Cutting Through: 10 Best Survival Machetes for 2017

Introduction

Are you looking for tools that can be used every day as well as when the SHTF? Over the years, I have also conducted a lot of research and have had the opportunity to test out both newer and older tools that are supposed to offer one advantage or another.

From hurricanes and tornadoes to taking care of my yard, I have found that a machete offers more than most tools. Based on my experience with the following models, I can safely say that every prepper and off gridder should consider keeping one or more of these models on hand.

Top 10 Machetes and Their Best Uses

Here is a comparison chart of our top 10 machetes so you can choose the right one for you:

NameRatingBlade SizeOverall SizeWeightSteel Type

Ka-bar 1249-9 Kukri1. Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

4.7 Star Rating11.5 inches17 inches1.3 lbs1085 Carbon

Kershaw Machete2. Kershaw Machete 

4.6 Star Rating18 inches24 inches2.87 lbs65Mn

Ontario SP83. Ontario SP8

4.6 Star Rating10 inches15 inches1.425 lbs1095 Carbon Steel

Pro Tool Industries 481 Woodman's Pal Series4. Pro Tool Industries 481

4.6 Star Rating16.5 inches22.5 inches1.44 lbsRockwell C47

Windlass Steelcrafts WW2 Square Tip Machete5. Windlass Steelcrafts WW2 Machete

4.3 Star Rating12 inches17.5 inches1.5 lbs65Mn carbon steel

Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete6. Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete

4.5 Star Rating13.5 inches19.5 inches1.21 lbsCarbon Steel

Ka-Bar Cutlass Machete7. Ka-Bar Black Cutlass Machete

4.5 Star Rating11 inches16.5 inches1.12 lbs1085 Carbon Steel

Ontario 6420 Kukri8. Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife

4.5 Star Rating12 inches17 inches1.13 lbs1095 Carbon Steel

Gerber Gator Jr9. Gerber Gator Machete JR

4.3 Star Rating10.75 inches18.75 inches1.13 lbsHigh Carbon Steel

Windlass Steelcrafts 1909 US Issue Bolo10. Windlass Steelcrafts 1909 US Issue Bolo

3.5 Star Rating14 inches19.5 inches1.5 lbsCarbon Steel

1. Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

Ka-bar 1249-9 KukriThis is a black Kukri-style carbon steel blade machete. The blade measures 11-1/2 inches and weighs 1.7 pounds. It is excellent for chopping weeds, clearing campsites, and any other medium-scale clearing job. It also acts as a dependable self-defense weapon if the need arises.

The only thing that we feel it needs to be changed is its edge retention. It does not hold its edge very well and needs to be sharpened often. Other than this, there are no complaints and we believe that this is one of the top machetes that preppers and other can own.

Pros Cons
(+) Excellent trail machete (-) A little too small for some users
(+) Drilled handle for small slip rope to prevent it from flying out of the user’s hand (-) The edge does not hold well
(+) Tough and durable
Features Details
Rating: 4.7 Stars
Blade: 11.5 inches
Overall: 17 inches
Weight: 1.3 pounds
Steel type: 1085 Carbon

 2. Kershaw Machete-black

Kershaw MacheteA 2 lb 14 Oz, 24-inch black carbon steel, powder-coated machete with a full tang, rubber over mold handle and 18-inch blade. This is a great machete for chopping and clearing brush. It can be used as a self-defense weapon.

The only thing that we think needs to be changed in the Kershaw Machete is the weight. It is a little too heavy to use practically in a real jungle. Also, the sheath needs a little improvement. Other than this, we have no problem recommending this product to anyone looking for a quality machete they can carry with them when they are in the outdoors.

