Ontario SP8 Survival Tool
This goes into my wilderness tool kit along with:
Mora #760, Bacho Laplander Folding Saw, Leatherman MT and Lansky Puck Sharpener.
After 3+ years using the SP8 I rate it 4.5 out of 5
The sheath is starting to wear out, so close to perfect.
I bought this Machete to cut down marijuana plants. When I go on marijuana raids out in the woods you need something to crop plants, thick brush, and cut 6 to 8 inch dia. trees for LZ's and this Machete does it all. I love it. I have it attached to the side of my water backpack and it fits perfect. It's not too long and not to heavy. Worth every penny.
First of all, kids, don't confuse this with your father's machete: this thing is waaaaay different. Yeah, it's designed to hack foliage, but it isn't designed for straight-through operations. This is a survival tool: if it can't hack through the brush you're trying to go through, you need to stop, turn around, and find another way through. This is NOT a replacement for a traditional machete: this is a successful design exercise that combines the purpose of a machete with the versatility of a standard survival / hooligan tool. Comparing this blade to other machetes is like comparing a katana to a Roman broadsword: while they're both designed to do the same thing, they cannot be used to do so identically.
I've put a lot of miles on this equipment since I purchased it six months ago. I've done everything from hack notches into treated 4X4s to create shelter (and kill boredom) to pry open a bolted door with this knife! The best survival knife is Ontario's TAK or RAT model knives. The SP8 is an accessory blade because of its size. The blade is extremely well-balanced, the handle is comfortable, and the index indentation is a nice addition to the blade in order to facilitate fine work like sharpening a spear or skinning the small game you catch with it. I've dug cat holes and firebeds with this thing... absolutely the most versatile accessory I own. The sheath is a reflection of Ontario's intent to bring the best equipment of their kind to the market. Blackhawk and the others build knives for gear queers: Ontario brings the real deal at insanely reasonable prices.
Now for the negatives: the serrations along the spine are a nice touch, but the coating needs to be worn off before they do any good... and that is no easy task. The teeth will notch fine, but saw? Forget it. A tactic that works well is using the teeth to dig out a wide notch to hack away at like an axe: the 1095 blade can take it. After I get a good pie-piece hacked out, I drive the blade in nose first and pry over the log I'm cutting. Again, most people won't try logging with this, but I like to test things out as thoroughly as possible. I'd like to see Ontario make the saw teeth a bit finer and construct an ambidextrous handle in order to make sawing easier. The coating on the blade is overkill, but it makes it look goooooooood. The only thing I don't love about the blade is the factory bevel, but anyone worth their salt knows how to strip and grind their blades to their liking. I put a wide bevel on mine, grinding away some of the black epoxy, but a little shine is worth being able to sharpen it quickly in poor conditions. The handle is great when hacking away like Ted Bundy, but it is awkward to use the spline saw and I would like to have a wide tang butt so I have a confident surface to strike with a hammer when using the flat as a chisel or setting it as a pry bar to enhance the urban survival qualities of the blade.
While I can't give the SP8 five stars because there is no su
One great tool!
I only wish this tool was a couple of inches longer. Otherwise it comes out of the box extremely shsrp. It is greating for chopping firemood and as an awesome sheath/carry system. Overall very pleased.
- February 16, 2008
The best survival tool
I have had my SP8 for years, and it is hands down the best tool for all your survival/bushcraft needs. From getting your fireboard ready to building a cabin, its the most versitile and durrable blade out there. PERIOD.
SP8 Honest Review
The SP8 is solid and well built. The shortcomings in my opinion are it is a few inches too short to gain momentum for a powerful chop. It is also a few inches too short for general brush/path clearing. Its weight is more than your average machete, but again this tool is not flimsy and can be sharpened easily with sharpeners or coarse stones you might find in the wilderness. Mine came with a superior scabbard that can be tied to the thigh, back, pack, or other configurations.
Excellent balance and sharpness. I use it for access to inspection points through the dense Florida jungle. Very effective field tool with a supreme edge.
superb survival tool
I have owned my sp8 survival machete for over 12 years and have used it for everthing from bowhunting (building ground blinds or eliminating interfering limbs on tree stands)to survival needs such as chopping thick wood and digging the fire pit it goes in to keep from freezing to death. I have even used it for heavy duty yard work(huge bushes with anaconda-like roots). I even chopped a thick 6 ft. long rail road tie in half!!! It chops,digs,saws,pries,and hammers and holds up wonderfully and I can't recommend it enough.
ive used this machete for about 3 years now as a wildland firefighter, hotshot and there isnt anything bad i can say about it, its small enough to carry in my pack of limited seize and weight and tough enough for me to beat the crap out of it and still keep going. a great buy.