15 Best Machetes (Review Guide) In 2021
If you’re a farmer, avid camper, DIY enthusiast, hunter, or generally love the outdoors, owning a machete is a good idea.
Carrying this tool along as you go out to enjoy nature can help you easily create a path for yourself where you find dense vegetation, chop firewood, clear a woody area to set up camp, skin large game, cut open a coconut, or fend off animals.
A machete can also come in handy if you’re a farmer who grows crops such as sugarcane, millet, barley, oats, corn, and many others. Machetes make harvesting this type of crops much more effortless.
With so many machete styles and brands on the market, finding the perfect one for you can be a herculean task. That’s where we come in!
If you’re finding it hard to pick a machete to buy, this review of the 15 best machetes should make it easier for you to decide.
The Best Machete
This Indonesian design machete cuts through thick branches and green vegetation with ease because of its 14″ curve-shaped blade. It has a blade made from 1075 steel and coated with epoxy, which protects it from rust.
With a total span of 19″, this golok machete is small enough to comfortably fit in your backpack or carry around without feeling the weight.
To ensure the machete doesn’t slip out your hand while cutting, the Condor Golok has a contoured hardwood handle that offers an excellent grip. The handle is also riveted to the machete, so it can’t easily come off.
|Brand:||Condor Tool & Knife|
Gerber Gator Machete
If you don’t want to spend too much on a machete, try the Gerber Gator, which is one of the best-priced quality machetes on the market. This machete retails for under $20.
I like this tool because it has two edges, one side is a blade, and the other is a saw. The pre-sharpened blade is 15″ long, while the saw is 18″. The Gator has a total span of 25.70″ and a handle length of 7.70″.
You can use this machete to trim your trees, weed your garden, clear vegetation, chop firewood, and much more.
Its rubber handles will ensure you have a non-slipper grip while carrying out these tasks and don’t have blisters if you excessively use this machete.
Southern Grind GranDaddy G2
Southern Grind is known for its superb quality made in the USA knives. So, If you’re looking for a premium machete, this is it. The GranDaddy G2is one of the best quality machetes you can buy.
This machete is made with some high-end features, including a blade made from 8670M high carbon steel coated blade, which means if you buy this machete, you’ll use it for a long time. The Tanto style blade is 11.00″ long and 0.10″ thick, and at 15 oz, the GranDaddy 2 is a lightweight tool to carry.
One feature I know you will like on this machete is the fast thumb lock-and-release mechanism on the sheath it comes with. This works by lifting a tab near the machete’s handle, and the blade will be immediately and smoothly released so you can clear any bushes you find on your way.
|Handle:||Grooved Black G10|
Gerber Versafix Pro
If you often go out for outdoor adventures, this portable machete would be worth carrying. It can help you quickly clear shrubs, split wood, slice your prey, etc., with just a few strikes.
The Versafix Pro has a 9″ stainless blade and a total length of 14.3″. Its full-tang construction makes it strong and durable.
With its unique high durometer over-mold handle, holding this machete will be a pleasure, and you don’t have to worry about sweaty palms.
The Gerber Versafix Pro lightweight makes it a perfect choice for serious campers and survivalists to pack as they head out to be one with nature.
|Handle:||Polymer and rubber|
Kershaw Camp Machete
The Kershaw Camp has a 14″ drop point steel blade with a powdered coat. This makes this tool tough, easy to maintain, and wear-resistant.
Other specs on this long machete include a solid polymer handle, which is durable and offers a firm grip in all weather conditions.
Like most machetes, you can use this tool to clear bushes, strip tree back, kindling, trail maintenance, and so much more. It is the perfect companion at a campsite, farm, or in the jungle.
|Handle:||Polymer rubber over-mold|
Ka-Bar Kukri Machete
Ka-Bar makes some of the best kukri machetes. Made in Taiwan, this black kukri machete has an 11.5″ carbon steel blade, which is 0.17″ thick. The steel used to manufacture this tool makes it extremely durable and able to withstand lots of pressure.
The machetes handle is 5.50″, ergonomically shaped, and made from Kraton G thermoplastic elastomer, making it slip-resistant and able to fit perfectly in any hand.
Compact in size, this Kukri machete has serious chopping power. Use it to cut weeds or branches, and you will be amazed by how well it cuts.