Pros Cons
(+) Easy to maintain (-) A little too heavy to carry around
(+) Excellent length for chopping through medium-sized brush (-) Sheath is not as strong and durable as it appears to be
(+) Versatile tool, especially for the price
Features Details
Rating: 4.6 Stars
Blade: 18 inches
Overall: 24 inches
Weight: 2.87 pounds
Steel type: 65Mn

3. Ontario SP-8

Ontario SP8Ontario SP-8 is a black powder coated, 15.2-inch long, 1095 carbon steel machete with a full tang and 1/4-inch thick, 10-inch long blade. The handle is made of black Kraton. This is one of the better compact machetes I have used. It fits the hand nicely, and the blade is thick enough to chop with. It also has a durable small saw that cuts well. It also makes for a fabulous weapon.

If there was one thing that we would like to change, it would be the Ontario SP-8’s weight. We believe that it is too heavy for backpacking trips. If it were a tad bit lighter, it would be the perfect machete for camping trips and one of the best survival tools.

Pros Cons
(+) Sturdy and versatile (-) Too heavy
(+) Sharp blade (-) Slightly too thick for some chopping jobs
(+) Noteworthy quality
Features Details
Rating: 4.6 Stars
Blade: 10 inches
Overall: 15 inches
Weight: 1.425 pounds
Steel type: 1095 Carbon Steel

4. Pro tool Industries 481 Woodman’s Pal Series

Pro Tool Industries 481 Woodman's Pal SeriesA 16.5-inch black high carbon steel machete with a full tang, 6-inch hardwood hand grip, and a 10.5-inch blade. The blade is 1/8-inch thick, and hardened to Rockwell C47, which imparts strength to the machete for cutting without easily losing its edge. This machete is ideal for cutting branches up to 1 inch to 3 inches in diameter. The sickle hook is very useful for cutting briers, vines, and removing unwanted sprouts at the ground level. As is the case with other machetes, it also makes for a good weapon.

We find that wooden handle becomes a little shaky after using for clearing heavy brush because the brass rivets get loose. That is why we believe that the handle should be sturdier. Otherwise, our opinion is that Pro tool Industries 481 Woodman’s Pal Series is a superior machete and we recommend it to anyone seeking a stellar machete.

Pros Cons
(+) Versatile but works best as a chopping tool (-) Flimsy handle
(+) Great for heavy-duty applications (-) Too heavy for camping or hiking trips
(+) Tough, strong, and durable
Features Details
Rating: 4.6 Stars
Blade: 16.5 inches
Overall: 22.5 inches
Weight: 1.44 pounds
Steel type: Rockwell C47

5. Windlass Steelcrafts #420001 WW2 Square Tip Machete

Windlass Steelcrafts WW2 Square Tip MacheteThis is a 17-inch, 1.5 lb high-carbon-steel blade machete with a 12-inch long, 1/4-inch thick blade and a full tang. This model is good for cutting brush, cane, and for managing rescue situations.

Although we can assert that the Windlass Steelcrafts #420001 WW2 Square Tip is one of the best machetes you can find, the sheath does need to be improved. A blade like this deserves a sheath that equals its toughness. Other than that, it is a fabulous machete for all outdoor situations.

Pros Cons
(+) Magnificent design (-) Slightly heavy for some
(+) Blade with full profile tang for extra strength (-) Sheath can be improved
(+) Works extremely well outdoors
Features Details
Rating: 4.3 Stars
Blade: 12 inches
Overall: 17.5 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Steel type: 65Mn carbon steel

6. Gerber-Bear Grylls Parang Machete

Gerber Bear Grylls Parang MacheteA 19.5-inch long machete featuring an angled, high carbon steel 13.5-inch blade and full tang. It weighs just 19.4 Oz and has a textured rubber grip, lanyard cord along with a lightweight nylon sheath. The Parang is an African-designed machete that is ideal for brute force work like chopping down trees and brush. Even though it does not have a thrusting point, it still makes for a good weapon for slashing. Though very lightweight, this machete can take a lot of abuse.

We think that the Gerber-Bear Grylls Parang Machete is a fantastic product, but the handle needs to be improved. It starts to wear off after a short time of use. Apart from this, there are no complaints and this is considered to be one of the best machetes available, especially for serious outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.

