Best Machete

The machete is a versatile tool for those that need a reliable knife in their encounters with dense shrubbery. From seasoned survivalists to home gardeners, machetes have proven to be the answer to a multitude of tasks. While the blade serves many utilitarian purposes, machetes come in several forms. It is important to pick the right shape and blade type to fit your needs. Some may opt for a simple curved blade for comfort and reliability. Others might require serrated edges for intensive sawing purposes. Regardless of whether you’ll use the blade to pave a path through thick brush and thicket or to split through the husks of coconuts, this comprehensive review will help guide you to the best machete for your uses.

 

Pro Tool Industries 481 Woodman’s Pal Series

The Pro Tool Industries 481 Woodman’s Pal Series machete is the most uniquely shaped of the tools we’ve reviewed. Hailing from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, this American made classic features a sickle tip that hooks off of the back edge of the blade. We’ve found the machete to be well tuned; its 10.5 inch blade sits balanced and comfortably in the hand. The full tang carbon steel blade is fixed to a 6 inch hardwood handle by two brass rivets. A leather sheath and honing steel are available in optional packaged deals.

 

Key Features:

  • 16.5 inches long (10.5 inch blade, 6 inch handle)
  • High carbon steel and hardwood handle
  • Sickle tip for clearing brier

 

Our testing has shown that this machete CAN take a beating, but heavy users that chop a lot of hardwood may have to occasionally hammer down the rivets. Despite that, most users will enjoy the machete’s build quality, especially the blade’s sickle tip. We weren’t expecting to get much use out of the sickle tip, but we found it surprisingly effective in stripping small limbs of their bark.

 

Matching the tool to the user:

This machete is a great multifunctional tool for those that need something for home uses. Whether you need a tool for clearing brier, harvesting wheats, or chopping tree limbs, this machete will fit all those needs. This is one of the heavier of the blades we reviewed; we think the slight heft contributes to the build quality and is welcomed as long as you aren’t expecting to use this on long backpacking or hiking excursions.

 

Condor Tool and Knife Parang Machete 17.5-Inch with Leather Sheath

The Condor Tool and Knife Parang Machete 17.5-Inch with Leather Sheath is a long and elegant high carbon steel blade. Don’t let the seamless curves fool you, this is no show toy. This machete is a true workhorse, capable of slicing through hardwood without fatiguing the user. Parang style machetes hail from the South East Asia area where vegetation tends to be woodier. This particular parang is a full tang blade measuring at 24 inches in total length. The blade itself is 17.5 inches long, a quarter inch in thickness, and finished with an epoxy black powder coating to give the steel a matte black finish. The parang has a smooth 6.5 inch hardwood handle and comes with a leather sheath.

 

Key Features:

  • 24 inches long (17.5 inch blade, 6.5 inch handle)
  • High carbon steel and hardwood handle
  • Parang design is a capable replacement for small axe or hatchet work

 

This machete will slice clean through branches with little effort because of its forward balance. Once we got used to the blade’s sweet spot, we were able to slice through hardwood branches that desperately needed pruning. The slicing motion is smooth; you won’t find the machete stuck halfway through a branch. If you’re familiar with Condor Tool and Knife Parang Machetes, this new design is slightly thinner than previous, older models. Some might prefer a chunkier blade, but the results of the newer, slimmer blade were more than satisfactory.

 

Matching the Tool to the User:

Keep in mind that parangs can fit the role of a hybrid blade. You can skip buying a hatchet entirely with this machete.This tool is especially useful in chopping scenarios. If your local area’s vegetation is similar to Southeast Asia’s (jungle/tropical trees), or if you have tall grass to cut, this machete is the right blade for you.

