Best Machetes Rated and Reviewed in Detail

10 Best Machetes – Essential Survival Tool for any Adventurer!

37 Models Considered
62 Hours of Research
6 Experts Interviewed
121 Reviews Analyzed

A machete is a wonderful tool that can be used for a wide variety of tasks. Whether you are on a backpacking trip or need to clear a camping site, a machete can get the job done in no time. With many different types of machete blades available such as the curved parang or the straight bush blade, it can be hard to find the best machete.

After the research, we have created a list of ten blades for you. Our favorite one is the Condor Tool & Knife Golok Machete that has a securely attached handle, sturdy construction and comfortable grip. It is a very reliable and useful machete for any purpose and in any situation. If you want to find something else, there are nine more excellent options to check.

Top 10 Machetes Review 2019

In choosing the best machete, there are a few important features to consider. As we mentioned, there are many types of blades, various lengths with different materials used on both the blade and handle. There are also other factors to consider such as the weight of the machete and the quality of the sheath that they come with. In order to make this all crystal clear for you, we have spent countless hours to examine customers’ reviews, ask experts who tested those blades to give you clear and concise information. Added to that, you can scan through our comparison table, our in-depth reviews, and a buying guide with FAQs at the end to answer all your questions. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll know exactly how to get the best machete knife for your next adventure.

Image and Rating
Name and Features
Price
9.9
Editors Choice

Thick and reliable machete made from carbon still that can deal with any task. It comes sharp, and the package includes the leather sheath.

9.7
2. Kershaw Camp 18
Customers' Choice
Customers' Choice

Many adventurers pick this machete because it has a well-balanced blade and is perfect for many tasks.

9.6
3. Ka-Bar Kukri Machete
Best Machete for Survival
Best Machete for Survival

With this long-lasting and powerful blade made, it will be much easier to make fire and clear the area from bushes.

9.5
Best Durability

If you are looking for a powerful and durable machete, this is your pick. The powder coating of the carbon steel blade ensures corrosion resistance.

9.4
5. Schrade SCHKM1
Best Package
Best Package

An amazing machete that comes with a bunch of useful accessories and is comfortable to hold and swing.

9.3
6. Ontario 1-18 Military Machete
Best Military Quality
Best Military Quality

This blade is designed for heavy-duty work and has a great cutting power. It is time tested and very efficient for camping needs.

9.2
7. Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete
Best Machete for Chopping Wood
Best Machete for Chopping Wood

An outstanding angled blade, which can chop the wood and thick bushes with ease.  It won’t slip, and it’s comfortable to handle.

9.1
Best Camping Machete

Beautiful and powerful classical machete that is suitable for different camping missions. Made of premium materials, it is a great all-around tool.

8.9
9. Outdoor Edge Brush Demon
Best Machete for Clearing Brushes
Best Machete for Clearing Brushes

Stylish and reliable knife that can deal with brushwood in no time. You will be impressed by the balance of the blade and its performance.

8.7
10. SOG Kukri Machete
Best Sawback Machete
Best Sawback Machete

If you want an affordable option, this versatile machete with a stainless steel blade and sawback is your choice.

Features
  • Type: Parang/Golok
  • Blade length: 14″
  • Overall length: 19″
  • Blade material: 1075 high carbon steel
  • Blade finish: black powder epoxy coating
  • Handle material: walnut
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz.

 More features: 100% leather sheath included, no additional sharpening required

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Condor has been able to make a powerful and stylish golok machete, which can make light work of any tasks. The blade itself has is made of thick carbon steel to cope even with high demands. It is very securely attached to the handle to provide a comfortable grip and make the machete easy to swing.

The leather sheath that comes with the machete is very well made. It helps to make sure that the blade stays dry, clean and protected. It comes sharp out of the box, and the edge won’t get dull for a long time. It’s a top-notch blade with an amazing black coating. You will love clean and accurate cuts it can make.

The only disadvantage it has is the price tag. On the other hand, if you want to get what you pay for, it’s hard to pass over this machete.

Pros
  • Thick and solid blade
  • Securely attached handle
  • Comfortable to grip
  • Brilliant leather sheath
Cons
  • Can rust if not maintained
2.

Kershaw Camp 18 Customers' Choice

Features
  • Type: Bolo
  • Blade length: 18″
  • Overall length: 24″
  • Blade material: 65Mn steel
  • Blade finish: black powder coating
  • Handle material: rubber
  • Weight: 1 lb. 7.1 oz.

