10 Best Machetes of 2017 – Machete Reviews

Anyone that loves the great outdoors whether it is trekking, camping, hunting, exploration or any other wilderness activity should have a machete. The machete is the number one tool for a survival situation, but you can also use it for a variety of other things.

Machetes come in different types or styles. And some of the most common ones include the parang, golok, panga, and bowie machetes. All machetes are handy cutting tools, but their different shapes and lengths mean they are suitable for different applications. However, most machetes will in most instances be used as weapons, for agriculture and for cutting through brush and branches when trailblazing. It is also common to see people use machetes when doing yard work, cutting sugar cane and splitting coconuts.

Apart from the blade styles, there are also other important features that define these knives. These other elements include the blade length and material, handle, tang, and weight. The different machete features and types will influence everything from the uses to ease of handling and its price.

10 Best Machetes - Reviews

10. Gerber Gator Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Gerber Gator Machete Review

The Gerber Gator Machete features a high steel carbon blade with both a saw and fine edge. The fine edge is 15 inches long while the saw is 18 inches to give you a large cutting area. And the machete comes with a Gator-grip rubberized handle that makes it comfortable to handle and gives you better control of the tool.

Storage and carrying will also not be an issue because it comes with a riveted nylon sheath that you can also use to attach it to your pack or belt.

Pros

  • Double edge machete with both fine and saw edges.
  • Both edges are pre-sharpened.
  • Gator rubber grip provides comfort and better control.
  • Nylon case for a secure carry.

Cons

  • The blade steel is not as thick as other robust machetes.

Who Should Buy?

Gerber Gator Machete is an excellent tool for the wilderness, and it will be a perfect choice for a survivalist looking for an affordable and durable trailblazing knife.

9. Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.6 / 5)

Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete Review

The Bear Grylls Parang by Gerber features a robust high carbon steel construction and angled blade that will cut through brush and limbs effortlessly. Gerber makes some of the best machetes in the market and so even before you buy this one you can be sure of the quality.

This machete has a full tang construction that boosts the durability, and the company also gives it an ergonomic and textured grip to make it comfortable for extended use. Also, the handle has a lanyard cord that will act as a guide and enhance the grip security, and you also get a military grade nylon sheath.

Pros

  • Durable and angled high carbon steel blade.
  • Full tang construction to boost durability.
  • Textured grip with an ergonomic design.
  • Lanyard cord will act as a guard to enhance grip security.
  • Military grade and mildew resistant sheath.

Cons

  • The blade is not sharp enough when you get the machete.

Who Should Buy?

The angled design of this machete makes it ideal for clearing brush, limbs, and so it can be a handy tool for a gardener. But it will also be very useful out in the wilderness, and so campers, hikers, and trailblazers will also love it.

8. Tramontina Machete Wood Handle

Editor's Rating:  (4.5 / 5)

Tramontina Machete Wood Handle

This Tramontina knife is a basic bush machete, but it is still a handy cutting tool that will go through branches and limbs with ease. It has a high carbon steel blade that is 18 inches long and with a traditional machete curve at the front. At a total weight of 1.1 pounds, it is relatively lightweight, and it also feels well-balanced on the hand.

The handle is hardwood with a natural wood color that is not only comfortable and secure but also gives the machete an attractive overall look. However, this product will not come with a sheath and so you may need to buy one separately.

Pros

  • Lightweight and well-balanced.
  • High carbon steel blade is easy to resharpen and keeps the edge for long.
  • Long cutting edge for better chopping power
  • Hardwood handle with a natural color.

Cons

  • It will not come with a sheath.

Who Should Buy?

This machete will be a perfect choice for an individual that is on the market for an affordable and multipurpose machete as it is the second cheapest on our list.

7. Ontario Knife 1-18 Inch Military Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.4 / 5)

Ontario Knife 1-18 Inch Military Machete

Ontario Knife Co makes some of the best machetes, and you can always be sure of getting something that will serve you well. The all black military machete features a 1095 carbon steel construction that will keep a sharp edge for a long time and hold up well to harsh environments and treatments.

The blade is hardened to 50-55 HRC to make it tougher. And for the handle, you get a molded and riveted plastic that is also very durable and comfortable in your hand. But, this machete will not come with a sheath.

