8 Best Machetes Reviewed In 2020 ( Incl. Survival and Tactical Matchetes )

man with a machete

Watch any movie with a jungle and you’ll see machete-swinging explorers hacking their way through dense brush.

That bladed tool, the machete, is not limited to use in the Amazon or Congo rainforests.

Some people say that you should carry a hatchet when you can easily walk through the trees and a machete when you have to cut your way through.

Many places in North America demand a machete if you want to travel in a straight line off the beaten path.

I’ve used a Cold Steel Magnum Kukri machete in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. When I went off-road in Florida, well, I cursed myself for leaving it behind!

Machetes are light and inexpensive. There’s really no excuse for not having the choice of bringing one with you into the forest.

But, which machete should you choose?

 

The 8 Best Machetes of 2019: Outdoor Empire Reviews

  1. Best Cheap #1: Ontario Knife Company Military Machete
  2. Best Cheap #2: Tramontina Bolo Machete
  3. Best for the Money #1: Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete
  4. Best for the Money #2: Tramontina Bush Machete
  5. Best High-End on the Market #1: Condor Tool & Knife Golok Machete
  6. Best High-End on the Market #2: Condor Tool & Knife Bushcraft Parang Machete
  7. Best Tactical: Ontario Knife Company SP-8
  8. Best for Camping and Survival: Woodman’s Pal 2.0 Multi-Use Axe Machete

 

CategoryBest cheap

Best for the money

Best high-end
ProductTramontina Bolo Machete
Tramontina Bolo Machete

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri
Cold Steel Magnum Kukri

Condor Tool & Knife 14″ Golok
Condor Tool & Knife 14″ Golok

Blade StyleBoloKukriGolok
Blade Material1070 high-carbon steel1055 high-carbon steel1075 high-carbon steel
Blade Length14.5 in17 in14 in
Weight15 oz1 lb 4 oz1 lb 10 oz
Handle MaterialNatural hardwoodPolypropelyneWalnut
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

1. Best Cheap Machete #1: Ontario Knife Company Military Machete 1-18

Ontario Knife Company Military Machete 1-18

  • Blade Style: Bush/Latin
  • Blade Material: 1095 carbon steel
  • Blade Finish: Zinc-phosphate
  • Blade Length: 18″
  • Overall Length: 24″
  • Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz.
  • Handle Material: Molded plastic
  • Sheath? Sold separately
  • Misc: Lanyard hole

Overview

Let’s start with the classic machete you’ll find in sportsman outfitters and military surplus outfits across the nation: the M-1942 Machete, Rigid Handle, Steel.

Sometimes called the C-18 by Ontario Knife Company, this is the military machete made for the US Army. It’s a classically styled brush clearer with an 18-inch blade and molded plastic handle.

The original US machete was 22 inches long. It’s still made by Ontario, but experiences in Panama around the time of WWII showed that an 18-inch blade is more effective.

This machete has been manufactured, and copied, since 1942, and it still sees use today.

The blade has a classic Latin design with extra weight at the tip, which helps increase momentum as you swing back and forth.

The grip is made from an impact-resistant polymer, but it’s also this machete’s weakness. That plastic can get slippery with a little sweat, and it has a box-like shape that’s uncomfortable over extended use.

Some users grind down the corners and wrap the grip with tennis racket tape to make it more comfortable.

Pros

  • Classic and effective design
  • Commonly available

Cons

  • Slippery handle
  • Uncomfortable grip

Recommendation

The US military has used the Ontario Knife Company Military Machete 1-18 since 1942, and it’s an effective, inexpensive design. You might want to modify the grip, though.

 

 

2. Best Cheap Machete #2: Tramontina Bolo Machete

Tramontina Bolo Machete

  • Blade Style: Bolo
  • Blade Material: 1070 high-carbon steel
  • Blade Finish: None
  • Blade Length: 14.5″
  • Overall Length: 19.5″
  • Weight: 15 oz.
  • Handle Material: Natural hardwood
  • Sheath? Sold separately

Overview

Tramontina machetes are made in Brazil. Of all the countries in the world, Brazil uses machetes the most because of the Amazon rain forest.

The 14-inch Bolo machete by Tramontina is one of their least expensive offerings, but it’s still a good machete that can handle hacking apart dense foliage.

The 14.5-inch blade has a steep curve at the end and a bulbous part near the tip on the spine. This adds weight to the end, which is good for momentum.

With a wider yet shorter tip than the Latin style, you can use the Bolo to perform light digging tasks. It’s not as effective as a dedicated shovel, but it’s better than using your hands.