 More features: unmatched hardness, strength and durability, includes molded sheath with nylon straps and lash points

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Many people adore this wide bolo machete because it has plenty of momentum that makes it great for cutting grasses or splitting things open, such as coconuts. It’s not designed for wood chopping as some other types of machetes, but it is still a well-balanced blade that can be used for multiple tasks like bush clearance.

The steel it is made from is extremely hard. You can rely on it because of the incredible strength it offers. The blade will stay sharp for much longer than compared to many competitors. The molded sheath that comes with it will give you extra protection. The blade and the handle are comfortable and give a high level of grip. Your hands will not get tired after using it.

Pros
  • High strength
  • Handle is wrapped in textured rubber overmold
  • Nicely balanced
  • Stays sharp for a long time
Cons
  • Not for heavy chopping
3.

Ka-Bar Kukri Machete Best Machete for Survival

Features
  • Type: Kukri
  • Blade length: 11.5″
  • Overall length: 17″
  • Blade material: 1085 carbon steel blade
  • Blade finish: black powder coating
  • Handle material: Kraton G
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4.16 oz.

 More features: includes black leather sheath, large and comfortable handle, lightweight, corrosion resistance

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The kukri machete is probably the most popular type, as it looks furious. If you’re looking for survival tools, it’d be your machete of choice. It’s brilliant for chopping wood, making a fire and cutting through bushes. Although this blade might be a little too wide for some people, many customers liked its length.

The fantastic leather sheath that it comes with will be able to give you a lot of protection, and the ribbed handle will make sure that the tool stays firmly in your hand. The machete is easy to swing, and the strong carbon steel blade will be able to stand the test of time. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for a kukri machete.

Pros
  • Ribbed handle
  • Durable carbon steel blade
  • Perfect for survival
  • Strong leather sheath
Cons
  • Might feel a bit bulky for some
4.

CRKT Chanceinhell Machete 18 Best Durability

Features
  • Type: Bush
  • Blade length: 12″
  • Overall length: 17.88″
  • Blade material: 65Mn carbon steel
  • Blade finish: bead blast with powder coat
  • Handle material: PP core & TPR overmold with textured grip
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz.

 More features: plain blade edge, includes reinforced nylon sheath, limited lifetime warranty, easy to sharpen

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As the name might suggest, bush machetes are great for bush clearances and are a great multi-use option. The lower blade length allows you to have close contact and carry a lot of momentum through every swing, which is needed for many camping and backpacking tasks.

That perfect balance between weight and length allows it to have an impressive cutting power. Some people have mentioned that knife spine could be a bit thicker, so that would allow using less force to cut wood. The vast majority of people state that they received a durable machete that is comfortable to use. Moreover, the blade is corrosion-resistant, tough and durable. There are also rivets with holes that can make it more comfortable to carry.

Pros
  • Perfect durability
  • Comfortable to grip
  • Impressive cutting power
  • Great weight to length ratio
Cons
  • Blade spine could be thicker
5.

Schrade SCHKM1 Best Package

Features
  • Type: Kukri
  • Blade length: 13″
  • Overall length: 19.5″
  • Blade material: 3Cr13 stainless steel
  • Blade finish: black powder coating
  • Handle material: Safe-T-Grip
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4.8 oz.

 More features: shock absorption and great grip characteristics, has a lanyard hole, bundle includes nylon sheath, fire starter and diamond sharpener

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If you’re heading into unknown or high-risk areas, it’s a machete you want to have by your side. It is very comfortable to use with a shorter blade that allows you to swing it very quickly.

The handle provides excellent grip and safety when cutting. The high-quality stainless steel gives it a good level of durability. The best part about this blade is the package. You will receive great useful accessories that you might need for your trip. There are the sheath that you can quickly access, the fire starter and the diamond sharpener that will help to keep the blade ready to use. Additionally, shoulder strap, leg strap and belt loop can be quite handy and can save some space in your backpack. Overall, it’s a terrific machete with astonishing design.

Pros
  • Extremely durable
  • Comfortable to use
  • Great accessories
  • Easy to sharpen
Cons
  • Requires sharpening
6.

Ontario 1-18 Military Machete Best Military Quality

Features
  • Type: Bush/Latin
  • Blade length: 18″
  • Overall length: 24″
  • Blade material: 1095 carbon steel
  • Blade finish: black (zinc phosphate)
  • Handle material: molded plastic
  • Weight: 1 lb. 7 oz.

