Machetes have long been a popular prop in many a movie set in the jungle. They are usually being used by some group of intrepid explorers to hack their way through the jungle. This is, of course, not entirely inaccurate, though it’s completely accurate either. Machetes have come a long way since they were first introduced in the 1800s, and if you are looking to find the best machete, there a ton of different features to consider.
Now, you might be thinking, how on Earth can I figure out everything that I need to know about a tool that’s been around for centuries as quickly as possible? Well, lucky for you, you found this article! In it, we’ll go over everything that you need to know to find the right machete for your needs and give you an in-depth look at some of the top machetes on the market today. Well, no time like the present, let’s get right to it! Chop, chop!
Top Ten Machetes
Gerber has long been known for their high-quality cutlery, and this machete is no different. It is lightweight, making it perfect for backpacking or survival situations. Even though it is lightweight, it still packs a wallop. The rubberized grip will give you total control over your swings and help to prevent hand fatigue.
One of the best features for this machete, and what makes it quite possibly the best survival machete out there, is the saw teeth on the back side of the blade. This handy serrated edge will ensure that if you can’t chop down a tree, that you’ll be able to saw it down instead. The only real downer for this machete is that the sheath has a Velcro clasp that will probably wear out for extended use. Otherwise, this is a great machete.
With its serrated edge for sawing, lightweight design, and rubberized grip, this machete from Gerber is a tough one to pass up.
- Serrated edge for sawing trees
- Rubberized grip for total control
- Weak velcro strap on the sheath
The first thing that you’ll notice when you check out this machete is the blade. It is forged in a cutlass style, which means that it is a bit thicker around the point, which makes it perfect for chopping tree limbs and a small brush. Add in the fact that it is made out of carbon steel, and you have a recipe for success in the wild.
If you do choose to get this machete, however, be sure that you pack a good pair of work gloves as well. The handle, which is made from synthetic materials, offers no cushioning whatsoever. This could lead to hand fatigue or blisters if you use the machete for too long.
While the handle might not keep you comfortable, this cutlass style machete will chop through just about anything you might encounter in the woods.
- Thick blade for added force and durability
- High-quality leather sheath
- Handle provides not cushioning, which may lead to hand fatigue
Kershaw is another big name in the survival/backpacking game, and you can see why with this machete. It is a bit smaller than other machetes out there, which might keep it from being helpful with larger cutting jobs. Don’t let that discourage you, however. It more than makes up for its small size by being well made and versatile.
This machete features an extra-thick blade and full-tang handle, making it highly durable. Its small size also makes it nice and easy to carry with you anywhere. Finally, the comfortable and textured grip will help you keep working all day long without having to worry about hand fatigue.
This is a versatile, durable, and well-designed blade from Kershaw. While it is on the small side, it is still a top contender for the best survival machete out there.
- Full-tang handle
- Comfortable grip
- Thick blade
- Shorter size, might not be up to bigger jobs such as chopping.
The angled blade on this machete from Gerber helps to provide a ton of cutting force and will help you to clear out even the thickest brush or trees. This, when coupled with the extra thick blade, makes this one of the best chopping machetes out there. The rubberized and textured grip will help to keep you comfortable cutting and will help to reduce the risk of slippage.
The handle is also full-tang on this machete, which will help it to hold up under the toughest conditions. It is too bad that the sheath was not designed with this amount of durability in mind, as the clasp is a bit weak and might fail over time.
This angled blade machete is perfect for chopping even the toughest brush, though its sheath’s clasp leaves a bit to be desired.
- Angled blade provides extra force for chopping
- Textured grip
- Weak clasp on the sheath
If you are in the market for the best kukri machete, this just might be the one for you. Like all good kukri machetes, this one features a thick, durable, and curved blade. This curved blade is perfectly balanced and weighted towards the tip, which will provide plenty of chopping and hacking power to every swing.
While the handle of this machete is also quite durable, it is a bit slick. This may make it difficult to hold onto in rough weather, though this can easily be corrected by wearing gloves. The sheath for this machete is a thing of beauty and should last just as long as the blade.
This just might be the best kukri machete out there, since its blade is perfectly balanced to provide tons of chopping power.
- Curved blade
- Thick blade
- Sturdy and durable sheath
- Slippery handle
This machete combines the best features of a kukri and survival machete to create one useful tool. While the curve of the blade isn’t quite as extreme as some other kukri machetes, it still provides the extra chopping power you’d expect. Plus, on the other side of the blade are saw teeth, so even if you can’t chop through a limb, you can still cut it down with ease.
This machete also has one of the best grips out there. It is rubberized, which makes it comfortable to hold, but will also help you to keep a good grip on it. The only real downside for this machete is the fact that the clasp on the sheath will not hold up over time since it is only Velcro.
With its saw teeth on one side and kukri curve on the other, this machete is a great tool to take to the woods.
- Serrated edge for sawing wood
- Curved blade
- Rubberized handle
- Weak clasp on the sheath
While this machete certainly won’t win any beauty contests, it is one serious piece of survival equipment. It is a bit longer than the average machete and is heavier as well. This is both a blessing and a curse. The added weight and length will provide more chopping power but will be more cumbersome and tiring to carry with you over great distances.
This machete has an extended length handle, which will allow you to hold it with both hands when you chop. This will, of course, provide more power to each swing. Plus, it also features saw teeth on the backside, which will allow you to saw anything you can’t chop down.
‘The Brute’ more than lives up to its name, and while it might be a bit heavier and more cumbersome than some other machetes, it will tackle pretty much any job in the woods.
