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#363689 - 08/22/09 04:36 PM Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind
Horn Dog Offline
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 14586
Loc: Georgia
I got a user Bark River Northwind from a fellow dog yesterday. Bark River calls it a brush chopper, and it is. It needed a little touch up on the edge, so I got it and my convexed Swamp Rat Rodent Waki nice and sharp. These swords both have 17" blades, but are very different. The Waki is much heavier. Mine weighs 31 oz, compared to 23 oz for the Northwind. Most of that extra weight is in the large two-handed handle.



The Barkie has a .210" thick tang, but the blade is fully convexed and it tapers a little. The Waki is .188" thick and not tapered. The Barkie is 0170-6 steel and the Waki is 52100 or SR101. Both have micarta handles.



The Barkie balances about 4.5" in front of the scales. The Waki balances right at the blade / handle junction.





I had a nice piece of Red Bay wood lying around. The Northwind took just 10 chops to go through it.


The convexed Waki took only 7 chops.




I used a one hand grip on both swords, gripping the Waki on the rear portion of the handle. It's greater length and higher blade speed powered through the wood just a bit easier. Then I split the wood. We don't need no stinking batons!

The Waki was impressive slashing palmettos, too, but the Northwind feels much more machete-like, and does it easier.



It splits wood as well as the Waki, if I can only hit it right.


Neither edge was damaged at all by this chopping.

In summary, I felt that the Northwind was the better woods tool, but only marginally. That convexed Waki can deliver some serious power. Both are fine for the coming zombie invasion.

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#363690 - 08/22/09 05:10 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: Horn Dog]
RN Online   content
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 4019
Loc: CT
Great photos!

Bring the zombies on...
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"I came here for the knives and stayed for the people."

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#363691 - 08/22/09 05:27 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: RN]
Horn Dog Offline
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 14586
Loc: Georgia
Thanks. One thing I neglected to mention was the ability to use both hands with the Waki. When chopping down a tree, that gives the Waki even more advantage. For more typical machete and chopper use, I prefer the Northwind, but that is just a user preference. I like the curved blade and general handling of the Northwind better. But the Waki is one serious weapon/survival tool. I do have one big ole Busse khukri that can out chop either of these, but I can't show pics or tell you any details yet.
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#363692 - 08/22/09 05:39 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: RN]
KnifeGuy Offline
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 2943
Loc: Spring, TX
Awesome comparison review Vic.

I haven't had a chance to use my Waki yet. But, your review pretty much sums up what I expected.

I expected the Waki to offer and deliver more power if gripped at the back or if using it's optional two handed grip.

And I expected the lighter and shorter oal Northwind to be more nimble and long machete like - yet still cut and chop very well..... as I pretty much already knew.

I expected BOTH to be sufficiently tough and BOTH are GREAT tools.


------

While writing this, I pulled out my Northwind and it bit me.
I still have my Northwind's old (now worn) card-board blade cover. I keep Ren-Wax on the blade, but 0170-6 is as prone to rust as SR-101. So, I don't store in it's leather sheath (Northwind came with leather sheath). Actually, I never store ANY of my knives in leather sheaths. But, I do keep quite a few of the blades in kydex if they come with kydex.
I normally" only grab that VERY sharp blade by the handle. But, I had it standing vertically between my credenza andknife storage drawers under my credenza (too long to fit in drawers ). The handle fell back, so I pulled it out by the blade cover tip with my right hand and stupid for a second reached with left hand to grap the back closer to the handle to not beat it up when dragging it out from between the tight spot it was in. And right as my left hand was reaching the blade the cardboard slipped forward to expose blade. I just "barely" touched the blade and I got a nice little slice on my left index finger.

I try to be careful with these sharp things. They do bite.

My Cheness Katana still makes me quite nervous when handling. Honestly, the Northwind is 2nd behind the Katana. Their size along with those VICIOUSLY sharp convex edges require respect and attention.

My Waki doesn't have that type of edge yet..... Someday.

.
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JYD #39 I prefer "SATIN" blades!!!

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#363693 - 08/22/09 05:48 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: KnifeGuy]
Horn Dog Offline
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 14586
Loc: Georgia
Oh Doug, I know darned well you are going to do a great convex job on that Waki. My Waki bit me right after I convexed it. It was balanced on my belt sander motor and started to fall. It just grazed the top of my left index finger and left a nice clean slice. It healed fast. Your'e right, these big sharp things demand our attention and respect.
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#363694 - 08/22/09 06:19 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: Horn Dog]
crpoc Offline
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 04/09/07
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wild Horse Desert, S. TX
Nice job, Vic. Great pics. I wondered how the Northwind would compare to Waki.
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#363695 - 08/22/09 06:25 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: crpoc]
Horn Dog Offline
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 14586
Loc: Georgia
Quote:

Nice job, Vic. Great pics. I wondered how the Northwind would compare to Waki.




To sum it up, the Northwind is the better machete and the Waki is the better weapon and the more powerful chopper. But only if it is sharp.
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#363696 - 08/22/09 08:36 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: Horn Dog]
Sigfest Offline
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1319
Loc: NE Ohio
Good info HD
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#363697 - 08/22/09 08:58 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: Sigfest]
RN Online   content
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 4019
Loc: CT
Any thoughts on which is more nimble, easy to control, alive in the hand...that kind of thing?
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JYD #109
"I came here for the knives and stayed for the people."

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#363698 - 08/22/09 09:40 PM Re: Chop-Off: Waki vs Northwind [Re: Horn Dog]
KnifeGuy Offline
Junk Yard Dog

Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 2943
Loc: Spring, TX
Quote:

Oh Doug, I know darned well you are going to do a great convex job on that Waki. My Waki bit me right after I convexed it. It was balanced on my belt sander motor and started to fall. It just grazed the top of my left index finger and left a nice clean slice. It healed fast. Your'e right, these big sharp things demand our attention and respect.




Yeah... SR-101 gets PLENTY sharp.

And you are right, I will eventually strip and convex at least one of mine.

Hopefully, by repeated saying, others will learn from our mistakes about how these swords are quite dangerous - especially when HIGHLY sharp. Hopefully, nobody gets more than a little love bite. But, obviously, when "sharp", these swords "deserve" SERIOUS attention and respect.

.


Edited by KnifeGuy (08/22/09 09:41 PM)
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