The best survival machetes deserve space in any bag. These invaluable tools can help you tame the elements, build shelter, and protect yourself in a variety of tough situations.
But many people don’t know where to start when picking one out. They all look similar (sharp blade with a handle), so it can be tough to tell the difference.
Fortunately, we’ve done all the hard work for you.
In this guide, you’ll learn about each of the best survival machetes on the market right now. No matter what you’re looking for, there will be something on this list for you!
Table of Contents
Our List Of The Best Survival Machetes
Coming up with this list of the best survival machetes was actually easier than we thought. We did a lot of research and took a lot of recommendations into consideration when coming up with our list to whittle down.
And once we had that massive list as a starting point, we realized we had used the majority of the best ones before.
This made the whole review process a bit easier than normal. There were only a few where we were starting from scratch!
In the end, we feel quite confident that you’ll be satisfied with any of the best survival machetes you see below. Some might appeal to you more than others, but they’re all high-quality.
1. Yoshimi Survival Machete By Condor Tool & Knife
This survival machete by Condor is one of the best that money can buy! The build quality of this tool is exceptional. Every detail, from the blade material down to the handle, is made for enhanced performance.
- High carbon steel blade
- Lightweight at only 2.96 lbs
- Perfect for bushwhacking and self-defense
- Comfortable Micarta handle
Condor utilizes high carbon steel for the blade. This type of steel is tougher than stainless steel. Not only that, but the higher carbon content makes it tougher than most standard carbon steel blades.
It’s very tough and capable of lasting for decades with proper care.
The blade measures over 19 inches long. It’s slender and features a sharpened point for skinning and self-defense. Even still, the shape of the blade is effective for a litany of different tasks.
On the handle, you’ll find Micarta. Micarta is a unique composite material that combines linen, paper, fiberglass, and carbon fiber into one. It doesn’t have any contours. However, the texture of the Micarta can improve your grip regardless.
The survival machete comes with a durable sheath that has several straps for additional security.
- Extremely sharp right out of the box
- Strong high carbon steel blade
- Not a budget buy
2. Tan Full Tang Survival Machete By Kershaw
Weighing in at just over 1 pound, the Kershaw survival machete is great for traveling off the beaten path. Even with the included sheath, this machete is light enough to take anywhere. But that’s not all.
- Durable 65Mn blade steel
- Textured grip designed for heightened safety during rigorous use
- black powdercoat makes maintenance easy
- Sheath made from tan nylon polymer threaded with glass for strength
The blade is surprisingly strong despite how light the tool is. It’s made out of stainless steel and measures about 10 inches long.
The design of the blade is quite versatile. It has a very subtle curve, making it great for dealing with brush and branches. However, it’s also equipped with a sharp point for jobs that need a more delicate touch.
The entire blade is powder-coated in a black powder-coated finish that’s durable and tough. It also helps to keep the steel underneath safe from weathering and oxidation.
The included sheath is just as tough as the blade. It’s made out of nylon polymer and glass. As a result, it’s rigid and durable enough to prevent any accidental knicks.
- Comfortable textured grip
- Lightweight and well-balanced
- Black powder-coated finish protects the blade
- Pulling it out of the sheath can be awkward at times
3. ParaCuda FS Machete with Fire Starter By UST
Need a simple and cost-effective machete? The UST ParaCuda FS machete may be the tool for you.
- 11-inch straight edge blade with aggressive sawback
- Black oxide coating for rust resistance
- Paracord wrapped handle for a secure grip; can be unwound for emergencies
- Includes magnesium fire starte
This blade can do it all. It’s sporting a pointed tip. While this does make it a bit weaker than fully rounded machetes, the main cutting blade does have a curve for better durability.
On the back of the blade, you’ll find sawteeth in two different sizes. One part of the blade will take care of looser woods while the double-tooth portion can help you get a finer cut!
The standout feature of this survival and camping machete is the handle. Instead of a traditional wood or rubber grip, you’re getting one wrapped in paracord. This is a full-tang blade, which provides great balance and control.