- Serrated edge for sawing
- Extended handle for two-handed use
- Heavyweight for added force and durability
- Longer and heavier than most machetes
The sheath that comes with this machete is a bit of a mixed bag, however. While it does allow for tons of different carrying positions, it is only made out of polyester. This won’t really hold up over time, which will make carrying the machete a bit more difficult.If you are truly thinking of only survival when you are purchasing your machete, then this just might be the best buy for you. Not only will it help you with all of your chopping and slicing needs, but it comes with tons of accessories, such as a ferro rod and a sharpening stone, to make your life in the wilderness that much easier.
This just might be the best survival machete out there, simply because of all the extra gear that comes along with it. The sheath can be carried in multiple ways but is not too durable.
- Sheath allows for multiple carrying positions
- Curved blade
- Comes with lots of accessories
- Polyester sheath is prone to tearing
The only real downside of this machete is the handle itself. While it is good and durable, it is a bit slick. Though this shouldn’t be too big of a deal if you wear gloves, you might have a tough time holding onto it comfortable otherwise.Cold Steel has been around for a good long time, and they have built up quite the reputation for quality bladed tools. This kukri machete is no exception. Its curved blade is well balanced and holds an edge remarkably well. The finish on the blade is also one of the best on the market, making it a great choice for a long-lasting tool.
This kukri machete from Cold Steel is made with high-quality materials and will last a good long time, though the handle is a bit slippery and might cause discomfort without gloves.
- Curved blade
- High-quality sheath
- Slippery handle
This is a very lightweight machete, which makes it great for backpacking or a survival situation. However, it must be said that this lightweight design will only allow you to chop the thinnest of brush and wood. If you try to use this machete for anything too thick, you’ll end up bending it.
The rubberized grip is contoured well to fit in hand and shouldn’t cause too much hand fatigue while you work, especially if you stick to the smaller stuff. While the saw teeth look like they would be effective, they are spaced too far apart to cut well. If you purchase this machete, you should do so with the understanding that you will not be able to saw with it.
This machete is nice and lightweight, making it ideal for backpacking and chopping small brush, but it will not withstand heavy use.
- Rubberized grip
- Saw blades are spaced too far apart to cut effectively
Key Features to Keep in Mind
Whenever you are trying to prepare for any situation, whether that be camping or survival, there is a lot that you need to consider. That’s why it should come as no surprise that there are several key features that you need to take into account when you are looking for the best machete.
Ease of Use – As far as survival tools go, the machete is one of the most straightforward. After all, it is simply an oversized knife when you get right down to it. However, even though it is a very simple tool, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a big helper in the woods or a survival situation.
The best survival machete should make your life easier, after all. It should take and keep an edge quickly and easily, and chop through wood or brush efficiently. Otherwise, you’ll end up expending all sorts of energy, energy that you should be conserving to help keep yourself alive.
Grip – The grip on the best machete should provide you with a nice secure grip. This is especially important when you are trying to chop thicker wood, as a slick grip will increase the likelihood that the machete might slip out of your hand.
To make sure that the grip of your machete is up to the task and won’t cause hand fatigue, you should look for one that is textured, contoured to your hand, and will offer some sort of cushioning.
Tang – The tang of a machete, or any bladed tool for that matter, is the how long the metal extends into the handle. You can get a machete with either half-tang (the metal extends into half of the handle) or full-tang (the metal extends through the entire length of the handle).
Since a machete is a tool designed for pretty hard use, you should look for one that has a full-tang. This will help to keep the blade from breaking off of the handle since this is the weakest point in the entire machete.
Weight – Machetes should be relatively lightweight, with most of the weight concentrated in the blade, near the tip. When a machete is improperly balanced and has most of its weight near the handle, it can be difficult to cut the proper amount of force behind your chops.
One way to guarantee that you have the weight in the right location is to look for the best kukri machete, as their curved blades make sure that you will have the right amount of force behind each swing.
Thickness – One of the biggest advantages to using a machete over say, an ax, is that they are relatively lightweight and easy to carry. This is mostly due to their skinny blade and compact design. However, there are some different blade thicknesses out there for you to choose from, and each one will help you to complete different tasks.
The thinner the blade, the better the machete will be for cutting, but not so much for chopping. As you would expect, the thicker the blade, the better for chopping the machete becomes, though it will be less efficient for slicing.
Sheath – Just like the blades that they hold, a machete sheath should be straightforward and easy to use. They should also have a good system for securing your blade so that you don’t need to worry about it slipping out and causing an injury.
Something else that you need to consider when you are looking into a sheath for your machete is how you intend to carry it. The best survival machete will probably come with a sheath that can be worn on the hip or your back, though some sheaths will only work in one of those arrangements.
Blade Design – Aside from the thickness of the blade, you can also choose from a straight design, which is the standard, or a curved design, which is referred to as a kukri blade. Straight blades are usually a bit cheaper and can be used as both a chopping and cutting tool, while kukri blades are more efficient choppers.
In choosing a blade design, you need to keep in mind how you intend to use your machete. If you only want a blade for chopping, then you’ll want to get the best kukri machete, since their curved blades add extra force to each chop. If, however, you are simply looking for the best survival machete, you might want a standard blade since they are more versatile.
And The Winner Is…
Out of all the different machetes on the market, you can’t do any better than the Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri. Its curved blade is incredibly balanced, making it easy to get tons of chopping power out of each swing. The blade is also extra-thick, which will help to keep it from breaking. Whether you want to own the best kukri machete or just the best machete available, you’ll want to check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.
Well, there you go! Now you know everything that you need to to find the best machete for all you chopping, camping, and survival needs. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully, it helped you out. Have a great day!