Machete! The ultimate versatile tool can be very handy for anyone going for an outing or cleaning the backyard of the house or simply in case of self-defense. To buy from the best machetes, and make the most use out of it, you need to first specify the use of your machete.
Because it’s a bitter truth that no single machete can perform effectively for all sorts of work. Each machete is designed, keeping in mind, to serve best for some specific types of work. Saying that it’s obvious, finding the best machetes is not an easy task.
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Feeling confused? Well, you don’t need to be. Just stay with us whilst we will walk you through a complete guideline to choose the best machete for you from different types. In this journey with you, we will bring the must know features i.e. blade material, blade thickness, length, handle and last but not the least machete sheath before you.
Furthermore, we will talk about the wide variety of its uses. Most importantly we will mention the 15 best items in the world which we have selected from hundreds of them so that you can pick the right one for you.
List of 15 Best Machetes
You get what you pay for, this phrase couldn’t be more true for this Warlock machete. Made from the 1075 high carbon steel, this 5mm thick full tang machete is an example of excellent craftsmanship. Its perfect 12 and 1/2-inch blade holds an edge very well that will slash your way into years old fence lines, wood edges, briars, brambles, and other nasty staffs.
The most impressive thing about this machete is the balance which is got by having a forward weight to it. This finest quality tool has an epoxy black powder coating blade finish that makes it almost addictive.
The stunning micarta handle will let you have a great grip even when wet which is rare for other machetes. It feels so good in the hand that after taking out of the box, you would immediately want to go out in the woods and chop something. This unique item can be handled by just one hand and won’t slip away with the swing. People with a large hand can also hold it very comfortably.
It comes with a great black leather sheath that multiplies its awesome features. You can easily go out for hiking, hunting or camping while the sheath will rest comfortably on your hip. The sheath has two snap retainers and you can put your Warlock back into the sheath with ease.
- Best all-around machete
- Epoxy black powder coating blade
- Comfortable micarta handle
- Long durability
- Great versatility
- Little expensive
This Condor Village Parang Machete is the long-lost little brother of our chopping champ, Condor Bolo Machete. Made from the same 1075 high carbon steel, this piece of work has a 12-inch blade, slightly shorter than the Bolo. The impressive 5mm nice and thick Parang comes with a reasonable edge.
This top performer’s specialty lies in chopping woods, trimming branches and cutting firewood. On top of that, this badass can accompany you with your hiking and camping if its heftiness is not too much for you.
The flawless handle has a smooth finish that fits very well in the hand. If you are worried that it will fly out of your hand when you swing it hard, please don’t be. Because its smoothness is designed in such a way that it won’t happen. The hardwood handle gives this full tang machete a balanced comfortable grip.
One thing for sure, you won’t forget its leather sheath that comes with an exquisite dark brown finish. The high-quality leather sheath’s design requires pulling the machete straight up. Having said that, the sheath also has an internal silicon blade guard that keeps the stitching safe from the very sharp blade.
- Perfect handle
- Pretty durable edge
- Moderate thickness
This special design, perfect quality kukri comes from Ka-Bar that is one beast of a machete. You can use it for camping, hiking, batoning, clearing brush and specially for survival purpose like all other kukris. You can also check our list of survival tools. Its relatively short 11 and a ½-inch blade is made from carbon steel that has an impressive sharp edge.
The blade is forward weighted and light which is perfect for creating a lot of power when you strike. The full tang blade is very agile and thick, though its coating may come off after some serious abuse.
The sheath is a combination of Cordura and black leather. It has a D-ring loop that you can attach with the belt and makes the carrying flexible as it swivels when you sit.
Because of its smaller blade, you will face difficulty in places where you really have to reach out. Certainly not for hard chopping. The sheath is not sturdy enough. Although, for the money, it’s a pretty good buy.
- Good balance and flexibility
- Best machete for camping
- Ideal for survival
- Medium price
- Reaching issue
- Not a chopper
- Medium quality sheath
Let’s now meet the lighter and less expensive workhorse of the Cold Steel family. This 12-inch bladed Bowie is shorter than most machetes but bigger than most knives. Its 1055 carbon steel blade has an amazing anti rust matte finishing which can do a great job of chopping up briars, bushes, limbs.
The sharp and pointy tip of this sweet blade makes it the best combat machete. The blade holds an edge very well and has a decent edge retention ability.
Its long full tang polypropylene handle has a rough textured finish which allows you to have a very firm and comfortable grip. This military grade machete also has a lanyard hole to ensure more safety. The Cor-Ex made sheath, that comes with it, is fairly designed with rivets and hard plastic reinforcement to the tip. At such an incredibly low price this quality sheath is a real hooker.
