material:  1075 Carbon Steel

  • Blade - HRC:  50-55

  • Grind:  Concave Grind

  • Style:  Drop Point/Plain Edge

  • Handle Material:  Walnut

  • Sheath:  Reinforced Nylon @ 5 ounces


Before we finish, we would like to say a word or two about the1075 carbon steel used in the Mah-Chete.  Because of its carbon content, 0.75%, it is tougher and stronger than conventional knife blades.  It is made for heavy chopping, and while it doesn't have the edge retention of belt knives, it sharpens up easily when needed.  Like the old Timex watches, the Mah-Chete is designed to "take a licking and keep on ticking."


The Mah-Chete has an MSRP of $99.99 which is very reasonable for what you get.  You can pay less for another machete, but you will get a lot less... and we mean a LOT LESS!

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