Pros Cons
(+) Excellent machete for serious outdoor lovers (-) The sheath is low quality and slightly disappointing
(+) Built to work in the roughest of conditions (-) Not made for splitting logs
(+) Extremely easy to sharpen
Features Details
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blade: 13.5 inches
Overall: 19.5 inches
Weight: 1.21 pounds
Steel type: Carbon Steel

7. K-Bar Black Cutlass Machete

Ka-Bar Cutlass MacheteThis is a sturdy 16.5-inch, 1.12 lb machete with an 11-inch cutlass-style 1085 carbon steel blade. The handle is made of Kraton G, the sheath leather/Cordura. It makes an excellent machete for chopping weeds, thus clearing campsites or cutting branches. The sharp point and long reach make the Cutlass machete an excellent self-defense weapon.

We want to first mention that the K-Bar Cutlass is a versatile machete, but the sheath it is accompanied with should be improved a little. Its design and function have disappointed a few. Apart from this, we think that this is among the top machetes available, and a great purchase if you ask us.

Pros Cons
(+) Kraton G thermoplastic elastomer handle with ergonomic shape (-) Disappointing steel quality
(+) Sturdy and tough, making it perfect for hacking branches and thick undergrowth (-) Dull blade out of the box
(+) Light enough to use comfortably
Features Details
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blade: 11 inches
Overall: 16.5 inches
Weight: 1.12 pounds
Steel type: 1085 Carbon Steel

8. Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri-Knife in Black

Ontario 6420 KukriIs a sturdy, 16.7-inch, full tang Kukri machete with a 12.1-inch, 0.25 inch thick 1095 high carbon steel blade. The blade has a hardness of 57-59 HRC, along with a black powder finish. The handle is made of black Kraton, which makes chopping very comfortable. This machete is robust, and the black powder coating does not wear off easily. The weight and balance are excellent. The kukri machete is an excellent defensive and offensive weapon that can slash and stab easily.

We think that the Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri-Knife would be perfect if the sheath was better made. We believe it is a good idea to make a custom sheath for this machete. Otherwise, this one is a remarkable machete to have. That is why we recommend that preppers and camping enthusiasts should own one.

Pros Cons
(+) Well-designed, tough, and reliable (-) Blade needs frequent maintenance to prevent rusting
(+) Fantastic G-10 handle with finger grooves to provide secure grip (-) Low-grade sheath
(+) Affordable
Features Details
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blade: 12 inches
Overall: 17 inches
Weight: 1.13 pounds
Steel type: 1095 Carbon Steel

9. Gerber Gator Machete Jr.

Gerber Gator JrThis is a full tang, 18.75-inch high carbon steel machete with a 10.75-inch blade. The two-sided blade has both a fine edge to slice through vines and light brush, and a 9.5-inch saw blade on the other side that can cut through limbs, branches, and small trees. This machete can be used for light cutting and also as a lightweight defensive tool.

We found that the Gerber Gator Machete Jr. needs a better blade as it warps and dents after a few uses. If we could, we would also change the handle so that it is more comfortable to grip and use. These are the two small complaints that we have, otherwise, it is a terrific machete for the sticker price.

Pros Cons
(+) Lightweight but tough (-) Blade warps and dents easily
(+) Fabulous for backpacking as and other serious survival conditions (-) Uncomfortable handle
(+) Sharp blade, ideal for chopping, cutting, and so forth.
Features Details
Rating: 4.3 Stars
Blade: 10.75 inches
Overall: 18.75 inches
Weight: 1.13 pounds
Steel type: High Carbon Steel

10. Windlass Steelcrafts #403532 1909 US Issue Bolo

Windlass Steelcrafts 1909 US Issue BoloThe Windless Steelcrafts is a 14-inch carbon steel straight back, saber curved blade with a sharp point. The entire machete is 19 1/2 inches, including the full tang. It is designed to be worn on the belt, with the machete safely encased in a leather sheath. It is ideal for cutting through jungle foliage. It is also an excellent self-defense weapon to slash and stab with.

