Hunters will tell you one of the best and simple tools for hunting is a machete and it serves several other survival and outdoor purposes.
Machetes have always been a necessity not just as a survival tool but for cutting down grasses and other cultivation needs.
The essence of machetes have evolved over the years and so as its usage, this has brought about a development of different blade styles across the globe.
- 1. SOG SOGfari 18” with Saw Back
- 2. Gerber Gator Machete Nylon Sheath
- 3. R&T Trading Co. Genuine Gurkha Kukri – 11″ Authentic
- 4. Ka-Bar Black Cutlass Machete
- 5. Cold Steel Jungle Machete
- 6. Ka-Bar Kukri Machete
- 7. Schrade SCHK1 Large Full Tang Kukri Machete
- 8. Condor Golok Machete
- Ways to select the best machetes
1. SOG SOGfari 18” with Saw Back
The affordable price of this Latin/Bush-style blade may attract you, but the quality will shock you even more.
For anyone who isn’t a good machete swinger, this long and uniform blade may be the most ideal choice for you.
This machete comes in two different sizes; 13″ as well as the 18″, though the latter has a more efficient swinging power without weighing your hands down.
This machete features offset teeth similar to a hand saw, and it’s common knowledge that saw back machetes can be quite awkward when sawing through due to the shape of their handles.
You need to understand that this machete is very affordable and one should not expect too much due to its price tag.
This 420 steel with almost zero carbon is ideal for newbies who intend to experience how a survival machete feels.
- There is a serrated edge on the handles that may be used to break a glass
- Rugged saw back
- The 420 stainless steel is not the toughest in the market
- 1.8lbs means it’s quite heavy
- Great chipping feature on rocks
2. Gerber Gator Machete Nylon Sheath
Machetes come in different sizes and shapes, all are designed to serve a specific purpose, this is what you need to put into consideration before making a purchase.
Are you getting that machete to serve you as a household item or an all-purpose tool? Gerber designed this machete not just as a survival tool but to help with chores around the house.
- This machete is in the lightweight category, weighing just 18 Oz
- Serves as an indoor and outdoor tool
- This machete has a great riveted nylon sheath as well as a belt loop
- Asides the handle of this machete, the full body of this machete is made of carbonated steel
- Not suitable for cutting tree trunks or thick branches as this could damage the blades.
3. R&T Trading Co. Genuine Gurkha Kukri – 11″ Authentic
Handcrafted in Nepal, this machete may appear short (11″ in length), the top quality carbon steel blade is 3/8″ thick.
You also get water tempered edges as well as the 5160/Car Spring steel material that ensures durability and sharpness.
More of the weight is located at the top of the cutlass and this makes it an ideal tool for cutting down woods and bones.
The weight of this machete means you may not be working with it for long hours. It’s important to state that the weight actually helps this machete deliver desired results.
This machete is also the standard-issue combat knife used by the Royal Gurkha Regiment (British Army) stationed in Afghanistan.
There is a full tang connecting the blade and handle with the former being in a polished rosewood and hand styled.
Although quite disturbing, the machete also has a leather and wood sheath. There are also other features such as the karda tools and complimentary Chakma which is ideal for traditional kukris.
This is the best machete if you desire a heavy combat tool, though it’s quite expensive and bulky when compared to others in this range.
- You get Karda and Chakma as well as complimentary sheath.
- This machete is handcrafted
- There are fewer issues with this machete if you ever get in tight environments due to its short blade length
- The high carbon spring steel material makes cutting down tough, thick materials easy
- The sheath is inoperable
- You may spend more time on your chores due to the weight and length of this machete
4. Ka-Bar Black Cutlass Machete
You may want to get this machete if you enjoy camping regularly as this blade is designed like a cutlass.
A good weed hacker and branch trimmer make it an ideal tool for campsite tasks. This is a compact machete, so you never have to worry about this tool taking up your space.
Though a small machete, this tool is a powerhouse and you can be certain to get the desired result
- Fits in your hand effortlessly due to its ergonomically shaped thermoplastic handle.
- Durable sheath made of both Cordura and leather
- The 11″ size is perfect for chores
- A short reach
5. Cold Steel Jungle Machete
Made from 1055 carbon steel alongside a forward weight distribution, this 16″ blade makes chopping down thick woods and vines fun.
This is a great blade for slashing and skinning due to the piercing tip and can act as a survival tool when the need arises.
This is a machete built to cut down thick woods and not thin grasses as it weighs heavier than your regular machetes.
A full tang connects the handle and blade to ensure a reliable structural support system.
You need to be patient with the plastic handle as it may take some time to get used to due to the forward weighted structure of this blade, this blade could slip off your hand when it gets sweaty.
There is a remedy for this, you can create a 550 cord loop via its lanyard hole which can be worn around your wrist for safety reasons.
The sheath is impractical, it’s best to get an aftermarket replacement. There is also the issue of blade dullness that a few users have complained about which may be down to inconsistent QA.
This is a reliable survival tool and can cut down thick woods and branches, but not suitable for trimming plants.
- This is a slashing, skinning, and stabbing tool thanks to the piercing blade tip
- Handle design feels a little awkward
- Impractical sheath
6. Ka-Bar Kukri Machete
This is one of the most highly rated machetes in the market today, made from 1085 carbon steel alongside a black epoxy powder coating that gives this tool an amazing look.
The Kraton handle is made from rubber which gives it a great grip, although it’s better to have your gloves on when working for long hours to prevent blisters.
The sheath can feel a bit awkward even with the belt and end loops which is probably the only downside to this great tool.
This machete is not as tough as a bolo, but it definitely delivers on what’s required of it in terms of cutting down small branches around the house.
