A good machete is one of the most multi-functional tools that you can have with you … whether you’re out camping, hiking or just preparing for that dreaded zombie apocalypse! Unlike other lists, our goal is to thoroughly break down each of the best machetes on the market and to clearly explain who its for. This list was created after a significant amount of field-test, research, interviews, and experience. A quality machete can not only save your life, but get you out of some very sticky situations, so we will break down exactly the ones you can depend on!

In a rush? Check out our picks for the top 5 Best Machetes below OR click here to see our top choice!

Rank on ListImageNamePriceCheck Price and Reviews
#5Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri$$
#4Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Kukri Knife$$
#3Gil Hibben IV Combat Machete Blade Knife$$
#2Condor Tool & Knife Engineer Bolo Machete$$
#1 **EDITOR'S CHOICE** Condor Tool & Knife Golok Machete$$

 

#11

Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete

What You Get:

  • Constructed with full tang for extra strength
  • Ergonomic design
  • Built with high carbon steel
  • Long blade length: 19.5 inches
  • Designed to be compact at 19.4 ounces
  • Includes nylon sheath

Love the outdoors? The Bear Grylls Parang Machete is a quality choice, and worthy of mention on this list. Designed with a unique, angled blade, the purpose for this machete is clear … “clearing” brush. This model is known as the Parang style, which is a modern version of traditional tribesmen’s machetes.

One of the best things going for the Parang Machete is its sharp, and unique looking blade. Once it starts to dull, the steel is easy to resharpen. However, the edge holds for quite a bit of time when used within reason – which is nice to not have to constantly do touch-ups.

The blade is 1/8 inch thick. Depending on your needs, and why you are purchasing a machete, it may or may not be thick enough for you. For more serious work, it’s relatively thin. It will work great for clearing brush, but batoning may result in a broken machete.

The Parang Machete is a long one. 19.5 inches in length, and a 13.5 inch blade, this is a bit of a monster. With the sheath, its about 25.4 ounces and without the sheath, its 19.4 ounces, which means that it is pretty lightweight for its size.

Who is the Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete for? Well … I would not recommend this machete for tactical use or self-defense. It’s more for survival or clearing brush strictly. As mentioned earlier, the blade is sharp and cuts clean through thin objects, so it will be more ideal for weed removal, chopping through bamboo stalks, vines, branches, and saplings, shrubs, clearing through the jungle or woods. It’s a highly useable and practical machete, as long as its used within its designed functions.

Incredibly important for any machete is the ergonomics of the handle. A machete that flies out of your hand is a huge liability to your safety, and anyone around you. The Parang Machete has a non-slip, rubber texture which allows for a strong grasp. The handle has a good length to it where you won’t feel the need to choke up, or double-fist. Many agree that the handle also comfortably absorbs shocks when striking thicker objects.

Attached to the handle is a lanyard cord which helps for maintaining a strong and secure grip, all without worrying about the machete flying off. The handle is also designed in a way that your fingers will never be near the cutting edge.

For its size, the Parang Machete has excellent weight and size distribution. A 19.5 inch machete with a centered feel and balance is not all too common. The Parang includes a decent, durable nylon sheath, but its long-term durability is remain to be seen.

Verdict

Overall, the Parang Machete is a very reasonable price for what you get. There’s no doubt that you’ll get your money’s worth with this machete.

The Good:

  • Excellent weight and size distribution
  • Sharp and easy to resharpen blade
  • Lightweight
  • Reasonable price
  • Ergonomic handle and grip

The Not So Good:

  • Not a super thick blade, so it should not be used for batoning
  • Nylon sheath is thin, so you need to be careful that the blade does not pierce through
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#10

Gerber Gator Machete

What You Get:

  • Built with high carbon steel
  • Designed with both a full performance saw and a fine-edge blade
  • Constructed with a Gator Grip handle for strong gripping
  • Includes a black nylon sheath

On a budget? Then the Gerber Gator Machete is hands-down one of your best available options. For good reason, it is one of the top selling machetes online in many stores and marketplaces.

The Gerber Gator has a very interesting design, with two sides to it. One side is a 15-inch fine edge blade, while the other is an 18-inch serrated saw blade. The Gator is constructed out of high-carbon stainless steel, features a rubberized Gator Grip, and includes a nylon sheath.