We believe that although the knife is amazing, the sheath needs a little work. It needs to be made a little stronger as a few customers say that the belt loop and retaining pin broke the very first day of use. Apart from this, we think that overall, it is a marvelous machete with excellent steel.

Pros Cons
(+) Excellent trail machete (-) A little too small for some users
(+) Drilled handle for small slip rope to prevent it from flying out of the user’s hand (-) The edge does not hold well
(+) Tough and durable
Features Details
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Blade: 14 inches
Overall: 19.5 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Steel type: Carbon Steel

What is a Machete?

The machete is one of man’s oldest agricultural and defensive/offensive weapons. No matter where you go, you will find the basic machete design made from various materials.   Today, most machetes are made from carbon steel with blades ranging from 12 ½ inches to 20 inches long.    Here are some ways they are used:

  • In rainforests and jungles, machetes are often used to clear brush and dense undergrowth.
  • They are also used in agriculture to process coconuts and cut sugar cane
  • Around the home, they can be used for shaping wood, cutting food, and as a weapon.

4 Important Things to Consider When Picking a Machete

1. Machete Design Guide and Usage Type Comparison

  • The fist thing you must think about is what you will be cutting.  Will it be thin, medium, or thick vegetation?  Will you be using the machete to harvest crops or cut new trails and clear new farming areas?  For thin vegetation, you can use a machete with a thin, long blade.  Use thicker and heavier blades for thicker vegetation.
  • If you plan to use the machete to chop branches, cut down small trees or as a weapon, choose a machete with a heavy duty short to medium pointed blade with a full tang.
  • For urban survival, the machete must meet and  surpass all requirements for the area that it’s to be used in. It must have a heavy thick blade that can be used for chopping wood, wire, or heavy vegetation. The machete must also withstand use as a digging tool in plaster, soil, house siding, or other building materials.
  • The machete also has it’s place as a bug out tool. Since there is not too much room in a bug out bag, choose a heavy short bladed machete like the Kukri since it can work as both a machete and a hatchet.

 

2. Where Will You Be Using the Machete?

Basically,  if you are in the tropics, subtropics, jungle, or swamp you will need a longer machete with some weight to it because this design will cut more easily through the vegetation.  For cooler climates or areas with less dense vegetation, you can use shorter machetes.

 

3. Will You also be Carrying a Knife and a Hatchet?

Since there is some overlap in these three tools, you may be able to get away with carrying just one or two depending on where you will be using the machete. For example, I always carry a knife, but not always a hatchet with a machete because there are many places where the hatchet would be redundant or useless.

 

4. Machetes for Wilderness-based Tasks vs Defense Weapon, or Used for  Both

As you can see in the design guide, a machete used for chopping trees can also be very handy as a weapon.  That being said, wilderness survival may also involve much finer work such as cutting vines and carrying out other tasks that require a different blade design.  If there is one Machete that I would recommend for covering the largest number of wilderness survival and defense tasks it would be the Kukri, or the Latin Machete.

Important Things to Look for in a Machete

Before you commit to buying a machete, it is very important to consider which materials are best for each part of the tool.  Here are my recommendations:

