More compact and capable than a hatchet for any camp chore more refined than a local rock can do. How often do you need a full-blown hammer to pound tent stakes into the dirt of a campsite? Rarely, I'd wager. Tap stakes in with the flat of the blade, then grab a rock for heavy pounding, if required.
The SP-8 is full tang. The 1095 carbon steel runs the full length and width of the handle MINUS an allowance for the excellent & durable handle material. The brass bushing you see at the butt of the tool is entirely through the steel tang. With two fingers of weak hand on the butt end and the strong hand on the forward end of the handle, a 12" - 18" fire log can be split readily, equally as well as any hatchet could do. The 1/2" steel will take any baton bashing needed for the smaller stuff without a whimper.
Spine is a rasp, not a saw. Notching for tent/lean-to framing or fireside/water's edge construction is simplified with two whacks using a baton technique to define notch width then hew out the notch with the rasp teeth.
Advantage of 1095 carbon is edge retention. This beasty gets razor sharp like all the 1095 knives out there. Yep, in a pinch, it'll even clean fish if you keep that top corner edge sharp enough to poke with.
Bonus of 1095 carbon steel is, if all else fails, a local piece of chert/quartz/flint will generate a spark for emergency fire starting in your dry tinder bundle. A 1055 carbon steel axe doesn't work as well for that.
Put one in the bottom of your pannier along with a portable saw plus your Leatherman or favorite brand multi-tool. These take little space, and weight may be offset by utility. Engage brain when needed and you'll have all the camp tools you'll need in the boonies for weeks at a time.
I used mine on Cascade Mt. rides over the last few years following the advice of Mr. Subjective. It works well.
(Posted on 5/5/15)
The blade is strong and hefty, but let's be serious: the serrated edge is totally useless as a saw. The weight of the tool makes it semi-adequate for hacking small branches to pieces, or breaking kindling - but it's in no was a brush-clearing tool, nor can it fell "small trees with no effort". I took it out of the box, and put it right back in it and shipped it back for a full refund. (Posted on 2/14/13)
I have used this tool to camp and clear our property. This thing is fantastic. It is heavy enough to follow through on your swings , while light enough to not tire you out. Great for splitting or carving a new tent stake. I have cut down 4" trees with little effort. Every camper needs this machete. (Posted on 10/7/10)
I was immediately impressed with the quality of this machete. It is handy for chopping wood for campfires or lean-tos. The serrated back actually works as a saw very well. The handle fits perfectly in the hand. Very well made out of quality materials, even the sheath. I highly recommened it. It's worth every penny. (Posted on 11/23/09)