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Best Machete of 2017: Top Products Reviewed

by | Jul 6, 2017 | Reviews

The machete is probably one of the most famous knifes out there. It’s beloved by Hollywood directors who like to show a hero whacking their way through the forest! However, the truth is that a good machete should be a stalwart of any good survival kit.

A good machete can clear undergrowth, help create a comfortable camping out spot for the night, plus it can also be used for collecting fire wood.

Need we also mention that the humble machete is one of the world’s best tactical weapons. People have been using the machete as a defence tool to ward off animals, occupying forces and other nasties for hundreds of years!

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Bear Grylls

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Rating4.3 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.5 Stars4.4 Stars
Blade Length18"18"13.5"13.3"18"
Blade MaterialSteel3Cr13 stainless steelHC Steel3Cr13 Stainless Steel1095 Carbon Steel
ProsKeenly priced and comes with that Gerber quality built you know and trust. Serrated saw blade improves the uses, turning the blade into a multifunction tool all its own.Well priced and well made in the traditional SOG way. The serrated edge is an absolute beast!Sheath is a wonderful addition and the belt clip works, unlike so many sheaths out there.Decent price, nice weighted feel and a superb multi-function holster.The Price
ConsWe hope that serrated back doesn’t ruin the sheath over time. The tough nylon casing would suggest not; however, we’ve seen these types of blade destroy their sheaths after a few months.No tether cord and a handle that’s not as comfortable as we’d like.You’ll curse Bear Grylls when your hands become blistered after heavy use!Would have been nice to see an 18-inch model with the same build.It’s not as comfortable as a Gerber Gator, and not as sharp or capable of the Schrade.

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Best Machete!

We’ve rounded up a list of 5 top quality machete blades, all costing less than $50 and including some budget alternatives that punch well above their weight. So, without wasting any more time, let’s check our list of the best machetes of 2017:

1. Gerber Gator Machete

Our Rating:  4.3 Stars (4.3/5)
Material Steel
Blade Length 18 inches

We love the Gerber brand of knifes and multitools. They’re one of those unbeatable American brands that thrive on creating well-built tools that last a lifetime. Their multitool and small knifes are something I always carry in my sea kayak and Land Rover.

The Gator machete, is a budget blade that manages to maintain Gerber’s high quality.


· High carbon steel blade.

· Nylon sheath.

· Moulded nylon hand grip.

· 18-inch blade.

In Use

The Gerber Gator is a nice blade to use in-hand. The Nylon handgrip is better to hold than we thought on opening the box, plus the grip has a handy cord to tether the knife to your wrist, handy for using in water to cut ropes.

The carbon steel blade is very sharp and tough. It’s also quite thick which gives us confidence that you can use this blade time and again, sharpening should be a breeze too.

On the back of the machete is a serrated saw blade. We think this machete could make a perfect ships blade, the hand cord and saw blade could make this the ultimate get out of jail card if your boat runs through fishing lines, and you need a way to cut the rope free from your propeller.

Of course, the serrated edge has other uses too. Whilst you won’t be felling any major trees with it, you will be able to cut smaller branches ready for fire wood.

Overall, the Gerber Gator is a pretty good budget blade. It’s well made, nice to grip and the sheath is about as strong as they come.

2. SOGfari Machete

Our Rating: 4.4 Stars (4.4/5)
Rubber Handle  
Material 3Cr13 stainless steel
Blade Length  18 inches

We’ve had a tough time with the SOG brand in the past. Whilst some of their blades are truly awesome, we’ve also reviewed the sub-par Kukri which really disappointed us.

Thankfully, the SOG 18-Inch machete appears to buck that trend with a well-made unit that comes with a well-made sheath, something we didn’t like with their Kukri.


· Duel edge with serrated blade on the back.

· 13 or 18-Inch blade options.

· Manufactured from 3Cr13 stainless steel.

In Use

This SOG isn’t quite as nice to use as the Gerber Gator. We found the handle a little small, and the notch at the end tended to cause blisters after heavy use. Having said that, the SOG makes up for that with a wickedly sharp blade, plus a serrated back edge that cuts through branches with ease.