- Great self-defense weapon
- Best budget machete
- Good penetration
- Annoying sticker on blade
- Short reach
Let us introduce you to one of Condor’s best creations, the 15 and ½ inch blade Duku machete. It can be used very effectively for clearing brush, chopping, camping, and self-survival as well. The 22 and ¼ inch full tang solid machete is made of 1075 High carbon steel giving it a long-term durability along with a unique chopping strength.
This hard-hitting chunk of metal comes with an awesome leather sheath which lessens its maintenance hassle. The fit & finish of this must have machete is excellent. The blade which narrows down to the width of the handle & broadens towards the tip exerts massive percussive power to the cutting edge. This mid ranged machete has an amazing edge retention attribute.
The thick and firm wood handle will not slip away even not from your wet hand because of its curved finishing. The long and round handle of this Duku machete, which will hardly cause any blister even after extended use, can create some gripping issues for people with smaller palms. In that case, you can try 10-inch bladed Mini Duku Parang Machete.
- Very good edge retention
- Shears through thick frozen hardwood
- Best machete for clearing brush
- Chops bigger stuff very well
- Comes with distinctive handle
- Gripping issues for smaller palms
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If any machete’s aesthetic appeal carries any significant value along with its great functionality to you, then this 19-inch Condor Golok machete has that unique combination. This crafty tool is designed in such a manner that one day it may become a collector’s item of increasing value. Which should not be the ultimate criteria to buy a machete but it tells you about its overall quality.
The 14-inch blade of this machete is made of 1075 high carbon steel incorporating toughness. The thick and solid blade has a curved design that lets you have a good balance by making it easy to cut bamboo, branches, shrubs, limbs and even stumps.
This full tang black epoxy powder coated machete comes with a walnut handle with brass rivets and a lanyard hole. The handle has an amazing finish and ties the whole tool together. No blisters will happen from this perfect handle and slippage issues are minimized by having a perfect grip.
The high-quality sheath, made of excellent leather, enhances its durability. You can carry this sheath with ease as it swivels when you sit. It can easily become one of the best quality machetes in your collection.
- Aesthetic appearance
- Amazing hardwood handle
- Little heavy
This Gerber Parang Machete is on our top pick list not because of Bear Grylls, but for its high quality at such a low price. It has a unique blade angle that is designed specially for clearing brush and limbs. You can also use it smoothly for gardening, camping, processing firewood and to remove trail obstructions.
Due to its curvature, you will get much more swing than a straight blade machete. The 13 and 1/2-inch blade also has a forward weight that creates extra momentum to cut through with great ease. The full tang high carbon steel blade resists corrosion and holds an edge very well.
It has a solid nylon sheath that may not be the best quality but for the price, you won’t be complaining. The sheath carries a small survival guide with it which is pretty nice from Gerber. Above all, it is very functional, yet some may face it a little bit difficult to draw the machete from the sheath because of its contoured structure. This parang has all the qualities to go right into your bug out bag.
- Better swing from angled blade
- Less slippage
- Reasonable price
- Medium quality nylon sheath
- Difficulty in sheath handling
The next go to machete in our list of top-notch machetes is Ka-Bar 14-Inch Grass Machete Knife. Though its specialty lies in cutting grass, vines and soft vegetation, its rock solid 1085 carbon steel blade can turn this machete into a heavy cutting tool.
The blade has a duplex grind that provides a very fine edge, though it slightly reduces the chopping ability by creating a certain amount of friction. The 19 and ½-inch machete holds the edge very well and can take a lot of beating.
Its beautifully designed handle is made of black Kraton G which enhances its performance and durability. It has a lanyard hole to provide extra security and the tip of the handle prevents the machete from slipping away when you strike.
It also comes with a decent Cordura sheath that could have been much better. Though the sheath is not top notch, it serves the basic purposes. This is not a fancy tool but a tool of great functionality.
- Duplex grind
- Beautiful design
- Great functionality
- Below standard sheath
Cold Steel has made a unique looking sword like machete which is a great piece for carrying in the jungle, camping and trimming tall grass. At the same time, this serious weapon will make someone think twice before messing with you once they see it with you. Yes, we are talking about two-handed Katana machete that we have selected to be on our list of the best machetes in the world.
This comparatively large tactical machete has a blade length of 24-inch made of 1055 carbon steel with black baked on anti-rust matte finish. The longer blade gives you distance for defense against animals and can take a lot of beating without turning it dull. The 2.8 mm thick blade machete hasn’t that forward weight like other heavy machetes and it won’t be cutting much deeper on thicker stuff.
