Florida often invokes a specific image, Disney Land, beaches, sun and fun style living. Which is all true, but doesn’t represent the entirety of Florida, just the places people want to go. Not many people want to cruise over to Northwest Florida, the land of sun, mosquitoes, and what feels like a tropical rainforest at times. NW Florida is a jungle, but in its lushness is the easy access to fishing, hunting, camping, and an outdoors style life. Like all jungles it’s exploration requires tools, and machetes are a common must have. The folks at Outdoor Edge were nice enough to send me a Brush Demon machete to help continue my adventures. (And maintain my yard)
I live smack dab in the middle of nowhere in a clearing surrounded by woods on all sides and I love it. That being said I have plenty of work to keep up with to constantly push nature backward. Before we dive into the slicing and dicing lets look at what the Brush Demon is.
Brush Demon Specs
The Brush Demon is a compact machete with a blade that curves slightly forward. Its blade is 13.5 inches long and the overall length is 20 inches and it weighs 1.1 pounds. As you can see it’s compact and light. The blade is made from 65 Mn carbon spring-steel and it has a black powder coat for rust resistance. Carbon steel does like to rust and living a mile from the ocean it will rust, but the powder coat will help.
The Brush Demon had a nice Zytel handle with what they call a skin molded TPR. TPR, of course, being Thermoplastic rubber. The Brush Demon comes with a nylon sheath that’s quite nice and can be worn low or high. MSRP is 69.95.
Hitting the Brush
The Brush Demon is an incredibly sharp machete. Right out of the box it’s a serious tool. Your blow can be slow and with little force and it won’t have much issue slicing and dicing through the brush. This includes sapling oaks, palmettos, vines of all types and more. Little force is required to make good cuts and because of this, you have to exert less effort.
The forward curve to the tip of the Brush Demon is almost kukri like in design, but the curve isn’t so extreme. This forward curve does make chopping easier and the blade overall more effective. This thing chews through foliage. I cleared a little area of thick palmettos, saplings, and more in just a few minutes and was blown away and barely felt like I was doing anything. My exertion levels were low and my heart rate hadn’t jumped according to my Fit Bit.
The handle and its skin molded design does feel odd when you first pick it up. It’s oddly soft but in use, it’s comfortable and absorbs shock well. It’s a little thin, but this didn’t cause issues. Throughout a day of chopping, slicing, and destroying I felt some hot spots, but never developed blisters. My hands also never felt too fatigued or cramped. The ledges on the front and rear of the grip also keep your hand from sliding while chopping and cutting. You don’t have to grip it like your life is depending on it.
The Brush Demon is superbly light so fatigue is reduced just in general use. The machete glides through the air, and through everything in front of it.
The blade is a little front heavy, but its a freakin machete, do they come any other way? The geometry of the blade does lend itself to the wrist snap technique for cutting. As someone who grew using a machete for everything from sod to brush the proper way to cut is with your whole arm, leading with the elbow and flicking your wrist up or down depending on the material.
The Brush Demon is an oddly designed machete sure, but its still an effective and handy machete. The heavy part at the apex of the belly is a sweet spot for chopping thicker materials and hitting them at the right angle will chop right through them.
Since exertion is minimized safety is maximized. When you get tired with a machete you get sloppy and when you get sloppy you get hurt. The Brush Demon’s design is well suited for both beginners and experienced macheticians. (Yes I made that word up.)
The Brush Demon was designed by Jerry Hossom who makes several blades inspired by the Greek Kopis and you can see a lot of the kopis design in the Brush Demon, down to the ledges on the handle. It also has a hellacious point, which is uncommon on machetes. This blade can be used for stabbing, be it a pesky predator who’s put you on the menu, or a piece of scum looking for a score.
There is a defensive edge to every machete, but the Brush Demon takes it a step beyond. The ability to stab and penetrate is simply another function of an already handy tool. My only real complaint is I wish the blade was a bit longer. As a tall guy, I’m bending over pretty far to hit brush on the ground. An 18-inch model would be blissful to my 6’5” frame.