We reviewed the top 3 machetes and found one surprising secret. Unlike most people, I’m sure you’re looking for the best machete because you want to survive the Zombie apocalypse (or just cut down some stuff when hiking. Either reason is good in my book). The problem here is that while the world is filled with lousy machetes, it also has some REALLY good ones from about half a dozen excellent companies, and it is tough to narrow it down! Our idea of the best machete will surely change through the years (and maybe months), but for now, here’s what we have! Let me know your thoughts and til then, enjoy what we’ve put together!
What makes “The Best” Machete?
These are features that you want in a good machete.
Depending on your task, you might need a heavy machete (for cutting thick branches) or a lighter machete (for carrying on your hip during a long hike). If you don’t know what you are gonna use a machete for, pick a middle of the road weight.
The longer the machete, the more it weights. Also, the longer the machete, the more you can cut with just one swing. In addition to that, the longer the machete, the harder it is to carry it around on your hip (not good for hiking).
This is self-explanatory. You want a nice sharp blade that will remain sharp for years. Pro-Tip: If you’re cheap and won’t be using the machete a lot, just get a cheap machete and buy a cheap sharpener ;). This leads right into…
Different types of metals hold their sharpness differently. Some metals are quite soft and will get dull easily. Other metals are harder to dull but these types usually rust easy.
The machete will come with a sheath (it isn’t safe otherwise) and the sheath should be of high quality. It is as important as the machete itself. You would want something sturdy. If you are going to a humid place, choose a synthetic sheath because it’ll resist moisture better.
Ka-Bar (pronounced K (like the letter ‘K’)-bar(like the place you buy drinks at)) is a classic name in survival knives. The company originally produced combat knives for the military but now has branched out into other cutting tools. This knife has a 11.5-inch blade and weighs 1.7 pounds. We found that this is just the right amount of weight and length to cut items in the woods behind our house with ease. Small branches were sliced in half with just one cut. It also did not become uncomfortable to carry around after an hour.
The handle is the classic Ka-bar grip. It is made of some type of plastic (I don’t know what) but, don’t worry, it won’t slip out of your hands easily. The handle also has a little hole at the end where you can attach some 550 cord to give you a loop to place around your wrist–for those of us who are afraid we’ll accidentally fling the machete across the room. You can also attach a whistle, fire starter, or mirror to the 550 cord.
The knife is very popular on the internet since it is the ninth best selling hunting knife on Amazon. Other Reviewers stated how the blade came razor sharp right out of the box. One even mentioned how he has abused his for years and it is still in great condition. Get the Ka-bar Kukri machete here.
The Condor Vipera is a Joe Flowers design which incorporates visual excellence with functionality. Joe’s knowledge of the outdoors and extensive experience has allowed him to design outdoor tools that are not only functional, but tools that have been finessed and tweaked to bring them to a higher level than most in their class. The Vipera is a typical example.
The Vipera Machete gets its name from the genus Vipera, which includes most old world pit vipers like the Horned Viper. The name may serve it well from a marketing standpoint, but much like its namesake, it really is lethal, effective and visually captivating. With a special texture on the blade, this 19.75″ machete can clear a campsite as easily as it can ward off unwanted predators. The recurve on the 12.81″ blade makes this an excellent slicing knife. The Vipera comes with a full grain welted leather dangler style sheath and is made out of the perfectly chosen (and tried and true) 1075 high carbon steel.
The blade is 12.81″ long with a 6.8″ handle. The blade is almost exactly 3 mm thick and the grind of the blade is convex. The design on the blade continues the viper themed tool’s look by incorporating scales as does the handle. The walnut wood handle and handmade leather sheath round out this high-end package. You can see more details and even buy the Vipera HERE
Gerber is a name that any outdoorsmen knows. Bear Grylls is a former Special Forces member and, now, a TV host. The Bear Grylls machete was designed for survival and weighs almost 2lbs. This is the heaviest knife we tested. It has a 13.5″ blade. The weight and shortness of the knife made the knife a great tool for cutting down chunks of wood. In fact, we were bored and started chopping up some 2×4’s in the backyard with it. The machete can be used as a hatchet if you find the need.
This knife was designed more for camping and survival than hiking. It is great for heavy duty work but I wouldn’t carry it around all day on a long hike–too heavy. If you need a machete for the occasion vegetation clearing and utility work, this knife does both just fine.
The machete also has a really cool handle that grips like Spiderman. It comes with some cord at the end and you can get a fire starter for it if you like. The sheath is so-so in my opinion–nothing special but it gets the job done.
The reviews online stated that this knife is all right. There is also a recall for older models of this knife as of Fall 2012. Guess Gerber screwed something up at the factory because they recalled the Bear Grylls Survival Knife the other year as well. Read more about this machete.
The best Machete is…
Out of our test, what is the best machete? Well, first off, Bear Grylls has been accused of being a fake and, after testing out his machete (as well as knife) I believe them. This dude is just someone riding a wave of hype. Yes, the secret’s out Bear Grylls. You think spending the night in a hotel during your “3-day survival” series won’t spread around?
As for the Condor Vipera, we actually like this one! It looks cool and it’s made from really hard, durable carbon steel. The only glitch with this knife is its price. It’s over $100 and if that fits your budget, I’d go for it! There is nothing we found to be lacking in this beast other than a low price!
And, with all of that being said, I think the KA-BAR kukri machete is the best DEAL. It is heavy enough to chop thick branches as well as light enough to carry around on a trip. The blade lasts forever and it has a really good handle. The brand is also much more trustworthy than Bear Grylls. Remember, I’m not saying this is necessarily the BEST machete in the world for everyone everywhere. I’m saying it’s my idea of the best DEAL out there – that is, what you get for what you pay. If you want the Rolls Royce of the bunch, I’d go for the Vipera.
Don’t believe Bear Grylls is a fake? Have on of these machetes at home? Just bored and want to tell me what you’re listening to? Post it in the comment box below. I personally read all comments =).
Latest posts by Peter Stec (see all)
- Should I Wear Socks with Climbing Shoes? - January 23, 2020
- How Do I Get Started in Rock Climbing? | Our Guide to Get You on the Wall - January 19, 2020
- 22 Climbing Tips I Wish I Knew Sooner! - December 28, 2019