Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Machetes Used for?
- 2 Different Types of Machetes
- 3 Best Survival Machetes
- 4 Tactical Machetes and Military Machetes
- 5 Jungle Machetes
- 6 Heavy Machetes
- 7 Small Machetes
- 8 Machetes Made in USA
- 9 Custom Machetes
- 10 Top 10 Machetes Conclusion
There are few tools that conjure up such strong images in our minds than that of a machete.
The ultimate survival tool, a machete is an essential item when living in the wilderness or when working outdoors for any considerable period of time. They have a long history of use that stretches across the globe, with a number of variations and styles resulting because of this.
In this article is a list of the top 10 machetes, grouped by type and function. Here you’ll find good machetes for backyard clean up, for use while camping, for all your survival needs, and for combat use. To give you a better idea of what you may need in a machete, there’s also some information on the different types of machetes.
I’d wager it a safe bet that by the time you finish reading through this list, you’ll have at least two or three machetes to add to your wish list.
What Are Machetes Used for?
In looking at the types of machetes available, it’s really best to consider what you hope to get out of your machete and what you’ll actually be using it for. This will help you to narrow down your choices to a few specific machete types vs every machete available for sale. From there, you’ll be able to identify the high quality machetes on the market for you and your budget.
In general, machetes are great for clearing brush and low hanging branches while blazing a trail through the wilderness. They’re also useful for chopping wood, personal defense, and butchering chickens (don’t judge: when faced with the choice of buying a new machete for my homestead or a hatchet, clearly I went with the more badass option.) This versatility makes them a great choice for basic survival planning and why you may want to consider picking up an extra machete to strap onto your bug out bag.
If you live off grid, a good machete can quickly become one of your most reliable and trusted tools. I personally don’t go anywhere without having my machete attached to my belt on one side, my great grandfather’s hunting knife on the other side, and my trusty shotgun. That combination, in addition to a flashlight and a lighter, keeps me covered for any situation I may face -and a machete has proven too valuable too often when encountering the prairie rattlers that share the mesa my homestead is atop.
Different Types of Machetes
There are around 20 different types of machetes, each with their own distinct shape and name. Many of these machetes originated in specific parts of the globe, where they are used for everything from everyday use to military and combat purposes to religious ceremony.
The distinctive shape of each type of machete affects its ability to perform certain tasks, as well as how well it performs them. For example, a heavy machete is designed to be heavier at the end, allowing it to carry greater force and, thus, be better suited for chopping wood (even better than a hatchet, in case you needed another example of how cool machetes are.) A kukri machete, on the other hand, has a distinctive curve on the blade edge and dropped point that make it good for light wood chopping and brush clearing but also better suited for finer tasks thanks to that sharp curve near the handle.
As we look at some of the best machetes in the world in our top ten machetes choices, we’ll look at a number of different types of machetes. These awesome machetes are grouped based upon type or use so that you can more easily find your perfect machete.
Best Survival Machetes
When looking for the best machetes for survival, the blade design you choose should allow for continuous heavy usage and be able to fulfill a number of functions.
In any survival situation, you don’t have the luxury of being able to carry a tool designed to perfectly fulfill one specific job. You would end up being weighed down, slow to travel, and find yourself scrambling to dig through all of your gear to find the right tool for the job.
Nobody has time for that nonsense, which is why every tool you carry needs to be able to perform well and accomplish as many different uses as possible. That’s what sets these survival machetes apart from their machete brethren and why they’re our top machetes for wilderness and disaster survival.
Tactical Machetes and Military Machetes
Combat machetes have a long history, with many popular styles designed and used directly by military forces; the parang is one such style.
Frequently, military machetes will be multi-purposed, with similar design to the bush machete in order to clear vegetation but with some distinctive alterations that make them suitable for tactical and combat use should it come down to it. The following machetes reflect that multifunctional yet no-nonsense design.
While there is no specific “jungle machete” style, most machetes labeled are in fact bush machetes. They’re generally well designed for cutting through leafy growth -as one would expect in a jungle. These machetes generally have a long, even blade with a straight back. Although, in the few machetes listed in this section, you’ll notice some slight variation on the bush machete design.
The distinctive design of the heavy machete is fairly self-explanatory. This style of blade is wider and, thus, heavier at the end to provide you with the best machetes for chopping wood and heavy vegetation. This type of machete is a cross between a machete and an ax, featuring a dull or nonexistent point. These are also longer machetes to give them that extra weight and force to hack through branches.
While small machetes may not be as imposing as some of the larger machetes, such as the parang or bowie, they make up for it in sheer tenacity, high performance, and light weight. Conveniently, too, if you’re looking for cheap machetes, small machetes will often fit the bill due to being about half the size of a typical machete. Smaller size equals less materials which means a very affordable price.
Machetes Made in USA
While many, if not most, machete manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty regardless of where their machetes are produced, it never hurts to consider an American made machete where you know the quality will be what you can count on.
If after looking at this selection of top rated machetes you still haven’t found the right machete for you, there is always the option of a custom-made machete.
There are a number of smaller sword and knife manufacturers that offer custom and commissioned work and will work with you to design the machete you’ve always wanted. But, if you’re like me and like to handle things yourself, you may enjoy making your own machete.
You could go all out, shaping and grinding a piece of metal to shape the blade, or you can also purchase larger billets that are meant to be ground and shaped into your ideal blade shaped. Another option is to purchase a machete blade blank and focus your efforts on making a handle and sharpening the blade to a razor’s edge.
Any of these options will provide you with a one of a kind custom machete that will serve you well. And if simply owning a machete doesn’t up your man factor enough, getting to show off your custom machete will put you in a category of men with the likes of Grizzly Adams, Jim Bowie, and Chuck Norris.
Of course, when considering commissioning a machete as compared to making your own, the big differences will come down to cost, time, and effort.
Top 10 Machetes Conclusion
Even the most basic and simply designed machete can prove essential and fulfill the role of many other small tools.
Part hatchet, part knife, and all badass, the presence of a good machete cannot be underestimated when putting together a serious survival kit or looking to cover all your bases while rambling through the wilderness or about your homestead.
Use it to cut back brush impinging upon your yard, or to blaze a trail through heavy woods, or to chop firewood and prepare a meal. Once you take the leap into machete ownership, it’s a sure bet that you’ll want to pick up another -either as backup or as another great addition to your wilderness tool kit.
Sources and Official Brand Websites
- Pro Tool Industries, Official Brand Website.
- SOG Specialty Knives, Official Brand Website.
- Ontario Knife, Official Brand Website.
- United Cutlery, Official Brand Website.
- Cold Steel, Official Brand Website.
- Gerber, Official Brand Website.
- Machete Blade Materials, Machete Specialists.
- Leather Sheaths vs Kydex Sheaths: The Good and Bad, Hedgehog Leatherworks.