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When you’re out in the wild – regardless of whether you’re camping, hunting or hiking – a survival machete is a crucial piece of equipment. Machetes have been the favored tools of bushcrafters since the very beginning. They’re a super versatile wilderness tool that are most commonly thought of as a tool to cut paths through thick brush and bush, but they can do so much more than that. From heavy duty work like splitting or cutting logs, to fine detailed work like carving wood, a good survival machete can do it all. It’s truly the jack-of-all-trades of the wilderness survival toolkit. In a pinch, they can also be used as weapons (there’s a reason why kukri machetes and their wielders, the Gurkhas, have become so widely known across the world).
A survival machete is essentially a medium length bladed tool that has some heft to it. In terms of weight and utility, a machete falls somewhere in between a survival hatchet and a bushcraft knife. Obviously a machete isn’t going to be ideal for chopping wood, nor will it be as good as a survival knife for cutting or slicing, but a good machete will cover most of the tasks of both an axe and a knife adequately.
In other words, the reason why we love survival machetes is because they’re among the most adaptable and flexible survival tools you’ll find. As we all know, to survive in the wilderness, you’ve got to be able to adapt and problem solve, which is why we think that a good survival machete is an absolutely essential piece of survival gear to have in your wilderness kit.
There are a few different styles of machete as well as some different options for what kind of steel they use. The aforementioned kukri machetes are famous round the world because they’re wielded by the highly respected Gurkhas. There’s the parang, which has an angled blade. There’s the Bolo machete, which comes from the jungle regions of Asia and features a blade that curves and widens. On top of those, there are a few other kinds of knife shapes and styles that you’ll encounter in this list and beyond. The truth is, unless you’re planning to do extremely specialized work, all these styles of survival machete will serve you more or less equally well – it’s really up to you to choose the shape that you think looks and feels the best in your hand.
As for the material of the blade, there’s basically stainless steel and carbon steel. Stainless steel doesn’t rust or corrode, whereas carbon steel can. Carbon steel is also more brittle, and overall needs more care and attention than stainless steel. On the other hand, carbon steel tends retain a sharp edge for longer, and is easier to sharpen. You’ll need to balance the advantages and disadvantages of a stainless steel machete versus a carbon steel machete and come to your own conclusion about which you prefer.
The 7 Best Survival Machetes for Wilderness Bushcraft
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Survival Machete For Your Excursions
When you’re looking to buying a survival machete, consider all your needs and what you will be using it for. You should also consider the terrain in which you will be using it the most and what kind of vegetation you will need to clear. Also think about what style you look best – while there are minor advantages and disadvantages to both the type of steel and the shape/style of the machete itself, the differences are ultimately relatively minor, so those factors are really down to personal preference.
Any of the machetes on this list will serve you well, but some will be better suited for you than others. We hope these reviews have helped to clarify which of these machetes will best meet your needs.