The paracord gives you that grippy surface you need to stay in control at all times.
As an added perk, UST includes a magnesium firestarter with this machete. Just strike the firestarter with the machete to build your bonfire!
- Multiple functions
- Well-made sawback
- Only weighs 10 ounces
- Handle without paracord is hard to grip
4. Kukri Machete With Stainless Steel Blade For Survival, Camping, and Bushcraft By Schrade
This Kukri-style heavy-duty machete from Schrade is made for swinging! Whether you’re getting rid of thick vegetation in your path or you need to use your blade to defend yourself from wild predators, this machete has you covered!
- Blade is made of reliable 3cr13 powder coated material
- Anti-slip handle
- Machete features a ferro rod, sharpening stone and a lanyard hole
- Quick and easy access with the convenient polyester sheath
The stainless steel blade is curved and rounded. There is a pointed tip, but both sides of the blade curve to meet it. Delicate contours make this machete very aerodynamic. There are even cutouts to ensure that the blade slices through the air without missing a beat!
To help you swing comfortably and efficiently, Schrade uses an anti-slip grip.
It’s made out of textured plastic. The finish gives you a more tactile response. Meanwhile, the finger contours ensure that you can hold onto this machete tightly as you use it.
The entire machete is about 19.7 inches long. 13.3 inches of that length belongs to the blade. Like the previous machete, this one is powder-coated for a lasting finish.
- Easy to swing
- Comfortable anti-slip handle
- A bit heavier than some of the other options
5. Full-Length Tang Machete w/ Carbide Tip By Luna Tech Industries
Here’s a machete that was engineered with multi-purpose use in mind. Take one look at the blade and you can probably come up with tons of different ways to use it!
- Strong blade designed with a thick, full length tang
- Versatile design for use in camping & survival environments. Can cut, saw, and puncture.
- Slip resistant handle
- Black MOLLE sheath
The steel blade looks like a traditional cutlass. It has a dramatic curve towards the sharp pointed tip. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice a couple of additional features.
The first is two serrated edges. The serrated edges are on the lower half of the blade and on the back-end of the tip. These edges can cut through softwoods like butter!
Covering most of the back is a wood saw edge. The sharp teeth can take care of thick branches. There’s also a carbide tip on the pommel that can puncture glass or create markings on wood.
Finally, there’s the sharpened hook. Located just above the grip, this hook can pierce skin when you’re processing animal meat, open up bottles, and more.
The grip of this machete is impressive, too. It coves a full-length tang. The grip is made out of thermoplastic rubber and features a diamond pattern to prevent slippage.
- Handle is very easy to grip
- Versatile design for survival and camping
- Balance when swinging could be better
6. Australian Army Machete For Survival By Condor Tool & Knife
If you’re on the hunt for a blade that won’t take up a ton of room in your backpack, consider the Australian Army machete from Condor. Once again, Condor has hit it out of the park when it comes to design and build quality.
- 1075 high carbon steel blade
- Overall length: 18.25 inches
- Weight: 1.45 lbs
- Premium walnut handle
The blade of this survival machete is tough and versatile. It’s made out of high carbon steel to provide you with impressive durability. This machete doesn’t have a defined point, but the rounded edge does make the blade more robust.
In total, the machete only measures about 18.25 inches long. It does come with a sheath. The sheath has a combination of materials. This includes nylon, leather, and canvas.
The sheathe is pretty compact, too. It doesn’t increase the footprint of the machete too much, allowing you to toss it into a bag. Thanks to the look strap on the back, you can secure it to the outside of your bag or your belt loop.
- Great length-to-weight ratio
- High-quality walnut handle
- The sheath can snag on items in your bag
7. Parang Survival And Camping Machete By Gerber Gear
This Gerber Gear machete might have an unorthodox shape that you’re not used to. However, this distinct shape is one of the machete’s biggest assets!