Pros

  • 1095 carbon steel construction for a durable edge.
  • Comfortable molded and riveted plastic handle.
  • 50-55 HRC hardened blade.
  • It holds up well even in harsh environments/treatments.
  • Attractive all-black appearance.

Cons

  • The handle can get a little slippery in wet conditions.

Who Should Buy?

This Ontario tool comes quite sharp, and it will cut through shrubs, brushes and small branches effortlessly. And so it will be an excellent choice for a yard tool.

6. SOG SOGfari 18-Inch Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.4 / 5)

SOG SOGfari 18-Inch Machete

SOG makes this 18-inch machete with a robust high carbon steel material to make it durable and ensure that it holds the edge well. The blade has a straight cutting edge, and a saw back, and both are pre-sharpened when you get the tool. Although it is one of the cheapest units on our list, it is the best machete for the money, and it is hard to get anything better without spending more cash.

For the handle, SOG uses a well balanced and contoured Kraton rubber that provides a firm grip, and it is also non-slip. Also, the handle includes some holes for adding a lanyard. This machete comes with a sturdy nylon sheath that also has a belt loop.

Pros

  • Long high carbon steel blade with a saw edge.
  • Kraton rubber handle is very comfortable.
  • Black nylon sheath includes a belt loop attachment.
  • Machete includes lanyard mounting holes on the handle.

Cons

  • It can break or dent when cutting large branches and brush.

Who Should Buy?

SOG makes this machete for campers, survivalists, and hikers as it is very effective in clearing trails and brush. However, this professional grade blade can also work well for chopping branches and firewood at home.

5. Z-Hunter ZB-020 Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.6 / 5)

Z-Hunter ZB-020 Machete

The Z-Hunter ZB-020 is the cheapest item on our list, but it also has one of the best constructions. It features a 440 stainless steel construction with a sharp silver edge, and so you can be sure of using it for many years. The Zombie Killer is also quite thick (3.5mm), and it will retain the edge for longer than most other similar sized machetes.

Despite the small and lightweight size, this is one of the best stainless steel machetes that you can get anywhere. And this is not only because of the high-quality blade, but also thanks to the beautiful green paracord wrapped handle and also because it comes with a handy black nylon sheath.

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction for a long life.
  • Full tang design for durability.
  • Silver cutting edge.
  • 3.5 mm blade retains the edge for long.
  • Attractive and comfortable green cord wrapped handle

Cons

  • It is a small machete that might not be suitable for handling heavy use.

Who Should Buy?

This small machete is the most affordable item on our machete reviews. The stainless steel construction makes it a sturdy cutting tool and its size and weight make it very portable. It is a good survivalist machete for those that want a high-quality but affordable tool for carrying on their pack when venturing into the wilderness.

4. Kershaw Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.6 / 5)

Kershaw Machete

The Kershaw machete is an excellent cutting tool to have when camping as it is ideal for various applications from clearing the campsite to chopping firewood. The all black knife features a carbon steel blade with a powder coating for wear resistance, toughness, and easy maintenance. The blade is 18 inches long to provide sufficient cutting area.

This full tang machete also comes with a contoured overmold rubber handle that is just the perfect size for an adult hand. The handle also includes drilled lanyard holes at the back and front to provide more carrying options.

Pros

  • Powder coated carbon steel blade for wear resistance and toughness.
  • Contoured rubber overmold handle for comfortable handling.
  • Full tang machete design for durability.
  • Drilled back and front lanyard attachment holes.

Cons

  • It is a thin blade, and the coating will erode easily.

Who Should Buy?

If you are on the hunt for the best machete on the market, Kershaw is one of the brands that you can always trust. This particular machete is a lightweight all black machete that will work very well as a camp knife.

3. Condor Golok Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.6 / 5)

Condor Golok Machete

Condor makes this machete with a high carbon steel blade that also includes an epoxy black powder coat for extra durability. The high-quality machete comes with a contoured hardwood handle that provides an excellent grip, and it also features 107 sculpted vents and some replaceable soft pads.

Like most other high-quality machetes this one by Condor comes with a well-constructed leather sheath with a belt loop to increase your carrying options.

Pros

  • Epoxy black powder coated high carbon steel blade
  • Curved and comfortable hardwood handle.
  • Replaceable soft pads.
  • High-quality leather sheath with a belt loop.

Cons

  • It is a relatively expensive machete.

Who Should Buy?

