Cold Steel Chinese War Sword Machete Review Sept 24, 2015 10:51:58 GMT
Post by Nicholas on Sept 24, 2015 10:51:58 GMT
I purchased this modern Dadao from MidwayUSA for $35 USD with free shipping. It's been called the little brother of Cold Steel's Chinese War Sword, which is a thicker and heavier Dadao. The Dadao is a large two handed Chinese saber associated with peasantry for most of it's history, it's said to be an easier weapon for someone to become accustomed to quickly. This one by Cold Steel is more like the 20th century incarnation of the "Big Military Saber" which was lightweight and thin. This one doesn't have the chopping power that it's more expensive big brother has but it's nothing to be taken lightly. Weighing 2.5 lbs and having an overall length of 38 inches, it's .12 inch thick blade doesn't feel like a machete in the hands. Here are the good and bad things about this product...
It came in a massive box filled with thirty of those potato sized air packs I was pulling out for a few minutes. The blade and sheath come in a long plastic bag with folded cardboard at the top.
The blade is 1055 high carbon steel that has been plasma cut to shape and sharpened. It is obviously full tang with a ring pommel and interesting quillons. The edge is just fine, not razor sharp but sharp enough to cut bottles and stuff. It comes coated in Cold Steel's black finish. It's more resistant to corrosion with this finish but on this particular item I thought it would look better without it so I used acetone and fine steel wool to remove it, and I just keep oil on it. I have no complaints about the blade.
The handle is made of Cold Steel's usual black polypropylene it covers the whole tang around. It has recessions on each side which aid in grip. I find it to be too thick and hard, after an hour of practice with it as is, you will feel it in your hands. For now I just have it slightly ground down with paracord wrapped around it. The handle is even thicker like this but it's more comfortable. I plan on removing the paracord and grinding it down a lot more into an oval grip. The handle is the main problem one might have with this item, it's not a deal breaker but it could be improved.
The sheath is a typical cordura machete sheath. It is open at the back edge and the blade is secured by three snaps, only one is needed to keep it in place. Unfortunately it is a back strap sheath, which is very impractical. I didn't include a picture of it because I have modified it into a waist sheath and it no longer resembles it's original form... and because it was in the other room when I took the picture. The sheath is another negative aspect but still not a big enough deal considering the price.
It handles exactly how you would expect it to. When using two hands it handles smoothly once you get used to it, it's not as simple as a katana. Most people will want to try a big downward hew as soon it's out of the box. One handed, it's nimble and easy. If you understand how this weapon works you should be able to handle it just fine.
For $35 USD, this is a great value. It's a sturdy blade and even though it's sold as a machete, it's definitely more sword than machete. Would I use it in a kung fu movie? Yes. Would I march into battle with it? No. I give it 8/10 with my only issues being the uncomfortable handle and back sheath. For the price it's hard to beat and it's great fun and exercise.