 More features: blade hardened to 50-55 HRC, blade is .12″ thick and is ground to a full flat taper with a flat bevel

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Here we see another type of bush machete, but this one is thinner and longer. This makes it ideal for environments where you have more freedom for moving but need to complete key camping and backpacking tasks. However, the blade can slip out of the hand if not used correctly, and practice is needed with this machete.

The blade itself is made from strong carbon steel, and the weight of this tool is perfect for different needs. This machete can effortlessly deal with heavy-duty tasks. The cutting power is very impressive, and this machete will soon become your best friend on any trip. Many people admit that it has a military quality and can last you a very long time despite the low price tag.

Pros
  • Strong carbon steel
  • Impressive cutting power
  • Thick blade
  • Great for heavy-duty work
Cons
  • Handle can slip
7.

Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete Best Machete for Chopping Wood

Features
  • Type: Parang
  • Blade length: 13.5″
  • Overall length: 19.5″
  • Blade material: carbon steel
  • Blade finish: black (teflon, PVD, DLC.)
  • Handle material: rubber
  • Weight: 1 lb. 3.4 oz.

 More features: angled blade, full tang construction, corrosion resistance and easy to sharpen, includes nylon sheath, lanyard cord

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If you’re going to be doing a lot of chopping on your adventure, getting a parang blade would be a great option. It’s made to get through a lot of work and will be able to cut the wood and heavy vegetation. It means that the blade can get a little dull quickly but thankfully, it’s easy to sharpen.

The full tang blade will give you a wonderful level of durability, and the textured rubber grip will allow you to slash with confidence that it won’t slip out of hand. If you’re going to be traveling long distances and will need to make shelters, then this machete would be a great option. The blade length is great to make it compact but still able to carry a lot of momentum.

Pros
  • Perfect for chopping wood
  • High-quality carbon steel
  • Textured rubber grip
  • Easy to sharpen
Cons
  • Can get dull quickly when chopping wood
Features
  • Type: Parang
  • Blade length: 15.5″
  • Overall length: 22.25″
  • Blade material: 1075 high carbon steel
  • Blade finish: natural
  • Handle material: walnut
  • Weight: 1 lb. 13.76 oz.

 More features: high quality, has a lanyard hole, arrives from the factory razor-sharp, includes sheath

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If this was a beauty contest, this would surely be the winner. The blade and the handle are brilliantly designed as well as the stylish sheath made of high-quality leather. Thankfully, it’s not just the looks that make this machete so wonderful, the parang blade also has a high level of quality and is great for any camping situation.

Depending on how you hold the machete, you might need a little tape to have a secure grip. The blade itself arrives incredibly sharp and is made from carbon steel. If you think you might need it for heavy tasks, the length and weight of this machete will provide a phenomenal amount of power for every swing.

Pros
  • Classical design
  • Beautiful hardwood handle
  • High-grade steel
  • Stylish sheath
Cons
  • Handle might need paracord or tape wrapping
9.

Outdoor Edge Brush Demon Best Machete for Clearing Brushes

Features
  • Type: Bush
  • Blade length: 13.5″
  • Overall length: 20″
  • Blade material: 65mn carbon spring-steel
  • Blade finish: black powder coat
  • Handle material: Zytel with skin molded TPR (rubberized)
  • Weight: 1 lb. 1.6 oz.

 More features: convex cutting edge, comfortable non-slip grip, has a lanyard hole, includes nylon sheath

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Here we have another blade that has a very imposing style. The full tang blade is going to give you a great level of durability and allow you to have that great feeling of balance. The grip is well-designed to ensure that it never slips out of your hand, and it is also comfortable to hold.

The perfect quality of steel allows the machete to be very light while still having a lot of power. It can help you to clear brushy areas with ease. It comes with a nylon sheath and has a lanyard hole if you wanted to have more security while using it.

Unfortunately, some people mentioned that the quality of the sheath was poor. Still, you’ll be able to get a lot of work done with this machete, and it will be a great tool for numerous adventures.

Pros
  • Full tang blade
  • Carbon spring steel
  • Impressive balance
  • Comfortable grip
Cons
  • Sheath quality is poor
10.

