Best Machetes Reviewed and Tested

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 Military – Ontario Knife Co.
Test Winner: Military – Ontario Knife Co.
Amazon Link
There is no shortage in choice for machetes. It’s an odd kind of market, as the majority of consumers interested in a machete are focused on looks than quality. That’s a pity because the machete has a long and varied history as a vital piece of equipment. With that in mind, there are still many good options for reliable, hard-working tools that you can trust to get the job done; and a little searching soon turns them up. There are several included in this list. And of course, for those that want an imposing-looking model – either for strapping to the belt or for self-defense; there are a few of those options below, also.

Standout Picks

 Military – Ontario Knife Co.
Let’s be honest – the majority of consumers interested in machetes are posers. This interest in gimmicks quickly floods the market with cool-looking, poor quality products. Not so with Ontario Knife Co. – the only product made in America on the list.
Amazon Link
$34.40
 Parang – Condor Tools and Knife
Condor Tools and Knife went all out in the construction of their Parang. It’s an attractive piece of equipment and well-made. This blade design is for heavy-duty work and is made to be a well-balanced chopper.
Amazon Link
$84.96
Golok – Condor Tools and Knife
Here’s another top contender from Condor Tools and Knife. This is the smaller brother of the Parang and has a similar, but more robust, blade. Condor’s good looks and quality stand out and it’s a nifty worker.
Amazon Link
$85.91
Fiskars 29 Inch
When it comes to purchasing a machete finding something different is not that easy. Most machetes look the same and pretty much do the same thing. However, when you find something unique you want to embrace it. That is where the 29-inch Fiskars machete comes into play. Its distinctive shape makes a huge difference in how well the machete can perform. If you want something unique yet effective this is the way to go.
Amazon Link
$56.89
SOG F03TN-CP
If you are looking for a smaller machete that gets the job done effectively, this is the one for you. SOG does an excellent job of bringing their customers a smaller machete with all the force of a large one. Measuring at 15.3 inches this machete was designed to fit comfortably anywhere you need it, without compromising the features that you are getting.
Amazon Link
$47.78
Kukri – Ka-Bar
The Ka-Bar Kukri is another popular choice for a shorter machete. It offers plenty of weight to chop; and the blade design gives versatility through the pointed tip, broad cutting section and finer section near the hilt for whittling/shaving.
Amazon Link
$73.00
Schrade SCHKM1
The Schrade SCHKM1 is an attractive machete that keeps things simple. It offers good design.
Amazon Link
$52.97
 Kershaw
The Kershaw 10” machete fits into the dual category of machete/knife. This blade won’t get in the way. The Kershaw 10” machete is a short blade ‘crossover’ between knife and machete. It’s a good choice for light work and odd-jobs around camp, but don’t choose it for heavy-duty clearing.
Amazon Link
$29.74
 Gator - Gerber
The Gerber Gator is the budget-minded option for those after a solid machete. This comes at the cost of some features, but never-the-less you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.
Amazon Link
18” SOGFari MC02N - SOG
The SOGFari offers another budget, long-bladed machete. It also features a serrated saw edge on the spine of the blade.
Amazon Link
$35.45

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Brand

Where a knife is made tells the buyer a lot about what to expect from it. Most machetes are produced in China – which is fine – but the steels commonly used are of variable quality. That’s why the number one on the list is a knife made in the U.S.A – you just know what to expect from steel produced there.

Model

The type of steel used in manufacture is important for all knives – and machetes are no different. They have certain requirements from the steel used for the blade if they are to perform adequately. Steels of increased hardness – generally those with a high percentage of carbon – are a must for any machete to stand up to regular use.

Accuracy

The tang of a machete is the extension of the blade fitting into the handle. For a tool that experienced a great deal of shock and jarring blows, a full tang that extends through the entire length of the handle is best, as there is an extremely low chance of failure. Blades that don’t have a full tang are liable to break free of the handle, rendering the machete useless.

Versatility

It’s important to cover the range of blade lengths in order to provide useful choices for varied applications. Long blades, up to 18”, are bordering on swords and are restricted to heavy-duty chopping and brush-clearing. Indeed, they are perfectly suited to this task. However, many machete users are looking for a more versatile brush-cutter and wood-chopper – and for this task short blades are best. These machetes with a blade length of 10 to 15 inches make accurate and fast chopping – a far safer option for work completed close to the body or in a crowded camp site.

Value

You get what you pay for, always. The important considerations for machetes in steel quality – this is the most regulating factor in machete performance. Spending money on quality steel will ensure that you get a tool designed to work and last well into the future.

10 Best Machetes

1. Military – Ontario Knife Co.

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$34.40
 Military – Ontario Knife Co.
Amazon Link

Let’s be honest – the majority of consumers interested in machetes are posers. This interest in gimmicks quickly floods the market with cool-looking, poor quality products. Not so with Ontario Knife Co. – the only product made in America on the list.

