Machetes are a knife well known for their formidable strength against the forces of nature, allowing the user to hack and slash their way through harsh and unforgiving jungle territories, while also acting as a useful tool and weapon that fits many different purposes. In other words, a good survival machete is essential for most outdoor enthusiasts.
Choosing the correct machete for your purpose, therefore, requires some research and knowledge in order to ensure that you pick one that will be able to assist you properly in the situation in which you need it most. It is for this reason that we have put together this comprehensive guide, using professional reviews, to help you find the best survival machete on the market.
Comparison Chart: 5 Best Machetes for the Money
|Columbia River Knife Parang
|Schrade Kukri Machete
|Ontario 6145 Machete
|UC BV124 Savage Jungle Hunter
Top 5 Best Survival Machetes
Below are some reviews of a few of the best machetes in the world right now, containing a cross-section of different types of machetes in order to give you a good idea of the different options available. Reading machete reviews will give you a good idea of which machete will best suit your purposes.
Kershaw Machete Review
#1Offering a smaller form factor, the Kershaw nonetheless packs a significant punch. With its 14 inch length and weight of 1.9 pounds, this knife offers excellent chopping action while also being short enough for more delicate tasks and more accurate actions.
The blade this time is made of Spring-Steel, which is often found in combine blades. This means it has a hardness equivalent to 1065 (0.65%) high Carbon Steel. Its outer convex curve allows for excellent chopping action, while the inner concave curve makes for a great whittling and carving blade.
Where the Kershaw Machete really shines, though, is its handle. The hard plastic allows the knife to take a lot of abuse and knocks, while the slightly softer rubber coating over the top goes a long way to protecting the user from the shock incurred. The diamond pattern in the rubber allows for excellent grip, making this overall a pretty spectacular handle for a survival knife.
The Kershaw’s sheath is well designed, with adjustable straps that allow the user to adjust which side it is carried on as well as at what height. This in combination with its compact form factor makes this an excellent knife for the portability-conscious amongst you.
Pros and Cons:
- Versatile blade, excellent handle, decent sheath
- Quite heavy for its size, blade coating is somewhat thin
Columbia River Knife And Tool K920KKP Parang Review
#2For those looking for an option in between the short and long, the 19.5 inch Columbia Parang offers a good form factor that is sure to please. Weight in at 1.3 pounds, this machete offers a pretty good balance in both length and weight, making it an ideal middle-ground tool with an eye to the all-purpose user.
The blade is once again forged from Carbon Steel, making it another excellent option for those willing to put some more effort into their blade’s upkeep in exchange for superb edge retention and ease of sharpening. The blade is guaranteed to offer a great performance in a range of situations due to its toughness and hardness.
The grip on the Columbia River Knife Parang is a winning factor, with a comfortable ergonomic design and a hard plastic material that will withstand even the hardest knocks. This is a handle that won’t let you down.
The sheath supplied with this knife is very versatile and secure and offers good protection for the blade, meaning that this is a well-designed and portable package that should be considered by adventurers and outdoors enthusiasts everywhere.
Pros and Cons:
- Good blade, excellent grip, comfortable form factor
- Slightly too small and light for heavy duty cutting
Schrade Kukri Machete Review
#3The last option on this list is the 19.7 inch Schrade Kukri style machete. At 1.6 pounds, this is one of the better-balanced machetes on the list, making it perfect for those looking for a longer tool with a bit of heft, but also keeping it light enough to be portable.
The blade is made from strengthened 3Cr13 Stainless Steel, offering a decent amount of hardness and edge retention and excellent rust-resistance.
Where Schrade Kukri Machete shines, again, is its handle. Coming with Shrade’s Safe-T grip, it offers a comfortable grip with a range of good ergonomic positions in which the knife can be held. The handle is also well balanced against the blade, giving this machete a comfortable swing.
The main downfall of this machete is its sheath, which suffers from a weak design which causes it to get easily cut up from persistent use of the blade. Despite its weakness, the sheath is relatively versatile and offers a good range of wearable positions.
Pros and Cons:
- Excellent handle, good blade, good balance
- Weak sheath
Ontario 6145 Military Machete Review
#4This 24-inch machete is one of the biggest and most powerful options on this list. Despite its incredible length, it weighs in at a relatively light 1.4 pounds. This makes it a perfect option for those looking for a wieldy yet long machete, and easily puts it amongst the best survival machetes available today.
