WHEN BIGGER IS BETTER
Knives Illustrated|March-April 2021
THE CAS IBERIA CHOP HOUSE IS A MACHETE THAT PROVIDES BIG BLADE CUTTING POWER
TIM STETZER

Generally speaking, I’m content with a 4- to 5-inch field knife when I go into the woods. I can usually do whatever I need to do with a knife that size. I’ll concede, though, that there are definitely some tasks that you can do faster or better with a big blade.

This may not be a big deal in temperate weather, but when you’re cold and wet, and snow is on the ground or falling, things such as shelter building and fire prep take on a bit more urgency. That’s when being able to work faster and more efficiently with a big blade becomes important. With that in mind, a big blade to me needs to be rugged and capable of withstanding a lot of abuse, be able to stand up to harsh conditions, and be able to chop. Those criteria fit the Chop House from CAS Iberia perfectly.

MEET THE CHOP HOUSE

The Chop House may not be what you think of when you think of a foul weather survival knife, but it works quite fine in that role. At first glance, you’ll see a lot of cleaver influence in the Chop House. Upon closer look, you’ll see those lines are really that of the Chinese Dao sword, taken down to a more compact, yet still formidable size.

The Chop House is part of CAS Iberia’s APOC line. The APOC Survival Tool line is made at its Dragon King forge in Dalian, China. If you’re familiar with CAS Iberia’s sword lines, you’ll know that the Dragon King forge puts out some top quality, functional swords. While the APOC line uses some sometimes-humorous marketing to pitch it as an “end of the world” survival line, the build quality of the tools makes them quite suitable for day-to-day tasks around camp and in the woods too.

The Chop House is 18.25 inches in overall length, with a 12.75-inch blade and a 4.75-inch handle. It’s made from a single piece of 6 mm thick 9260 steel. According to Continental Steel, 9260 is a high-silicon, spring alloy steel that offers “outstanding corrosion resistance, hardness, toughness, and strength.” All of which are features that make for an excellent choice for a chopping blade.

Dragon King heat treats the steel to a 56 Rockwell, which is a good compromise between edge retention and toughness. The blade is 5.5 mm thick at the spine and the blade has a full height flat grind that tapers down to a surprisingly fine edge with a secondary bevel. The Chop House didn’t arrive hair popping sharp out of the box, but it had a decent user edge suitable for a chopper. The blade is coated in a black anodized finish to further provide corrosion resistance.

The Chop’s 6 mm thick full-tang handle features a built-in double guard. The guard is short and unobtrusive but provides plenty of protection to keep your hand off of the blade. The handle consists of a set of nicely contoured black G10 scales affixed with three Torx screws on either side. It features a single finger notch and prominent pommel flair to keep your hand in place while you’re using the knife. A hidden lanyard hole is tastefully situated at the butt of the knife, which allows you a further option to keep the knife secure when in use.

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