 

Silky 555-24 NATA Double Edge Hatchet, 240mm

The Silky 555-24 NATA Double Edge Hatchet, 240mm is the dark horse in our batch of recommended machetes. Relatively unknown, this short blade machete is manufactured in Ono, Japan by Silky Saws. Don’t let its listed name fool you, this tool is not a hatchet, though it can definitely take the place of one. The Japanese high carbon steel blade is 9.5 inches long and measures at little less than a quarter inch in thickness at its spine. It is important to note that the blade is double-edged, meaning it is sharpened to point from both sides of the steel rather than just one. This allows the blade to be used with either hand ambidextrously. The handle is composed of a removeable rubber grip, bringing the total weight of the blade to 1.5 pounds. The product includes a sturdy sheath.

 

Key Features:

  • 9.5 inch high carbon steel blade with removable/replaceable 2 part rubber handle
  • Double-edge bevel allows for use with either hand
  • Compact design is perfect for camping and bushcraft

 

We’ve found that this machete’s center of gravity is around an inch past the handle. The balance from its design and the rubber grip prevent wrist fatigue. However, some users are very particular about how squishy the handle might feel in their hands. If this is the case for you, we recommend looking at machetes with more a traditional hardwood handle.

 

Matching the Tool to the User:

This is the shortest blade among the machetes we’ve reviewed and recommend. Its compact design is excellent for those that need a reliable tool for camping or bushcraft. You’ll have no issue splitting firewood or clearing vegetation. Leave larger and longer machetes at home and put the Silky 555-24 NATA Double Edge Hatchet, 240mm with the rest of your camping gear. Ambidextrous or left-handed users will appreciate the double-edge design of the blade.

 

Condor Tools & Knives Discord Machete, 18-Inch

The Condor Tools & Knives Discord Machete, 18-Inch truly is a premium, high-end machete. It is a robust workhorse benefiting from an elegant yet masculine design. The Discord Machete is longer and heavier than your standard machete at 18 inches in blade length and 2.6 pounds in total weight. The full tang blade is composed of 1075 high carbon steel, finished in black matte with an epoxy black powder coating. The entire tip of the blade is sharpened, even along a portion of the spine. The handle is textured micarta measuring at around 9 inches in length. The product comes with a black leather sheath.

 

Key Features:

  • 27 inches in total length (18 inch blade, 9 inch handle)
  • High carbon steel blade and micarta handle
  • Powerful blade with more heft than standard machetes

 

While we really enjoyed working with this exceptional machete, we felt the need to include a warning with our review. This machete is a true beast and will cut down anything you put in its way. You have to be especially mindful of this blade because the force it carries can cause injuries if you are improperly positioned in its way. Experienced users will benefit the most from this heavy duty tool, unlocking its potential to clear the thickest of vegetation.

 

Matching the Tool to the User:

This is the blade to get if you have a dense amount of growth to cut through. The machete is heavier than most; long and intense work might require you to switch to a two handed grip to get the most from this blade. Strong users that are confident in their strength and skills will get the most out of the tool.

 

Ontario SP8 Machete (Black)

The Ontario SP8 Machete (Black) is another outstanding blade designed by an American company and manufactured in the USA. The SP8 machete features a flat-tipped 1095 carbon steel blade measures at 10 inches in length, hardened to 57-59 HRC, and finished to black matte with an epoxy powder coat. There is a serrated edge along the spine for sawing purposes like shaping wood and tools in the field. The 5.9 inch handle is made with Kraton polymer, a synthetic rubber, and shaped into an ergonomic curve with grooves. The machete has an included leather and cordura sheath.

 

Key Features:

  • 15.9 inches in total length (10 inch blade, 5.9 inch handle)
  • Serrated edge along spine of blade
  • Multipurpose survival tool

 

We consider the SP8 as the jack of all trades when it comes to machetes. We found that we were able to turn to this blade the most in our testing. The machete felt good in our hands; in terms of hardness, it sat right in the middle between traditional hardwood handles and the rubberized Silky two piece grip.

 

Matching the Tool to the User:

The SP8 Machete is the perfect multipurpose tool for the avid survivalist. The machete is well suited to perform in the field or any challenge nature demands of you. This tool will clear camps, fell small trees, quarter game, and split firewood.

 

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