What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word machete?
If you’re like most people, you can expect visions of a rough and tough soldier carving his way through a thick jungle. He swings his machete every which way while constantly on guard for deadly predators.
My Top 3 Machetes
|Condor Tool & Knife 10" Blade Mini Duku Parang Machete, Black||87 Reviews||$114.72||Buy Now|
|Fiskars 29 Inch Machete Axe||309 Reviews||$79.62||Buy Now|
|SOG SOGfari 18" Machete MC02-N - Hardcased Black Blade w/Saw Back, Rubber Handle, Nylon Sheath||791 Reviews||$33.00 $26.80||Buy Now|
For knife collectors like me, however, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t the jungle. Rather, what I want to know is how good it is. Finding the best machete around is something I’m always on the lookout for.
And this year, I’ve gotten closer to finding it than ever before.
The Best Machete For 2020
Every year, better and more improved machetes became available. Although you might believe otherwise, machete makers are still coming out with innovative ways to improve on the machete. Despite being an old tool, modern machetes are nothing like their predecessors.
Let’s take a look at some of the newest and best machetes around.
With a blade that is only a mere 10 inches long, the Condor is on the smaller size when it comes to machetes.
But don’t let that fool you, this machete packs a lot of power. Just the overall design of it tells you how strong this blade is. Holding it in your hand, you can really feel the power behind it.
The weight, the comfort and even the look of the sheath – everything about this machete is expertly designed. Top-notch work by Condor for sure.
- Full Tang
- Easy to sharpen and holds an edge
- Comes with a heavyweight sheath
- Great, weighty feel to it
- Poor edge out of the box
- Hard to store in sheath
The Fiskars is a large 29-inch machete with an 18-inch blade.
But it isn’t the size that caught my eye first. Instead, it’s the unique design that makes this blade interesting. Unlike a normal machete or even a normal blade, the head of the Fiskars is considerably wider than the rest of it. Exactly like an axe as the name would imply.
And just like an axe, this blade is functional. The axe-head isn’t a gimmick. You can expect to do hours of yard-work with ease with this “Machete Axe”.
- Great for yard work
- Speed-holes for a faster swing
- Amazing handle that is comfortable for hours at a time
- Cuts through blackberry branches easily
- Dull out of the box
- Not great for hiking through dense growth
This is quite a heavy blade. It’s made thickly using heavy stainless steel.
This makes it great for chopping down trees. Not so much for light foliage. The extra weight will slow you down and tire you out fast. So don’t expect to go out exploring deep jungles with this machete. Do, however, expect to be able to easily take care of any yard-work that needs doing.
Sadly, the sheath it comes with isn’t very good. It’s all too easy to accidentally cut yourself while pulling the blade out of it. But that’s just a minor issue compared to what it can do. Overall, the design of the SOGfari makes it a great tool for cutting down thick trees.
- Made with heavy stainless steel
- Comfortable handle
- Great for chopping thick trees
- Sharp out of the box and can hold an edge
- Sheath not very good
Another smallish machete, the Libertariat is quite interesting.
It’s a light machete and somewhat smaller than you would expect. Out of the box, it came quite sharp. What really made it special, however, is how surprisingly easy it is to cut wood with. You wouldn’t expect so with the small size, but the design of the blade really lets it do some real work.
This is definitely a machete I could see myself taking with me on long camping trips. Overall, quite a pleasant surprise.
- Great for chopping wood
- Sharp out of the box
- Light and great for hiking or camping
- Doesn’t have the best grip
- Sheath isn’t anything special
The Chanceinhell is one machete that I know I’ll remember fondly over the years.
Unlike many other machetes I have tried, this 18-inch blade by CRKT is expertly designed. The grip is top-notch and the handle is comfortable even for long hours. It came quite sharp when it arrived and I was able to cut through fairly thick foliage using it.
Although lighter than I was expecting, it’s still heavy enough to make this blade a poor choice for long expeditions. Not my first choice for camping, that’s for sure.
Still, when it comes to backyard work, the Chanceinhell is second to none.
- Great grip
- Really nice sheath
- Sharp on arrival
- Expertly designed
- Not a great pick for camping or long use
- Thinner than I was expecting
Some things in life you know at first glance will make a great gift. This machete from The Wedding Party Store is one of them.
The machete itself is acceptable. The quality isn’t the best nor is it the worst. You can trust it to get the job done but nothing else. But that isn’t the main reason you would want to buy this blade in the first place. What makes this blade worth buying is what sets it apart from other machetes.
The optional engraving.
Unlike other machetes, The Wedding Party Store will personalize your machete with a wonderful engraving. If you’re looking for a display piece or a gift, this machete is one to look out for.
- Optional engraving makes it a great gift
- Small size makes it great for close chopping
- Great display piece with actual utility
- Sheath isn’t the best
- Small size
What The Best Machetes Have In Common
It isn’t easy finding a great machete. Finding a good knife can be difficult for someone new. And since knives aren’t cheap, a bad mistake can be costly.
Luckily, most good knives all have a few good things in common. Design, material, and sharpness for instance. Machetes also happen to follow the same pattern.
The best machetes are all designed with a single purpose in mind.
They are built in a way that allows you to easily use them. The grip may be created with a focus on comfort. The blade is made with powerful stainless steel or equivalent metal. Most importantly, the blade will continue into the handle, something that is commonly known as full tang. A design choice that allows the blade to be both sturdier and easier to handle, as well as well-balanced.
