The Kreios, whose name is inspired by the Titan Crio (Crios or Kreios), the personification of force and power in Greek mythology, was designed in collaboration with Daniele Dal Canto, Master instructor of FISSS (acronym which means Italian Federation of Sporting and Experimental Survival).
The blade shape is inspired to the Golok machete, that has its origins in Southeast Asia (Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia) whose original term "gulok", in Tagalog traditional Filipino language, indicated generally large knives (machetes), which taking different forms depending on the region of origin.
The blade shapes variants present in South-East Asia territory are numerous, but all with the common clear idea about ergonomics, lightness and versatility of the instrument.
In particular Kreios blade shape seem to draw inspiration from Golok Potong, a kind of machete with the tip cut off sideways, although Extrema Ratio produced it with optimized and more appealing geometry, without compromising its proven effectiveness that Southeast Asia inhabitants had experimented for centuries in their thick vegetation.
The survival machete made by the famous Italian brand, was structured on the basis of these prerogatives, realizing an extremely versatile tool which juggling easily on all kind of vegetation.
The blade, as always when we talk about Extrema Ratio, is made of Bohler N690 steel hardned to 58 HRC. It is 6.3 mm thick at ricasso with a cutting edge 32 cm long and an inclination of 11 ° from the handle axis. The machete has an hidden tang construction, with a full flat bevels on blade and burnished surface according to MIL-C-13924.
The reduced weight of 650g (in relation to its thickness), the tool compactness (with a total length 455 mm) and its balance, give to this machete a perfect portability and a great cutting power required for full utilization in forest environments.
The handle, made in Forprene, has the ERMH (Extrema Ratio Multipurpose Handle) typical design. It has been modified on Kreios, increasing its length to allow a greater grip adaptability, according to the needs.
The ergonomics of the handle at a glance can leave some perplexity, in particular in the central part where is found a relief that can provoc some discomfort. After having used the machete for a long time, however, you must admit that the handle is less annoying than initially expected. In any case, the problem could be easily solved with the use of gloves, which is always recommended when working for a long period of time.
Kreios comes with an excellent manufactured sheath, shaped on the machete blade. It is made in black nylon Cordura and is compatible with the MOLLE system on both sides.
To simplify and make more rapid the tool deployment, it has been realized a long opening on the upper side of the sheath, which extends it for about 3/4 of the sheath length, very appreciated solution that makes the machete extremely usable in every situation . The inner part of the sheath is made of pleather to reduce dirt sedimentation and to facilitate cleaning operations.
The blade retention on sheath is guaranteed by a system of two strips with snap fasteners, one positioned on the guard and the other on the handle.
The sheath, in addition to being compatible with the MOLLE system, can be worn on the belt and also with a shouder strap. All these features make the sheath an element of primary interest in conjunction with the machete itself. Hardly in a survival context, the MOLLE system will be used to adapt the machete on a vest or backpack, but this compatibility makes the sheath an easy connecting point where to apply pouches, for example, to carry gear, accessories or kits. In this way, it is possible for each user to customize his equipment by creating a reliable and complete bag-out solution.
Kreios has been tested during a couple of days spent in my family woods, with the intention to evaluate its cutting performance, the materials strength and the instrument ergonomics.
After the first tests, the concerns related to N690 steel applications for this kind of activity, generally relegated to high carbon content steels, have begun to decline.
The material response to various stresses has been amazing: blade flexibility and cutting edge retention have exceeded my expectations. Clearly, Extrema Ratio’s experience gained over the years using this steel, has meant that the heat treatment has been optimized to make their product more able to ensure superior performances.
Thanks to an excellent factory sharpening made by Extrema Ratio, the Kreios proved to be extremely versatile also for precision work that are facilitated by the proper machete balancing, if used with advanced grip.
The machete has not fear of any kind of vegetation: shrubs, plant of all kinds and branches up to 5 cm in diameter are cutted away without any resistance.
A branch of seasoned chestnut with diameter of over 20 cm, broken following a storm, has made as sample for chopping tests. Also in this case Kreios has showed all its character and it has cutted the branch till the center with extreme easiness and in few time, thanks to well done blows and handling easiness.
The blade length and its weight also facilitate the use of batoning tecnique, that is generally used to make precise cuts, instead of direct blows or chopping on wood that do not allow accuracy because they need power.
Steel surface treatment is noteworthy, and at the end of test days has remained virtually untouched. The surface treatment employed by the Italian brand is absolutely amazing in this specific case.
Kreios customer price in USA is around 500 $, which is in line with the other products prices of the famous Italian Company.
Kreios by Extrema Ratio is a valid, efficient and extremely enjoyable tool. The sheath is also a strong point of interest thanks to its attractive design, but above all, to its functionality.
Its market value is very important and this could be a potential obstacle for buyer that will limit its use, and will not use it to its full potential.
Producer: Extrema Ratio Sas - www.extremaratio.com
Type: machete, full flat blade, hidden tang
Steel: Bohler N690
Finish: burnished MIL-C-13924
Blade lenght: 300 mm
Blade thickness: 6,3 mm
Overall lenght: 455 mm
Weight: 650 g
Sheath: nylon MOLLE compatible; supplied with a shoulder belt
Indicative price: $500
Article published on the magazine Armi & Balistica n. 23 (December 2013)