I recently purchased a pair of Fiskars' brush axes. http://www2.fiskars.com/Products/Yard-and-Garden/Axes-and-Striking/Brush-Axe When I picked them up in the gardening tool isle of the local Tractor Supply store, I was impressed by their weight and balance. At first look, the blade appeared to be thicker than your average machete, and had a slight hook shape to it much like a pineapple machete or the US aircrew survival machete design. $25 each and out the door I went. It didn't take long for a few brush and tree problems to present themselves so I could put the little choppers to the test. I was pleasently supprised by how the tool handled. Since the blade isn't as long as a traditional machete, the handle was made longer so you could swing it with some force. The edge is a simple, double sided grind. The handle is molded to the blade, I don't know how long the tang is, but it has to be down the handle pretty far; you can strike with the blade near the tip and plant it pretty deep into a tree without the handle feeling the least bit wobbly. The very tip of the blade is blunt. When you power through vegitation and continue on through, and strike the ground or a rock, you will not hit (like you do with a traditional machete) with the sharpened part of the blade. Trust me, you do cut through stuff with this blade. I found myself cutting clean through 1 and 1 1/2 inch birch branches in one swipe. I really had to watch when I used a downward angle, as most branches offered little resistance, and my follow through came uncomfortably close to my legs. You have to watch the follow-through with these! I would up cutting down a small 6 in pine tree later in the week, and it was felled in a few minutes and some angled chops to both sides. The blade sinks pretty deep into these soft woods, and doesn't stick with too much force, allowing me to pull the blade out for another wack with just a jerk of the handle. The "sheath" that comes with the brush axe is good for storing it on the wall of the garage, but not very useful for carrying. It is a molded plastic box-like container with a hinged lever. It relies on the hole in the blade to locate it in the sheath and the lever to lock it in place. I will have to hunt around for someone to make me a belt carry sheath. At some point in the near future, I'm going to get the lansky sharpener set out and try to put a shaving edge on it. I'm curious just to see how long it can hold it and if it makes it any better of a cutting instrument.