Why the hell do you need a machete?
For an all around, multipurpose, cheap tool for survival after the apocalypse, it is really hard to beat the machete. A machete replaces the need for other tools (like hatchets for example) and is just as good a defensive weapon as it is a survival tool. Machetes are also really light weight for a blade of their size, and a decent machete can be purchased cheap as dirt. For this reason I decided to compile a list of the best 5 machetes and you better get one or two before the SHTF my friend.
There is really no reason someone shouldn’t own a machete if they are serious about post apocalyptic survival. Even on a tight budget, a quality machete is affordable and for the price its hard to think of a more functional piece of gear. On top of their functionality as a tool, they are also a deadly weapon. Just the site of a raised machete can make a would be attacker think twice.
There are a variety of shapes and styles of machetes so I wanted to put together a short guide to survival machetes and rank the top 5 best; along with explain what you should personally take into consideration when choosing a machete.
Beyond the immediate badassness of these incredible blades, their are a variety of useful survival functions that put machetes high up on the list of the best apocalyptic survival gear. It isn’t just about splitting zombie skulls and killing looters, the unpredictability of the looming apocalypse presents a variety of challenges and the machete fits right in to your kit because of its multi-functionality. For example, with a machete you can:
- Chop down trees
- Split logs
- Use it as a makeshift shovel
- Perform many of the functions of a knife
- Replace the need for a hatchet
- Intimidate and strike fear into anyone who is hostile towards you, immediately
- Kick ass
I mean seriously just look at these guys; would you go out of your way fuck with them?
So now that we have established why machetes are great for apocalypse survival, how do you decide which style or machete is right for you? Some people swear by Kukri machetes and others love the feel of the traditional Latin design. A lot of what makes a machete the right choice for an individual is preference and how it “feels”.
When you handle a machete you will know what I mean by the feel. The way the weight is distributed, the shape of the blade, the quality or shape of the handle. The way it feels when you swing it and ultimately when you put it to test on a tree or some other survival task and realize how it performs under survival conditions. A lot of choosing the right machete for you depends on you as an individual, so lets dive into the best 10 machetes for survival and I am sure you will get at least an idea of what to choose.
The following machetes were rated for the following criteria:
- Ability to hold an edge
- Easy maitenance
- Effectiveness for survival tasks
- Effectiveness for self defense purposes
*They are not in order from best to worst, they are all great machetes for various reasons.
Best 10 Machetes for Survival
1. Ka-Bar Kukri Machete – This is one of my all time favorite machetes that I have ever owned. It is not for everyone, but for me when actually working with it in the woods I have fallen in love with it. The shape of the Kukri machete allows you to put more power into your swing with less effort because of its front heavy design and unique shape. Ka Bar is a hell of a brand name and this machete is a little pricier than most of the other machetes on this list, but the quality is incredible and really noticeable in the handle of this blade.
It has an excellent feel in my hand but it is relatively short for a machete so if you want something larger and more intimidating, this is definitely not for you. The smaller size however does make it easier to work with for long periods of time, which out in the woods is a blessing. I would like this machete more if it were cheaper like some of the other blades on this list, but I can honestly say as far as quality goes it is certainly worth every penny and still not super expensive. It is a great way to start off our list of the best 10 machetes for survival.
2. Condor Golok Machete – This is another high quality machete that will run you a little cheaper than the Ka-Bar and it is built like a tank. The unique Golok design really adds chopping power and the feel of the handle is excellent. I wrapped the handle with 550 paracord to make it even better, but out of the box it just feels good already and by machete standards it has been extremely durable.
I have large hands and it fits incredibly well in my hand but I think someone with small hands might have trouble with the handle. This machete is also not a very long machete, even though it appears to be deceivingly long. The chopping power of this blade is incredible and it would easily out chop any hatchet and probably most cheaper axes on any smaller or mid sized tree.
3. Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete – Dollar for dollar this is probably my favorite long machete on the list. It is incredibly cheap, made from very good steel and holds an edge beautifully. I do not understand how Cold Steel could manufacture a machete that is of such quality for such a low price. This is a BIG machete and it looks very intimidating. It has a slight “Kukri” style bend to it and the added weight on the front of the blade gives it formidable chopping power. This blade is a must because of its cheap price.
The only issues with this machete are its handle and how dull it is when it is shipped from the factory. As far as the handle is concerned, you can easily just do a quick wrap job with 550 paracord and make the handle have better grip, be more comfortable and also have access to rope right on the handle of your machete in a survival situation. As far as apocalypse survival is concerned, the intimidation factor of this machete is very high and the actual durability of the blade is incredible, especially for the price. I can fully vouch for this machete because of the quality for the price I believe there is simply not a better deal on a budget.
4.Cold Steel Latin Machete – This machete is awesome if you aren’t a fan of the Kukri design or just want a more traditional feeling machete. Like the Magnum Kukri, this is another high quality, affordable blade available from Cold Steel. This blade has nice size to it and it is thinner and lighter than the Kukri but still strong and durable.
It comes in either an 18 inch or a 24 inch model but if you ask me the 24 inch one is a bit over kill. Just remember when your thinking about getting the biggest most bad ass blade, you want something that you can swing over and over again without getting unnecessarily tired. Is that extra length worth the added weight to you? If it is than by all means, but for most purposes the 18 inch blade is more than sufficient.
5. Condor El Salvador Machete – The El Salvador Machete from Condor is an incredible blade, crafted in the Latin machete style. Condor makes quality products and this is no exception. It is a long blade and extremely well built, but it comes at a price. This is not super expensive by any means but it is the only thing that is a negative strike against this machete in comparison to the others on this list.
The quality of this machete is very high, high enough to make the best machetes list. For a tool that is meant to take a brutal beating daily like a machete, I usually tend two buy more than one machete if I find the quality to be sufficient but the price point of this weapon puts it around double the price of the Cold Steel Magnum Kukri. It is definitely of a much higher quality I just do not feel it is double the quality.
There you have it my top 5 survival machetes. You also should check local surplus stores because occasionally you can find really good used military machetes cheap and if they are lightly used its a great deal. One of the most critical aspects of a machetes performance is the sharpness of its blade.
There is a level of skill involved in sharpening a machete correctly because it is different than knife sharpening. You do not want a razor sharp blade on a chopping weapon like a machete. You want it to be sharp but durable and to keep its edge through many strikes. Doing this with a stone requires creating a convex shaped angle that takes practice but I have found that you can put a decent edge, very quickly on your new machete with the Pocket Pal Knife sharpener.
This is especially true of Kukri machetes which can be a little bit difficult to sharpen for a beginner without the help of a tool like the Pocket Pal. For the Latin machetes you can sharpen them on large rocks you find in the woods or a variety of surfaces and the shape of the blade is much simpler to sharpen.
Whatever you decide to choose, even if it is not listed on my best 5 machetes for survival, getting a quality machete for your survival kit is of paramount importance because of the utility these weapons provide.
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