The 16 and ½-inch extended handle will afford you tremendous leverage. This large handle is made of polypropylene that gives you a good grip without any slippage.
Though the big machete fits nicely in it, it may seem little tricky to handle this long blade. This is one of the best tactical machetes for the money and is made to be used and abused. Read the full katana review here.
- Great survival tool
- Unique blade length
- Best tactical machete
- Good price
- Less momentum
- Medium quality sheath
- Handling may seem tricky
If you want a nothing fancy but true functional machete that will last for a long period, then this machete is for you. The price is very low for a machete that has served so well for the military for years. Its relatively long 18-inch blade is made of 1095 carbon steel and is hardened to 50-55 HRC.
Though the overall length is 24-inch, this heavy duty tool is very well balanced and can be considered as the best machete for trail clearing. You can also use it perfectly for cutting thick brush, clearing branches, trimming trees and as a yard tool.
You can wrap the handle with tape, as many do, to take care of this gripping issue. The most downside of this machete is that it doesn’t include a sheath with it. You have to order it separately. But hey! At such a low price you can’t get anything much better than this Ontario military machete.
- Long durability
- Low price
- Military level tool
- Square handle
- No sheath included
On our quest for best machetes, we find this chopping champ, Condor Engineer Bolo machete, a true competitor. This substantial piece of steel is one of the finest quality tools you will ever find from Condor family. It’s made of 1075 high carbon steel and has a long, well-tempered, 15-inch blade.
Its 5mm thick blade makes it a heavy built machete which can smash almost all types of hefty limbs and wood. So, what do you say? Isn’t this big guy a good match to be in your backpack while you are going for camping, digging, chopping or cutting your way through brushes.
The beautiful hardwood handle being pretty smooth increases the slicing effect of a strike by making an angle with the blade proving the excellent workmanship of the blade and handle. Its high quality, durable leather sheath resists scratches which by lasting long. Besides, this great looking sheath is very sturdy and functional with no apparent manufacturing issues.
The only matter of concern with this beast is its heaviness. You will be needing some strength if you want to carry it with you for long distance hiking or camping. One thing for sure, this is not for the amateurs. The sculpted vent machete can be your longtime pal & your grandkids will certainly inherit it whilst praising your foresight.
- Long-term sharpness
- Best machete for chopping
- Cuts really deep
- Made for good control
- Very heavy
- Handle may seem too smooth
This Ka-Bar cutlass machete is a true cross between a machete and a big bowie knife. Its 11-inch blade is pretty short for a machete, though it chops like an axe. The 1085 carbon steel blade has a 20-degree edge angle that is perfect for chopping down weeds, tree branches, small limbs or clearing a campsite. It has an overall length of 16 and ½ -inch that gives you an impressive balance.
It has an astounding ergonomically shaped handle made of Kraton G thermoplastic elastomer that provides a very firm grip. The full tang handle creates a lot of retention by its pinky guard at the end. This is one of the most comfortable handles you will find for a machete at this price.
The machete is concluded with a sheath made of leather for one side and Cordura for the other. The nicely made sheath has two straps on it to hold it secure and a D ring on the bottom if you want to attach it to your belt for further security.
The sheath may also not be on an outstanding level but all these cons are not really a deal breaker.
- Excellent grip
- Long lasting blade
- Good swing
- Medium price
- Leather and Cordura combination sheath
- Shorter blade length
- Gripping issues for smaller palms
Our next candidate, 97KMS Kukri Machete is one of the best ones for survival from Cold Steel. This lightweight decent machete can accompany you whether you are in a jungle or pinewood forest. You can also use it for small limbs, some baton splitting and as a yard workhorse at a very low price.
It has a 13-inch high-quality steel blade with a thickness of 2.75 mm. The 18-inch long full tang machete has a forward weight that boosts the bite of every stroke by adding more momentum.
Its polypropylene handle is pretty durable and provides a good grip. Because of its textured finishing, it won’t slip away even when you swing it hard or your hands are wet. The Cor-Ex made sheath is fairly functional but not fancy. At such a low price, just a workable sheath is good enough.
- Decent grip
- Cheap price
- Sticker on blade
- Medium quality sheath
Another smoking deal from Cold Steel is the 22-inch long 97MKM Magnum kukri. It has 17-inch long blade slightly larger than previous mentioned 97kms kukri. Its 2.75 mm thick and sturdy blade can easily cut through vines, shrubs, small trees, roots, and brush etc. Its distinct blade has a straighter shape than regular kukris. This full tang machete is extremely durable and will take a hell of a beating. You can also check our article on best-made kukris.
