Review: Overland Machete
Manufacturer: L.T. Wright Knives – Hand Crafted Knives
Review by: Simon Thomas
The Right Tool For The Job
Having the right tools to hand makes outdoor living a lot easier and can make even the most nerdish library geek feel like Indiana Jones.
Last year, Lisa and I bumped into a few of the crew from L.T. Wright Knives. Within seconds of the conversation starting, Lisa’s eyes glanced upwards and sparkled having spotted their impressive Overland Machete that was casually swinging from a nail in a wooden post.
“Can I have a look?” she asked in her politest English accent. From the minute we handled the stunningly crafted tool, I knew we were going to end up owning one, and eventually writing up a review. And, so here we are.
An Essential Tool
Since entering Africa back in 2003 Lisa and I have always carried a machete and found them indispensable. From chopping firewood, to clearing a space in the brush for your tent, there are a thousand different reasons to carry a machete.
Until owning our current Overland Machete, we have always bought our previous versions from back street markets or roadside sellers, in whatever country we were riding through. In truth, each machete has served its purpose, but each was little more than a cheap and easily blunted blade skewered into a soft timber handle.
The Overland Machete by L.T. Wright Knives is a very different animal.
Quality, Quality, Quality.
Before you even unsheathe the machete, its quality cowhide scabbard grabs your attention. The quality and substance of this machete’s sheath sets it apart from the usual hardware-store pretenders. Thick, substantial and dyed a rich colonial explorer brown, the Overland’s sheath is supplied with a belt loop, should you wish to hang this bad boy from your hip.
Nine eyelets have been placed on the circumference of the sheath and provide plenty of options for attaching the supplied mounting kit, should you want to install the machete on the wall of your Land Rover, truck or motorcycle.
Aircraft Grade Materials
If leather is not your thing, then the custom moulded, quick release Kydex* (see detail below) sheath is a great option. The aircraft grade plastic can be hosed out after your adventures and protects the steel whilst in transit. The military style front brake away Kyndex sheath also minimizes water, mud and debris from being stuck down inside a traditional sheath.
*Kydex is a line of thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride materials with a wide variety of applications, including for aircraft bulkhead (partition)s, firearm holsters, sheaths, and for knives.
We chose the leather sheath, which Lisa has attached to her F800GS. See pic attached.
An American Made Workhorse
We’re currently camped in Falls Creek Fall State Park in Tennessee and over the last 4-days I’ve cut wood on a daily basis for the fire pit. After a recent storm felled dozen of trees in the camp area, wood is abundant but manageable, logs ready to light were not. After days of swinging and cutting, let me tell you that the blade of the Overland Machete is still razor sharp and ready to go, which is testament to the quality of steel used.
The Ovelrnad Machete comes with a lifetime warranty. This is exceptional!
Made from American sourced 1075 high carbon steel, the blade carry’s on the theme of quality. This is a no nonsense tool that is ready to go, whenever it’s needed and with 12” inches of sharpened blade, cutting branches and even small trees is child’s play.
There’s no unnecessary gimmicks to this machete. The blade undergoes a two-stage patina process, which leaves a dark hue on the blade. I’ve now been swinging this machete for 4-months and have tackled simple bush scrub to tree trucks and nothing intimidates this blade. After a few thousand swings, the overland machete still feels solid and sure without a hint of the buzzy vibe I’d feel from the cheaper blades after a similar amount of abuse.
In the hand the machete feels well balanced and ready to tackle almost any challenge. The handle of the machete is also unique, as you’d expect from a company that ‘hand crafts’ their products. The handle is fabricated from 2-ton marine grade epoxy, with a subtle scaling pattern applied to ensure a firm and positive grip. Last night I was cutting up a tree trunk in the pouring rain (don’t ask why?). The handle never came close to suggesting a ‘slip’ was even possible.
The bond between blade and handle is perfect and there is no chance of mud or water penetrating the handle and loosing the bond.
A simple and useful elasticated lanyard, attaches the machete to the sheath as well as providing useful tension when cutting or whittling small wood, using the ‘blade in hand’ technique.
The L.T. Wright Knives, Overland Machete, is the machete done right! (pun intended) this light weight tool is as happy in your local state park as it would be in the centre of the Amazon Jungle and does its job perfectly.
This is quality no-nonsense tool that performs without the needs for gimmick or flashy design, often seen in the cheaper store bought variety. From top to toe and from handle to blade this is the right tool for a thousand jobs and should be considered as an essential for any serious over-lander. Be careful though you might just feel like Indiana Jones.
Recommended? Yes very highly!
- Overall Length: 19"
- Sharpened Edge: 12"
- Steel: 3/32" 1075
- Grind: Convex
- Handle: Micarta
- 2 step patina (Apple Cider Vinegar and Yellow Mustard)
- Bungee Lanyard that acts as a lock for the sheath and a hand loop.
- Lifetime warranty
Resources, more info and purchase link:
L.T.Wright Knives – Overland Machete Page
|▲ Lifetime warranty supplied
|▲ Upper end of price scale
|▲ American made
|▲ 1075 high carbon steel blade
|▲ 2-ton marine grade epoxy handle
|▲ 2 stage patina
|▲ light weight
|▲ Two sheath options, leather of kyndex
|▲ Attaching kit supplied