If you are willing to spend some extra dollars to get the best survival machete this product is for you. Although it is the priciest item on our list, it also offers the best blade and handle qualities for a survivalist.

2. Elk Ridge ER-523B Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Elk Ridge ER-523B Machete

Outdoor enthusiasts that are in the market for a good machete without spending a lot of cash will love the stainless steel ER-523B by Elk Ridge. It comes with a 3mm thick 440 stainless steel blade that is camo coated and is 12.9 inches long. The machete also has a black double injection handle that provides a sturdy and comfortable grip.

The handle on this machete includes a lanyard hole to give users more carrying option, and you also get a decent quality 1680D nylon sheath.

Pros

  • Thick 440 stainless steel blade.
  • Durable black double injection handle.
  • Lanyard hole for versatile carrying options.
  • 1680D nylon sheath.

Cons

  • Like most other stainless steel blades it will not retain a sharp edge for long.

Who Should Buy?

This product is for someone looking for an affordable stainless steel machete for use when chopping brush in the garden or out in the wilderness. The shape also makes it suitable for applications that require downward chopping motions when you do not have an axe around.

1. Whetstone Cutlery Machete

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Whetstone Cutlery Machete

Whetstone is one of the best machete brands, and this heavy-duty stainless steel unit proves why their tools are popular with survivalists and hobbyists. The stainless steel blade has a double edge blade which comprises of fine cutting edge, and a saw back. This saw has a 17.75-inch blade, and it only weighs 1.8 pounds hence making it quite easy to handle.

The handle is a contoured and impact resistant ABS plastic that provides a secure grip, and it also includes a hand guard and a wrist lanyard for more convenience and better control when cutting. Also, this is a full tang machete, and it comes with a black nylon sheath for safe carrying and transportation.

Pros

  • Double edged blade with fine and saw edge.
  • Contoured and impact-resistant ABS handle.
  • Hand guard and wrist lanyard provide extra convenience.
  • Durable full tang construction.
  • Long-lasting black nylon sheath.

Cons

  • Taking out the sheath can be tedious due to the saw back.

Who Should Buy?

This machete is a well-constructed tool with a high-quality stainless steel blade, and it will work well as both a daily use cutting tool around the yard or garden and also for clearing trail when camping or hiking. And so it is just a great tool for anyone to have in their collection.

Things to Consider When Buying Machete

Like any other tool choosing the best machete will require you to understand different things about them and also to determine how you intend to use yours. With the many kinds of machete from various brands, choosing the right one can be a little overwhelming without the right information. But, you should have an easier time if you consider the following important things when buying one.

#1. Blade Length and Material

The blade is always the most important factor to consider when purchasing a machete because it is what will make the cuts. When it comes to the blade, you will need to consider both the length and material.

Blade Material/Composition

For the blade material, you will in most cases need to choose from carbon steel, stainless steel, and high carbon steel. Carbon steel is a harder material than stainless steel, and it retains the edge for long, but it also requires regular maintenance to prevent rusting.

Stainless steel will not need a lot of maintenance, it is stain resistant, and the edge is easy to sharpen, but it is not as good as carbon steel when it comes to edge retention. However, some of the best cold steel machetes will retain an edge for longer than most other materials.

High carbon steel takes the best qualities of stainless and carbon steel since it has strength and durability of the latter and the corrosion resistance of the former. But, high carbon also requires regular maintenance and still not as easy to sharpen as stainless steel.

And so the right blade material for you depends on your preferences and budget since stainless steel blades tend to be pricier than the carbon steel ones.

#2. Handle Material and Design

Another important element to consider when buying a machete is the handle. And this is because even if you get the best machete in the world, you will need to be able to hold it well.

For the handle material, wood, rubber, and polymer are the three common ones. Wood provides an excellent grip and is very durable while polymer handles are affordable. The rubber handles, on the other hand, provide an excellent grip and shock absorption.

When it comes to the handle design, most machetes will have a simple design that also features a hand guard to prevent your hand from slipping forward to the cutting edge. Most will also have a hand stop that ensures that the hand does not move at the back and lose control of the tool. And some modern ones also include a lanyard hole for attaching a shockcord or paracord.

#3. Tang

The right tang for the machete will depend on how you plan to use it. For slicing and chopping applications, those with a full tang are the best because you can swing them with a lot of force. The small machetes will not need a full tang since they require a heavier blade to generate sufficient power.