7 Best Survival Machetes On The Market Today [With Video Reviews]
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7 Best Survival Machetes On The Market Today [With Video Reviews]

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: July 26, 2019

Survival MacheteIf 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:

**Note: If you just want our top recommendations, feel free to SKIP AHEAD HERE.

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


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


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


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 resist 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!

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.


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. The Essential Tact Survival Machete

The Essential Tact Survival MacheteThe Essential Tact Machete is one of the strongest, sharpest, and easiest-to-use machetes ever made at such an insanely low price point…

So what’s the catch? It’s a stainless steel blade. Recall what I said early, “to avoid most stainless steel blades”…

This blade is that exception – it’s made out of 3CR13 Stainless Steel. This hybrid stainless steel provides a perfect balance of durability, corrosive resistance, and edge holding ability.

One often overlooked feature in a machete is its coating. The Essential Tact’s entire blade (plus the handle) is coated in a matte black finish.

This finish is ideal for survival since it doesn’t reflect light.

Giving this machete the ability to keep you hidden during a dark escape or stalking situation.

Now at this price point, you’d probably guess it’s not full tang. But you’d be wrong!

The Essential Tact Machete is a full tang machete (with a small hole punched through at the base for a lanyard).

This guarantees that no amount of rough handling will harm it.

And speaking of handles, this handle provides both extreme comfort and grip.

It’s coated in an ultra-rugged, non-slip rubber finish. So no matter how wet or sweaty your hands are The Essential Tact Machete won’t slip.

Also the lining the inside of the rubber coating is a plush layer of polypropylene. This helps to provide extra cushioning. Helping to eliminate the bone-jarring hand shocks you’d experience otherwise.

Not to forget safety, the Essential Tact Machete has a deep, ridged thumb rise. Plus, an oversized finger guard to keep your hands safe from the blade edge – even during the most violent swings.

One of the features that make this machete a “true survival blade” is the tool added to the back of the blade. Instead of leaving it as a dull edge, they turned it into a serrated saw blade.

Again, for me, it’s all about multiple uses in one tool. This is a survival machete/survival saw combo in one.

Sure, there are more expensive machetes out there. But they can’t hold a candle to the Essential Tact if you’re looking for a SURVIVAL machete at a value price point.

2. Woodman’s Pal 2.0 – Multi-Use Axe Machete with Sheath

The Woodman’s Pal Machete has been around for decades. It was used by the US Army since WW2!

And it’s received upgrades from 70+ years of testing in the harshest combat conditions.

You can use the current version as a machete, a shovel, an ax, and a knife.

The full tang construction features hard ash wood handles and a black finished blade.

All the cutting edges are hand sharpened before shipping. So the Woodman’s Pal Machete arrives ready to go to work.

They also come with a full-grain leather sheath to protect the edges while not in use and to make carrying easy.

Each order includes reprints of the original US Army manuals. This covers both the use and sharpening of the machete, even fighting with a machete!

They’re also made in the USA by skilled craftsmen in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Of course, all that craftsmanship comes at a price, with this blade topping the price list.

3. Fiskars 29 Inch Machete Axe

This 18-inch blade is ideal for clearing, chopping, cutting any vegetation in the wilderness, or around your home.

This Fiskars Machete has an ax-like blade that provides enough power for splitting wood.

The curved blade also offers the ability to easily remove suckers and vines from trees.

It’s an excellent everyday machete that includes a good sheath and a lifetime warranty.

4. CRKT Chanceinhell 18″ Carbon Steel Machete

Columbia River Knife & Tool is a reputable manufacturer. One that makes an entire line of extremely high-quality knives and multi-tools.

This 18″ blade survival machete works well for heavy hacking through thick vegetation.

It features a drop-point blade shape, with a center of mass closer to to the point than the handle.

This balance makes it efficient for chopping, but tiring if you’re spending the whole day doing so.

The handle is a little smaller than most but makes up for it with good finger grips to keep your hands from slipping.

5. BareBones Woodsman Japanese NATA Tool

BareBones Woodsman Japanese NATA ToolOne of the more distinct blade shapes on our list is The BareBones NATA Machete. It’s a traditional Japanese garden and utility tool.

The straight edge and sharpened chisel point give you lots of blade options. It’s great for both chopping and hollowing out materials.

The BareBones Woodsman is easier to sharpen than many of the curved blades.

But it only has 12 inches of sharpened blade length. So this machete straddles the line between a true machete and a large survival knife.

It’s not the best choice for heavy brush cutting and chopping through thick branches.

6. Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

Another unique blade is The Ka-Bar Kukri Machete. It’s based on the traditional Nepalese kukri knife.

It has an unmistakable forward-hooked blade, similar in shape to a boomerang.

The hooked blade puts the center of mass towards the tip of the blade and in front of the handle.

It’s only sporting an 11.5″ blade. Making it an EXTREMELY efficient tool for chopping through branches and vines.

As you chop, these materials settle into the crook of the blade. This brings all the swing force onto one focal point and not allowing it to slip off the target.

It’s also a very effective combat tool.

7. Condor Duku Machete

Condor Tool & Knife Duki MacheteFinally, The Condor Duku Machete is yet another distinctive blade shape.

More sweeping and far narrower than most other machetes. The Duku blade is ideal for slashing cuts instead of chopping.

This design helps in cutting through lighter vegetation. Making slicing for harvesting and processing produce a breeze.

The high-carbon steel blade is easy to sharpen and stands up well to repeated blows.

It’s very easy to swing the blade as well. The narrow profile and center of mass near the tip making it easy to maneuver for precision cuts.

But it’s also heavy, so it can get cumbersome to swing all day.


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.

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