Its comfortable polypropylene handle has a nice textured grip. The tip of the handle can cause blisters for people with larger palms since it will become a pressure point when any strike is made. This workhorse machete comes with a decent Cordura sheath. The sheath is not a top notch but at such a low price it is a good bang for the buck. You can carry out the sheath throughout the day as it will fit perfectly onto your belt.
The annoying sticker issue of Cold Steel appears here too.
- Comfortable Grip
- Good weight
- Low price
- Medium quality sheath
- Sticker issue
Meet our next candidate from El Salvador which is great for chopping small branches with its 18-inch blade. Its thick and tough blade is made of 1075 high carbon steel that won’t chip easily. But, also this is not made for hard chopping. Its epoxy black powder coating blade gives a powerful look and will keep the rust away if you take a little care.
The sheath is really nice and well made, though a strip of leather with a snap could have been used to improve the overall quality. At this reasonable price, El Salvador provides a lot.
- Epoxy black powder coating blade
- High Impact Polypropylene handle
- Reasonable price
- Handle little bit small
- Not for hard chopping
- Medium quality sheath
Buying Guide For Best Machetes
Before selecting the best products on the market, you need to consider different aspects to choose the right one for you. Some may be great for chopping while other machete types may fit well in your camping kit bag. Though most of the modern machetes have a wide range of utility, all of them have their own area of expertise.
Now let’s see a short overview of the most important features of a machete:
Machetes are designed in different shapes around the world mostly based on their origin. The world’s top machetes based on their blade shape are:
Each has their own significant advantages based on the machete designs and styles. Most of them are designed as a forward weighted tool to have some extra momentum i.e. the Golok or the Bolo. Some have it in their middle part of the blade like the Barong. The Kukris have an exceptional curved blade angle giving it more chopping power than other machetes. In that way, the bowie knife, because of its pointy blade tip, can perform well in survival issues.
Each of the machetes mostly has a different place of origin and they resemble the culture and heritage of those places to some extent.
There are basically three types of steel blade used by the machete manufacturer during machete making.
- Carbon steel
- Stainless steel
- High carbon stainless steel
Carbon steel blades are the strongest blade among these three types. They are relatively cheap and once sharpened can hold an edge for a long period. As it forms rust very easily once it comes in contact with moisture, you have to take regular care by polishing it with oil. The extra hardness also turns it into a more brittle tool. In addition, the carbon steel is hard to re-sharpen because of its hardness. For hard chopping and survival issue, this type of blade can be of good use.
The stainless steel is made by adding nickel and chromium to regular carbon steel which is more expensive than carbon steel. It has impressive rust resisting ability which ultimately reduces its maintenance work. It also has lower strength than carbon steel and is much easier to re-sharpen. Because of its lower strength, it can take a lot of beating and thus has less brittleness.
As the steel has the lower strength it doesn’t hold the edge like carbon steel. For decorative items and where you need a machete that is less prone to rust, stainless steel blade can be a good choice.
High Carbon Stainless Steel
The high carbon stainless steel is the combo blade of the previous two types. The best attributes are merged together to make one solid item. So it has a moderate strength and rust resisting ability which as a result has made it more expensive.
Durability is very good for the edges and sharpening of the edge also becomes quite comfortable. Can be used for any functional or decorative tool. In our list of the best handpicked machetes, you will find that most of them are made of high carbon steel. Read our article to know the cleaning process of a blade to make your machete more durable.
Machete blade length can vary in a wide range. You will find machete blade length as short as 8-inch and as long as 28-inch also.
The short blades are of great use in narrow space and it will give you more control over the swing of the blade. Thus it can become your best machete for survival. But because of the shorter length, you will have less momentum and as a result, the blade won’t bite deep. More energy will be needed to make the blade a chopping beast.
The long blade will provide an extra advantage in this aspect. But due to its long blade, it will carry significant weight with it and by carrying it all day with you may become very tiresome. Its chopping ability is much more than a shorter one whilst the control is less.
Machetes are also classified into different categories due to their various thicknesses. It may be as thin as 2mm and as thick as 6mm also.
The thin machete can be held with ease and be used for cutting soft plants and vegetation. As it is comparatively lighter, it can be less effectively used in hard chopping. The blade may break in that case as more power can cause damage.
Vice versa, the thick blades are of in great use for situations where a lot of power is involved. As a result, it requires a lot of power because of the weight. In truth, it is a tradeoff between weight and easy handling.
