Old Hickory 14″ Butcher Knife: Who Needs a Machete?

Praise the knife gods for Old Hickory! These USA-made blades are not only a good, affordable product as-is, but they also are a perfect platform for modification and DIY projects. The knife world would be a darker place without them. Thankfully, I’ve got a new one to tinker with!

I recently acquired a “cosmetic 2nd” Old Hickory 14” Butcher Knife for a song. My old Tramontina machete that serves as my main yard work slasher has a 14-inch blade, and I’ve been intrigued by the idea of using one of these butcher knives as a substitute.

It will need a new handle of course… my testing of the Old Hickory Cleaver as a small chopper revealed that the cutlery rivets holding the hardwood scales to the tang aren’t up to the job of outdoor work. Once I have slapped on some micarta, this knife is going to be a beast! Even knowing the specs I couldn’t help but giggle as I unwrapped the blade. This thing is fit to dismember a baby Brachiosaurus!

The only cosmetic issues I could find were some surface scuffs and rust, (which I will be able to clean up) and crookedly finished scales (which is moot, since I am rehandling it).

When I modded the aforementioned cleaver I was only working with the Ken Onion WorkSharp Blade Grinding Attachment, which did a fine job for what it was, but now that I have a big boy grinder and more knifemaking experience under my belt I am looking forward to this project. I shall dub it “The Old Hickory Butchete Experiment!”

I’ll try not to draw this out too long.. hopefully I will be able to share the finished product with you sometime next month. Watch this space.


  1. Sam L. says:

    Butchete is a great name. Watchingggggggggggggggggg…

  2. PeterK says:

    Duuuuuuuuuuuude. This is going to be fun.

  3. cmeat says:

    i’d kind of like to take some of the edge off of one side of my hickory pigsticker, making it a partially sharpened (near the tip) swage. that thing also needs a finger guard/ bolster.
    my tramontina bolo gets abused.
    the hickory 1095 patinas nicely in vinegar, sort of grayish blue.

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Old Hickory 14″ Butcher Knife: Who Needs a Machete?

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