Machetes are essential gardening tools that every gardener should have. Regardless of your skill in the field or your preference, it can be a great tool to have by your side. Of course, gardeners are not the only people who would need a machete, but survival enthusiasts and avid campers could also need one.
And regardless of why you might need one, choosing the right one for you can be a difficult task. With the multitude of options at your disposal, choosing a single well is just not possible, especially when you don’t know where to start.
Best Machetes You Can Buy
- Condor Golok machete
- SOGfari Machete
- Ontario Knife Military Machete
- Tramontina Machete
- Gerber Gator
- Kershaw Machete (18-inch)
Condor Golok machete
Condor has made many blades for public use, but none tend to stand out quite as much as the Golok machete. The perfectly sized, 1″ saber style blade is just the right size for any user and is relatively easier to carry. The smaller blade means that the Golok can have a very robust blade that is versatile for any user.
The short length makes it good for use in survival situations, and the robust blade makes it great for gardening and cutting out weeds. Finally, the handle features excellent craftsmanship with its unique wooden handle. The wooden handle offers an excellent grip, especially the soft padsdoesn’tesn’t hurt that this machete looks good with its walnut brown color and the beautiful saber handle design.
The SOGfari has a very obvious purpose in mind, which is apparent from its design, survival. This army machete features a straightforward design on the blade with no curves and two very sharp edges. Its design is very reminiscent of a box cutter. The blade’s spine also features saw-like teeth to help cut down thicker branches and roots. Of course, on the opposite side is a straight edge, both of which come sharp out of the box.
The high carbon steel makes it fairly light for its size, with the straight edge also being fairly easy to sharpen. Its handle stands out, though, made from Kraton rubber that is both reinforced and contoured for an excellent grip. With its length of 18-inches and weight of just 15 ounces, it is perfect for most high-intensity tasks.
Ontario Knife Military Machete
The Ontario Knife Military machete takes a very useful approach to its machete, features a simple blade rounded at the edge and plain handle. It doesn’tcome with many bells and whistles, nor does it have any special features.
Its blade features high carbon steel that is durable and can hold an edge for a fairly long time. The blade is easy to sharpen, is resistant to most materials, and is light enough to swing comfortably. The handle mainly features a plastic, which offers a good grip and is fairly comfortable for most users.
Finally, another reason for its very generic design is that this military machetedoesn’t come with a sheath. Therefore, you will have to find one yourself.
Like many blades, the Tramontina machete is a very effective blade that can easily cut through vegetation and offers a very comfortable grip with its wooden handle. The full length of the machete is a comfortable 2″, which is the best length for a versatile machete. The Brazilian-made blade is very robust, offering easy cutting through most smaller vegetation, as well as some thicker branches.
The blade is surprisingly lightweight, allowing you to put in more momentum with each swing. The lighter weight also offers more control and makes the 18-inch bladeless clunky to swing. The wooden handle is a good addition and is generally very nice to handle, but its less than stellar ergonomics leaves a lot left wanted. It comes with a sheath that also features a belt hook with it.
The Gerber Gator is very similar to the SOGfari machete in that it also comes with a straight edge and a saw edge at each end. However, where it tends to differ is in its more traditional machete design and curves. The long 15-inch blade is very effective in clearing out a path in the jungle or cutting down shrubs in your garden. The black carbon-coated blade is very strong and is easy to sharpen for beginners as well.
The rubberized handle makes it very easy to hold, with the contouring throughout the handle making it a comfortable machete to grip. The excellent grip complements the relatively lightweight of the blade allows you to easily swing it without tiring yourself out. This machete also comes with a nylon sheath that is very strong and durable.
Kershaw Machete (18-inch)
The Kershaw Machete makes for a good companion wherever you go, regardless of your use. This is a lightweight, sharp, and long machete, which can come in handy wherever you take it. Its long length can be helpful in the field, and the sharp straight edge can help you in survival situations.
The blade features a sleek design and a durable carbon steel material that gives this blade some great qualities. It is easy to sharpen and even easier to maintain when out in the wild, with just enough thickness to not hold you down.
Its ergonomic handle is a very good fit for most hand sizes, and the contoured, textured rubber makes for an excellent grip. The lightweight design complements the strong grip, as you can easily swing the machete without worrying about getting tired.
How to Choose the Best Machete
The sheath is one of the most important aspects of a machete, as it protects the blade from corrosion, rust, and even chipping. While you might not think that changing the blade on your belt without the sheath is a problem, you could bump into something, which can then chip the blade.
Furthermore, a good machete will also be sturdy and durable, taking most of the impact if you happen to drop it. A sturdy sheath will also keep the blade in good health when transporting it. But if you will be walking around with the blade a lot, a sheath with a buckle should be the optimal choice.
Machetes that you usually find have a thin blade, which is excellent for cutting through most things and weak vegetation. The thinner blade is much sharper, but that is at the expense of its overall durability. Thinner blades are more susceptible to bending, chipping, or worse, breaking off entirely. But they are also just the perfect weight for you to swing comfortably without getting tired.
On the other hand, thicker blades will cut through thicker veins or small branches without breaking or chipping. The only downside is that thicker blades tend to be much heavier than regular blades.
Material of Handle
Thehandle’s quality matters a lot, especially if you intend on using it for a long time. The material should offer a good grip even when your hands are sweaty or wet. More importantly, the best thing about the handle’s material is that it should have an ergonomic grip, which will allow you to easily hold on to the blade and not worry about it aching your hand after using it.
Rubber, polymer, and wood are the most common options, with wood offering incredible durability but an average grip. A rubber handle is more susceptible to tears, but it offers unmatched shock absorption and a very reliable grip.
Length of Blade
Depending on where you will be using the machete, the length of the blade is a valid consideration. If you are just clearing out weeds and small vegetation from a field, the extra few inches can help you clear out the field faster. The downside of a long blade is that it can be very heavy to handle.
Shorter blades are lighter and more controllable while trading off less range. Shorter blades can also make the blades thicker, making them more durable without being too clunky.
Material of Blade
The material of the blade dictates its durability, sharpness, edge retention, and weight. Essentially, everything that makes a blade good or bad hinges on the material used. You can look up the different types of steel used in blades, how much they cost, and how well they handle.
Blade material also influences the toughness and hardness of a blade. A tough blade is easy to sharpen and retains its sedge for longer, but a harder blade can become very sharp.