A Tool, Not a Toy
Ontario Knife Co. has manufactured the 18” military machete to U.S.A government specifications for over 70 years – and this machete is made to do work. There are no flashy looks or trendy handle construction; just high-quality steel and craftsmanship built into every one.

Construction
Made with a thicker blade for you to chop your way through the woods. You can clear the way for you and your friends to enjoy a hike through the woods.

Cost and Value
This is an extremely affordable machete and considering the quality, the best value option on the list. The 18” military machete by Ontario Knife Co. gives the user everything they’d expect from a machete. Ruggedness and reliability are what it’s all about. It’s a pity a sheath isn’t included.

Amazon Link
$34.40

2. Parang – Condor Tools and Knife

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$84.96
 Parang – Condor Tools and Knife
Amazon Link

Condor Tools and Knife went all out in the construction of their Parang. It’s an attractive piece of equipment and well-made. This blade design is for heavy-duty work and is made to be a well-balanced chopper.

For an Elegant Blade
Condor put effort into the construction of their machetes. The Parang features a slim-line and sweeping curved blade; putting the weight towards the end for good chopping power. The long blade gives the user plenty of reach.

The Handle
Comfort in the way you grip the handle is a must when thinking in terms of control. This handle provides exactly that. Made from wood there are also pads that can be replaced for those looking for a long term option.

Cost andValue
The Condor Parang is expensive for a tool intended for the toughest work. That being said – the quality of the product up its value and this would be a good choice for serious expedition work.
This is a well-made machete with a versatile design. Not intended for light-duty brush trimming; choose this blade for heavy chopping work where reach is required.

Amazon Link
$84.96

3. Golok – Condor Tools and Knife

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$85.91
Golok – Condor Tools and Knife
Amazon Link

Here’s another top contender from Condor Tools and Knife. This is the smaller brother of the Parang and has a similar, but more robust, blade. Condor’s good looks and quality stand out and it’s a nifty worker.

Short and Choppy
The Golok is shorter than the Parang, with the blade coming in at 14”. This gives a blade that’s a little easier to control while retaining the weight and strength in its steel.

The Tang
This option comes as a full tang design. Which means that the tang will run the length of the handle as well. This provides an added measure of durability that could be a deciding factor for some.

Cost and Value
This is the most expensive machete in this list. Don’t let that turn you off though, as this is a likely result of popularity and demand. Great value for a machete that’ll go the distance and always be reliable. The Condor Golok is a good all-rounder machete. Its cost may be the deciding factor, but it’s a good investment.

Amazon Link
$85.91

4. Fiskars 29 Inch

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$56.89
Fiskars 29 Inch
Amazon Link

When it comes to purchasing a machete finding something different is not that easy. Most machetes look the same and pretty much do the same thing. However, when you find something unique you want to embrace it. That is where the 29-inch Fiskars machete comes into play. Its distinctive shape makes a huge difference in how well the machete can perform. If you want something unique yet effective this is the way to go.

Sharp Blade
One of the most important aspects of a machete is the sharpness of the blade. You want to purchase a machete that is sharp enough to get the job done yet doesn’t get in the way of you cutting smaller items along the way. The knife comes with an ultra-sharp blade that gets the job done but is soft enough to cut softer shrubs and bushes. Furthermore, it comes with a rust-resistant, low friction coating that helps cut tough material without sticking.

One-handed Use
To help you get the most while cutting things down, this is a one-hand use machete. What this means is you can pick up leaves, pile items or both with one hand while cutting items with the other. Doing so gives you the ability to multitask when you are short on time or simply want to get things done quickly and effectively.

Cost and Value
When it comes to the cost and value of this item you are getting a bargain. Not only is the machete made out of quality material, but you have a rust-resistant blade and you get a sheath to keep it protected. Having these features makes your buy a great one.

Amazon Link
$56.89

5. SOG F03TN-CP

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$47.78
SOG F03TN-CP
Amazon Link

If you are looking for a smaller machete that gets the job done effectively, this is the one for you. SOG does an excellent job of bringing their customers a smaller machete with all the force of a large one. Measuring at 15.3 inches this machete was designed to fit comfortably anywhere you need it, without compromising the features that you are getting.

Multipurpose
Though most knives can be used for a multitude of things, this one works well for an abundance of reasons, this is mainly due to its size. With this knife, you have the option of using it to go hunting, cutting everyday items, or even on military-grade elements that need a heavy-duty knife that gets the job done. This is mainly due to how thick the actual knife is.

Built to Last
Thanks to the high-quality materials, the stainless-steel knife, the solid handle and how efficient it is, it was truly built to last. Having a machete, you can count on is always important. That is what you are getting when you purchase this machete. You get quality on top of security knowing this knife will have your back in all circumstances.