However, you’ll need to put some work into this machete before using it. Though Tramontina blades are made of good steel and good handles, they come unfinished. You get the start of an edge and a chunky handle but will need to finish sharpening and shaping the machete before you take it into the woods.

Pros

  • Has some digging capability
  • Inexpensive
  • Stiff, strong blade

Cons

  • Comes unfinished
  • Short blade

Recommendation

The Tramontina Bolo Machete is made by people who use machetes in their daily lives, but you’ll have to finish it yourself.

 

 

3. Best Machete for the Money #1: Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete

  • Blade Style: Kukri
  • Blade Material: 1055 high-carbon steel
  • Blade Finish: Baked-on anti-rust matte finish
  • Blade Length: 17″
  • Overall Length: 22″
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz.
  • Handle Material: Polypropelyne
  • Sheath? Ballistic nylon
  • Misc: Lanyard hole

Overview

Cold Steel manufactures several kukri-style machetes. My favorite is the Magnum Kukri, which has a 17-inch blade. This is one inch shorter than what the US military prefers, but it works out perfectly for me.

Kukris are the traditional weapons of the Gurkhas, who are Nepalese people known for their martial ability.

The kukri, with its forward curve, is a versatile tool. Curves increase a blade’s slicing ability, and the forward weight allows the kukri to pull double duty as a chopping tool, somewhat taking the place of an axe or hatchet.

The Cold Steel Magnum Kukri has a thinner, lighter blade than the kukris used by Gurkhas. It’s still an effective tool, but the lighter weight makes it more geared for clearing brush than chopping firewood.

It’s still capable of heavier chopping tasks than other styles of machete, though. However, the thin tip precludes you from digging with this machete.

The grip is molded polypropylene and stays grippy even during heavy rainfall. The blade’s edge comes only partially finished, so you’ll have to sharpen it yourself. Also, there’s a ballistic nylon sheath that works well enough.

Pros

  • Good for chopping and slicing
  • Includes a sheath

Cons

  • Comes unsharpened

Recommendation

Once sharpened, the Cold Steel Magnum Kukri is an effective machete that chops and slices with ease.

 

 

4. Best Machete for the Money #2: Tramontina Bush Machete

Tramontina Bush Machete

  • Blade Style: Bush/Latin
  • Blade Material: 1070 high-carbon steel
  • Blade Finish: Unfinished
  • Blade Length: 18″
  • Overall Length: 23″
  • Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz.
  • Handle Material: Natural hardwood
  • Sheath? Sold separately

Overview

Another of Tramontina’s machetes, their 18-inch bush machete is a high-quality Latin-style machete.

The most common size has an 18-inch blade, though you can get the Tramontina Bush Machete in lengths from 12 inches to 24 inches. Unless you need to conserve weight and need the shorter length, or you need to clear large amounts of thin brush close to home, I’d recommend the 18-inch option.

It’s shallowly curved, follwoing the brush-clearing Latin style that has been used to clear jungle and woods by millions of people.

You can get these machetes with either a polymer or wood handle. The wood handle is shaped but, like the Bolo, can use further shaping to fit your hand properly.

The blade is also not entirely finished. It has a primary edge, but it won’t be able to cut anything out of the box. You’ll need to finish sharpening it yourself.

The steel used, 1070 high-carbon steel, is considered by some to be the best machete steel.

Pros

  • Great steel
  • The machete used by Brazilians who live by their machete

Cons

  • Final sharpening and handle finishing are up to you

Recommendation

The Tramontina Bush Machete is the workhorse blade of Brazil and other heavily-forested countries. It’s an economical and effective choice, provided you are willing to sharpen it yourself.

 

 

5. Best Machete on the Market #1: Condor Tool & Knife 14″ Golok Machete

Condor Tool & Knife 14″ Golok Machete

  • Blade Style: Golok
  • Blade Material: 1075 high-carbon steel
  • Blade Finish: Black powder epoxy
  • Blade Length: 14″
  • Overall Length: 19″
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz.
  • Handle Material: Walnut
  • Sheath? Leather

Overview

Goloks are the Indonesian version of the machete. This blade style shallowly sweeps forward then has a deep curve back, giving it a strong slice without a lot of extra weight.

The handle is made from walnut and is riveted to the machete. It curves along with the full tang, so each sweep with the blade feels natural, and you can swing all day long.

Though it’s not as good at chopping as a kukri, it’s still more capable than Latin-style brush clearers.

