I now find this garden machete ("nata") an invaluable tool for hedge laying, but it can also equally well be used for coppicing, wood splitting, pruning - all manner of jobs.
What's the secret of its success? It's a much better alternative to a hatchet because of its heavy, double bevelled carbon steel blade. Its heft makes it a very efficient tool, together with the quality of the 6 1/2 inch blade. It also means the nata is very pleasing to use, complete with oak handle. Made in Japan.