Meet the Machete
By Desiree Weeks
When it comes to prepping for your next outdoor excursion, you’re going to want to make sure you have an effective tool for the trek. If you know you’ll be facing potentially overgrown trails and needing to secure your own resources from the available vegetation, a machete may just be the right choice for you.
Machetes are versatile fixed blade weapons that serve as both a knife and an axe.
Throughout history, the machete has found use both as a reliable agricultural tool and a fierce weapon of war. Depending on what culture created it, the machete may look different, but at its core it is traditionally a fixed blade weapon with a 12-to-18-inch blade.
Machetes can serve many purposes, including clearing overgrown paths, cutting crops, chopping kindling, and even self-defense.
When selecting what type of machete will work best for you, it’s important to examine what type of task you’ll be tackling with your new tool.
There are several different blade styles when it comes to machetes that are typically made of either stainless steel or high carbon steel.
Both stainless steel and high carbon steel are susceptible to rust but the chromium in stainless steel makes it more rust-resistant than other steel types. On the flip side, high carbon steel is more wear resistant than stainless steel.
When it comes to blade style, the more weight-forward designs, such as the parang and bolo machetes, provide extra swinging power for cutting wood or thicker crops. These styles ensure the machete won’t become stuck when chopping through thicker materials. Machetes with hooks, like the cane machete, are best for crops like corn stalks and sugar cane, allowing the wielder to pull chopped crops while they’re still upright. Long, straight designs like the bush machete are portable and can easily clear away brush and cut through even the densest of vegetation.
Here are just a few machete options that are sure to be up to whatever task you need.
USMC Desert Ops Sawback Machete
Officially licensed by the USMC, this sawback machete is a sturdy build with “Honor, Courage, Commitment" printed down the length of the non-reflective blade. The serrations down the spine of the blade provides additional cutting power while the ridged ABS handle allows for exceptional grip even in the most extreme conditions.
Hibben Master Bushcraft Machete
If you’re planning a wilderness adventure, be sure to take this reliable Hibben Master Bushcraft Machete with you. It’s ideal for all tasks related to survival, including chopping necessary materials for both fires and shelter and clearing away brush. The cutlass style blade is made from 1075 carbon steel and has a rough-forged surface finish. It’s also easy to stay in control of the blade with finger grooves on the walnut hardwood handle.
The Raptor Machete has a more straightforward blade that is made of stainless steel, making it more resistant to corrosion. Matching the blade are the stainless steel bands on the black pakkwood handle and curved handguard that adds a level of protection and control.
Colombian Raptor Machete
What sets the Colombian Raptor Machete apart is the inclusion of a gut hook on the sawback 3Cr13 stainless steel blade, giving it even more outdoor ability. It also features an ergonomic ABS handle that is incredibly durable while also providing a secure grip.
Bushmaster Kukri Machete
A modern take on the traditional kukri design is the Bushmaster Kukri Machete. The kukri blade has an inward curvature that tapers to a sharp point. This weight-forward design allows for more swinging momentum with less physical effort, making it ideal for slashing through brush. The sawback serrations on this modern machete give additional cutting power. Working in rain or other inclement conditions is made easier with this machete’s tough TPU handle with rubberized grip.