This is a big machete. Big as in 25.7 inches in total length, while lightweight at only 18 ounces. The Gator is an ideal machete for clearing tall grass, branches, lanes and trails. It’s fastened with a sharp blade designed to tear through branches, grass, saplings, and shrubs for trail work. Out of the box, it is pretty sharp with one heck-of-a-long blade.

The Gerber Gator’s long handle offers its advantages, such as the ability to have more range of motion for hacking different objects and branches. This steel of terror can cut through most things, but I would recommend being smart about how you use it. This is not a $100, or even $50 machete, and at the end of the day, it shows. If you’re preparing for a zombie apocalypse, then you’re going to want to opt for a tougher machete – this is not a tactical machete!

The Gerber Gator is certainly a very cool looking machete that can be put on “show”. However, I would not recommend this as your primary machete for serious work, but rather as a spare”. The issue is that it is not full tang and is made of 2 parts. Since it’s not one full piece, if you hit something too hard, it can snap in half. The other problem. It is made of soft steel, so it is only going to be useful for clearing softer vines and branches than hard surfaces.

Even with that being said, the price is so low that it can be a fun back-up. I view it as a cheap enough back-up option that you can leave as a display machete. Included in the box is a nylon sheath to holster the machete, which has a sturdy belt loop to it and can attach to your backpack.

Verdict

Overall for the money, it is a great value for the size and decent quality of the machete! Perfect for all weekend warriors!

The Good:

  • Top seller online in many stores, including Amazon
  • Priced very reasonably
  • Very popular machete because of the value you get for its price and decent quality

The Not So Good:

  • Some complain that the Gator Machete has soft steel, and if it strikes an object too hard, it may break or bend
  • Not full tang, so it has less strength
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#9

SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete MC11-N

What You Get:

  • Designed with ergonomic Kraton handles
  • 18-inch machete, with a 12-inch blade and saw back, weight of 15 ounces
  • Packaged with a synthetic nylon sheath
  • Constructed with 3Cr13 high carbon steel

There are a lot of mixed feelings and reviews around the SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete. The SOGfari Kukri Machete is a big, intimidating machete. The SOGfari is 18 inches in total length, and weighs about 15 ounces – making it a large machete. After using it, though, you may find that it has more bark than bite.

The SOGfari has a 12-inch blade, saw back, and spiked tang on the end of the knife for scraping. A foot long blade is large, but in this model, it features a thin blade. Why is that a problem? Well, a thinner machete is not going to hold up well to prolonged heavy duty chopping. For lighter work, it will do the job efficiently.

The resilient tanto blade comes sharp, and is relatively easy to resharpen. I’d recommend this machete more for outdoor warriors, occasional hikers and campers as opposed to hardcore hunters, or those survivalists looking to take it out to the jungle.

SOG has built the SOGfari with 3Cr13 high carbon steel, which is far from the best steel on the market, albeit it is still serviceable. The black finish is a nice layer on the blade.

The SOGfari has a functional (read: not exceptional) saw on its back, which could help if you are in a pinch in the wilderness. The straight edge can cut cleanly through tree limbs and brush, but again, I’d recommend being realistic with yourself for why you’re buying this machete.

The SOGfari machete has comfortable Kraton rubberized handles and a lanyard hole for an extra layer of security when in use. Included in the box is a nicely stitched sheath, which very efficiently does its designed job of holding the machete in place. Actually, it’s one of the better sheaths on this list.

Verdict

Overall, while not a super expensive machete, it’s a good value buy. If you’re looking to test out a new machete, or to have a spare, this is a worthy option.

The Good:

  • Very inexpensive
  • Nicely stitched sheath
  • Lightweight machete
  • Sharp blade

The Not So Good:

  • Some complain that it is easy to bend the blade because of soft steel
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#8

Schrade SCHKM1

What You Get:

  • Equipped with T-Grip handles
  • 7 overall inches in length, weighing 1.44 pounds
  • Constructed with 3Cr13 stainless steel
  • Includes storage pouch and shoulder belt sheath
  • Extra accessories are included: fire starter and stone sharpener

The Schrade SCHKM1 is a top contender for the title of best budget machete. The SCHKM1 is not the best machete that you’ll ever use, but it’s a darn good one. Why? Well, it’s incredibly sturdy, well-designed, well-built, and awfully versatile.

The SCHKM1 is a great machete for both practical use, as well as those of you who are collectors. It’s a machete that can serve you well for hiking, camping, bushcraft and most type of backwoods work.