Like all knives, the best way of figuring out whether a knife or blade is good or not is to get some hands-on experience with it.
Before you choose to buy a knife, there’s one other thing to be aware of. And it’s an important point too.
You need to know what you’re going to use it for. Do you have a lot of wood that needs cutting? Or maybe just a messy yard with a lot of weeds? Do you plan to take it with you for camping or for adventures deep in the wilderness?
The how and why are important questions to answer. It can completely change how useful a certain machete is. Take the SOGfari for instance. This machete is perfect for chopping wood but if you plan to go hiking with it, suddenly it becomes a pretty poor choice. At that point, you would be better off with the Libertariat whose lightness is exactly what you want for the outdoors.
Finally, it’s important that you make sure of the quality of the material the machete is made from. Although it ties into the design of the blade, the material quality is important enough to have its own section here.
Poor materials break easily. A machete made with poor steel will easily chip and, in the worst case, break. A bad grip will be uncomfortable and can dig into your hand. Poor sheaths will fall apart and can easily cause the blade to cut into your hand.
A machete that is made with poor materials, isn’t just a waste of money – it’s a hazard to your health. Trust me, this is one tool you’ll be glad you spent the extra money on.
What Does A Machete Look Like?
A machete usually has a distinct look.
Except for outliers like the Machete Axe by Fiskars, most machetes are forged the same way. The blade is usually 13 to 18 inches long with a thickness that is less than an inch. From there, cultural variations are the deciding factor in how the rest of the blade is designed.
For example, in East and Southern Africa, the upper portion of the blade is sharpened while the backside of the blade is broadened. Whereas in Mexico, the blade is more traditionally designed. Instead, the hilt of the machete becomes a culturally distinct feature.
The material and design of the machete can vary widely depending on where it is created. Even the handle can widely differ in the materials it is made from. In some areas, a machete can be nothing more than a piece of metal between two pieces of wood riveted together around the tang of the blade.
Owing to the ingenuity of the design, even such a machete is a powerful tool that rivals other more advanced tools.
What Can You Use The Machete For?
Like many bladed weapons, the machete started off as a tool for agriculture. In fact, it’s a tool that is still primarily used for cutting through the undergrowth in jungles. Some cultures even use it for harvesting. Cutting sugar cane for example.
In other areas such as Latin America, people use the tool to perform many household tasks. In such cultures, it’s common to see the machete being used to cut meat, open coconuts and chop wood. Certain hunter-gatherer societies even rely on the tool for day to day survival. Some, such as the Aka in central Africa, even go so far as to teach their children how to use such tools.
But the machete is more than just a farmer’s tool. It is also a weapon.
The Machete: A Blade With Many Uses
The machete being common in many tropical counties is often regarded as the weapon of choice for independent uprisings.
Take the Battle of Havana for instance. During the invasion of Cuba by Great Britain in 1762, many peasant guerrillas used machetes when defending their cities. In 1868, an owner of a sugar refinery near Manzanillo led a revolt against the Spanish government armed with nothing more than machetes.
But as the use of the tool in agriculture has shown us, the machete is more than a weapon. It is a versatile tool that has uses for even those of us in the West. Many farmers will use the tool to clear out their land of weeds and branches. Others will use the tool for cutting through undergrowth deep in the wilderness. A few collectors even have a machete as a glimmering display piece.
The machete truly is a versatile tool. Just ask the many woodcutters who spend their days cutting wood with the tool.
Cutting Wood With The Machete
Although it is not used as such most of the time, the machete can easily serve as a makeshift axe when needed. Although it’s not nearly as efficient.
However, some machetes are clearly more suited to woodcutting than others. A machete that is heavy and thick will be able to cut through wood quite easily. A lighter machete, on the other hand, will find its lightness to be a weakness instead. Although great for cutting through the undergrowth in the wilderness, a light machete will have a much harder time cutting wood than the alternative.
Still, even a light machete can be used to cut wood. So if you have wood that needs to be cut, don’t be afraid to take whichever machete you have on hand. It may not be the best at the job, but it will do just fine if the need arises.
Is Machete A Deadly Weapon?
A machete is a tool, but it can also act as a deadly weapon.
Even outside of historic battles such as the Battle of Havana, the machete has seen itself as a weapon. Many movies, for instance, have used the humble machete as the weapon of choice for the villain – Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movie series being the quintessential example.
But even outside of fantasy, the machete has seen use in the modern world as both an offensive and defensive weapon. Many hunters, specifically those that hunt in the jungle, use the machete as a way to ward off dangerous predators. Wild beasts such as panthers and tigers can attack these jungle hunters and as such they must always be aware of their surroundings, machete in hand.
Out Of The Jungle: The Final Verdict On The Machete
The machete is a weapon. It is a tool for hunters, for farmers, and even for African tribes. It is a piece of history, rich with the culture of the places it springs to life in.
The machete is a wonderful piece of metal. But to call it that is to do it an injustice. The machete is more than just a tool. It is the result of thousands of years of history and ingenuity. It is both practical and accessible.
Whether you are a farmer using the Fiskars for yard work or a woodcutter doing back-breaking work with the Libertariat in hand, there is a machete that is right for you. Even if you’re just looking for the right gift with a nice engraving, such as that found in the machetes of The Wedding Party Store, a machete is a sight to behold.
It truly is an amazing piece of work that one must experience first-hand to understand.
Last update on 2020-05-25 at 12:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.