A black powder epoxy finish protects the 1075 high-carbon steel from rust. The sheath is made of thick black leather and has a belt loop.

Unlike many machetes, the Condor Golok comes factory-sharpened enough to chop through branches.

The blade is 14 inches long, and though not as long as many machetes, it’s still a usable size. The overall length of 19 inches keeps this blade small enough to fit in a backpack.

Condor builds the Golok to such a quality that some people are loath to use it in the field. They’re almost too nice.

Pros

  • Excellent ergonomics
  • Superb quality

Cons

  • Expensive

Recommendation

If you want one of the finest bladed tools made for clearing dense vegetation, the Condor 14″ Golok is both beautiful and effective.

 

 

6. Best Machete on the Market #2: Condor Tool & Knife 13″ Bushcraft Parang Machete

Condor Tool & Knife 13″ Bushcraft Parang Machete

  • Blade Style: Parang
  • Blade Material: 1075 high-carbon steel
  • Blade Finish: Polished
  • Blade Length: 13″
  • Overall Length: 19.75″
  • Weight: 1 lb. 7 oz.
  • Handle Material: Polypropylene
  • Sheath? Ballistic nylon

Overview

Parangs are similar to goloks, except broader. This increases the machete’s chopping ability at the expense of velocity, making them good for woodier brush but more tiring to use.

The Condor 13″ Bushcraft Parang Machete is a heavy-duty chopper that stays agile by being shorter than most of the competition. The blade is only 13 inches long, which is short for a machete. However, the blade is capable of chopping through thick saplings in one slice when other machetes would bounce right off.

Condor says the blade has a “classic, natural finish,” but that’s marketing-talk for “polished.” The edge comes sharp.

The handle is made from polypropylene but doesn’t have much of a pattern, so it’s slippery unless you wrap it.

Though it might look like this machete would weigh off balance, it feels very natural in the hand and is easy to use.

There’s a longer version, called the Condor 17″ High-Carbon Parang Machete, that comes with a walnut handle and leather sheath. That extra length can cause you to tire out, though, so I prefer the shorter version.

Pros

  • Heavy chopper
  • High build quality

Cons

  • Slippery handle

Recommendation

The Condor 13″ Bushcraft Parang Machete is an excellent choice when you have to deal with thick brush or want to delimb trees, but it’s not designed for clearing wide swaths of vegetation.

 

 

7. Best Tactical Machete: Ontario Knife Company SP-8

Ontario Knife Company SP-8

  • Blade Style: Straight
  • Blade Material: High-carbon steel
  • Blade Finish: Baked-on anti-rust matte
  • Blade Length: 10″
  • Overall Length: 15.2″
  • Weight: 1 lb. 7 oz.
  • Handle Material: Kraton
  • Sheath? Cordura
  • Misc: Sawback, lanyard hole

Overview

The SP-8 is part of Ontario’s SPEC PLUS line of products, which are “designed for military, sporting, and first responder purposes.”

The SP-8 can be used as a bushcraft, camping, or survival tool, though I would not recommend it for clearing large amounts of brush.

Ontario specifies only that the blade is “high-carbon steel.” Some websites claim 1095, while others claim 1075.

It’s not terribly heavy, but that’s because of its short length. The blade is only 10 inches long, though it is 1.875 inches wide all the way to the tip.

The edge is straight until right before the tip, where it has a sharp 90-degree curve to the blunt tip.

The blade’s spine has a saw, though it’s more of an afterthought. I wouldn’t rely it except in an emergency.

This short and wide blade make the SP-8 a very chopping-focused machete.

It’ll be able to exert more power than a knife of similar length, thus making it a good machete for either clearing small trees or combat.

Pros

  • Combat ability
  • Powerful chopping
  • Sawback, for emergency use

Cons

  • Mediocre sheath
  • Short

Recommendation

Though Ontario’s SP-8 does not excel as a brush-clearing tool, it’s a passable emergency survival tool and is a capable weapon.

 

 

8. Best Machete for Survival and Campign: Woodman’s Pal 2.0 Multi-Use Axe Machete

Woodman’s Pal 2.0 Multi-Use Axe Machete

  • Blade Style: Multi-purpose
  • Blade Material: 1075 spring steel
  • Blade Finish: Black powder coated
  • Edge Length: 10.5″
  • Overall Length: 17″
  • Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.
  • Handle Material: Ash wood
  • Sheath? Leather
  • Misc: Owner’s manual, sharpening stone

Overview

The Woodman’s Pal 2.0 is a machete, but only barely. That’s because it’s a multi-use bladed tool that can be used for many more tasks than your standard machete.