The Schrade SCHKM1 is a big machete, measuring at 19.7 inches and 1.44 pounds. It is constructed with 3Cr13 stainless steel and equipped with T-Grip handles. While you may not have heard of 3Cr13 stainless steel before, it’s a common steel on machetes. Unfortunately, it’s a softer steel, which means that it can bend and dent, but it’s often used on survival knives because of its ease of sharpening and overall durability. 3Cr13 can endure pretty high impact.

The blade on this machete is what makes it such a good value. Its curved belly allows for leverage when chopping and swinging. The blade is sharp enough that it slices right through wood logs, and the full tang construction gives the machete support for batoning. Ideally, you’ll mostly use this knife for light to medium work, using it for tasks like clearing vegetation, vines, saplings and wood. It’s not a super thick knife, but a tough-enough blade to handle abuse.

Schrade built the SCHKM1 with their T-Grips, which are incredibly ergonomic and comfortable. Arguably, the handle on the SCHKM1 is one of the most comfortable handles on any machete.

The SCHKM1 includes a double stitched nylon. A bit of a flimsy sheath, but will serve you as a holdover sheath until you are ready for a better one. The additional accessories make this from a good buy to great value, considering that it’s in the same price range as many others on this list. The accessories included are: fire starter with strike and diamond stone sharpener. For the money, that makes it a phenomenal value for its price class.

Verdict

Overall, I would rate the SCHKM1 as an excellent budget buy, and the perfect starter machete if you’re looking to get into bushcraft and backwoods.

The Good:

  • Strong chopping power
  • Excellent value for the money. Includes: quality machete, sheath, fire starter and sharpener
  • Comfortable T-Grip handles
  • Full tang gives it strength to baton through wood

The Not So Good:

  • 3Cr13 stainless steel, which is a softer steel
  • Nylon sheath is more of a holdover sheath until you are ready to replace it
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#7

Ontario 8335 SP8 Machete

What You Get:

  • Constructed from 1095 Carbon Steel and full tang
  • Designed with Saw-back blade
  • Blade length of 10 inches and weight of 22.8 ounces
  • Includes cordura and leather sheath

Looks are deceiving for the Ontario 8335 SP8 Machete. The SP8 may only be a 10-inch blade, but this is one of the heaviest duty machetes on this entire list.

The 10-inches of steel on the SP8 was designed to process wood in its sleep. That is its primary role, and it delivers on it big time. An incredibly versatile camping and bushcraft knife, the SP8 tears through saplings, brush and branches. It is the SP8’s honor to serve as a general camping knife for prepping firewood, clearing trails, and clearing hanging branches. It splits and chops logs in one swift swing, you’ll think you have a hatchet or ax it chops so smooth.

Many people who use the SP8 fall in love with it, and swear that its indestructible, a far cry from some of the more inexpensive ones in the marketplace that are not full tang. It’s so powerful because it has about a .25 inch thickness, contributing to its heft.

For a machete, this knife definitely has “heft”. Weighing about 2 pounds, it is one of the heavier machetes on this list (even though it’s shorter in length), so the alternative is going to a lighter one pound machete if you want something light.

The SP8 comes with a cordura leather sheath. While just “OK”, as opposed to a nylon sheath, the included sheath contorts with your motion while walking around, which makes it very portable and mobile. Most machetes are going to be too monstrous to easily carry around, but the SP8 is very practical for hiking, camping and hunting – and can fit within a backpack or bug out bag.

The SP8 really is inexpensive for the money, particularly for the amount of abuse that it can take. It’s also hard to match its quality at this price range considering that it is also Made in the USA. Overall, an excellent outdoorsmen tool that you’ll want 2 of … an extra one “just in case”.

The Good:

  • Heavy-duty machete
  • Sharp blade and edge
  • Easy to transport
  • Excellent value for the money
  • Made in the USA

The Not So Good:

  • Sheath
  • Limited use for saw back
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#6

Kershaw Machete

What You Get:

  • Constructed with 65Mn steel and full tang
  • Includes a plastic sheath
  • Equipped with rubberized handles
  • Huge machete: 24 inches in length, and 2 lb and 14 oz in weight

The Kershaw Machete isn’t quite like the other machetes on this list. This is a “big-boy” machete. With an 18 inch blade, and 24 inches in total length, it’s a true machete … arguably even a mini-sword. It weighs in at 2 pounds and 14 OZ, and for a machete, that is some nice heft.

Beyond its large frame, it is constructed with 65Mn steel with powdercoat and full tang. The handles are crafted with rubber textured grips, and includes a plastic sheath.