Reasonably priced, this machete’s high quality can be attested to the fact that militaries worldwide, including the US Army, use it.
SOG SOGfari Machete
You can do many things with this machete made by SOG, from harvesting crops, hunting, self-defense, chopping wood to creating a trail in unventured territory.
I like this machete for four reasons. One, it has a double edge. One side is a blade, and the other a saw. This makes it a versatile tool that you can use for cutting and sawing.
Weighing 13 oz, the SOG is lightweight, which means it won’t wear you down as you use it for high energy tasks.
Its handle shaped to fit comfortably in any hand is made from Kraton, a durable material. The handle is also reinforced with synthetic rubber, which ensures it can’t easily slip from your hands.
Lastly, this machete is affordably priced at below $30. In my opinion, it is one of the best budget machetes on the market.
Condor Bushcraft Parang
The Condor Bushcraft has a 13″ blade, which is short when compared to other machetes. This parang machete compensates for its short size with its ability to cut through thick surfaces with one chop when other blades would bounce right off.
The blade made from heavy-duty 1075 high carbon steel has a powder epoxy coating, making this a long-lasting and robust tool. The curved blade can clear the area you want to set up camp in a few strokes.
You can also use this parang machete, which comes sharp to defend yourself from animals while camping.
If you think its blade is too short, you could try the Condor 17 Parang Machete, the more extended version of this machete. The Condor 17″ comes with a hardwood handle and black leather sheath.
|Brand:||Condor Tool & Knife|
CRKT Onion ChanceInHell
Legendary knifemaker Ken Onion designed this elegant machete. Onion is one of the most successful and innovative knife designers of our time, if you don’t know.
Made in China, the ChanceInHell has a drop point blade that is 12″ long and 0.10″ thick. The blade is powder-coated, which protects it against rust and corrosion.
The ergonomic handle is 5.875″ long and 1.14″ thick. This handle feels solid in hand and numbs the vibration of the blade when slashing or cutting.
This carbon steel blade comes ready for outdoor and survival use and is compact for easy carry in your backpack or camping gear.
Ontario Limited Edition Bushcraft Machete
Ontario Knife Company has been manufacturing stainless steel blades for more than a century. Because of their years of experience in blade production, you can expect some of the best products from them.
The Bushcraft machete is made with 5160 carbon steel, which is a high-quality material. Its total length is 21.625,” and the blade length is 16″ with a thickness of 0.09″.
The handle is 5.625″ long and 0.85″ thick. Made from walnut, the handle is durable and feels very comfortable in the hands.
If you’re looking to buy a carbon stainless steel that looks good, is reasonably priced, and can effectively hack or slash, this carbon steel blade might be the best option for you.
|Brand:||Ontario Knife Company|
Fiskars 29 Inch Machete Axe
This is one of the best tools I have owned. On multiple occasions, I have used it to clear out vines, large weeds, and brush around my home garden, and it did a perfect job. Occasionally I hit some rocks as I did my tasks, and the steel blade didn’t get a dent.
What I like the most about this tool is that it is designed to be an ax and a machete. So you can use it whichever way you want, depending on the task at hand.
Unlike other machetes’ which required a two hand grip, the Fiskars 29″ has an ergonomic handle that allows for easy single-hand use. This way, you can use one hand to cut and the other to grab your cuttings.
Tramontina Bolo Machete
This machete made in Brazil sells at a very low price, but you have to do without some features for the cheap price.
For example, the steel blade doesn’t have a black powdered finish. This makes it less durable than other machetes that are coated. It’s 14″ blade also doesn’t come sharp, so you need to sharpen it first before taking it out to work.
The Tramontina Bolo doesn’t come with a sheath. You can, however, buy it separately.
Suppose you’re OK with the above issues. In that case, you can buy this high carbon steel blade, which is widely used in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest region, to hack dense vegetation, harvest crops, dig planting holes, chop wood, cut overgrown flowers, and a lot more.
Condor Warlock Machete
This machete has the following specs, a 12.5″ blade, which is about 3″ wide and coated with black epoxy powder. The coating helps prevent corrosion and rusting of the blade. It has a full length of 19.5″.