The blade edge is nice and thick, as you might expect from SOG. It’s also coated in a solid, anti-rust compound that should see it stay in good condition wherever it’s stored.

Our only gripe, is the lack of a tether cord. This probably restricts the SOG to camping and tactical use only, you won’t want to take this on the water in case you lose it!

3. Bear Grylls Parang Machete

Our Rating: 4.4 Stars (4.4/5)
Material HC Steel
Gerber Brand  
Blade Length 13.5 inches

A blade that’s been endorsed by everyone’s favourite survivalist, Bear Grylls, the Gerber Parang Machete is a pure ground clearance tool, no saw blades here.

Of course, I don’t like Bear Grylls, I’d rather the more sedate pace of Ray Mears and suspect I’d have less chance of a heart attack if I was to spend a camping weekend with him!

I’ll be reviewing this blade on its merits then!


· Angled blade, in Kukri fashion for clearing brush.

· High carbon steel blade.

· Full tang construction.

· Rubber grip.

In Use

First up, we absolutely love he sheath that comes with this blade. It’s made of extremely strong nylon, and has a rock-solid belt clip at the top, top marks!

On a more depressing note, the handle really is a poor-quality effort. Perhaps it’s the fact Bear Grylls likes a bit of pain, but the handle has a terrible tendency to give blisters. We would have preferred a more solid moulded grip, rather than the textured one that comes with it.

The cutting blade is pure Gerber, extremely sharp and sturdy enough to power through most tasks. The full tang construction gets a thumbs up from us.

The Bear Grylls knife is a real shame. It’s got so many awesome things going for it, yet that handle means you’ll never truly enjoy using it.

4. Schrade Kukri Machete

Our Rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5/5)
Material 3Cr13 Stainless Steel
Safe-T-Grip Handle  
Blade Length 13.3 inches

Schrade are more well known for their tactical and small knifes than they are for their machete range, even so, they still manage to serve up a decent offering.

The SCHKM1 blade, is packed with features like 3Cr13 stainless steel, quality sheath and a holster to hold it on your back or across your stomach.


· Powder coated stainless steel blade.

· Polyester belt sheath.

· Ergonomic handle.

· Storage pouch for back or front use.

In Use

The thing that we really liked about the Schrade, is the storage pouch that can be run across your back, or alternatively across your stomach. You rarely see this style of holster on the market, and especially not considering the price range the Schrade sits in.

As for the knife in general use, it feels very balanced in the hand. The handle is very good, and a far cry from the Bear Grylls effort above! I used this knife to clear a camping area for an overnight stay and it was comfortable to use throughout.

As for the negatives, it might have been nice to see a serrated blade at the back for those tougher branches. It also would have been nice to see a 16 or 18-inch model. Still, the upgraded holster and nice feel make this knife a contender.

5. Ontario Military Machete

Our Rating: 4.4 Stars (4.4/5)
Material 1095 Carbon Steel
Molded Plastic Handle  
Blade Length 18 inches

The Ontario Machete, is a budget offering that still managed to offer some quality features. Even with the sub $20 price, you’ll get a carbon blade, moulded handle and 18-inch blade.


· Hardened carbon steel blade.

· Moulded and riveted handle.

· 18-Inch blade.

In Use

As a budget choice, the Ontario Machete does away with quite a few features that we like to see. The handle is not ergonomic nor moulded in any way, that makes it quite a chore to use daily, I reverted to the Gerber Gator 15 minutes after beginning to use the Ontario knife to clear a yard.

The blade is perfectly adequate for most jobs, yet it cannot compete with many of the others we’ve reviewed. We’re also mindful of the rivetted handle base, which looks rather flimsy.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve likely noticed, there’s always going to be trade-offs. If you want something completely, 100%, dunk-it-underwater-and-it’s-fine waterproof, it’s not going to be as functional or practical as a regular backpack. If you want external zippers and to be able to wear it, you’re going to be making certain sacrifices in terms of how waterproof it is. A regular waterproof backpack like the Kimlee or one of the other models we looked at is a solid option for most people, and you can’t go wrong with any of these choice. Just choose the one that fits your needs, shut off the computer, and go enjoy nature after patting yourself on the back to take a little time to do some research first.

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