What is the Kershaw machete good for? Heavy duty work. Clearing brush, outdoor survival, building shelter, kindling, processing wood and any other outdoor task. The Kershaw has a certain “oomph” that you can really only understand through experience and wielding it.

I really like the Kershaw blade design, and it pairs well with its razor sharp blade. When the blade starts to wear down, the 65Mn steel is easy to resharpen. Most people complain that a lot of machetes are too thin to handle the work they want. Well, that is not a problem with the Kershaw as its super thick and ideal for chopping. Sure, it adds a lot to the weight and is not going to be as nimble as several other machetes on this list. However, the thickness helps to handle more heavy duty work and adds to its sturdiness.

The handles are rubberized, and doesn’t make your hand feel like it’s either too big or small. The rubber has outstanding grip and traction to help minimize shocks from hard objects.

The Kershaw machete also includes a plastic sheath, and this is the Kershaw’s most polarizing feature. You’ll either love or hate the sheath. It’s a plastic sheath that you need to strap in to place, and if you’re not a fan of plastic, you’ll certainly want to find a better one.

Verdict

Overall, an excellent machete for the price. The Kershaw is durable, tough, and just looks down right intimidating. Zombies beware.

The Good:

  • Excellent quality for the low price
  • Comfortable handle that balances its heavier size out well

The Not So Good:

  • On the heavier side if you only need it as an occasional camping or hiking knife
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#5

Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

What You Get:

  • Constructed with 1085 carbon-steel
  • Equipped with Kragon G handles
  • Includes black leather/cordura sheath
  • Blade of the machete: 11.5 inches and weighs 1.7 lbs

If you’ve used a Ka-Bar knife before, you know what to expect. This beast does not disappoint.

The Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri is a large machete, with an 11.5 inch blade, and weighs about 1.7 pounds. It is equipped with Kragon G handles for gripping, and includes a leather/cordura sheath.

This is a field-ready, multi-functional “tool”. Forget the word ‘machete’. With full tang, it can take serious abuse as you’re chopping weeds, clearing a campsite out, clearing brush, trailblazing, skinning, digging, or whatever else you want to throw at the Ka-Bar Kukri. And, you’ll be amazed at just how cleanly it cuts through most things with its razor sharp blade. Heck, it’s almost as effective as an ax to chop through wood.

Yes, this machete is made in Taiwan. However, that doesn’t take away from the exceptional craftsmanship put into this machete. From excellent weight/size balance and distribution, to its construction, Ka-Bar clearly has put a lot of thought into this model.

The Kragon G handles are solid to help prevent wiggle and for shock absorption. The machete is front-heavy, which is a large reason that it is so sturdy and strong.

The one con worth pointing out is that the sheath is nothing more than decent. With such an exceptional machete, you would have hoped that Ka-Bar would have paired it with a better sheath. One side of the sheath is leather, the other is cordura, but it just doesn’t fit the machete. Although, I do like it better than most of the nylon sheaths on this list.

Verdict

For the money, it is still is worth more than the asking price, and will likely outperform any other type of heavy duty chopping tools that you have, including something like a tomahawk or axe. If you abuse it to the point that it were to break, even in that scenario, it’s still relatively inexpensive to replace it, and at that level of abuse, you’d have to smile thinking “I know I shouldn’t do this…but”

You’ll have a hard time trying to find someone, who has used this machete correctly, whose not in love with it!

The Good:

  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Sharp and sturdy blade
  • Fantastic value for the money

The Not So Good:

  • Not many cons for this “tool”. However, the sheath could be of higher-quality to be more fitting for the machete.
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#4

Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Kukri Knife

What You Get:

  • Constructed with 8mm – 1075 high carbon steel and full tang
  • 10-inch blade
  • Designed with hardwood handle
  • Includes a leather sheath

The Condor 60217 Kukri Knife is one bad ass machete. Constructed with a 10-inch blade, 1075 high carbon steel and full tang, the Kukri is designed for heavy duty work. In typical Condor fashion, the Kukri has an elegant hardwood handle, beautiful fit and finish, and includes a remarkable leather sheath.

This is an incredible, multi-functional tool that chops like an axe or hatchet, and can slice and chop down medium sized-trees. With a monstrously thick blade, it can seamlessly sever off branches, but you need to be careful about your own safety because of the curved blade.