SOG Kukri Machete Best Sawback Machete

Features
  • Type: Kukri
  • Blade length: 12″
  • Overall length: 18″
  • Blade material: 3Cr13 stainless steel
  • Blade finish: hardcased black
  • Handle material: Kraton rubber
  • Weight: 15 oz.

 More features: designed to clear trails and brush, sawback, heat, wear and chemical resistant non-slip grip, includes nylon sheath, lifetime warranty

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SOG is the company that has been able to make an affordable, high-quality kukri blade and added some unique features to it. The blade has a serrated spine, which will enable you to use it as a saw when required. Of course, it doesn’t offer you the functionality of a purpose-built saw, but it’s a great extra to have.

Although the blade is quite thin, it’s made from strong stainless steel to give it more durability. The rubber handle will give you a very secure grip. It’s an outstanding well-balanced blade that can be used for several tasks. Many campers will adore this versatile option that has such a stylish design.

Pros
  • Serrated spine
  • Secure rubber handle
  • Well-balanced
  • Stylish design
Cons
  • The blade is quite thin

Buying Guide

In order to buy the best machete, you need to make sure that you are getting the features that match your needs. In this buying guide, we will go through everything that you should know about those tools. After that, you can check the FAQ section to find the answers to your questions. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll have all the information to make the right decision.

Things to consider before buying the best machete

Here, we are going to discuss the most important features that you should keep in mind while searching for the best machete for you. We will start with the type of machete and blade characteristics, and then we will move to handle material, overall weight, sharpness, thickness, and other essential things. As we go through this guide, it’s a good idea to make a note of what features are important to you.

Type of the machete

10 Best Machetes - Essential Survival Tool for any Adventurer!

As we have already mentioned, there are quite a few different styles of machetes. The right one for you will depend on your preferences and needs.

The kukri machete, as seen with the Ka-Bar Kukri Machete, is perfect for survival, whereas the bush machete, such as the CRKT Chanceinhell, is ideal for general purposes and clearing a path then you are backpacking. The bolo machete, like the Kershaw Camp 18, is commonly used in the Philippines and is wonderful for cutting down grass and breaking down coconuts. If you need to chop through wood, then a golok or parang machete will make light work of that task.

It’s all about knowing what you need and getting a machete to match the tasks it’ll be completing.

Blade length

With such an item, it’s easy to think that bigger is better, and you should opt for a long and thick blade.

However, the right length for you will depend on where you’re going to be using the blade and how portable you need it to be.
The machetes we’ve looked at here range from 11.5 to 18 inches.

With shorter blades like the Ka-Bar Kukri Machete, you will have more control over it, and they will be more portable and easier to use. On the other hand, long blades like the Ontario 1-18 Military Machete, might be less portable, but they will be able to clear a larger area more quickly. In addition, you will be able to make swings that are more powerful.

Blade material

All the blades that we have looked at here are constructed with different types of steel that have unique properties. Many blades are made from classic stainless steel, which doesn’t require a lot of maintenance and also you’d be able to sharpen it quite easily. It’s not the hardest material, however, and frequent sharpening might be required.

Carbon steel, as seen with the Outdoor Edge Brush Demon, is often used as this is harder than stainless steel and therefore is better at keeping its edge sharp. It is more likely to rust and harder to sharpen.

The high carbon steel with powder coating seems to be the first-rate option as it has the corrosion resistance and adequate hardness.

Handle material

For a machete, wood has been traditionally used as the handle material and is still quite popular today. The Condor Tool & Knife Duku Parang Machete is a great example here. The wood provides good grip and comfort while looking great too and not adding much weight. A problem with wood is that the grip isn’t quite the same as other materials, and moisture can damage the handle if not well maintained.

Plastic handles, on the other hand, are very easy to maintain and are cheap. Since the plastic tends to be slippery, you want your handle to be well textured. Rubber grips are often preferred as they are comfortable to hold and give you the highest level of grip. If the rubber isn’t of high quality, they can wear out quite quickly.

Weight

10 Best Machetes - Essential Survival Tool for any Adventurer!

The power delivered by the tool is based on its mass and the velocity of the strike. To get the optimal power, you want to find a machete that you can swing quickly. Lightweight blades won’t provide you enough power to cut wood.

With that in mind, you also want to make sure that you’re not getting a machete, which is too heavy. Moreover, your blade should be perfectly balanced, so you could make accurate cuts. If you don’t get the right weight, you won’t be able to use it properly.