The handle is ash, and it’s been stained, coated with urethane, then rubbed with beeswax. The result is a beautiful and comfortable handle. There are also finger grooves which match the full tang underneath.

The blade is made from 1075 spring steel and has many custom features.

First of all, the cutting edge is slightly concave, for a drawing cut. It’s not sharpened all the way, so the front of the edge has a blunt safety toe to minimize the chances of injury from a deflected swing.

The tip is very wide and curves backward to form a small sickle. This hook is sharpened and can be used to slice through plants against objects you don’t want to cut into, such as fences.

There’s even a safety notch so you can apply force with a hand on the spine with less risk of cutting yourself.

The Woodman’s Pal comes with an owner’s manual, leather sheath, and sharpening stone.

Pros

  • Comes with good accessories
  • Handmade and hand sharpened
  • Very versatile

Cons

  • Expensive

Recommendation

The Woodman’s Pal 2.0 is a do-all bladed tool that slices, chops, cuts, prunes, and more. This is an efficient use of space and weight, making it good for carrying a minimal number of tools in the woods. However, you’ll pay for all of that versatility!

 

 

What is a Machete and Why Should You Buy One?

A machete is like a hybrid of an axe, sword, and sickle. It’s a broad-bladed cutting tool that doesn’t fit nicely in the classifications of “sword” or “knife.”

They’re longer than most survival or tactical knives, but unlike swords they are primarily intended for use as a tool.

Machetes are used for agricultural purposes in societies across the globe where power tools are not used. They are also used in some societies with power tools too, because no other tool works as well for clearing brush or chopping sugarcane.

Weed whackers, even with actual blades, don’t always cut it for dense brush! A machete, though, can tear through vegetation by swinging back and forth.

You can use a machete like an axe to delimb a tree and cut through small saplings. You can also use a machete as a slicing instrument.

Some hunters use them to quarter and dress deer.

I’ve mostly used them to clear overgrown paths, though there was one time where I used a machete to open a champagne bottle via the technique called sabrage!

Unlike many tools, such as a good axe, a good machete doesn’t cost very much. You can spend under $20 and get a machete that’s nine-tenths as good as one that costs $80.

Machetes, as mentioned before, are mostly good when you are dealing with dense brush. They can still be used in wide open woods, though, because a good chopper can delimb a tree with more ease than a hatchet.

If you’re in the desert, well, a machete will go through a cactus!

Even if you live in the Arctic and will only use it to dress game, a machete is a versatile and inexpensive tool which should be in your toolbox.

 

How to Choose A High Quali?

machete on log

Machetes can be cheap or expensive, and there are some great cheap ones out there.

That doesn’t mean that all cheap machetes are worthwhile, though.

Bottom-barrel machetes are known for being flimsy, not holding an edge, and having loose handles. All of these characteristics can cause problems if you try to use a machete for real work.

So, it’s important to pick out a good machete. All of the machetes above are “good,” so how are you supposed to choose between them?

 

Blade Styles

machete on table

What are you using the machete for?

You don’t necessarily want to use the same blade for both chopping down saplings and clearing wide swaths of light vegetation.

Where do you live, and what will you be cutting through?

If you will deal with light brush, then a Latin-style brush clearer is a good choice.

However, if you will be using your machete on wood, something like a parang will work better for you.

Let’s look at the blade styles in detail:

Latin

Latin machete

The Latin, or brush, machete blade is the type of blade most people think of when they hear the word “machete.”

The blade stays mostly straight until near the tip, where it curves up. That edge is slightly angled forward from the handle, so the weight is somewhat forward, which helps with momentum.

This lets you swing back and forth with the machete for long periods of time without tiring out. This is important because Latin blades are often used when traveling off the trail or for clearing a wide area of vegetation.

Latin blades are not as good for chopping or when confronted with heavy brush. By heavy brush, I mean woody plants, not large amounts of plants.

Latin machetes are also typically thinner than some other machete styles. Again, this is to make them more effective against large amounts of soft plants.

They are also typically longer than other machete styles, so you can clear out more vegetation with each swing. This makes them even more effective for their intended purpose, but a too-long Latin machete will be heavy and can tire you out quickly.

 

Bolo

bolo machete

A bolo machete is similar to a Latin machete, except it has a wider, bulbous end.