  • Blade material – I prefer that the blade is made from carbon steel because it is harder than stainless steel, which means  the cutting-edge remains sharper longer.   On the downside, however, the blade must be kept well oiled to reduce the risk of rust when the blade contacts moisture.  Carbon steel is also harder to sharpen and re-shape than stainless steel.
  • Blade length – I prefer a blade 10”-16” long with an overall design length of 15”-20” because this size can be used for many things while still being easy to carry or wear on a belt.
  • Blade style – It is my belief that the best blade style depends on how you plan to use it, your family tradition, and you experience with machetes. If you need a heavy bladed machete I would recommend bolo, parang, kukri, or a panga machetes. For a light to medium duty machete the latin or a bush machete blade style is a good all purpose blade.
  • Weight – I prefer a little weight ( 1.5 lbs to 3lbls ) in my machete because the heavier weight makes it easier to cut heavy brush, vines, and branches. Just remember the heavier the machete, the quicker you will get tired.
  • Tang – The tang is the part of the machete blade that extends into the grip and connects the blade and the handle. For heavy chopping and slicing with a great amount of force,  I recommend the machete blade has a “full tang” that extends to the end of the handle area and the handle is riveted into place. If the machete does not have a full tang, the machete could break at this weak point.
  • Handle style – I believe this is also a personal choice that depends on the size and strength of your hands. I prefer a two piece handle that is riveted to a full tang because I have better control with it than with a single piece handle.
  • Handle material – Even though some people choose natural materials for “authentic” looking tools, wood or leather can rot or wear out easily if not taken care of.  I prefer synthetic (man-made) materials for the handle because they last longer and give a better grip because there are no sealing oils or paint to worry about.
  • A sheath – Regardless of the material used for the sheath, I recommend choosing one that has an attachment system so that it can be worn on a belt or secured to your backpack.

Typical Uses for a Machete

Even though machetes have many uses, here are the most important ones to consider now and in a crisis situation:

  • Cutting and trail maintenance – aside from cutting paths and trails for transport and farming, you can also make hunting trails and create fish habitats.
  • Clearing brush – this is useful for improving visibility for creating brush piles that attract wild animals.
  • Harvesting – use for crops such as rice, sugar, corn, coconut, papaya, pineapple, nuts, wheat, and other grain crops. Machetes are also useful for removing old, dead plant residue, unwanted  vines and other invasive plants.  This tool is also very useful for gathering edible or medical plants and digging for roots.
  • Butchering Animals – this is an excellent tool for butchering wild game, domestic livestock, and   Choose a heavy blade to split cattle and other deer sized carcasses into more manageable pieces.
  • Campsite needs – Machetes are an excellent tool for clearing your campsite of heavy plant growth.  You will also find it much easier to gather firewood and tinder.   A machete can also be used to cut  tree bark,  branches and other materials for making poles, lashings, and  coverings for a shelter.

Types of Machetes

Parang

The Parang machete was developed in Southeast Asia and has a thicker blade than most other machetes from this area.

Advantages

  • Remarkable for cutting thick green vegetation without getting stuck
  • Has a fantastic thick blade
  • Ideal for traveling through dense vegetation

Disadvantages

  • Does not have a spear point
  • It is a little bulky

Kukri

This machete extensively used in Central Asia and is best known as a military weapon. The pointed tip is fantastic for stabbing; the wide midsection is useful for chopping, and the narrow area near the handle is excellent for whittling and carving. The basic shape varies a significant deal, which allows for many other uses, including agricultural and building purposes.

Advantages

  • Excellent for chopping
  • Can be used for carving details
  • Has an extremely deadly spear point
  • Is a full tang machete
  • Is an excellent self-defense weapon

Disadvantages

  • This machete is not perfect for any one task but can perform reasonably well at many different kinds of jobs.

Bolo

The Bolo, which is usually found in the Philippines, is very similar to the panga, but the blade swells just before the tip for better chopping.

Advantages

  • Fantastic for chopping and slashing
  • Excellent for brush clearing
  • Great for harvesting crops such as rice, soybean, and peanuts.
  • Proven effective weapon used in Eskrima, a martial art form native to the Philippines
  • Has a true spear point for thrusting

Disadvantages

  • Very bulky
  • Not designed for finer cutting needs

Golok

Golok machetes are similar to the parang, but they are smaller and originate in Southeast Asia.