The handle on the Condor Warlock is ergonomic and made from micarta. This gives you a comfortable and excellent grip in all conditions.
This is a multi-purpose tool that you can use for agriculture, camping, and hunting. Because of its sharp tip, it can also be used as a self-defense weapon.
|Brand:||Condor Tool & Knife|
ESEE Knives Lite Machete Survival
Like most products on this best machetes review, this tool sports a steel blade with a black powder finish. Due to the topnotch materials used to make the blade, it is wear-resistant and robust. The blade is 0.08″ thick with a cutting edge of 15″.
Its handle made from micarta has a length of 6″ and thickness of 0.95″, making it fit perfectly in large or small hands. The material also gives a good grip in any weather condition, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping from your hand when it’s humid.
This machete made in El Salvador and assembled in the US can be a good companion in the farm, woods, jungle, or even your home’s backyard.
Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete
Here are five things you should know about the Magnum Kukri:
- It has a curved blade, which is fantastic because it increases the machetes slicing ability.
- Its handle is made from molded polypropylene. The material used on the handle gives you a good grip even with a sweaty palm.
- This kukri, which retails at slightly over $20 is among the best machetes you can get at that price. Not many machetes can match its quality at that price.
- This machete is very versatile. You can use it to chop, hack, split, dig, curve, etc.
- Kukris were invented by the Gurkhas people from Nepal and used as a martial arts training weapon centuries ago. So you can use this tool for self-defense purposes too.
Best Machetes – A Quick Comparison
Those were our reviews of the currently most popular Machetes on the market – see how they compare and find the one that suits your needs. There’s an Machetes for everyone’s taste and budget, and we’re sure you’ll find one to your liking.
Heavy Duty & Well Balanced
- This golok machete has a epoxy 1075 high carbon steel blade, which makes it durable
- Unlike other machetes, it comes razor-sharp and ready to use straight out the box
- Beautiful design with high-quality construction and materials
Gerber Gator Machete
- Double-edged blade with a black powder finish for extra durability
- The ergonomic handle is made from rubber and has a full tang
- Black nylon belt sheath for safe carrying
Southern Grind GranDaddy G2
- Black G10 handle that facilitates a firm grip in all conditions
- Differentially heat treated blade which can bend 90 degrees without fracturing
- Skeletonized Kydex sheath with comfort belt clip and adjustable webbed nylon leg strap
Packed With Smart Design
Gerber Versafix Pro
- This machete is manufactured using stainless steel, making it sturdy, corrosion-resistant, and easy to sharpen
- Photochemically etching that prevents the blade from getting stuck
- Slender multi-mount sheath with release tab for seamless deployment and re-sheathing of the machete
Bigger Blade Variation
Kershaw Camp Machete
- A sharp 65Mn carbon tool steel blade
- The Kershaw Camp has a molded sheath with nylon straps
- The handle has a built-in handguard and lanyard hole
Plain Edge Blade
Ka-Bar Kukri Machete
- Stylish design which is pleasing to look at
- Non-reflective black coated carbon steel
- Lanyard hole on the handle
SOG SOGfari Machete
- The blade is coated with a subtle powder finish for extra durability
- The SOGfari has an ergonomic Kraton rubber handle
- It comes with a nylon sheath that has belt loops
Condor Bushcraft Parang
- Parang blade style
- It has a full tang, which means the blade runs through the handle giving it good balance
- Ballistic Nylon Sheath with belt loop
Drop Point Blade
CRKT Onion ChanceInHell
- 12″ black powder coated carbon steel blade
- Multiple lanyard holes to suit different carrying preferences
- Heavy-duty reinforced nylon sheath for safe carrying
Ontario Bushcraft Machete
- The Bushcraft machete has a rugged nylon sheath
- The ergonomic walnut handle provides excellent grip
- It features a lanyard mounting hole on the handle
Comfortable Handle Design
Fiskars 29 Inch Axe
- An ax-like blade that does a fantastic job of chopping and splitting
- Includes nylon carrying sheath
- It comes with a lifetime warranty
Very Affordable Price
- Strong 14.5″ blade built for chopping and cutting
- Comfortable handle design
- Made in Brazil
- It has a sharp blade tip ideal for piercing
- The Condor Warlock has an ergonomic micarta handle, so you’re assured of good grip
- It comes with a leather sheath featuring a belt loop for easy carry
Relatively Thin Blade
ESEE Knives Lite
- 17″ black coated 1075 carbon steel blade
- Micarta handle with a lanyard hole
- It comes with a black nylon carry sheath
Cold Steel Magnum Kukri
- The Magnum Kukri has a downward curved blade that is 0.08″ thick
- Comfortable polypropylene handle
- It comes with a sturdy Cordura sheath
How Do We Choose The Best Machetes To Review?