While not overtly heavy at under 2 pounds, it is extremely compact. The thickness of the blade adds to the bulk of the weight, which makes it harder to use for nimble tasks, such as chopping twigs or weeds. It feels more suited for backcountry work.

Out of the box, a common complaint is that the Kukri does not come extremely sharp. This could very well be by design so that until you are experienced with the style of the blade, you won’t hurt yourself. With the 1075 high carbon steel, it can maintain a razor sharp edge and sharpens easily, but you will most likely need to refine the edge when you first get it. It’s an excellent steel, but you will need to oil it after use, or it will rust.

This model also includes a beautiful leather sheath. High-grade materials and craftsmanship make it a nice complementary sheath for an excellent machete. It features retention straps to keep the knife in place and belt loop swivel that make it a highly functional sheath.  

Verdict

Overall, this is an excellent machete by Condor. For the money, this knife features superior craftsmanship than most machetes on the market. The shape may require some time to get used to, but when you do get comfortable with it, this machete is a beast for chopping. In the wilderness, you’ll be able to take on anything.

The Good:

  • Beautiful fit and finish on the blade
  • Super thick steel
  • High-grade leather sheath
  • Reasonable price

The Not So Good:

  • Hefty
  • Not for lighter work like cutting weeds
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#3

Gil Hibben IV Combat Machete Blade Knife

What You Get:

  • Constructed with 440 stainless steel
  • 5 inches in total length and a 12 inch stainless steel blade
  • Features a hardwood handle and stainless steel guard
  • Includes a leather sheath

The Gil Hibben IV Combat Machete Blade Knife is typical of the Gil Hibben product line. Gil Hibben knives are known to be excellent in design, durable, rugged, sharp, solid and affordable. The IV Combat Machete is no exception.

17.5 inches in total length, a 12 inch stainless steel blade, and constructed with 440 stainless steel, the IV Combat Machete doesn’t pop out as an incredibly long or monstrous machete. Instead, its value comes from the thickness of its blade, which is what makes it such a quality machete. The blade is extremely thick, and heavy. It gives this machete the ability to hack through anything. The weight of the machete also helps give it that driving force to plow through anything.

Going hiking or through the great outdoors? This machete, with ease, chops like an ax through brush, trees, thick tree stumps, branches, firewood, and just about anything in your way. It’s pretty much like you are carrying a heavy duty meat cleaver with you.

The (1/8”) thick 440 stainless steel is what gives this machete its toughness. 440 stainless steel holds a nice edge, but when it starts to wear, with minimal edge touching you can get it back to razor sharp levels.  It is constructed with a solid hardwood handle and strong stainless steel guard. The guards give your hand a reassuring feeling that it won’t slip out and let your fingers rub on to the blade.

This machete is also paired with a classy leather sheath that fits like a glove. There’s no wiggle with this sheath, and a belt strap to retain it in place. Most people love the look and feel of the leather sheath.

Verdict

The Gil Hibben IV is a heavy-duty, compact machete. Overall, it’s as beautiful as it is efficient. It chops like an ax, and will tear through any hard objects through its way. Truthfully, it is not designed for quick swings or light bushcraft – it’s too heavy for that and would be too tiring. It also is more along the lines of a “combat” machete. If you want a machete that is so sharp it can cut through a tree stomp or bone and then ask “what’s next” … you know this machete is the one for you.

The Good:

  • Super thick blade
  • Chop through tree stumps or branches like an axe
  • Paired with an elegant leather sheath
  • Solid and strong handle for gripping
  • Serious weight to the knife

The Not So Good:

  • Not true full tang
  • Not carbon steel
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#2

Condor Tool & Knife Engineer Bolo Machete

What You Get:

  • Created with a 15-inch blade
  • Constructed with 5mm-1075 carbon steel
  • Designed with blade finish
  • Equipped with hardwood handle
  • Includes a leather brown sheath
  • Weighs 3.1 Pounds

Condor has hit a homerun with the Condor Tool & Knife Engineer Bolo Machete. This is far from your average machete, and I would recommend it specifically for those of you who need a heavy-duty machete to clear seriously thick branches, firewood, tree limbs, and other thick objects.

Am I joking? The Bolo Machete can take down a small tree or thick brush. It’s far from your average lightweight machete. It has a 15-inch blade, 1075 carbon steel, and weighs about 3.1 pounds. It might not be a 20-inch machete, but it doesn’t need to. What it doesn’t have in length, it has in thickness of the blade, and super refined steel.

