Best Combat Machete of 2017!
Combat machetes come in many different forms, from modern bowie designs, to the classic Kukri, loved by military history buffs the world over.
If you’re looking to choose a machete specifically for combat or tactical manoeuvres, you really want to consider 3 things:
· Weight: It needs to be light, and with a good balance.
· Ease of use: A combat machete should be easy to wield.
· Quality: A good knife is always a wise investment, and can become our friend for life.
|Blade Material||HC epoxy powder-coated 1095 steel||420A Stainless Steel||1095 Carbon Steel||420 HC Surgical Quality Steel
|Pros||Good quality and prices at well under $100.||Twin serrated edges, good price and a wonderfully sharp blade.||A budget blade that really packs a punch. The blade alone is worth the asking price.||Best Value for money and a sturdy blade that should last for years to come.|
|Cons||The handle could be better.||Design might put some users off, lack of a hand tether is a real shame as this could be a superb knife for motorboat and yacht owners!||The handle is where the cuts have been made. It’s poor grip and awkward design make it a chore to use for lengthy periods of time.||No serrated section to the blade.|
Top 4 Best Combat Machetes!
In this review, we’ve taken a look at 4 combat blades, all that offer a slightly different take on what a combat machete should be:
1. Ka-Bar Combat Kukri Knife
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
|Blade Material||HC epoxy powder-coated 1095 steel|
The classic Kukri design is always a favourite choice by survivalists and military enthusiasts worldwide. Whilst it’s most certainly a deadly tactical weapon, it’s also extremely good for general brush clearing duties and is one of those ultimate multi-purpose tools people like to carry.
The Ka-Bar, is a well-known brand, and this modern take on the Kukri should prove to be a real contender. The following are a quick run-down of the specs, you can see more detailed specifications here.
· 8.5-Inch blade.
· High carbon steel with non-reflective black blade.
· Elastomer handle.
· Polyester sheath.
The first thing to know about the Ka-Bar, is that the quality is perfect. Sure, it’s a modern take on a classic, yet this blade easily compares to the original Kukri that’s manufactured in Nepal.
The weight is low, at 14.4-ounces, plus weight distribution through the blade is good too. We found this blade perfect for camping duties, where it performed well as the multi-function blade Kukri’s are known for.
The only thing we would have loved to see Ka-Bar do, is improve the handle by making it slightly more ergonomic. We did find ourselves getting blisters after heavy use, a fact of life with some polymer handles.
2. United Cutlery Combat Bowie
UC3024 M48 Ops
Our Rating: (4.6/5)
|Material||420A Stainless Steel|
This knife split our review team in half. Personally, I like the design of the Bowie, with a super sharp blade backed up with serrated sections for cutting heavy branches. However, some of our team feel that the design is too theatrical, and not designed for serious use.
· United M48 Combat Bowie.
· 420A Stainless Steel.
· 16-Inches long.
· Impact resistant plastic.
I decided to test this knife myself on a camping trip. I used it to clear brush, cut firewood and help get the campsite set up. For this use, the United Cutlery is far more useful than you would think, with a blade that’s actually capable of cutting all manner of things and a blade edge that’s extremely sharp.
One of the useful things about the United Cutlery blade, is the two sets of serrated blades, one on the front and one on the back of the machete. These serrated edges are also split between a highly aggressive edge, and a shallower saw.
This means you can tackle the toughest branches, and thick ropes or plastics too. It’s a real shame this blade doesn’t have a hand leash, because it could be perfect as an emergency blade for motorboats that become fouled by fishing lines or ropes.
I was impressed by the UC3024, it’s a slightly wacky design, yet the Bowie is far more useful than you might think.
3. Ontario Knife Military Machete
Our Rating: (4.4/5)
|Material||1095 Carbon Steel|
|Hardened to 50-55 HRC|
The Ontario blade is aimed more at the budget end of the market. It still manages to offer some quality, yet it’s a much more paired down product compared to either the United Cutlery or Ka-Bar blades.
· 1095 Carbon Steel Construction.
· Hardened to 50-55 HRC.
· Moulded handle.
· 18-Inch blade.
Even though this blade is a budget choice, it still feels reasonable in hand. The weight is nice at 15.8 ounces, plus the distribution means most of that weight in on the blade end, exactly where you want it. You might recognize this knife from our reviews of machetes, and it’s here for the same reason, it’s a great buy!
Of course, there are issues with the blade, that moulded handle has an extremely awkward notch in the end that does nothing but get in the way, plus the drip is poor and doesn’t give you much confidence when using it.
The blade, is a much better part of this knife and feels really strong. The combined process of hardening the carbon steel seems to have created a machete that can tackle far more than its price would have you believe.
4. Condor Tactical Combat Machete
Our Rating: (4.2/5)
|Blade Material||420 HC Surgical Quality Steel|
This knife really feels and looks like a combat blade. The leather sheath is solid and the blade itself is one handsome beast! All this is backed up by what looks like a comfortable santoprene handle.
· Hand crafted leather sheath.
· 11-Inch blade.
· Santoprene ergonomic handle.
One thing should be said before we dive into the review, this is a very deadly knife! It’s razor sharp at the point, and is about as menacing as they come!
Even so, it’s not all about the highly military look with the Condor, it’s a useful blade and even though it misses a serrated section, the blade is sharp enough to take on most tasks. Possibly even consider using it as a go to hunting blade, not necessarily for skinning, but for protection.
The handle is comfortable to hold, and didn’t give any blisters during use, welcome relief after using the Ontario! The leather sheath is extremely good too, and has one of the best belt buckle attachments we’ve seen on test.
The Condor isn’t the cheapest knife we’ve tested, yet it’s probably the best value for money with every part of the blade design impressing us.
Final Thoughts on these Fighting Machetes
When reviewing these knifes, I focused on their ability to serve as both a tool and a military weapon. I wanted to strike a balance between usefulness, defence and price.
Unfortunately, this discounted the United Cutlery blade straight away. It’s a superb multi-function knife, and if you’re looking for a quality marine knife it’s worth purchasing one and drilling a tether handle yourself! However, it’s going to prove hopeless as a defensive weapon!
This left 3 knifes, and although I want to discount the Ontario 18-Inch Military Machete, the price alone makes it a brilliant budget choice despite the poor-quality handle. For this reason, it’s my recommendation for those on a tight budget.
If you have some extra cash to spare, your choice is between the Ka-Bar Kukri and the Condor. If it was my money, I would take the Condor every time, the only reason you might want the Kukri, is if you already have an affinity for the design.
· Best for tight budgets: Ontario 18-Inch Military Machete.
· Best all-rounder: Condor CTK3006BBBL Combat Machete.