Advantages

  • Has a much thicker blade than most machetes
  • Is an excellent agricultural tool
  • Doesn’t usually get stuck in green branches or tree trunks

Disadvantages

  • Is too short to be used as an effective defensive weapon

Latin Machete

Also known as a bush machete, the Latin machete has a normal, straight back blade, is evenly weighted and fairly stout.

Advantages

  • Is an excellent hacker and chopper for any plant 3 inches and smaller
  • Works well in dense underbrush
  • Performs well in just about any environment
  • Has excellent balance and reach qualities
  • Lighter weight than other machetes, which reduces fatigue
  • Full tang

Disadvantages

  • Does not have a true spear point
  • Does not have the brute chopping force of a Bolo

Panga

The panga is also known as the tapanga, cutlass machete, or daga. It is a variant of the machete and is commonly used in East and Southern Africa and the Caribbean. The panga is characterized by the blade broadening on the rear and a length of 16 inches to 18 inches. In many cases, the upper inclined portion of the panga blade may be sharpened. The upturned point of the machete is also wonderful for stabbing and piercing.

Advantages

  • Deep belly of the Panga is excellent for chopping
  • Use the curved area for easy slicing
  • Is a heavily built machete designed for abusive work
  • Excellent use as a defensive weapon
  • Full tang construction

Disadvantages

  • Is very bulky
  • Does not have a spear point for thrusting

Bowie

This type of machete is native to the United States, as it is based upon the Bowie knife popularized by American frontiersman Jim Bowie. It is also known as a large Bowie knife or survival machete.

Advantages

  • Is a heavy well-constructed machete
  • Has a skinning point for skinning wild game
  • Awesome for chopping and heavy brush removal
  • Is an excellent defensive weapon

Disadvantages

  • Is heavy and bulky

The Basics of Using a Machete

In order to prevent blisters and other injuries, it is critical to use a machete correctly. Here are some places where beginners make mistakes during wilderness tasks, and how to correct them:

  • Gripping the Machete – Start by wrapping your thumb and forefinger around opposite sides of the handle and putting them together tightly. Keep the three other fingers wrapped loosely around the base of the handle. Do not keep an extremely tight or “death grip” on the machete handle. If you are correctly gripping the handle, there should be a little wiggle room. If you are afraid that the machete will slip out of your hand, wear a glove or use a wrist lanyard.
  • Proper Form – Swinging a machete relies on the momentum of your core section. To do this, start by dropping your shoulder and allowing your core to whip your arm and the machete around for maximum thrust. As your arm comes around, let your elbow lead. Your wrist should hang back until the last second, and then give a flick just before you make contact with what you are cutting. A strong way to practice your form is to pretend that you are skipping rocks across a body of water. As you build your confidence, put your whole body into the swing. By using proper form, you will save a lot of energy and also prevent unnecessary injuries and strains on your wrist.
  • The 45-Degree Angle for Chopping – When chopping wood, a 45-degree angle of attack is ideal. However, you can adjust that depending on the materials you are cutting through. Never use the perpendicular cutting method when trying to cut a tree or logs. If you try, the machete will get stuck and you will make very little progress.
  • Cutting Branches or Small Trees – Always cut a v-shaped notch alternating with upward and downward strokes. Keep chopping little slivers on each side. This will widen the notch until you get through the entire trunk.

How to Use a Machete for Self Defense

The machete is designed as a slashing and chopping tool. It also is a formidable weapon that requires no permits and can be used for offense or defense with ease. As is the case with a machete for wilderness tasks, it is also critical to know how to wield the machete for self-defense.

When you know how to use a machete, this tool gives you excellent reach that puts people with other weapons are at an extreme disadvantage. In fact, even if your opponent has a knife, sword, three-quarter staff or baseball bat, they would still be at a disadvantage. Since some gun fights also happen within the reach of a machete, you can still disarm and neutralize the person before they can successfully aim and shoot at you.

