Inspired by our (collectively speaking, so we’re including you) favorite zombie-infested TV show (damn those mid-season breaks), we decided that it was high time we took a look at long-bladed tools that can not only clear a path through dense jungle, but can also pull defensive duty if needed. Yep, no surprise here — we’re talking about machetes.

Machetes are versatile tools used mostly for yard work, farming, and clearing brush. Our little buddy Gilligan is known to split open coconuts for Mary Ann’s famous pies with a machete once in a while, too. As useful as they are as tools, machetes also have a storied history of being used by many civilizations around the world as vicious edged weapons. Each culture has its own variation of the machete, influencing the design and build of modern versions that you can buy today.

Modern-day machetes are usually made with a full tang, meaning that the metal of the blade extends down the entire length of the tool. The blade is usually uniform in thickness, while the handle is made of two grip plates (or scales) that are fastened to the tang. Because they need to withstand repeated hits on hard surfaces, quality machetes are made with blades that can resist chipping and breaking and can be easily sharpened.

In this guide, we examine eight machetes of various sizes, shapes, and budgets. No doubt you’ll find at least one that can supplement your off-grid needs — and help you channel your inner Rick Grimes.

Machete Buyers Guide

  • 12 Survivors Machete

    Overall Length - 18.11 inches
    Blade Length -12.99 inches
    Blade Material - 420J2 stainless steel
    Weight - 1 pound, 3 ounces
    Accessories-Nylon belt loop sheath
    URL - http://www.12survivors.com/

    The 12 Survivors Machete is seriously robust and sharp.

  • Benchmade 153 Jungle Bolo

    Overall Length - 14.29 inches
    Blade Length - 9.69 inches
    Blade Material - 1095 spring steel
    Weight - 11.82 ounces
    Accessories - Leather belt loop sheath
    URL - http://www.benchmade.com/

    Don't make the mistake of thinking the smallest machete in this guide isn't ready to take up any challenge you throw at it.

  • Cold Steel Bowie Machete

    Overall Length - 17.63 inches
    Blade Length - 12 inches
    Blade Material - 1055 carbon steel
    Weight - 14.3 ounces
    Accessories- Nylon belt loop sheath
    URL - http://www.coldsteel.com/

    Made to feel lively in the hand, the Cold Steel Bowie Machete is just that.

  • CRKT Mah-Chete

    Overall Length - 17.44 inches
    Blade Length - 12 inches
    Blade Material - 1075 carbon steel
    Weight - 1 pound, 3.2 ounces
    Accessories - Nylon belt loop sheath with paracord
    URL - http://www.crkt.com/

    The Liong Mah-designed machete has a distinctive upswept blade that measures 0.18-inch thick.

  • Kershaw Camp 14

    Overall Length - 20 inches
    Blade Length - 14 inches
    Blade Material - 65Mn carbon steel
    Weight - 1 pound, 14 ounces
    Accessories - Molded plastic sheath
    URL - http://kershaw.kaiusaltd.com/

    Capable of wholesale chopping as well as detailed work, the Camp 14 features a thick 0.19-inch blade and is well balanced, if a bit heavy at almost 2 pounds.

  • Ontario Knife Company Bushcraft Machete

    Overall Length - 21.63 inches
    Blade Length - 16 inches
    Blade Material - 5160 carbon steel
    Weight - 1 pound, 1.5 ounces
    Accessories - DeSantis nylon belt loop sheath, paracord lanyard
    URL - http://www.ontarioknife.com/

    The Bushcraft Machete is the longest in this guide.

  • Woodman's Pal Classic

    Overall Length - 16.5 inches
    Blade Length - 10.5 inches
    Blade Material - 1075 high-carbon steel
    Weight - 1 pound, 7 ounces
    Accessories - Leather belt loop sheath
    URL - http://www.woodmanspal.com/

    Similar to the Military Premium that's also in this guide, the main difference is that the Classic model has a nicely crafted 6-inch Ash hardwood handle with an eye loop and leather lanyard.

  • Woodman's Pal Military Premium

    Overall Length - 16.5 inches
    Blade Length - 10.5 inches
    Blade Material - 1075 high-carbon steel
    Weight - 1 pound, 9 ounces
    Accessories - Nylon belt loop sheath, honing stone
    URL - http://www.woodmanspal.com/

    Crafted in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, the Military Premium by Woodman's Pal is also known under its original World War II-era designation, the LC-14-B.


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