- Angled blade, ideal for clearing brush or limbs
- Robust high carbon steel blade, enhances strength, corrosion resistance and easy to sharpen
- Full tang construction boosts durability
- Ergonomic textured rubber grip
The blade is made out of high carbon steel. It offers exceptional hardness while also providing some resistance to corrosion.
Instead of a sleek straight-line design, the blade has a dramatic outward curve. This curve increases the blade’s contact with whatever you’re swinging at. It also makes the machete very aerodynamic.
Ultimately, the distinct shape of the blade makes the machete very easy to swing. You can easily take out vegetation in one strong swing.
To make things even easier, the machete is sporting an ergonomic grip made of rubber. The grip covers a full tang to provide good balance and control.
Fine details and comfortable contours reduce slipping as you swing. Pair that with the included wrist strap and this machete couldn’t be any easier to use.
- Easy to handle and swing
- The textured grip is easy to hold
- Some reports of durability concerns after the one year mark
8. Bolo Blade Survival Machete with Sheath By Sheffield
This bolo machete from Sheffield has a lot to offer survivalists. The bolo design is already versatile enough to serve you well in a survival situation. However, the quality of the blade takes things even further.
- Full tang knife arrives ultra-sharp
- Aggressively scalloped grip is easy to hold even when wet
- 420 stainless steel blade
- Comes with 1680D ballistic nylon combat sheath
Sheffield uses stainless steel to craft the blade. It features dramatic contours throughout. The thinner portion of the blade is perfect for more nuanced tasks like whittling and shaving down wood.
When you need to take care of bigger jobs, the sharpened point and dual-sided edges have you covered. It’s perfect for self-defense and can easily help with things like construction, cutting, or food processing.
The blade is powder-coated for additional protection against the elements.
You can get this machete in a handful of configurations. This particular model is sporting a 10.5-inch blade. However, you can get one as small as 8 inches or as large as 14 inches. Choose whichever one that works best for your needs!
- Dual-sided edges provide great versatility
- Durable stainless steel blade
- Grip comfort varies significantly with hand size
9. Black Gator Machete w/ Nylon Sheath By Gerber Gear
Here’s another great option from Gerber Gear. This machete is all about giving you versatile performance without weighing you down. It’s most impressive feature is its lightweight design.
- High Carbon steel blade
- Gator grip overmold
- Overall Length: 25.7 Inch, Weight: 18 oz
- Riveted nylon sheath included
The entire machete tips the scales at only 18 ounces! Despite the reduced weight, this isn’t a small machete by any means.
Blade and handle combined, it’s about 25.7 inches long.
The blade of this survival machete deserves some special praise. It’s a straight blade made out of high carbon steel for ultimate durability.
On one side, you have a smooth cutting blade that will make quick work of brush and wood. There’s also a fine tip that does a fine job of puncturing animal skin.
On the opposite side of the blade, you’re getting a full wood saw blade. Sharp teeth can help you cut your way through larger tree trunks or thicker branches. Thanks to the Gator Grip handle, you’ll have complete control over the machete no matter how you use it.
- Lightweight despite length
- Sharp sawtooth edge is well-made
- Grip doesn’t provide much for your fingers to grasp
10. Spec Plus Alpha Machete By Ontario
Here’s a unique machete worth considering. At first glance, this model from Ontario doesn’t even look like a machete. It doesn’t have the traditional blade design.
- Injection molded handle and skeletonized tang
- Ergonomic and durable handle
- Strong carbon steel blade
- Compact build
Instead, it has a squared-off blade. Don’t let the unorthodox design fool you! It’s more than capable of getting jobs done efficiently.
The blade is made out of carbon steel for additional strength. It also has an innovative tang. The tang is skeletonized, which means that portions of the inside are cut out. This helps to retain its rigidity without sacrificing weight.
Ontario’s use of a skeletonized tang is what makes this survival machete unique. Without all of that added bulk, the tool feels balanced. It’s relatively lightweight, too, which is a nice touch.