Sharpness

To get the full potential out of your machete, you want it to stay as sharp as possible. As mentioned before, carbon steel is harder than stainless steel and able to stay sharper for longer. For example, consider the Condor Tool & Knife Golok Machete. It comes already sharpened and won’t get dull after multiple uses.

If you’re going on a long adventure, then you want to carry a sharpener with you so that your machete remains effective all the time.

Thickness

The thicker the blade, the more durable it’s going to be. That thickness can come at a price if the weight is going to be too high. A compromise, therefore, needs to be found so you’re getting a blade that won’t bend or break but will still be light enough and easy to swing around at high velocity.

Tang

The tang is the part of the blade that you can’t see, as it refers to how it extends into the handle. A full tang blade, as seen with the Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete, means that the blade extends to the end of the handle, and this gives the machete a lot more durability and provides better balance.

Sheath

Since you’re going to store your sharp machete in it, it needs to be durable and hard-wearing. A lot of sheaths are made from nylon or polyester. Both materials can give you plenty of reliability. For style and long-term reliability, many people prefer to have a leather sheath as this gives it a classical look while still being a great material.

Machete or axe?

10 Best Machetes - Essential Survival Tool for any Adventurer!

An axe is an excellent tool for heavy-duty tasks where you need brutal power to split logs, chop meat and trim branches. The problem with the axes is that they are quite heavy, and you aren’t able to swing them quickly. In survival situations, it can mean you can be too slow to react. For bush clearance and some intricate tasks, it can be too bulky.

If you are backpacking, hiking or camping, it’s likely that a machete will be a better option. Since they are lighter, it means you can swing them more quickly, which adds to their versatility.

It is wonderful to have both tools with you. Nevertheless, if you’re choosing just one, a machete it the best. They are more portable and you’ll find that you are able to use them for a wider variety of tasks.

Prices

As with any type of product, there is a range of different prices and qualities available to you. If you’re looking for a premium quality machete, then the Condor Tool & Knife Golok Machete would be a great option as is had an incredible level of craftsmanship. It costs approximately $85.

At the mid-range level, there are a lot of great machetes such as the Kershaw Camp 18 and the CRKT Chanceinhell. At around $50, you’re going to be able to get a high-quality machete at an affordable price.

Even below that figure, you can still get an excellent machete. The Ontario 1-18 Military Machete is a perfect example of that. The SOG Kukri also has excellent value for money if you were looking for a kukri model.

FAQ

Machetes can keep their edge sharp for quite a long time, but they can start to lose their effectiveness after a while. If you’re on the move, then investing in a handheld sharpener will be the best bet.

At home, you can choose among several things. A belt sander, grinder, mill file, Dremel and whetstone can all be used to sharpen your machete. If you are out on the trail and stuck for options, you can use a hard rock with a little water to make your machete more effective.

Wielding a machete in the wrong way can lead to many problems, and you don’t want to end up having any injuries. Holding the machete too hard can quickly lead to hand pain and blisters. You don’t need to have a death grip in order to get full power.

Instead, you need to use what is called a ‘pinch grip’, which is where you hold the machete loosely with your thumb and forefinger. The rest of your fingers support the blade. This still allows you to have powerful strikes with the blade and avoid pain.

One of the rookie mistakes, which can happen, is cutting straight in front of you. Not only does this waste a lot of energy, but also it is not safe. Instead, you want to swing your machete at 45-degree angles.

When you are moving forward and swinging your machete for bush clearance, try to find out whether upward or downward swings are better for you. When cutting logs, make strikes creating a V-shaped notch. This will keep the machete away from your body and preserve your energy.

Our Verdict

So, this is it. We have reviewed the ten best machetes that are suitable for different purposes. Let’s summarize the results with our top three favorites.

The Condor Tool & Knife Golok Machete undoubtedly deserves the first place here. It is amazing at cutting through trees and clearing brushy areas, but it might be that you’re looking for something a little different.

Next, we have the Kershaw Camp 18 with a comfortable handle and durable blade. This well-balanced machete is a versatile tool for many tasks.

Finally, you won’t go wrong with the Ka-Bar Kukri Machete. It is an excellent long-lasting blade for different camping needs.

We hope that the information in this article was useful for you, and now you know how to find the best machete.

9.9/10 Total Score
Condor Tool & Knife Golok Machete - Editor's Choice
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