The main feature of the Ontario 6145 Machete is its gorgeous blade. An 18-inch piece of sharp, hard, 1095 Carbon Steel (0.95% Carbon), this is one of the absolute best options for those looking for a tool that will retain a sharp edge and stand up to a good amount of abuse. Though the high Carbon content may make it vulnerable to rust, the blade’s relative ease to sharpen and maintain may well mitigate that for many who are looking for the absolute best material for their knife blade.
The handle is made of molded plastic, making it hardy enough to withstand heavy use yet comfortable enough for sustained use. While it is perhaps not the most comfortable option on the market, it is certainly fit for most purposes.
The main downside of this machete is that it does not come with a sheath included, meaning that its high Carbon Steel blade is vulnerable from the offset. It is absolutely essential to purchase a sheath to accompany this machete, as leaving the blade exposed will greatly shorten its lifespan.
Pros and Cons:
- Exceptional blade, good handle, heavy and long to allow for powerful use
- Sheath not included and so blade vulnerable
United Cutlery BV124 Savage Jungle Hunter Machete Review
#5The first Stainless Steel option on our list is also the largest, measuring in at an impressive 25 inches and weighing a hefty 1.8 pounds. This makes it an ideal tool for heavy duty hacking and slashing, but its usefulness doesn’t stop there.
The blade, as mentioned above, is fashioned from extra-hard AUS Stainless Steel, offering a good blend of rust-resistance and hardness. While it may not have quite the same edge retention and hardness as its Carbon Steel counterparts, it is nonetheless a formidable and fit-to-task option that is sure to please.
Where the UC BV124 Savage Jungle Hunter really stands out, however, is in its serrated saw blade back. In addition to the flat chopping edge offered by most machetes, the Jungle Hunter also offers a serrated edge for sawing and a tip for stabbing. This blade makes the machete an excellent all-rounder.
This machete also rocks a comfortable rubberized handle, with great ergonomic design and a useful chord that allows you to attach the machete to your wrist, ensuring that it does not fly off when in use.
The Jungle Hunter also comes with a useful nylon belt sheath which offers decent portability, despite being hampered by the machete’s cumbersome size.
Pros and Cons:
- Versatile blade, rust-resistant, comfortable grip
- Cumbersome form factor, not as hard as Carbon Steel alternatives
What Should You Look For In A Machete?
As with all tools, and in particular different knives, there are several different factors which must be taken into consideration when looking to find the best machete for your purposes. Making sure that you take these things into consideration is of vital importance when making a decision about which machete to purchase for your task.
Types Of Machetes
There are multiple different types of machetes available on the market, each with their own individual specialties and uses. A few notable examples are:
- Bush machetes – all-purpose machetes with a straight edge and even balance. These are usually pretty portable and good for cutting through foliage. Imacasa machetes are often a good example of these
- Weighted machete – extra heavy duty machetes which are excellent for hacking at heavier foliage as well as wood. The blades are usually blunt at the tip but with a good sharp edge fashioned like an axe
- Kukri machete – perhaps the most versatile machete available, these machetes have a blade split into three parts: a narrow blade at the handle which is useful for more delicate tasks such as carving, a pointed tip for stabbing, and a flat blade at the midsection which is useful for chopping
There are a good number of other notable types of machetes available from all over the world, and looking through a large number of these will help in finding the type of machete best tailored to your needs.
As with all other cutting tools, the blade is the part that is going to take the most abuse and is, therefore, the part that most focus on when researching a useful machete knife for the job. For many machete aficionados, the blade of choice will consist of high Carbon Steel. These blades are typically much harder than other materials on the market and keep their edges much longer. However, the caveat is that they do not have the boon of rust-resistance, meaning that they require much more frequent maintenance.
Stainless Steel machetes, comparatively, tend to be less hard and tend to lose their edges quicker. This makes them somewhat less desirable as survival machetes as they are more prone to losing their usefulness and are harder to sharpen. However, they are much less likely to succumb to rust.
Control is an important element when cutting and slashing, and as such a good, comfortable handle is an important thing to look for when considering your machete purpose. A high-quality machete will make use of a material that enhances the user’s grip and offers a range of ergonomic grip positions to get the most out of the tool.
Weight And Length
The weight and length of the machete are important, as different jobs will call for different form factors. If portability and control are most important for your task, then smaller and lighter machetes will be fitter for your purpose, while those looking for powerful tools with a wide range of applications may want to consider heavier and longer options.
Having read our guide, you should now have an idea of the best machetes as well as some of the different machete types available (survival, hunting, combat or other). Having knowledge of what to look for in your machete as well as being aware of some of the options should allow you to tailor your own research and make sure you pick the right one for your task and making use of the best survival machete reviews will ensure that your purchase is a wise one. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.
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