This concentrates more weight in the far part of the blade, countering the fact that bolo machetes tend to be shorter than Latin machetes.

A thicker end with a less-pointy tip is also stronger against forces sideways to the edge. This makes bolo machetes more suitable as tools for non-cutting purposes, such as light digging. I wouldn’t want to dig a trench with a bolo machete, but it can be useful in a pinch.

Bolo machetes are also often used for harvesting crops such as peanuts and rice in Southeast Asian countries.

 

Kukri

Kukri machete

As mentioned before, kukris are the most-known weapon of the Gurkha people.

Kukris are also frequently used throughout Central Asia as an all-purpose utility tool.

The tip is thin and good for poking holes and stabbing. Then there’s a wide midsection that forms a wedge, like an axe, for chopping. Then the blade narrows again for more fine work, letting you use a kukri to carve.

The whole thing curves forward and then back to increase the slicing area by sliding the cut object along the edge, increasing efficiency.

There’s often a notch near the handle that can be used to tie up the kukri with rope, though many machete-style kukris omit both this and the fuller.

Let’s not forget that kukris look cool!

 

Golok

Golok machete

Golok machetes have a curved shape, though it doesn’t follow the same curve as a kukri.

The curve is more like a cutlass or scimitar, a convex curve that increases slicing.

But the machete’s chopping ability is not left behind. The blade broadens the further out you go, so the weight is forward, and there’s enough heft for you to be able to chop through branches.

This makes goloks good for a wide variety of vegetation.

 

Parang

Parang machete

Parangs are like goloks except with a broader blade. This puts the emphasis more on chopping, though this doesn’t remove the parang’s cutting ability.

However, parangs tend to be fairly heavy for their length. This doesn’t diminish their ability to cut down vegetation, but it might weaken your arm sooner than if you were using, say, a Latin machete.

 

Blade Material

machete blade upclose

Machetes are made of steel, typically high-carbon steel, sometimes spring steel.

Machete blades are often springier than knife blades, by design. You want a blade that can deform then return to its original shape when you’re swinging it through vegetation, otherwise your machete would get bent out of shape in the first hour.

In fact, you can make a machete on your own by grinding an edge into automobile springs! This is how a number of expedient machetes are acquired by poorer people.

The most common high-carbon steels you’ll find in machetes are 1075 and 1095. Both are great choices. Some people have deep opinions on which they prefer, but honestly, either one will serve you well.

The higher the number, the more carbon in the steel. This makes the edge harder. It’ll be slightly harder to sharpen, but the edge will stay sharp for a longer period of time.

The downside is that the more carbon in the steel, the more brittle it is. While your machete will likely not hit anything harder than wood, 1095 still has a higher chance of chipping than 1075.

So, do you want a softer, easier-to-sharpen blade, or do you want a harder blade with better edge retention? The former is 1075 while the latter is 1095.

By the way, regardless of which blade material you choose, no machete is intended for use on dense hardwoods such as maple and oak. You need an axe for those.

 

Blade Length

machete length

The effects of your blade’s length are easy to explain.

Longer blades can cut through a wider area at once but are heavier and occupy more room in your pack.

Shorter blades are lighter and easier to store but aren’t as good at cutting through a lot of vegetation at once.

If you’re primarily chopping with your machete, then a short blade is perfectly fine. You’ll also want to save space with survival machetes.

However, if you’re going to be clearing a lot of brush for a long period of time, then you want a longer blade.

There is a point at which the added weight from a longer blade starts to work against you, though. Many people find that going longer than 18 inches long causes them to fatigue faster.

 

Sheath

machete sheath

Some machetes come with a sheath. Others don’t.

If your machete doesn’t come with a sheath, you should buy one or use a PVC pipe to make a sheath. Plans are available online.

Ballistic nylon and Cordura are good sheath materials in which you can store your machete permanently. Leather, however, can cause moisture to condense against the blade if subjected to temperature swings.

Therefore, store your machete outside of a leather sheath when not in use.

 

Top Brands

Condor Tool & Knife

Condor Tool & Knife

Condor Tool & Knife is not to be confused with Condor Outdoor, the military-surplus-turned-clothing-manufacturer that produces tactical gear.

Instead, Condor Tool & Knife is a German company, originally founded as the Gebr Weyesberg Company in Solingen, Germany, in 1787.

They expanded into the machete market in 1964 with Imacasa, based in Santa Ana, El Salvador. This married German engineering with local talent, and they became known for the quality of their tools.

Local investors took control over Imacasa in the 1980s and continued the tradition of producing high-quality machetes.