The beast is made for ultra-heavy-duty work. It has a convex edge, true full tang, wood handle scales, and a sharp edge. Instead of a machete, the Engineer Bolo’s unique design looks more like a scimitar than anything else. And, it’s super impressive.

It’s forward-weighted, meaning that its top heavy for powerful chops and slices. With its heavy weight, you can let the machete do the work for you, all you need to do is give it the energy. The 15-inch blade is perfect for bushcraft and camping. However, considering that its heavier than some axes you might use in your lifetime, it’s not ideal for lighter work like working on brushes and twigs … for that you should probably use another machete as the Bolo might be a bit overkill. If you were to be stuck in a bamboo forest, this is the type of machete you want to chop your way out of it.

The handle is comfortable, but some complain that it needs to be broken in for it to start to loosen up. As in, some find the handle to be overly smooth. The balance of the handle is excellent and rests comfortably.

Condor includes this machete with a super thick and durable leather sheath. With 2 button snap closures and a swivel belt loop, it’s a well-crafted sheath that is both sturdy and functional. Most importantly, it quickly deploys from the sheath and seamlessly slides out, so you won’t have to fight it just to get it out.

Verdict

Overall, this is an excellent machete by Condor. Made from El Salvador, it has an authentic look and feel to it, and will serve you proudly on all of your toughest tasks. If you need something for cutting twigs, I’d recommend looking for something else. If you need a machete that can take serious abuse, not wear down easily, and cleave through wood, branches, and brush, then you won’t be disappointed.

The Good:

  • Beautiful fit and finish – like it’s out of a movie
  • Very reasonable price for quality of the machete
  • Full tang with super strength
  • Cleaving sharp
  • Tears through wood and thick branches
  • Excellent leather sheath

The Not So Good:

  • You need to care for the blade with oil, or it will rust
  • A very heavy-duty knife, if you’re not able to use a heavy machete, look onwards
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

#1

Condor Tool & Knife Golok Machete

best machete

What You Get:

  • 14 inch blade machete
  • Constructed with 1075 high carbon steel and full tang
  • Designed with epoxy black powder coating on the blade
  • Equipped with hardwood handles
  • Includes a leather sheath

Wow! Without a doubt the Condor Golok Machete is arguable the best machete available on the market today. It’s part art, part machete.

This is a true beauty. The Golok is a 14 inch blade, and in total, a 21 inch machete. Constructed with 1075 high carbon steel, this is a machete that not only looks the part, but acts the part too.

Taking it out of the box, you’ll see it has an old-school traditional machete design with a convex edge, wood handle scales, and full tang. It’s truly a gorgeous machete, with beautiful fit and finish on the blade. But, it doesn’t only look cool, but is also extremely useful.

It says that it is a “machete”, but if you didn’t know better, you might mistake it for a hatchet or an axe. It slices and chops through anything in its way with strong power and force. Taking it into the outdoors for bushcraft and camping? It chops through any size branch or hardwood with minimal effort. It has a razor sharp blade, and if you know how to touch it up, it’ll hold its edge for a long time.

This is one heavy duty machete, crafted with outstanding quality and craftsmanship. Holding it in your hands feels like a real piece of wood. It has a thick handle for gripping, and Condor has put concerted focus on the weight, feel and balance of it in your hands. The other reason that it has such a hefty feeling is due to the thickness of the steel used. While it is a super high quality steel, if you don’t take care of it, it will rust when wet.

Lastly, this machete comes with a leather hip sheath and has a riveted belt loop. Just like the high-quality of the machete, the thick leather sheath is equally as impressive, if not one of the best sheaths on this list. The sheath protects the blade well.

Verdict

The Golok is pricier than most, but you’re paying for quality with this machete. Even as a “pricier” option, it’s still often found for under $100, which is a steal. As you start hitting this price range, the quality starts to drastically increase across the board, as can be expected because of the higher quality materials that create the Golok.

Ultimately, you won’t be disappointed if decide to go with the Golok. It is dependable, durable, up for heavy-duty work, and of course, looks great doing it.

The Good:

  • Impeccable craftsmanship
  • Reasonable price for the high-quality and materials of this machete
  • Powerful blade
  • Beautiful design and feel

The Not So Good:

  • Will rust if not properly cared for
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Buyer’s Guide for How to Pick the Best Machete for You

Keep This In Mind: How Will You Be Using Your Machete?

