Cold Steel machetes have been around for awhile. What sets them apart from other machetes is their sword like blade styles. They are also low cost and high value. I got mine from www.walmart.com for about 22.00.
For me, and for many others I would guess, this machete fulfills two purposes. For one, it is very much a functional chopper that is capable of any job around the house and for many (most) on the trail. Since getting mine, I have chopped a few small branches/twigs off of ye-aulde-yard-tree. It performed well with no damage to the blade. This blade’s first job was to dispatch a 2-inch snake in our garage. My wife alerted me by phone while I was on my way home from picking the thing up from Walmart. So out of the box and off with its head.
It came with a decent sheath. It is not that great just a basic, though solidly designed, sheath. Not much to write home about here.
I have read where Cold Steel founder Lynn Thompson practices in various martial arts including Filipino Martial Arts. This makes sense as the barong is a Filipino blade and is special to the point of unique in its design. It’s leaf like shaped blade can be easily identified as well as its curved handle. I am surprised that this sword design has not appeared in cinema (maybe it has and I have not seen it). A leaf shaped blade and a curved handle screams “elf” but this is a review not a screenplay 🙂
As a short sword, I believe in my very limited experience that this barong “works”. It’s an incredibly simple design of just a blade and polymer. It is a good-to-great slasher and chopper but it can also stab well. So its a stabby machete, but is still a machete; there is a “clunk” factor here. The blade has virtually no contouring or bevelling on it (obviously to keep cost down). It’s heavy and balanced like a machete – which is not all together a bad thing even when fighting is concerned. All blades are, or should be, designed slightly heavier than one likes to account for sharpening and a loss of blade steel overtime. This is definitely a “beater” sword.
I modified my barong to help mitigate some of the clunk. I had it professionally sharpened which took a fair amount of material off the blade thus lightening it up. I filled up the lanyard hole with bolts; I also wrapped the handle with grip tape. These mods significantly helped to improve this sword’s ergonomics.
In my quest to “more power” this machete, I learned that the tang goes all the way down to the lanyard hole and past it. I also learned this blade easily makes the coolest ping/ring sound of any blade I have handled.
Last, this machete is a great recreational blade. It is fun to hold and even “funner” to chop. If plinking is an acceptable philosophy of use for a gun then slicing random stuff should be for a blade. If you are thinking about getting a sword, a machete, or a machete-sword then take a good look at the Cold Steel Barong Machete.
Ratings (out of five stars)