CABELA’S BRUSH CUTTER
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Bushwhackers

CABELA’S BRUSH CUTTER
True brush machetes mow down vegetation off the beaten trail.

Nylon-rope handle proved dangerously slippery. Too heavy at 28 1/2 ounces (39 with Kydex sheath, included) except for short-duration tasks. “It’s just good for killing people,” one farmhand said. Very pricey. 20-inch blade. $90. (800) 237-4444, www.cabelas.com.

Text by Scott Doggett
Photos by Lori Shepler / LAT ()
SEYMOUR 2P-MA22
SEYMOUR 2P-MA22
This machete proved most popular of the items tested. Its weight (16.2 ounces) allows all-day use. Flexible blade permits trims to within an inch of the ground. Plastic handle is super durable. 22-inch blade. $10. (800) 457-1909, www.seymourmfg.com.

Note: These reviews reflect the consensus of six Panamanian farmhands who used the machetes for two weeks. Prices shown are real world, not necessarily manufacturers’ suggested. ()
UNION TOOLS 22"
UNION TOOLS 22"
Good weight (16.4 ounces) for hour-after-hour use. Long and flexible blade (22 inches) permits low-to-ground clearing. Wooden handle perceived as delicate, but did not break or crack. No sheath. $10. (800) 888-4196, www.uniontools.com()
GERBER BRUSH THINNER
GERBER BRUSH THINNER
Rust-fighting Teflon-coated blade (ingenious) cut through banana leaves, stems and trunks easily. Tough, lightweight nylon-composite handle. Too short for ground-skimming grass work. 8 3/4-inch blade. 15.1 ounces. $27. (800) 950-6161, www.gerberblades.com()
BARTEAUX & SONS 22"
BARTEAUX & SONS 22”
Heavy blade was superb for clearing small trees, severing stout vines. Excellent grip, questionable “safety handle.” Too rigid for low-to-ground clearing. No sheath. 22-inch blade. 23.3 ounces. $23. (800) 647-5368, www.forestry-suppliers.com()
1/5