As many sportsmen and wilderness trekkers already know, a machete can be an extremely handy tool. In dense brush, it can be used as a slashing tool. If necessary, wood can even be chopped by striking the spine with a heavy object to force a chopping action by the blade. It can also be used in food preparation, for slicing, dicing, and cutting up fish, game, or other foods.
For clearing areas with overgrown vines or brambles, a machete is your most effective option.
What Blade Is Right For You?
Some blades have special functions besides the traditional slashing and cutting, some are longer than others, and not all blades are made of the strong metal you need for wilderness utility.
Get The Right Grip
Whether a machete is going to feel right in your hand depends on how you hold it, the size of your hands, even your personal textural preferences.
Accessories such as sheaths or storage pouches can add to the utility or just the look of your machete.
Gerber Gator Machete — About $20
The Gerber Gator Machete comes equipped with a riveted nylon full sheath for convenient carrying, and to protect the Gator Grip overmold handle. The imported carbon steel blade is a full 18″ long, and has a full performance saw along its entire length, to provide easy wood-cutting capability in rough areas. The side opposite the saw edge is a 15″ fine edge blade which can be used for all other cutting, slashing, and chopping functions. More than 25″ in length overall, this is a lightweight machete which is as well-suited to backyard usage as it is for wilderness trailblazing.
Tramontina Wood Machete — About $20
With an overall length of 23″ and a blade length of 18″, the Tramontina Wood Machete features an appealing solid wood handle for easy and secure gripping while in use. The blade is constructed of high carbon steel, which will make it very durable and reliable during the performance of all cutting and chopping tasks. Weighing just over one pound, this is a lightweight machete which can easily be carried around, wherever you go, without becoming a burden.
Fiskars 29″ Machete Axe — About $40
This unique, long-blade Fiskars 29″ Machete Axe features an axe head which is excellent for use in controlled chopping and wood splitting, cutting unwanted branches from trees, and even chopping roots at the ground surface. The long curve of the blade even makes it ideal for pull-cutting, when you need to clear away vines and suckers from thick underbrush. At 29″ in length, this is an extra long utility tool which will be the only thing you need for clearing away all kinds of vegetation, either in the wild or in the tamer setting of your yard. It comes with its own nylon carrying sheath, and has a lifetime warranty.
Elk Ridge ER-280 Machete — About $25
The Elk Ridge Fixed-Blade Machete is highlighted by its 3 mm blade thickness, which has been field-tested and shown to be highly effective at chopping, cutting, and slashing away brush. Its overall 20.5″ length makes it easy to handle, and less bulky to carry along with you on any field trip. A storage pouch is provided to protect the blade when the machete is not in use, and the handle is fitted with a lanyard that can be used for carrying and storing. Compact but powerful, this machete weighs in at a little over two pounds.
Ka-Bar Black Cutlass Machete — About $50
This imposing Ka-Bar Machete has the famous cutlass styled blade, made of 1085 carbon steel for long-lasting usage, and reliable performance in tough conditions. The perfect tool for clearing out weeds, branches, and vines when you’re on the trail or making a campsite, the 11″ blade is still compact enough to be wielded easily and forcefully. The thermoplastic elastomer handle allows for an ergonomically comfortable grip so it won’t slip out of your hand during usage. The Ka-Bar machete comes with a combination Leather/Cordura sheath that keeps the blade protected.