This is my INCH machete. Not the nicest machete out there. But it has sentimental value to me. It was made in the Philippines. I got it while in JEST School (Jungle Environmental Survival Training) in the Philippines. Back in the early 80's. The blade is supposedly made of leaf springs. Not sure if that's true. But it's held up nicely. And holds a good sharpening well. It's a good bit thicker than a traditional machete. But not so much that it over weighs it. The handle is Caribao horn (water buffalo). Only weakness is the handle is starting to split. I think the rivets were put in a little to tightly. I will replace them at some point. It came with that wood sheath. Which works really well btw. Although it's wood number one and held together with finishing nails number two. That and one of my dogs got ahold it along time ago. But I've replaced it temporarily with a green canvas sheath. Will probably replace it with pvc or kydex. It's got a 12" blade. Which I thought I remembered being longer. But it is. And it's a great length for doing many different things. Any longer and it would be to long. It actually could replace your hatchet and fixed blade knife. Although I carry an Ontario fixed blade Air Force or Navy survival knife.
I contacted a couple knife makers asking if there was anything I could do with the horn - short of replacing it - but there really isn't. You can soak it in that stuff you use for canning. Starts with a "p" can't think of it at the moment. To try to "oil" it. But really it just needs to be replaced either with original horn or something synthetic. I'd probably go with removable synthetic grips. But has several years left before it will give way. From what I've been told.
Anyway. It's a nice addition to my INCH. I like it's heft. It's a cross between a normal machete and a kurkkru(sp?). It's bent down like that. And it really puts a lot of force into your swing. I think I'll also strip it and coat it in black oxide. I use that stuff for my AK's. And it's great. Not as good as hot blue or parkerising. But I wouldn't want to do that with the horn on there. I don't think black oxide will effect it.