Soviet factories were producing almost every item Soviet people used. The import of consumer goods was very small. Also army items were produced there too in house, without importing. So Soviet Spetznaz got this unique machete-style survival tools fully made in USSR. It was called “Taiga 1” and it’s still a legend.
The full name of the gadget was “A device for performing rescue works TAIGA 1”. It was specially developed for the Spetznaz forces and rescue teams.
It could look like it came from some fantasy movie but it was real and used in Soviet army.
It was designed to be an ultimate tool. The blade was 212 mm long, together with handle it was 347 mm long. Near the handle the blade was 41mm wide and it was 80mm wide at the end of the tool. Because of this shape you could use it as a… shovel. There was also a saw on the back side of the blade with 14 teeth. And the handle of the tool was empty inside so Spetnaz soldiers could put their secret stash there.
With the help of TAIGA 1 you could do a lot of useful things: chop wood, pick into the ground, snack wires, pry open etc. Even today it’s hard to find a tool or machete that could be that useful. Even modern day Russian army tools are not that effective.
In 1980s there was no any alternative to this tool in Soviet state. It was a unique product with total functionality and nothing extra. Civil travellers, campers, fishermen seeking this thing too but it was very hard to get. Also it was very lightweight
But because it made in Russia there were also some downsides – people said that the handle was sort of weird shape. Also the steel was used for tool – it became dull very often and needed to be sharpened.
Nowadays there are cheap knock offs that imitate the legend, with the quality off limits.