Welcome to NAMCo's S5 ~ Australia's only Tramontina Machete Handle Mod
Here you can Shape, Sand, Stipple, Stain & Seal your handle into the most handsome and comfortable Tramontina machete on the block!
Although we really like the factory Tramontina machete handles, they are a little rough around the edges. Some Australian campers are more than happy to use them as is, most are going to want to tune them up. Lucky for us, the bones are solid. Tramontina use hardwood for all of their handles. Their rivet system is durable and the basics of their shape promotes a solid and safer grip.
If you want to find more information, we have plenty of that! Scroll down to find out exactly what we can do to personalise your machete.
QUICK TIP ~ You can add this upgrade to any of the packages found on our specials page. You can stack all the specials together. We don't mind at all.
So why the S5 handle mod? The S5 Handle Shaping Mod is an affordable alternative to our extremely popular Epoxy Handle Mod. It's all the same comfort and style without embedding in the tang with epoxy and the long wait. Turn around time for the S5 Handle Shaping Mod is generally 24-48hrs on these orders. We shape up these handles to order as soon as they come in. It's just a short wait for the Hard Oil to dry.
What can we do to these handles to make your Tramontina machete the most comfortable custom fit?
Shape for Fit & Smooth For Comfort
This comes standard with our S5 Handle Mod. We use a coarse, medium and fine files to shape the handle. This improves the forefinger grip as well as behind your pinkie. Basically, this is putting curves in all the right places. Next, we roll over all the edges and harsh lines to blend them in to remove hotspots. We pay special attention to the rivet holes and the top of the handle where it is cut for the tang. These get rounded off high and are not cut flat for good reason.
Everything gets sanded from 120, 180 and then 240grit before we swap out to a coarse and then fine synthetic steel wool. Your Tramontina machete handle is now silky, comfortable and smooth!
Handle Size S,M & L?
We can tweak these Tramontina machete handles during the shaping process to better fit your hand size.
For large hands, we leave these full width and height but take out more in front of the forefinger and pinkie area. This will help accommodate wider hands with longer fingers.
Medium hands, we put in some more curves under the forefinger and pinkie area. For Small hands, we also slim down the cheeks very slightly. This helps with getting a firmer grip on your machete handle.
Now having said all that, big hands can still find a comfortable grip on a smaller handle. Small hands can still find a comfortable grip on a bigger handle, as long as it's not too large that it becomes unsafe.
Tight fitting riggers gloves or latex glove sizes are fairly universal and match up with our sizes. I fit XL sized gloves and can find a very comfortable grip on these S5 handles.
To Stipple, Or Not To Stipple. That is the Question?
Ok, this is just our own custom texturing technique (yes, we invented it!) to add a bit of extra grip to a tool handle. We just called it 'Stipple' because it fits this S5 theme.
Smooth vs Textured tool handles come down to personal preference. Some prefer it smooth as it's more comfortable for long hours of work. Others swear by adding extra grip for safety. If you have dry hands or choose to use gloves, the extra grip can be more comfortable.
Handle shape has a big impact on safety. A properly designed tool handle promotes a safer grip. Tramontina nailed their Bolo (26624) and larger Latin (26621) handles as there is a big, swollen area behind your pinkie. This area here is vital for promoting a safer grip and the reason tool handles can be quite smooth without drastically increasing risk.
NB! That lovely Laser Green colour is showing where we put the texture on the handle. Your handle will not come painted like this.
Black Japan Vs Brown Japan Vs Natural?
Are you a fan of the natural timber handle look? Would you like to add a bit of character to your new tool? This is where these stains come in. After a whole lot of testing, the only two that we found added depth and character to these hardwood machete handles are Black and Brown Japan style stains.
Timber is a natural product and has its own character. Some handles are naturally blonde with minimal features. Others are dark brown with a lot of natural character. Some handles absorb a lot of the stain. Some handles will only take a little colour... and every combination in between.
The Black Japan on a blonde timber handle generally comes out quite dark black with a hint of green. Sometimes they don't take as much of the stain and can be lighter in colour.
Black stain on dark brown timber just deepens the natural brown colour as well as being darker again where the grain is deep.
Brown Japan looks old school and more broken in. The Brown Japan is not as dark as the black and has a more natural finish look to it.
NB! On the odd occasion, a little of the stain can rub off on your hand during the first few times you use the tool. Soap and water gets off most of it. Picking the Hard Oil Finish on the handle mitigates most of this risk.
Rest assured, no matter if you pick Natural, Brown or Black we are going to get the best out of how it looks.
Hard Drying Oil Vs Raw Timber Handle?
We feel it is common practice to regularly oil your timber tool handles to protect them from the elements. Danish Oil has been a favourate among tool users for quite some time. It's both nourishes the timber as well as protecting it from some moisture during use. Boiled Linseed oil is another old time favourate and is very similar to Danish Oil. We use the the more expensive Danish Oil because it dries hard, much faster. Therefore, you get your new machete sooner and everybody is happy!
Some people prefer the timber handles to be left raw. We don't mind. Raw actually feels quite comfortable in the hand. I would suggest getting a Hard Oil coating if you're getting it stained.
Tramontina machetes have different style handles?
Yes, different lines have slightly different handles. The most common (that we stock) are their Bolo 26624 and their standard Latin series 2662. These both have the same style handle. Most of of our photos are from these two Tramontina machetes. The main difference is these handles have a large swollen area behind your pinkie. This promotes a safer grip during heavy chopping and swinging. Safety matters, period.
We also stock some of their lighter Tramontina Latin's in the 26620 series. Our most popular is the 12” Scout. They have a smaller and more rounded pommel area and thus, suited to lighter work.
All the S5 handle options can be applied to the whole Tramontina line that we stock.