You’re probably asking yourself how we decided which product makes it to our list of best machetes. To answer your question, we considered three things when writing this best machete review. The three things are:
- Brand: We looked for the best machete from well-known brands such as Ontario Knife Company, Condor, and Ka-Bar and reviewed them. Us choosing to write about the machetes from top brands does not mean there are no quality machetes from new or lesser-known brands. We decide to stick with the tried and test knife companies.
- Performance: To ensure that we don’t write what the manufacturer says in the product manual, some promise the world only to disappoint once you buy the product, we purchased and tested the machetes reviewed. By trying the product, we can give you an honest opinion of its specs, durability, performance, etc.
- Online Reviews: Machete reviews from customers who had bought and used the machetes we shortlisted when writing our guide were highly considered. This review has machetes with some of the best customer reviews on the internet.
What Are The Best Machete Brands?
If you’re looking for a high-quality machete, I recommend you try the following brands.
- Ontario Knife Company (OKC). This New York-based knife company was founded in 1889. It is known for its topnotch machetes, which are made using the best materials, making them durable and able to offer high performance. The US Military buys several blades from Ontario, including the M1942 machete. So, if they believe in the quality of this brand, you should too.
- Tramontina is a Brazilian company that sells its machetes all over the world. Most of the machetes sold by Tramontina are made from high-quality carbon steel and solid hardwood handles. These materials are durable and easy to maintain. Machetes by this company are also popular because of their budget price.
- Gerber. This is one of the most popular machete brands on the market. This American company’s popularity is mostly attributed to the quality blades they make. Having been around since 1939, this company uses technology and their years of experience manufacturing knives to make machetes that easily cut through different materials and are built to last.
- Ka-Bar is one of Amazon’s best selling brands. This should tell you something. I doubt millions of people would be buying and giving their brand positive reviews if they were selling inferior quality products. I like the machetes from this brand because they come sharp and ready to use straight out of the box.
- Condor Tool & Knife is a North American subsidiary of Imacasa, a knife manufacturer based in El Salvador. Imacasa is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of machetes. They produce these blades 24/7 at their factories. Condor Tool & Knife machetes are known for three things, beautiful design, excellent materials, and high functionality.
- You could look at other top brands, including Cold Steel, which has been around since 1980, ESEE, SOG, and Hansa, who manufacture their machetes in Ecuador.
What Are The Different Types Of Machetes?
If you travel the world, you’ll find that almost every region has its own type of machete, but here are the most common machete styles:
- Bolo. This machete originated from the Philippines and is very popular in SouthEast Asia. It has a blade that bulges out at the tip. The bolo is often used for agricultural purposes and martial arts training by the Filipino.
- Bowie was named after American frontiersman Jim Bowie. It has a clip-point tip, which makes it ideal for skinning wild game. This knife, also commonly referred to as survival or wilderness machete, is a favorite among hunters, woodchoppers, and survivalists. There are several excellent bowie machetes from brands like Condor and Ka-Bar.
- Golok has a short curved blade that broadens as you get to the tip. This machete that is said to have originated from Indonesia is perfect for chopping and clearing thick green vegetation.
- Panga. This machete is famous in East Africa. It has a blade length of 16″ to 18″ and is curved at the tip. It is often used to chop wood, cut napier grass for farm animals, and dig up seed planting holes.
- Kukri, this machete has a cool blade that curves inward. The blade has three parts, a sharp tip, wide midsection, and narrow area toward the handle. Widely used in Central Asia, you can use this versatile knife to hunt, cut vegetation, and curve, among other things.
- Barong, Billhook, Bush, Cane, Colima, Hawkbill, and Parang machete are other machetes types you’ll hear often mentioned.