However, American and European tastes differ from Central American tastes. So, while Imacasa found success selling machetes to much of the world, they didn’t quite manage to tap into the American market.

Until they established Condor Tool & Knife, that is.

Condor Tool & Knife blends Central American utility and know-how with North American technology and aesthetics to create high-quality machetes that are as good to look at as they are to use.

 

Ontario Knife Company

Ontario Knife Company

The Ontario Knife Company is well known to anybody who has experience with blades used by the US military.

Despite their name, Ontario is not a Canadian company. Ontario was founded in Naples, New York, way back in 1889. They are currently located in Franklinville, New York.

Ontario knives are manufactured at that location and are for sale to both civilians and the government.

The M7 and M9 bayonets, USAF survival knife, Navy MK3 MOD 0, and the M1942 machete are all made by Ontario for the US military.

On the civilian side of things, their knives are commonly used by people who live by their blade. Police use them, as do bushcrafters, hunters, and survivalists.

Ontario blades are built to be durable, so you can trust your life to them during emergency and survival situations. Their machetes are no different.

 

Tramontina

TramontinaBrazil is home to much of the world’s rainforests. Not only is it a country where machetes are used as agricultural tools, but it’s also where they are most often used to hack a path through the jungle.

Naturally, some of the best machetes in the world come from Brazil. Tramontina is the most famous of Brazil’s machete manufacturers.

Tramontina is a Brazilian cutlery company in Carlos Barbosa, Rio Grande do Sul. They produce many different types of bladed tools, from pocket knives and scissors to scythes and shears.

They also make plenty of cookware from pots and pans to chef’s knives, but that’s not all.

Tramontina has ten different manufacturing plants, some of which produce plastic furniture and others that produce electrical junction boxes.

That’s quite the varied line-up!

Their machetes, however, are our focus today.

Tramontina exports their machetes all over the globe and also sells them at home. You can even find Tramontina machetes for sale in home improvement stores.

While their machetes have a good reputation, if you buy one and plan on using it immediately, you will be disappointed.

That’s because their machetes are sold mostly finished. The edge has the primary bevel but isn’t sharpened, the handle is blocky, and the blade is left with the ground finish.

This accomplishes two things:

  1. You save money finishing it yourself
  2. You can customize it to your hand more easily

This lets Tramontina sell high-quality blades for cut-rate prices.

 

F.A.Q.

Are machetes legal to own and use?

man holding pale and machete

Machetes, under United States federal law, are considered agricultural tools. They are not classified as weapons unless you use one as such.

This makes them legal in more areas than many knives, though you should always double check your local jurisdiction’s laws.

 

What machete does the military use?

Woodman's Pal LC-14-B
Woodman’s Pal LC-14-B

Since WWII, the US military has used the M1942 machete, also named Machete, Rigid Handle, Steel.

The approved vendor is the Ontario Knife Company. In case you’re curious, it’s NSN is 5110-00-813-1286.

Woodman’s Pal has also been used by the military as the LC-14-B. In fact, modern commercial versions come with a copy of the original military owner’s manual!

 

Can you use machetes for self-defense?

machete for self defense

You can use a machete for self-defense, but I would recommend learning your local laws before you even consider buying one for this purpose.

As a self-defense tool, a machete occupies a halfway point between knives and swords.

You’ll get more reach and more powerful blows with a machete than you’ll get with a knife, but not as much compared to a sword. However, non-decorative swords tend to be much more expensive and are not classified as agricultural tools, so they may not be as legal as a machete to own.

 

How do you properly swing a machete?

hand gripped on machete

There’s an art to using machetes. You don’t just tightly grab the handle and chop back and forth. That’s how you tire yourself out quickly.

Instead, you want to use velocity and momentum to carry the blade through vegetation.

You want to pinch onto the handle with your forefinger, thumb, and middle finger. It’s a loose hold, not a death grip.

Then, when you swing, do so at a 45-degree angle downward. Use your whole arm and, in fact, your whole body. No one part of your body should be where all the force comes from.

Lastly, be very sure that no rocks or bystanders are in the way of your swing! Safety is very important, and it’s on you to make sure you’re using a machete safely.

 

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson learned to walk in the mountains and has spent much of his life exploring the outdoors. He is equally at home in the woods, at the range, or on the gunsmithing bench, and loves to build guns almost as much as he enjoys shooting them. His travels have taken him to the four corners of the United States. Though his favorite hunting spot is in Alaska, Kansas deer taste better.

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