The blade also can be full tang or not. Full tang blade goes the full length of the handle without being narrowed down. The tang may or may not be as wide as the handle. The handle is cut to the shape of the tang and then fastened to it by some bolts or pins or screws.
Handle Shape and Material
Top quality machetes should have the best type of handles. Most of the machetes have simple type handle with a cross guard that protects the hand from slipping on to the blade. The tip of the handle also can have a unique shape to prevent the machete from slipping away due to wet weather or sweaty hands. The handle can be attached to the blade with rivets or not. Each handle has a lanyard hole with it to ensure some extra security.
The handle may be in a round, square or curved shape. The round and curved machete shapes are relatively comfortable and ergonomic whereas the square shaped handle may cause some blisters by giving the feel of the shock when you strike a blow.
The material also contributes a lot to make a perfect handle. There are several types of it i.e. wood handle, molded plastic handle, stainless steel handle, rubber or textured handle, leather handle, and micarta handle.
Wood machete handles are pretty common for parang type machetes. It gives a good grip, warm feel, lightweight but is relatively expensive which also requires regular maintenance. The molded plastic handle is relatively cheaper and very easy to maintain. But the color gets distorted over time and the plastic becomes brittle.
The stainless steel blade has high aesthetic value but very rare for machete handle. It is more durable, heavy and expensive. Also, it can be very slippery. Next is the rubber or textured handle. It has a good grip and feels soft on hand. The weight is very light but can become worn out because of wear and tear. Also, it has a moderate price.
Another very uncommon handle is leather handle. It gives a very comfortable grip and good look. But can be very slippery and requires a lot of maintenance. Also, it is expensive than other handles. The last is the micarta handle which is the composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic. It gives a very comfortable and good grip. Also, it is very strong and due to its high quality is very expensive.
Whatever may be the handle shape or material, you need to follow some basic techniques to ensure the perfect use of your machete while considering the safety first. Regarding that, you can also check our article on machete safety where we have elaborately described how you can ensure a safe machete use.
The sheath is the protector of machete and a good sheath enhances the life-cycle of a blade. The sheaths that come with the machete are of various types. Sometimes there may not be any sheath with the machete which is pretty rare. The sheath may be made from leather, solid nylon, Cordura made (which is made of nylon blended with cotton and other natural fibers) and also cor-ex.
The leather sheath is comparatively long-lasting and durable. It usually comes with a high priced machete. Sheath made from solid nylon also serves well and takes good care of the blade. This type of sheath comes with a medium quality machete. The Cordura and cor-ex made sheath are also very high-quality material that helps to take care of the blade properly.
The sheath also includes straps and belt loops with it so that you can carry it with you throughout the day. The sheath may also include a D-ring with it that helps to swivel the blade more easily when you walk through the jungle or sit down for rest.
Sometimes people do some modification to the sheath according to their need. Also, they sometimes make their own sheath if they can. You can try that as well!
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Let’s go through some questions that people frequently ask.
- Is a machete a weapon?
Yes, you can use machetes as a weapon. It is widely used among the militaries around the world.
- Which machete is the best for survival?
Machetes which are small and easy to carry but very strong and sharp are the best ones for survival. We’ve selected CRKT Chanceinhell as the best for survival.
- Which machete is the best for clearing brush?
Machetes which are long and hold the edges for a long time are generally good for clearing brush. The long blades give you the advantage of reaching the brushes without any hassle and good edge retention will keep you working for a long time. We’ve selected Duku Machete as the best for clearing brush.
- Which one is the best all-around machete?
We’ve selected Warlock Machete as the best all-around machete as it performs superbly in every situation you put it in.
- Which one is the best combat machete?
We’ve selected Bowie Machete as one of the best combat machetes as it’ll give flexibility and has a very good piercing tip.
- Which one is the best high-end machete?
The best high-end machete is our top pick Warlock Machete.
- Which steel is the best for machetes?
It actually depends on what type of work you need the machete for. For detailed guideline see our blade material section.
In our list of the best machetes, we have tried to give you a complete guideline to choose the perfect match for you. We don’t claim this list to be the most complete. There may also have some other cool machetes that may fit well into your daily life. But we are confident enough that the detailed analysis of our page will certainly help you to choose easily the best one for you.
We have collected thousands of reviews and analyzed them thoroughly. After hours of study, we have presented this list to you. We hope that you will find this article helpful.
Danny is an avid hunter and outdoorsman who just love the wilderness. He learned the surviving techniques from his predecessors and became the skilled man of today. He is a family guy who loves his family dearly. From an early age, he became very fascinated with different survival tools among which machete was one of them. This website is for sharing his knowledge and skills for those who feel a close bond with nature just like him.