Best Survival Machetes To Make You Hard To Kill

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: July 26, 2022

Survival MacheteSkilled Survival’s Survival Machete Buyers Guide

If you’re looking for help finding the best survival machete FOR YOU, you’re in the right place.

Because there’s no way around it: all survival gear should be multifunctional.

For example, anything in my pack that isn’t serving at least two purposes is a candidate for replacement.

Why? Because in a survival situation, pack space, and weight are at a premium.

So the lighter I can make my bug out bag, the faster I can move and the further I can travel.

Also, the more compact I can make it, the more maneuverable I can be in a fight or flight situation.

One of the more recent additions to my pack is a true multitask tool – A Survival Machete!

The machete is the original survival multitool!

Now, the word “machete” tends to conjure up images of bad movies. Scenes where a group of castaways slowly follow a jungle slasher. And jungle slashing is what machetes are known for. But it’s not all this survival tool can do. There are many more uses for this versatile piece of gear.

And we’ll get into those “survival uses” soon, but first, let me show exactly what survival machete topics I’ll be covering today:

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

What Is A Machete

Best Survival Machetes On The Market Today

When choosing a machete, remember to look for the critical features of a quality model.

  • Full tang construction
  • Medium or high carbon steel (or 3CR13 stainless)
  • Comfortable grip
  • Well balanced swing
  • Good, easy-to-use sheath

There are hundreds of machete models on most internet marketplaces. That’s both good and bad.

More options are good because there are lots of designs, sizes, and price points for everyone. But also bad, because it’s overwhelming to try and analyze them all.

And that’s where we come in. Here at Skilled Survival, we focus on the very best gear for survival. So we only highlight and feature what we consider the very best at different price points.

So let’s get started!

1 Our Top Pick
The Essential Tact Survival Machete
Check Today's Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

2
Woodmans Pal 2.0 - Multi-Use Axe Machete
Check Today's Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

3
Fiskars 29 Inch Machete Axe
Check Today's Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
4
CRKT Chanceinhell Fixed Blade Machete
Check Today's Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

5
Barebones Japanese NATA Tool Machete
Check Today's Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
6
KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri / Machete
Check Today's Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

7
Condor Tool & Knife, Duku Machete
Check Today's Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

What Is A Machete Anyway?

A machete is a broad blade used either as an implement like an axe, or in combat like a short sword. The blade is typically 12.8 to 17.7 inches long and usually under 0.12 inches thick. – Wikipedia

Some form of machete shows up in nearly every culture around the world. They come in a wide variety of shapes and construction methods.

Many of these have specific names. There’s the Nepalese “kukri”, the Malaysian “parang”, the Philippine “bolo”, etc.

In some locations, the machete is still a common part of rural cultures. Places where very young children learn how to properly use and care for their own machete.

So when I say “machete”, I’m referring to a wide range of long flat blades with grips at the end for swinging the blade.

In this article, I’ll refer to all variations simply as “machetes”. But many blade shapes perform similar tasks and can be somewhat interchangeable.

If you looking for specific differences between different machete names – watch this excellent overview video:

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

man removes the bark from a tree

Most Common Uses For A Survival Machete

For a tool to be so widespread around the world, it has to be well-designed for the task at hand.

With the machete, these tasks include:

  • Self-Defense
  • Harvesting Produce
  • Skin Big Game
  • Open A Can
  • Bushwhack Dense Brush
  • Prune Shelter Supports
  • Saw Down Trees
  • Create Tinder
  • Shaving Bark
  • Whittle Wood
  • Scale Fish / Fillet Fish
  • Crack Nuts
  • and more!

Few tools have the ability to chop down a small tree just as quickly as they can scare off intruders. But the machete can – and that’s what I call “insane versatility.”

But to have such versatility requires important features. So let’s go over the key features to look for in your next survival machete.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Survival Frog Survival Machete

Best Survival Machete Features

Most machetes feature a short, heavy blade. It’s generally sharpened on one side and left blunt or serrated on the opposite side.

And for most, you can wield it with a single hand.

Most blades fall between 14″ and 24″ long. Though some applications (such as pruning trees) call for a longer, lighter blade.

Type Of Blade Steel

High-carbon steel blades that are tempered into spring-like steel are traditionally best for machetes.

This results in a very strong but flexible blade. One that handles shock better and is more resistant to breaking or chipping.

The downside to this type of steel is that it can be more prone to rust and doesn’t hold an edge as long.

The rust can be managed by frequent cleaning and wiping the blade with oil. And a coarser bevel on the blade resists dings and dulling.

There are also stainless steel machete blades on the market today.

And while these blades are far more resistant to rust, they tend to be more brittle and can break with heavy abuse.

Plus, normally stainless steel can be difficult to properly sharpen.

So, for your next survival machete, it’s best to avoid stainless steel. With that said, there is an exception. There are a few stainless steel blades that use a new type of stainless steel – 3CR13 Stainless Steel.

This stainless steel has both rust-resistant properties but also is easy to sharpen and has impressive durability.

The bottom line is:

A dull blade is worthless since it won’t cut. And a weak blade cannot be trusted. Why? Because it’ll break when you need it most. So the type of steel matters!

Full Tang Construction

Machetes are often used in hacking and chopping tasks, so you want yours to be extremely durable.

They’re frequently built full tang.

This means the metal of the blade extends through the handle. And the grips are usually attached by a rivet through the blade.

Full-tang construction is more durable than partial tang. Because the blade can not come free of the handle during rough use.

Multi-Functional Design

Several modern machete styles feature a saw-bladed back. This gives the user the ability to make finer cuts or saw-through material too thick to chop.

These saws generally don’t have much tooth-set. So they don’t cut and clear sawdust as well as a dedicated sawblade. But they provide an extra function in one package which is worth it.

Another frequent feature of modern machetes is a solid steel pommel, the end cap on the bottom of the handle.

This solid steel cap provides a makeshift hammer without damaging the handle.

Don’t Forget About The Sheath

You also want your machete to come with a quality sheath. Without a sheath, these blades are dangerous to carry.

The blades are both long and sharp so they can accidentally bump your legs, arms (or if it’s on the outside of your pack) others.

Make sure the sheath is thick, fits the blade well, and has a way to secure the blade in the sheath. You don’t want the sheath slipping off during a scramble!

Survival Machete Wrap Up

Sure, I get it, the machete seems like a simple tool. It’s just a large flat blade with a handle.

But as you now know, there’s a lot more to consider. They can be incredibly versatile tools – especially once you learn the proper techniques.

It can take on the role of a survival knife, a survival ax, a self-defense weapon, a survival shovel

In some cultures, it’s the only tool one needs to settle the jungle and start a village!

I’ve found it incredibly useful during recent camping trips. That’s why it’s earned a permanent place on my survival gear list.

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

Get My 10 Steps To Basic Preparedness Video For FREE.
Plus daily survival tips (unsubscribe anytime).