As you continue reading this buyer’s guide, keep in mind your own purpose for how you will be using a machete. This can help you to identify the right one for your needs. Are you clearing brush while hiking and camping, or are you looking for something with power that can chop through wood like butter?

First Question: What The Heck Even Is a Machete?

Depending on who you ask, it seems like many people have different definitions and classifications of what they consider a machete.

A machete is a large fixed blade knife that typically has a monster cleaver blade. This will normally be a long, thin blade that is built with strength in mind, in order to endure hard abuse, while also easy to maintain. A machete is designed to cut through underbrush, grass, and brush which makes it useful for many outdoor activities. Machetes were originally made and used in jungle-like environments for clearing shrubs, chopping vegetation. A good machete can chop through and clear brush in dense forests and jungles as a remarkable chopping, cutting and slicing tool.

Ultimately, the machete is one of the most widespread tools worldwide, but also has many forms and shapes depending on where in the world you are.

 

What Size Should A Machete Be?

A quality machete is going to take abuse. It will be clearing brush, vegetation and even serve as self-defense in a pinch. A machete is not a hatchet or ax, and accordingly, you want different measurements from a machete than either of those two tools.

  • Typically, the best machetes will have a very long and sharp blade, around 12 to 20 inches in length, and a total length of the machete of no more than about 25 inches.
  • Thickness of about: .1 – .25 inches
  • Thick spine
  • Thick steel

More than for most outdoorsmen tools, thickness is crucial in finding the best machete as toughness and durability cannot be overstated. A machete with thinner steel creates a thinner, lightweight machete. While a thinner machete will have more control, it will be limited to cutting soft objects like grass and branches, as the thinner it is, the easier it can break.

A machete with thicker steel is more ideal as it can hold up to not only cutting grass and branches, but tough wood and cutting limbs (i.e. heavy duty work). The trade-off is thicker steel will be heavier and harder to use.

Lastly, while looking at size, you’ll want to consider a machete with a thick spine. A thick spine will provide more “punch” for your machete, which is important for powerful chopping and cutting through thicker objects, such as wood.

 

How About a Machete’s Handle?

How you plan to use your machete largely determines what type of handle will be right for you. So, it largely comes down to personal preference.

At the end of the day, you want a handle that will be comfortable for prolonged use that won’t have hot-spots, or fail to absorb shocks. A quality handle should fit well, and snug in your hand, while also protecting your hand and fingers from the blade while in use. It should also be grippy enough that you can use one hand to clear vines, vegetation or whatever is in your path. One hand grips versus two.

There are several types of handles:

  • Plastic: Which is typically inexpensive, and slippery
  • Wood: I typically find wood to be the most aesthetically pleasing, good traction and grip, but if not coated or treated, can warp
  • Micarta: Good strong traction, rest comfortably, and are typically the most expensive (along with wood).
  • Also lanyard holes can be ideal when doing heavy wood processing work. Protect yourself, and those around you from the machete accidentally slipping out of your hands.

One recommendation: Don’t overlook the importance of a machete that has a lanyard hole built-in. Lanyard holes can be EXTREMELY ideal when doing heavy wood processing work. The lanyard around your wrist will not only protect yourself, but can also protect those around you should the machete accidentally slip. The lanyard helps to maintain more control over the machete without fear of it flying off.

 

Functionality – Why a Machete and not an Axe or Hatchet or even a Bowie knife?

Depending on your need and situation, a machete has significantly different functions than tools, such as an ax, hatchet, or even a hunting knife or bowie knife. A machete through and through is a survival tool.

The best machetes will help you with:

  • Survival
  • Building Shelter
  • Hunting / Skinning game
  • Combat / tactical / Self-defense
  • Hiking / backpacking
  • Agricultural

               For Survival Situations: It can operate very similar to a camp/hunting/bowie knife to help slice through anything in its way. In survivalist situations, it can chop through and clear weeds, grass, branches to help you on your path.

                Building Shelter: In addition to helping you chop wood and branches, a machete can help to obtain all necessary materials that you might need for building a camp site or shelter. It can be used for tactical and combat against animals in the wild (either in self-defense, or for hunting), and then for skinning that game.

                Agriculture: You can use a machete to help clear vegetation in your path, sugar cane, for food processing.

Compared to an ax or hatchet, a machete is arguably much more versatile. A machete typically will be lighter than axes, are more agile and swift, and can help you cover more ground quicker than by using an ax (cutting through objects at a faster rate). That is not to say that an ax and hatchet do not have a place in your tool kit!

