There are times when hiking through the woods that the trails become overgrown with vegetation, or simply don’t exist at all. When faced with that type of situation it’s a good idea to have a machete with you to cut a path through the daunting overgrowth ahead of you. There’s nothing more exhilarating than spending time outdoors – as long as you’re prepared for every eventuality.
Finding the best survival machete may seem like a pretty straightforward process, but there are dozens of different blades available from different manufacturers. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses so you need to consider carefully what type of situations you anticipate you will be using one in.
A machete should be one of the first things you pack when you’re heading out on an outdoor adventure. There are a number of things you’re going to want to look at including the sharpness of the blade, the price point you can afford, and the strength of the materials that the machete is made from to name a few.
As you’re going to be wielding your machete with one hand most of the time it’s important to look for one that’s nice and lightweight as well. In this article were going to take a closer look at the options available to you and in each case we’ll point out their key features. As we’ve already mentioned there are dozens of options available to you, but we’ve narrowed it down to our five top survival machetes. We believe these machetes strike the right balance between quality, affordability, and comfort.
- 1 Survival Machete Reviews
- 2 Background Information on Survival Machetes
- 3 Key Features:
- 4 Time to Plan Your Trip
Survival Machete Reviews
Wartech H-1210 Equalizer Hunting Machete
The Wartech H-1210 is an impressive looking machete that’s both affordable and lightweight and that’s made it a popular choice. It’s made from stainless steel which isn’t ideal, but it does have a sharp 17 inch blade that’s great as a multipurpose survival knife.
It also comes with a nylon sheath to protect your blade from the elements when not in use. For a tool with a fairly long blade it’s still relatively light weight at just over 2lbs which is a good thing if you’re chopping through some thick vegetation on the hiking path – that can be hard on the shoulders after an hour or two.
The blade also has a slight hook design near the tip which can be used for pulling branches to the side if they’re a little too thick to cut through.
The handle has a practical design for a basic survival tool.
There’s a full knuckle guard which can protect your hands from wayward swinging branches as well as making it easier to maintain your grip.
It also has a lanyard on the blade handle so that you can wrap the cord around your wrist as to ensure it stays in place while you work. This is a great choice if you’re looking for an all-purpose machete at an affordable price.
Wartech H-1210 Equalizer Summary:
- Stainless steel, sharp blade
- Hook for pulling
- long yet lightweight
- Full knuckle guard
15 Inch Tactical Fixed Blade Machete
This is a machete with a medium length 15 inch blade and a thick balanced design that makes it comfortable to grip and wield. The blade is stainless steel rather than carbon steel so it’s not the strongest on the market, but it will prove more than adequate in most situations.
Where it does really shine is in its practical design.
As well as having a sharp blade for chopping, it also has a saw edge on the opposite side that can come in handy for a lot of different applications.
This blade can be used for cutting down vegetation, chopping smaller pieces of firewood, preparing food, and it can even be used as a weapon in emergency situations. It’s a survival machete in every sense.
The handle is made from ABS plastic and should give you years of use as long as you take care of it. It also comes with a sheath to protect the blade when you’re storing it away and the sheath has a small pocket for storing your sharpening stone.
The manufacturers of this machete have given a lot of thought to their product making it the perfect companion for the outdoor enthusiast.
15" Tactical Fixed Blade Machete Summary:
- Balanced design
- Additional saw edge
- Durable ABS handle
- Comes with sheath
Biohazard 27.25 Inches Zombie Survival Machete
If you prefer a machete with a slimmer design this Biohazard machete may be exactly what you’re looking for. This is a mean looking blade, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t of practical use.
As is the case with most other affordable machetes the blade is made from stainless steel which does make it a little more fragile than more expensive carbon steel blades, but for most uses it will stand up to wear and tear just fine.
Although it measures more than 2 feet in length it still weighs in at only 2 pounds meaning its ideal for clearing bush with that extra reach and it won’t tire you out.
Opposite the blade is a jagged edge which is perfect for dealing with more stubborn vegetation that needs a little more attention. There’s also a smaller hook blade that’s located near the handle that can be used for pulling branches out of your way instead of chopping through them.
The handle is rather slim which won’t suite everyone, but if you have smaller hands it’s ideal. There is no real cross-guard of any kind so you do have to be mindful where you hold it or you could easily cut yourself on the small hook blade near the handle.
Overall it’s a pretty decent blade that stands out because of its extra length and its slimmer design.
Biohazard Zombie Summary:
- Stainless steel blade
- Jagged edges perfect for brush clearing
- Slim handle
- No cross-guard
22″ Hunting Sawback Military Full Tang Machete
This military full tang machete has a ton of great features. With a 3mm thick blade and an overall length of 22 inches this is the ideal machete.
It has a nostalgic appearance that would probably look right at home in a civil war re-enactment, but make no mistake this is a practical modern tool that’s been designed with outdoor survival in mind.