The length of the Kukri stands at 17″ which makes this machete an efficient camping tool.
- This machete is built from 1085 carbon steel
- Zero slip Kraton handle
- The sheath is made from leather and Cordura
- The edge of the machete is quite reliable
- The rubber handle of this machete could cause blisters
- Awkward sheath position makes handling difficult
7. Schrade SCHK1 Large Full Tang Kukri Machete
This is one Kukri machete you really need to consider as it is arguably the best model from this brand.
This model comes with large vent holes that aid aerodynamics, the 13″ long blades make it a useful and compact tool to carry around.
This is one of the best survival machetes out there and works efficiently with hunting or camping bags.
There are also pockets located in the custom sheath that could be useful when you need to carry extra items.
- Shoulder sheath is made from nylon and has enough storage pocket that makes this machete one of the best survival tools out there.
- The sheath can also accommodate a compact knife sharpener or fire starter
- Very easy to carry around as it weighs just two pounds
- The tough powder coating of the handle gives this machete a great and reliable grip
- Avoid damaging this machete by swinging the fragile tip.
8. Condor Golok Machete
The name Condor stands for quality and has been at the frontline of manufacturing the best machetes in the market today.
The length of this machete (14″), makes it an ideal size for easy cutting down of thick woods. This machete has a high carbon steel tang as well as a curved shape giving users the right balance to cut down woods, branches, and limbs.
The Condor Golok Machete also has a walnut full black tang alongside a lanyard hole and brass rivets.
You get a comfortable grip on this machete due to the efficient connection between the handle and tang and this means users worry less about this tool slipping.
The curved walnut handle has been carefully designed to ensure you enjoy a great grip. You are certain of getting a top-quality sheath that has been designed using premium heavy-duty leather, Kydex as well as ballistic nylon.
The Condor Golok Machete delivers an amazing result in terms of slicing and cutting down woods and branches.
You are getting the power of an ax as well as the ability of a machete in one tool.
- Great durability
- Great look
- The walnut handle feels good
- Quite on the heavy side
- Not the cheapest option in the market
Ways to select the best machetes
You need to consider some factors before purchasing a machete, you can check out these four major reasons;
Each blade on this list sports a distinctive design and this has been a trend since the dark ages.
These blades are currently known as machetes and all have their own key features that set them apart from the rest.
At the end of the day, we all have our preferences and unique qualities we want from a blade.
There are two major types of machetes; the thin, lightweight, and long blade style that is ideal for cutting down any soft vegetation while the heavyweight, thick, and short blade style are built to bring down large woods.
Different machetes have their origins from different parts of the world. The Bowie machetes originated from the United States, named after an American Frontiersman named Jim Bowie.
An ideal blade for skinning animals due to their clip point and is a combination of a knife and an ax.
Another machete style is the Parang also known as Golok machetes and originate from Indonesia.
These machetes have a curved blade similar to the scimitar as well as curves on both the edge and spine.
This is an ideal machete for cutting down woody vegetation.
There is the Latin model that is often referred to as bush machetes originates from Latin America.
These easily sheathed blades often sport a unique straight-back design that enables an even distribution of weight.
This is an excellent multi-purpose blade and a great choice for cutting down any loose vegetation.
Another blade-style originates from Nepal and is popularly known as the Kukri style. This blade has three different sections and is considered as a multi-purpose blade.
The Panga blade-style originates from East Africa and the Caribbean and has its weight packed in front which makes chopping down thick woods a light work.
These blades also have an extreme edge located at the front in any case of incisions.
You may need to consider the weighted/heavy machetes style when chopping woods and thick vegetations as these blades have their weight in the front to cut down thick woods with ease.
Let the task determine your choice of the machete.
All machetes come in different lengths, some could be as short as 10″ and others could be as long as 28″, some even higher.
The smaller the blade, the lesser the weight and shorter blades can be swung easily and could wear out quickly too.
The average length of a machete is 18″ and just one swing from a longer blade can cut down large woods, but these blades take up too much space.
The durability of a machete can be determined via the thickness as well as the kind of wood or vegetation it’s capable of cutting down.
Traditionally, most blades are often around ⅛” thick and this delivers an ultra-thin blade that can be easily swung as well as a perfect tool for cutting down vegetation.
The thickness of this blade means it’s not the ideal tool for chopping large woods as you stand a chance of damaging this machete.
A more durable option is the ¼” thickness as these blades are capable of chopping branches and woody vines.
Although a thicker blade means more efforts may be required to wield such a tool.
Most of the blades out there are made of carbon steel or stainless steel so it’s imperative to choose your material wisely.
Carbon steel machete blades is an alloy of both iron and carbon, this material helps to keep the iron durable and sharper.
Though a cheaper and durable option, this material is very durable and this makes re-sharpening a bit challenging.
The carbon steel material is also susceptible to rust so you may need to oil this blade often, this is a common material in agricultural and survival blades as it is a cheaper and more durable option.
The stainless steel material is also carbon steel but with additional nickel and chromium that prevents the blades from any rust.
The stainless steel material is rust-resistant so it requires very little maintenance. You may need to sharpen this blade more often due to its softer metal that lacks the required grip on edges.
This material is easier to sharpen, but a more expensive choice and is popular among trendy blades.
There is the high-carbon stainless steel which is the best of both worlds (carbon and stainless steel). Theis material gives you a better grip on edges and delivers rust-resistant features found on stainless steel.
Blades made of this material are not cheap but if you desire a survival tool, then this is the right one for you.
Machetes models differ across continents and this survival tool has been around for quite a while.
This is not just a survival tool but serve several other purposes and will be around for a long time, you only need to discover the one that “cuts it” for you.