Tools have played a central role in the survival of man. Since we started using them, tools helped to blaze trails, hunt, and fend off enemies. Over the years, we found ways to make tools better. More efficient. And with the discovery of metal in the 9th millennium came a turning point in the history of tools. Better yet, iron smelting and advancements in metalwork in the 18th century ensured we could manufacture the best survival machetes.
Outdoor enthusiasts will attest to the importance of a good machete for survival. More so where the task at hand is too much for your survival pocket knife. Collecting firewood, clearing brush, building shelters, or cutting large portions of meat, the best survival machete should make your work easier. But how do you ensure you are packing the right tool for the job? What do you look for when buying a good survival machete?
Key Considerations When Buying the Best Survival Machete
Instead of going for the looks, ensure you buy a reliable and functional machete. The following considerations will help you choose the best machete for survival.
The material used on the blade of your machete will dictate many things including its strength and sharpness. You want a sturdy blade that will clear the bushes and show up when you want to slice your hunt. While carbon steel is stronger than stainless steel, blades that use the former are not the best at resisting rust. The latter does it better.
Whether on a survival knife or machete, a comfortable handle is a must. Most handles are designed to take the shape of the palm for better handling. Textured handles are ideal for the best survival machetes since they promote grip even in damp environments. Wooden handles, although pretty and classy, tend to rot in wet conditions. Steer clear if you can.
It’s true. You need a strong machete for your survival outdoor. But it’ll beat the logic if it’s all cumbersome to carry. Furthermore, durability does not necessarily imply weight. So how do you decide on the weight of your survival machete? If you plan to use your blade for heavy clearing and chopping, a heavy piece would be ideal for you. However, if you want something to pack and carry in every outdoor expedition, a lightweight machete will do the work.
In addition to the features described so far, you might find other useful features on a machete. Such include a sheath to cover the blade, a compass, a saw on the backside of the blade and so many more. Consider these extra features only if you believe they’ll come in handy in your trip. Too many extra features will likely make your carry too bulky.
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Reviews of the 7 Best Survival Machetes
KA-Bar is one of the big names in the manufacturing of survival blades. Their work is known for quality and durability. This kukri machete is no different. It comes with a carbon steel blade with an additional coating of epoxy powder to enhance strength and rust resistance.
Its Kraton handle is shaped to fit well in the hand for a comfortable grip. Besides, it’s rubberized to prevent slipping, making it ideal for use in damp conditions. You also get a sheath to protect your blade.
The Gerber Gear 31 machete is designed for the ultimate outdoor experience. It is considered one of the best survival machetes for lightweight tasks. The machete’s weight is evenly distributed to give you an easy but strong swing. The handle will give you a good grip and better handling than in most machetes. Remember to only use it for light-weight tasks – the blade will bend if used on hard and thick wood.
This Shrade’s Bolo machete talks about the manufacturer’s quality standards. The bulging shape gives the machete an insane chopping power and more cutting surface. It has a sturdy and short blade measuring 14 inches. The blade loses its edge quickly but resharpening is easy thanks to its sharpening stone. You get a heavy-duty sheath for storage and a decent weight making it easy to carry around.
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From the looks, you can tell that you have a mean and ready-to-work machete. Being a parang machete, you get a thin blade – ideal for light slashing and chopping. The carbon steel blade is rather lightweight and while it’ll lose its sharp edges more often, it will be easy for you to resharpen. The coating on the blade enhances its corrosion resistance. The bottom line, the Halfachance machete is lightweight and ideal for light work. The price tag is also decent for this type of blade.
This blade comes with an extra feature discussed before. A saw back. While the handle is not shaped for perfect sawing, you can easily saw through small branches. The other thing you will love about this machete is the quality of its craftsmanship. You have the option to go with a smaller 13-inch blade, but why would you? The 18-inch blade doesn’t feel bulky and has better swing power. If you are a newbie looking for a nice machete on a budget, then the SOGfari would be your best pick.
This Parang machete from Condor is a well-balanced piece you can use for most tough tasks like clearing a thick bush. The blade looks long (17.5”) but the full tang design evenly distributes the weight to give you stability in handling. The machete has a triple riveted hardwood handle shaped to offer a decent grip. High carbon on the blades ensures its strength and holds the edge pretty well. It’s a good choice for experienced machete users.
The Condor Bolo machete weighs about 2.5 pounds making it one of the best survival machetes to handle heavy work. Being a Bolo, you get a large cutting surface and great swing power. To make it ideal for heavy-duty work, the manufacturer gave it a strong high-carbon blade. It retains its sharp edges well and will deliver for long before needing resharpening. Given the high carbon content in the steel, you want to ensure you clean it well after use to prevent corrosion. It also comes with a leather sheath to better protect the blade.