What’s really striking about this machete is how many common sense features they’ve included. The blade is sturdy enough to withstand a lot of abuse and it also has a serrated edge (“sawback”) opposite the blade that’s more than capable of sawing through some relatively thick logs for the fire.
The blade is about 16.5 inches in length which will enable you to keep the brush well away from you as you make your way along an overgrown path.
It has a military style handle that features a fully enclosed knuckle guard and an ergonomically designed grip that feels quite natural in your hand.
There’s also a lanyard at the edge of the handle with a cord that can be used for an even more secure grip and it comes with a durable sheath to store your blade in when it’s not in use.
This is a popular choice for anyone that spends a lot of time enjoying outdoors activities.
22" Hunting Sawback Machete Summary:
- Nostalgic, but practical
- Sturdy blade
- Serrated edge
- Full knuckle guard
Premium Outdoor Columbia River Carbon Steel Survival Machete
Every list has a premier choice and the Premium Outdoor Columbia River machete is ours when it comes to being one of the best survival machetes. This is an excellent blade that will cost you a little more than the others on this list, but it will also withstand a lot more punishment. This knife has a true carbon steel blade that’s not only stronger than machetes with stainless steel blades it will also maintain its sharpness longer as well. The blade on this machete is somewhat shorter than others we’ve look at, but the machete still has an overall length of just less than 10 inches, which is perfect when you’re on the go.
It’s also a lot lighter than some of its closest competitors at 1.2 pounds and that will be welcome news if you’re trying to reduce the weight of the gear you’re carrying.
The handle is made from quality Kraton rubber and it has multiple lanyards so you can tie off a cord for extra control wherever it’s most comfortable for you. It’s also designed with a more pronounced downward angle that makes it more ergonomic and will give you extra thrust when necessary.
When you’re not using your machete it comes with a reinforced nylon sheath that ties off snugly on your belt or backpack. There isn’t much they haven’t thought of when designing this survival machete.
Outdoor Columbia River Machete Summary:
- Carbon steel blade
- Shorter than usual so perfect for travels
- Kraton rubber handle
- Comes with a reinforced nylon sheath
Background Information on Survival Machetes
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of the machete, but similar types of blades have been used in different cultures for centuries. In Nepal the Gurkhas are famous for the use of a blade that’s similar to the machete known as the Kukri, the ancient Greeks used a tool called the Kopis, and the ancient Chinese used a weapon called the Dao that looked very much like the modern machete.
The machete style blade has been a popular design as both a weapon and farming implement throughout the modern history of man. There is good reason for its popularity and that’s because the unique design of the machete is perfect as a multipurpose tool for all kinds of different situations. That’s why it’s become such an essential tool as a piece of outdoor survival equipment.
Machete blades can be made from a couple of different materials. Stainless steel is a cheaper type of construction material and knives made from this material have served many outdoor enthusiasts well over the years – when compared to carbon steel knives though they don’t stack up well.
Carbon steel is stronger and more durable. It also has a tendency to stay sharp longer. If that isn’t quite enough to convince you that carbon steel blades are the way to go we should also point out they’re easier to sharpen as well. Typically, the best survival machetes are made from carbon steel.
The Style of the Blade
Blades that are normally classified as machetes come in many different shapes and sizes. In most cases they’ve been adapted for a specific purpose and that purpose has influenced the shape of the blade. These include: Latin machetes, survival machetes, Kukri’s, heavy machetes, Bolo machetes, Parang machetes, the Bill Hook, and more.
In this article we’re mainly concerned with the survival machete knife and while all machetes can be used for survival, actual ones built with survival in mind usually have some distinct characteristics. They generally have a medium size blade, an ergonomically designed handle for grip, and in many cases they have a saw toothed edge opposite the blade.
The length of the blade on a machete normally falls somewhere between 10 and 28 inches. The longer blades are not very practical for travelling though and that’s why machetes generally have blades that are between 10 and 18 inches. This is long enough to handle most jobs you will use it for while camping, hunting, or hiking and compact enough that it won’t add too much to your burden.
The tang is the portion of the blade that extends into the handle. There are two main types: the partial tang and the full tang. Partial tangs only extend part way into the handle and are usually a little more lightweight due to the lesser amount of steel in their construction. You’ll normally find these in cheaper blades and they are not as durable as full tangs.
Full tangs as you’ve probably already guessed extend all the way up the handle. They’re heavier, more durable, don’t bend as easily, and more balanced which makes them easier to wield. The only real drawback is that they may be more prone to rust than a partial tang due to the extra steel encased within the handle.
Time to Plan Your Trip
Hopefully you’ve found these survival machete reviews helpful and if you want to take a closer look at any of the models just follow the links provided.
We can’t stress enough how essential a machete for survival is on any extended outdoor excursion into the wilderness. They’re one the most versatile style of knives around and while there may be others that perform specific duties better, none of them have the overall appeal of a machete.
Enjoy your next trip and don’t forget to pack the best machete for survival!