6 Best Machetes For Survival

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While many bushcraft experts swear by their expensive survival knives or hatchets, a significant number opt for tools that straddle the divide.

Machetes inhabit that space, and for evidence of their popularity, one only needs to look to their proliferation among the native populations of rain forest regions. To them, a $300 knife is probably a little silly.

1. Ontario Military Machete

This classic machete design, at 18 inches long, is produced by Ontario, the same company behind the KA-BAR knife of USMC issue. They’ve been supplying the US military with machetes for over 60 years, so this is pretty much the industry standard.

2. Golok Machete

The Indonesian design of this Condor machete allows greater power while chopping thanks to the modified handle and weighted tip. The blade is only 14 inches long, but it packs far more of a punch than its size attests.

3. Gerber Parang Machete

Endorsed by our old friend Bear Grylls, who also had a hand in the design, the Parang Machete from Gerber is constructed to their usual high standard, blending the features of the Golok, Military and Kukri machetes.

4. KA-BAR 11.5 Inch Kukri Machete

The classic Nepalese kukri design, famously carried by the Gurkhas, makes a wicked-looking machete with impressive chopping power. 11.5 inches of 1095 high carbon blackened steel, with a full tang handle.

5. Gerber 18 Inch Gator Machete

An 18-inch blade with a 15-inch saw on the back edge makes the reasonably priced Gerber Gator a very handy camp tool to have around. The blade is coated with black oxide to prevent corrosion, and features a hand loop on the tactile rubber handle. Comes with a heavy duty nylon sheath.

6. Condor 14 Inch Beaver Tail Machete

For a bit more heft in your swing, this Beaver Tail Machete from renowned blade company Condor has a dramatically widened blade to focus the weight behind the cutting edge. Made from surgical quality stainless steel.

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  • attli

    The Gerber Gator is NOT a good survival tool. It does not have a full tang blade, which is a weak point in the design. I have a Gator Jr. for my hunting pack, as it is the only short machete that has a saw blade spine. Good for a little brush and branch clearing, but I wouldn’t want to have to depend on it in a survival situation. Also, I would have chosen a Collins brand machete, because it is a quality product and one of the classic names for these blade tools.