[Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on KnifeUp and is reprinted here with the owner’s permission.]
What is the Best Machete?
We reviewed the top 3 machetes and found one surprising secret. Unlike most people, I’m sure you’re looking for the best machete because you want to survive the Zombie apocalypse (or just cut down some stuff when hiking, either reason is good in my book). Well, after reviewing the top 3 best-selling machetes, guess what? One of them just plain sucked.
What makes a Good Machete
These are features that you want in a good machete.
- Weight. Depending on your task, you might need a heavy machete (for cutting thick branches) or a lighter machete (for carrying on your hip during a long hike). If you don’t know what you are gonna use a machete for, pick a middle of the road weight.
- Length. The longer the machete, the more it weights. Also, the longer the machete, the more you can cut with just one swing. In addition to that, the longer the machete, the harder it is to carry it around on your hip (not good for hiking).
- Sharpness. This is self-explanatory. You want a nice sharp blade that will remain sharp for years. Pro-Tip: If you’re cheap and won’t be using the machete a lot, just get a cheap machete and buy a cheap sharpener . This leads right into…
- Material. Different types of metals hold their sharpness differently. Some metals are quite soft and will get dull easily. Other metals are harder to dull but these types usually rust easy.
- Sheath. The machete will come with a sheath (it isn’t safe otherwise) and the sheath should be of high quality. It is as important as the machete itself. You would want something sturdy. If you are going to a humid place, choose a synthetic sheath because it’ll resist moisture better.
Ka-Bar (pronounced K (like the letter ‘K’)-bar(like the place you buy drinks at)) is a classic name in survival knives. The company originally produced combat knives for the military but now has branched out into other cutting tools. This knife has a 11.5 inch blade and weights 1.7 pounds. We found that this is just the right amount of weight and length to cut items in the woods behind our house with ease. Small branches were sliced in half with just one cut. It also did not become uncomfortable to carry around after an hour.
The handle is the classic Ka-bar grip. It is made of some type of plastic (I don’t know what) but, don’t worry, it won’t slip out of your hands easily. The handle also has a little hole at the end where you can attach some 550 cord to give you a loop to place around your wrist–for those of us who are afraid we’ll accidentally fling the machete across the room. You can also attach a whistle, fire starter, or mirror to the 550 cord.
The knife is very popular on the internet since it is the ninth best-selling hunting knife on Amazon. Other Reviewers stated how the blade came razor-sharp right out of the box. One even mentioned how he has abused his for years and is still in great condition. Get the Ka-bar Kukri machete here.
This machete is HUGE.
This machete is a little lighter than the last one at 1.28lbs and has a longer blade (20 inches long, or 8.5 inches longer then the last one). This one felt a lot lighter than the last one and, because of its length, felt more adequate for cutting twigs and branches. The length gives this machete tons of power. I agree with one customer who stated that this machete is more like a sword–and it is!
Once again, this machete came razor-sharp right out of the box. After a day of fooling around with my brothers, the machete got quite dull. I don’t think this thing was meant to cut branches. Also, some reviews said that their machete came dull. Eh, this machete isn’t winning a lot of people over.
I, right now, have almost no use for this thing. It is too long to carry on your hip but it would be great if you are going through the Amazon where the vegetation is leafy and not woody. I’m quite sure that they actually made this machete for the Amazon because the blade is made of stainless steel–it’ll never rust in moisture. Most reviews online were mixed about this machete and, for that, I don’t recommend this knife. You can read more about it if you really want to.
Gerber is a name that any outdoorsmen knows. Bear Grylls is a former Special Forces member and, now, a TV host. The Bear Grylls machete was designed for survival and weights almost 2lbs. This is the heaviest knife we tested. It has a 13.5″ blade. The weight and shortness of the knife made the knife a great tool for cutting down chunks of wood. In fact, we were bored and started chopping up some 2×4′s in the backyard with it. The machete can be used as a hatchet if you find the need.