To use a machete as a weapon, you must be aware of how levels of force work:

  • The first level of force with a machete comes from striking a person with the flat side of the blade. This will cause great pain, but it will not kill, nor will it do severe damage to the body.
  • The second level of force makes use of the spine, or back end of the machete blade. A blow from this part of the machete can break bones or cause tissue damage. A blow to the head can cause unconsciousness or deep cuts on the head.
  • The third level of force comes from striking with the pommel, or back end of a machete handle. Use the pommel in close quarters where you do not have room to swing the machete safely or properly. Aim for the head, chest, or back. Hitting these areas will cause enough pain to make the other person relent.
  • The fourth level of force makes use of the sharp edge of the blade. The edge can slice or chop to cause major tissue damage. It is possible to cut off limbs, crack a skull or chop off a person’s head. As with any other weapon, before striking, make sure that you are justified in using deadly force.
  • The fifth level comes with using the tip of the machete. Again, this is only to be used if deadly force is justified. When you use the machete to stab another person, an energetic thrust can drive as much as half the blade into the body. If you hit the right area, it can cause major injury or even death.

Even though there are many benefits to using a machete as a weapon, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of:

  • Thin blades can bend easily
  • If your opponent gets close enough with a heavier weighted weapon, you will have a hard time defending yourself
  • Because this weapon is very light, your opponent can knock the machete out of your hand with a heavier object
  • Light weight also means you will have to strike more number of times or be more accurate in targeting vulnerable areas as compared to using a heavier weapon
  • Machete must be sharp to do serious damage
  • Does not have a hand covering that would prevent other weapons from striking your hand
  • Machetes tend to be hard to conceal because of their size. Anyone that is intending to attack will have a fantastic idea of what you are carrying before they even move to harm you.

Safety Tips for Using a Machete

Before you purchase and start using a machete, it is very important to keep a few basic safety tips in mind:

  • Always keep a well-stocked first aid kit on hand.
  • Always make sure that the area within the range of your swing is clear. The last thing you want to do is to deflect your machete off something you did not know was there.
  • When clearing trails, always remember to cut at a 45-degree angle away from your body, either to the left or the right. Never swing across your body, or you will run the risk of    striking your own legs or feet.
  • When you become tired, take a break. Most accidents occur when the machete user is very tired, which leads to carelessness and Switching to the weaker arm can be very dangerous if you aren’t coordinated enough to use the machete properly.
  • Always wear eye protection, gloves, steel-toed boots, and long pants.  Try using baseball catcher leg guards or soccer shin guards for extra protection.  Even though you are most likely to hit your leg, if you get careless or cross your body with the machete for some  reason, it is possible to strike in the lower waist region.  Males would be well advised to wear a cup.
  • Always keep your machete in a sheath when not in use. If you do not have a sheath, wrap and tape  the machete blade in cardboard.
  • When walking a short distance with a machete,  tuck the blade between your upper arm and your chest with the machetes handle sticking out in front of you.
  • When there are two or more people cutting a trail, make sure there are at least 20 feet between each person.
  • If you are working with a second person, that person’s job should be to cut saplings from about knee high level down to just a couple of inches tall and then push them over. This gets rid  pungy stick shaped saplings that could harm others.

Conclusion

In conclusion,  machetes are an excellent tool for clearing the land of brush, vines, saplings, and other plant growth. As a defensive/offensive weapon, they will keep you alive if you know how to use them. Please feel free to share your experiences with different types of machetes under different conditions and the conclusions that you made.

Further Reading:


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About
Conrad Novak is a proud father of two children. His journey as a prepper began when Hurricane Katrina hit and he lost his job due to the 2008 economic crisis. That made him realize that everything can change for the worst in a very short time. This experience was the detonator for him to pursue learning and becoming better prepared to face the kind of unexpected disasters that may occur at any point in our lives. As the editor of Survivor’s Fortress, he is committed to providing with the most accurate and up-to-date tips and information to help you become more self-reliant and keep you prepared for whatever life throws at you.

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