How To Choose The Right Machete For You
There are several vital things to consider when buying a machete. This includes:
How you will use your machete should influence the blade-style you purchase. For example, a Latin blade machete is best suited for clearing light brush. If you plan on doing much chopping, this is not the machete to buy. A parang machete will do a better job on wood.
Bolo machetes are perfect for non-cutting use, such as light digging and harvesting crops like rice and corn.
So as you can see, before you buy a machete, you should look at the blade style and determine if it is best suited for the purpose you intend to use it for.
The best machetes blades are made from stainless steel, carbon steel, or high carbon steel, a hybrid of stainless steel and carbon steel. Each of these materials has its pros and cons.
Stainless steel blades are stain-resistant, but their edge quickly dulls. However, resharpening the edge is easy, and maintaining this blade is not as hard as a carbon steel machete.
Carbon steel blades are harder and less expensive than stainless steel, and their edges stay sharper longer. These blades are, however, vulnerable to rust if not stored in a dry place.
High carbon steel blades maintain their sharp edge longer and are rust-resistant. Because they combine the best features of stainless and carbon steel, these machete blades are more expensive.
You should also look at the material used to make the handle, as it will tell you if the tool has a good grip or if the handle easily comes off when put to heavy use.
The common handle materials are:
- Wood. A wooden handle offers perfect grip and is lightweight. But it is more expensive, and maintaining it can be a hustle as it can crack when exposed to water.
- Molded Plastic handles are easy to maintain and cheap. They, however, can be slippery in hand.
- Rubber. This material also offers excellent grip and feel soft in the handles. The rubber can, however, wear out over time.
- Stainless Steel. This has a stylish appearance but can be heavy, expensive, and slippery.
- Leather will require proper maintenance, but it offers a good grip too.
- Micarta. These are expensive, like machete blades with wooden handles. However, you’ll forget about the high price after feeling how comfortable and robust this handle is. The grip is also excellent.
Should you buy a machete with a long or short blade? This depends on whether you want an easily portable tool or one that has reach.
Machete blade sizes range from 10″ to 28″. A long machete blade can cut a larger area at once, but these blades are heavier to carry and take more space in your packing gear. A machete more than 18″ long is also likely to wear you out faster.
A shorter blade is more comfortable to carry. Still, the disadvantage is that it will take several slashes and more time to cut through sizable vegetation. If you’re using it to chop wood, it performs almost as well as a large blade.
A machete can be light or heavyweight. If you plan to use the tool for heavy tasks such as chopping, a heavyweight tool would be more efficient.
If you often go camping or hiking and need a blade you can carry with you to clear a campsite or a trail, a lightweight machete would be ideal. It will get the work done and is not heavy to carry.
This is the part of the machete blade that goes under the scales connecting the blade and the handle. I recommend that you look for a machete with a full tang, which is riveted as this will make it strong and durable.
Another type of tang also commonly found in machetes is the partial tang. This tang has part of the blade extended into the grip. A partial tang is not as sturdy as a full tang.
A full tang is also safer to use because a partial tang could come off after repeated hard strikes injuring you.
How sharp your blade is will determine how efficiently it cuts. Check to find out whether your machete blade comes sharp right out the box, or you’ll have to sharpen it before use.
Not all machetes come with a sheath. If the one you’re considering doesn’t come with one, you can purchase it separately. Good sheath material includes Cordura, nylon, and leather.
Having a sheath makes storing and carrying your machete blade safer.
Is It Legal To Own A Machete?
The Verdict: Which Is The Best Machete?
My best machete is the Condor Golok. Its high quality 1075 high carbon stainless steel blade makes it tough enough to easily and quickly chop through dense vegetation, split firewood, cut down trees, and much more. The black powder epoxy, which coats the blade also makes it very durable.
I also like that it has a contoured hardwood handle, which offers a good grip and is weather resistant. The riveted handle also means it won’t easily come off.
This high quality carbon stainless machete is also compact, so it doesn’t take too much space in your camping or hiking bag. It also comes at a fair price, is attractive to look at, and has a heavy-duty leather sheath for secure carrying.
That’s it, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading this machete review and can now choose the best machete for you. If you have any questions regarding machetes or any other type of knife, feel free to contact us anytime.