Cost and Value
This might be unexpected, but this machete is cost-effective. The price point is exceptional when compared to what you are getting. Not only are you getting a smaller machete with all the bells and whistle of a large one, but you are also getting a sheath to keep you protected. The idea is to have one item that gets the job done without the need for additional tools.

Amazon Link
$47.78

6. Kukri – Ka-Bar

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$73.00
Kukri – Ka-Bar
Amazon Link

The Ka-Bar Kukri is another popular choice for a shorter machete. It offers plenty of weight to chop; and the blade design gives versatility through the pointed tip, broad cutting section and finer section near the hilt for whittling/shaving.

Short and Stocky
The Kukri offers plenty of punch, weighing in at 1.7 lb in a blade only 11.5” long. This machete is well suited to a variety of tasks.

Protecting the Blade
Keeping the blade in good condition is part of owning one of these tools. One might think that only applies to cleaning and sharpening the blade but overlook storing the tool. This one comes with a sheath, which will prevent damage that can occur while storing the blade.

Cost and Value
The Ka-Bar Kukri is on the expensive end for what it is. There are better value machetes out there, but the price comes with the name. It fits into the shorter machete niche and is relatively well regarded. It fits into the shorter machete niche and is relatively well regarded. It’s a good worker.

Amazon Link
$73.00

7. Schrade SCHKM1

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$52.97
Schrade SCHKM1
Amazon Link

The Schrade SCHKM1 is an attractive machete that keeps things simple. It offers good design.

Shoulder it
The Schrade offers a shoulder-belt sheath – which is a good idea for keeping the machete out of the way when wandering around in the brush. It also comes with a sharpener and Ferro-rod fire starter for the survivalist.

Maintaining the Blade
You can believe that even with a product like this, over time the blade can become knicked and dull. Choosing the right tools to sharpen the blade can be a pain. Luckily for some this one comes complete with what you need.

Cost and Value
It is quite affordable and offers reasonable value for money in the shorter end of machetes. This is a decent machete for the price and looks the part. The shoulder sheath and included sharpener and Ferro-rod fire starter sweeten the deal.

Amazon Link
$52.97

8. Kershaw

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$29.74
 Kershaw
Amazon Link

The Kershaw 10” machete fits into the dual category of machete/knife. This blade won’t get in the way. The Kershaw 10” machete is a short blade ‘crossover’ between knife and machete. It’s a good choice for light work and odd-jobs around camp, but don’t choose it for heavy-duty clearing.

Mix and Match
The Kershaw fills the gap between pocket knife and machete because of its size. Keep it sharp and it’ll perform a variety of cutting tasks or try putting it to work chopping and trimming.

Lightweight
Not all of these need to have a ton of weight to get the job done. Sometimes you want something a little on the lighter side for traveling through the wilderness. Here is a selection that provides you with the same working aspects but just in a lighter version.

Cost and Value
This is another mid-range machete. The Kershaw is appreciated for its ergonomic design but value-for-money is mid-range too.

Amazon Link
$29.74

9. Gator - Gerber

Where to buy
Amazon Link
 Gator - Gerber
Amazon Link

The Gerber Gator is the budget-minded option for those after a solid machete. This comes at the cost of some features, but never-the-less you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.

A Light Blade for Light Work
The Gator weighs in at 1.1 lb which is the lightest knife on the list. This makes it great for those who can’t swing all day. It also makes it effective for light work, and the thinner blade is effective in this regard.

Simple
Not everyone is looking for bells and whistles, this option is definitely for those people. For those who seek functionality over looks, the simplistic design of this one will fit the bill.

Cost and Value
The value of this machete comes through low cost. For a light-duty, knock-around knife you can’t really go wrong. While it may not have the bells and whistles of some of the other contenders, the Gerber Gator offers enough utility and value to make the top ten list.

Amazon Link

10. SOGFari MC02N - SOG

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$35.45
18” SOGFari MC02N - SOG
Amazon Link

The SOGFari offers another budget, long-bladed machete. It also features a serrated saw edge on the spine of the blade.

A Budget Package
Offering a long blade for added reach, and with a straight blade design for simplicity, the SOG is another budget choice for the prospective buyer.

Features and Specifications
As an added bonus this one comes with a feature that allows you to take down some thicker brush or branches more efficiently. On one edge of the blade is a serrated area. This will act as a saw when you need to get those thicker branches cleared out.

Cost and Value
SOG definitely has its followers, and for those wanting a machete that looks the part, this might be the choice. If you’re after a hard-working tool, however, you’d be better choosing another machete from the list.

Amazon Link
$35.45

Sources

  1. Editing Team, Extreme Survival,
  2. Editing Team, Knife Anatomy 101,
  3. Editing Team, Machetes Buying Guide,