USA Korean War era IMPERIAL USAF type A-1 Folding Survival Machete, original “holster sheath”, honing stone; unused


Original Korean War Imperial A1 machete issued to USAF crews, orig TYPE A-1 leather sheath, Crystolon honing stone. Rare UNUSED condition – VERY hard to find this nice and complete.

1 in stock


Korean War Imperial A1 machete issued to USAF crews, original TYPE A-1 leather sheath with Crystolon honing stone. Rare UNUSED condition – VERY hard to find this nice and complete.

Original Korean War era folding A-1 Survival Machete manufactured by IMPERIAL CUTLERY in Providence, RI. The Type A-1 was issued circa 1948 to the US Air Force pilots as part of the bail-out survival kit. These large handy machetes / bolo knives were usually carried in the B-4 survival kits (seat packs) attached to the pilot’s parachute harness. Interestingly enough, this particular type is erroneously illustrated as the WW2 era survival machete on page 69 of U.S. MILITARY KNIVES; BOOK TWO published in 1973 by Michael H. Cole – a well-established expert and the author of a number of books on the subject of the US military edged weapons (see the book’s scan attached). The A-1 type, however, was adapted by the US military in 1948. Besides, this machete’s design and materials are too complex and expensive for the WW-2 mass production, but the misinformed reference kind of stuck to this survival machete anyway.

This A-1 is in unused condition with original “gun-blued” finish throughout, leather “pistol holster” type sheath and hard-to-find original two-grain honing stone included. Unfortunately, it wasn’t stored properly and some areas on blade protector and the tip of the blade now show signs of localized corrosion (could be cleaned). The machete is in working order; the blade and blade cover are nice and tight. Original black plastic grips are in excellent condition with no cracks or chips; the handle is tight with zero play; blade lock is in perfect working order. This machete is about 17″ / 43.2 cm opened; the blade is about 10″ / 25.5 cm long. Ricasso is sharply stamped IMPERIAL / PROV. R.I. To the best of my knowledge, IMPERIAL was the only manufacturer of Type A-1 Survival Machete. This isn’t your typical folding pocket knife – the machete alone weights about 1 lb 12 oz / 0.8 kg.

Original TYPE A-1 No. 48C3639 leather sheath and stone are also unused. All original stitching is intact; the leather is soft and supple. This Korean War Imperial A1 machete has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way. It is in 100% original “as purchased” condition. These are the actual photos; Garand clips are not included with the lot 😉

For collectible knives and edged weapons Argocoins accepts payments via credit cards, personal checks drawn from US-based accounts, certified US-based bank checks, and money orders. Take a look at the Payments section within our Terms and Conditions for mailing instructions and additional details. Please email me at if you would like to make a credit card purchase over the phone. Follow me on Facebook @argoman400BC to keep an eye on the latest additions and promotions.


International shipping for this item will be $55 and up to most countries on our “ship-to” list.


Additional information

Weight 2.1 lbs

You may also like…