Overall, it has a good weight balance that you can feel. It doesn’t feel off-balance towards the blade or the handle. As a result, you can swing it comfortably without worrying about losing control.
- Balanced and handles quite nicely
- Surprisingly easy to grip handle
- Compact and easy to store in your bag
- Awkward sheath design
What Is A Survival Machete?
Survival machetes are truly one of the most versatile tools you can have in your bag. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trekking through the rough wilderness, working in the backyard, or in a SHTF scenario. Having a trusty machete nearby will keep you safe.
An experienced survivalist with one of these can last for quite a while out in the wilderness. These tools are extremely versatile.
For this reason, machetes have been around for centuries and play a pivotal role in cultures all over the world. You might see them go by several different names. Survival machetes come in a bevy of shapes and designs too (we’ll get into those later).
Regardless of the shape, most survival machetes fit under an over-arching descriptor.
These high-impact tools have a broad blade that usually measures somewhere between 12.8 to 17.7 inches long (design dependant of course). Machetes can be longer than that range, but that’s a good general guideline that most manufacturers use.
While the design is simple, everything has a purpose.
On one end, they feature a versatile grip. A durable handle allows you to hold the blade to meet your needs. Swing it down like an ax to chop down a tree or swing it horizontally for self-defense. Either way, a survival machete can do a lot of damage!
Think of it as a cross between a cutlass, an ax, and a massive knife.
As we hinted at earlier, these aren’t single-purpose tools. Survival machetes can handle a wide range of jobs. It replaces several tools and provides you with multi-purpose functionality in any environment.
Keep in mind that designs can vary dramatically. Different types of survival machetes are going to be better suited for some tasks than others.
That said, most are more than capable of doing the following:
- Clearing land
- Chopping, whittling, and splitting wood to make shelter
- Stripping bark
- Cutting through brush and grass
- Pruning plants and trees
- Harvesting crops
- Opening bottles or cans
- Cracking nuts or hard fruits open
- Scaling and filleting fish
- Skinning large game
- Butchering animal meat
- Notching wood
- Providing self-defense
As long as you get one of the best survival machetes from our list, you’ll be able to cover all these bases with ease.
What To Consider When Picking Your Favorite
Don’t let the multi-purpose nature of survival machete’s fool you. These are complex tools that deserve your careful consideration!
With a top-notch machete, you can leave a lot of your other tools at home and still have the protection you need. Below are some things to consider while you’re choosing the right machete for your needs.
The Type Of Blade Shape & Design
All survival machetes have a broad blade with some considerable length. However, specific shapes and sizes can help make the machete more effective more certain jobs.
There are three main factors that change with style:
The first is the curve of the blade. Curves help to increase the contact area of the machete. This can benefit you when cutting down thick brush on a trail or when you need to make wider slashes.
Some designs have a dramatic curve, making them more effective for getting through vegetation. Others have no curve at all! Those are best for thrusting.
The next design element to consider is the tip. The sharpness of the tip is where you must make a tradeoff. A sharp, pointed tip is perfect for self-defense thrusts or whenever you need to pierce the skin of game animals.
However, that pointed design will make the blade weaker overall. Survival machetes with a sharp point will not hold up well to excessive chopping. In those cases, rounded blades are best.
Finally, you must consider the thickness of the blade. The thickness of the blade directly affects its weight, which we’ll get into later. However, it can also impact its effectiveness on tougher materials.
Thicker blades are ideal if you want to cut down thicker branches. But, they’ll also drain your stamina!
Still not sure which type of survival machete is right for you? Here are some of the most popular designs available.
Here’s a good universal machete that can do it all. The blade has a rounded shape and a subtle tip. The tip isn’t super sharp, but it can still work well for skinning. Meanwhile, the thinness makes it an excellent choice for clearing vegetation.
If hunting is your main game, Bowie machetes are a good choice. They feature a sharp point for taking care of game. These are a bit weaker. As a result, they don’t perform well when chopping wood.