 

What about The Different Styles of Machetes?

There are many different styles of machetes, and each of them will have their own spin, and functionality based off of where in the world they were created by. It truly is a fact – the machete is one of the most widespread and used tool around the world.

  • Kukri: This is a Nepalese knife, from Nepal. It is quickly identifiable with its curved edge, pointed tip and wide midsection. Use? Military functionality (stabbing with its pointed tip) and chopping
  • South East Asian Bolo: Originating from South East Asia, the Bolo is an ideal machete for chopping, clearing brush and food processing. Its design is for compact chopping power.
  • East African Panga: Stemming from East Africa, the Panga is recognizable for its very deep belly. Its curved belly makes it ideal for chopping and slicing.
  • Malaysian Parang: These normally have very thick blades, and are tough machetes. They can endure hard work, ideal for clearing vegetation.
  • Indonesian Golok: This is primarily an agricultural tool with their thick blades, and curved spines. One of my personal favorites, they are very useful for chopping wood and clearing vegetation.

 

The Steel Needs To Be the Real Deal

There are two primary types of steel used for machetes. Carbon, and stainless steel.

  • Carbon: This is one of the more iconic materials in classic knives and machetes, and has been used for generations. It’s much stronger/harder and more durable than stainless steels, and helps to maintain the sharpness of the machete’s blade. This allows it to withstand abuse. Additionally, it is often easier to sharpen, and holds a better edge than stainless steels. Downsides: it WILL rust. So, carbon requires higher maintenance and care than stainless. It will corrode, unless you maintain and oil the blade after use.

 

  • Stainless Steel: If authenticity is important to you, then you need not purchase a machete with stainless steel. Classic machetes are known for their tough carbon blades. The nice thing is the stainless steels require less maintenance than carbon since they are rust resistant. The trade-off is that they are not as strong as carbon (as a softer metal), require more sharpening and will lose their edge quicker. Although, if you are on a budget, these are cheaper budget options, and why you’ll typically see them on entry-level machetes.

 

Construction

You’re in the wilderness. You pull out your trusty machete. You go to chop a thick log. *CRACK*. Uh-oh. It’s in half. Its real useful now … isn’t it?

For a machete, you STRONGLY should consider one that has full-tang construction.

What is full tang? Full tang is a full piece of steel that runs all the way down from the tip of the machete, to the handle as one continuous piece. Full tang provides strength for the machete to help it endure more abuse in the field, otherwise when it hits a hard object, it can snap in half. Hence, the usefulness of one thick slab of steel.

 

Weight

The weight will also depend on your personal preference and needs. You really have two main choices.

Heavy or light.

  • Heavy: heavier machetes will cut through thicker and tougher objects like saplings, thick brush, tree limbs and wood much easier. Downside, you have more bulk, but you can use science in your favor to have that heavier machete take down bigger and heavier objects.
  • Lighter: easier to carry, ideal for lighter grass work and vegetation. The main benefit of a lighter machete is its ease of portability.

 

Sharpness

You’ll want a machete that can not only stay sharp, but is also easy to resharpen. It’s no good having a dull machete and being stranded in a jungle, or the woods. So, you’ll want to look for one that has a razor sharp blade that maintains its edge and sharpness.

 

Blade Length

The ideal blade length for a machete will be about 12 to 24 inches.

Longer Machetes:

  • Are harder to carry, oft weigh more, longer the blade – less portable it is to carry around. Longer blades will connect more deeply into a target than shorter blades (in a further radius).
  • Opposite side is that the longer it is, the more that you can do with your machete, and the further it can reach. For instance, you can clear more brush in one swift motion to clear more area than with a short machete that will take multiple “hacks”.

Short Machetes:

  • Offer more control, have lower momentum and inertia when in use so that you maintain more control over each swing.

 

Sheath

More than anything, you want a sturdy sheath that will probably holster your machete. You can choose from synthetic sheaths, kydex, plastic, nylon and leather.

The main consideration here will be on that keeps the machete in place tightly, and helps to resist moisture from seeping in (particularly if it is a carbon steel blade that can rust).

 

If You Enjoyed This Article, Also Check Out These Related Buyer’s Guides:

http://www.huntsharp.com/best-throwing-knives/

http://www.huntsharp.com/best-bowie-knife/

http://www.huntsharp.com/best-skinning-knife/

http://www.huntsharp.com/deer-skinning-knife-set/

http://www.huntsharp.com/tasco-trail-camera-reviews/

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