Also known as a Latin machete, Bush machetes are long and thin. They’re relatively lightweight and serve adventurers well. Bush survival machetes can perform a range of tasks, but the thin design of the blade doesn’t make it the best choice for harder jobs.
Kukri machetes have a distinct shape. They’re heavier than most other designs, but they’re still very versatile. On the end of the blade, there’s a sharp tip for puncturing animal skin.
Meanwhile, the center of the blade has a dramatic curve that makes clearing out land a breeze. Finally, there’s a sharp section near the handle to take care of more intricate jobs.
This machete design is fierce. It has a subtle curve that points upward to a nice point. Both sides of the blade can be sharpened, allowing you to attack your target from all directions.
Panga blades are bet for self-defense. However, they can take care of plants and chopping, too.
Golok, as well as Parang, machetes are built for surviving in the wild. The blade is narrower than other designs. However, it’s also quite thick. The design closely resembles that of a sword.
The blade has a subtle curve, making it an effective choice for cutting through plants.
Most survival machetes are made of steel. But, the quality of the steel is not always the same across the board.
For the most durability possible, choose a machete with carbon steel. This steel has a carbon content between 0.05 and 2.1 percent by weight. It’s ultra-strong and tempered to have a decent amount of flex.
The only downside is that it’s not resistant to rust. Carbon steel blades require a bit more maintenance to keep oxidation under control
For weather protection, you’ll need stainless steel. Stainless steel blades have additives to keep them rust-free. But, they’re more brittle compared to carbon steel and may break down over time with excessive use.
The last thing you want is your hand hurting while you’re working. Pay close attention to the handle material and design.
Wooden handles are pretty common. However, the sleek finish doesn’t do much in terms of comfort.
Rubber grips address this issue. Most are molded to provide an ergonomic shape. However, the material can wear out quickly if you’re not careful!
Survival machetes should be light enough to carry around when you’re hiking, but robust enough to do some damage.
Heavier machetes can handle tougher jobs. The added weight will give you more force with every swing. The caveat is that they can be more cumbersome to use.
The more you swing, the tiring it will be! Plus, carrying around a weighty machete isn’t always the most practical.
A lighter machete can serve you well in more primitive situations. When you have to travel or hike, the decreased weight won’t weigh you down as much.
Survival machetes can put up with a lot of wear and tear. That said, they’re not indestructible.
Durability levels are crucial when you’re in a survival situation. It can mean the difference between getting to safety and experience injury.
Several factors contribute to a machete’s overall durability. These include blade thickness, the quality of materials used, and the core design.
Generally, thin and lightweight machetes aren’t going to last as long as heavier ones.
If you can get additional features to replace dedicated tools, why not do so to lighten your load a bit?
Some survival machetes feature a steel pommel and a sawtooth blade.
The saw blade is usually located on the back on of the blade. It isn’t going to be as sharp or as capable as a standalone saw. But, it can certainly make quick work out of thin branches.
The steel pommel will be on the bottom of the handle. It acts as the end cap. You can use this as a hammer to drive nails or crush nuts. In a combat situation, it’ll also serve as another line of defense.
Sheathes are a must-have. Survival machetes are sharp and can easily injure you as they swing on your belt. With just one slip, your machete can turn into a huge safety hazard.
Custom-fitted sheathes will keep you safe while also maintaining the quality of the blade. A leather or nylon sheath is best. Other materials are available, but leather and nylon offer the most protection.
It’s best to go with a machete that already has a sheath included. That way, you will know that the sheath fits perfectly.
Choose a model with some straps to keep the machete in place. You can also find sheathes with straps to keep the blade on your belt or INCH bag at all times.
Each of the best survival machetes have a number of use cases and benefits they provide. It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in the wilderness, camping, hiking, or practicing bushcraft, having one of these in your bag will go a long way.
We hope you enjoyed our recommendations and give one a shot!