10 Different Styles and Types of Machetes
For a complete newcomer to machetes, it’s difficult understanding the many different types out there. From old school Kukri’s, to modern versions that feature additions such as serrated edges, to machetes that cater specifically to the agricultural market, there’s a lot out there.
How Can I Choose a Machete?
To get started, it’s worth thinking about how you’ll be using your machete:
- Cutting trees: If you’ll be tackling heavy branches, it’s worth considering machetes with serrated edges for extra cutting power.
- Survivalist & Camping: These blades are usually high quality, and are designed for clearing brush ground or cutting ropes.
- Length: If you’ll be slashing branches, you really need to consider a longer length machete.
In this round up, we’ve look at every type of machete out there. Some of them appear crazy, some of them might make you laugh, yet all have their uses. Be sure to check out our reviews of the best machetes on the market right now.
Types of Machete
1. The Kukri
These machetes, are good all-purpose blades that have honed their design over hundreds of years use. They also tend to come sharpened to perfection, giving you huge cutting power.
As for that history, it goes back some 300 years to the Ghurkha regiment of the British Army. These warrior hail from Nepal, and have specific training and experience with hand to hand combat, and surviving in mountainous terrain.
The Kukri machete, is specifically designed for these instances, with a blade that’s just as happy cutting brush or clearing a camp site, as it is cutting through skin and bone!
2. Survival Machete
These blades do overlap considerably with camping machetes. That’s because they both do a similar job, helping people to survive and camp outdoors. They frequently offer serrated edges, plus other features that will help setup a campsite.
A good survival machete, is usually made of forged steel for strength, and has many blades to suit different types of work. The nature of the survival machete means that it could be used to cut a life raft free of a sinking boat, or help cut brush for a much-needed camp fire.
3. Latin Machete
This style of machete has its root set firmly in agricultural use. The blades tend to be longer than most styles of machete, which helps when cutting through thick undergrowth.
It’s still style of machete, that gives a good swing action too.
4. Heavy Machete
These blades feature quite large cutting blade, which forces the weight onto the front of the machete. As you can imagine, this give amazing chopping power, yet not much else.
Heavy machetes tend to be used in specific circumstances such as heavy brush removal and some agriculture and building jobs.
5. Combat Machete
These blades often look frightening or theatrical, depending on your viewpoint. They’re also designed for one thing only, combat!
Serrated edges, sharp blades and ergonomic handles are all features of a weapon designed to cause significant injury. Depending on whether the machete is to be used as a stabbing or swinging weapon, the blade and handle will be weighted to prove more stability and/or a heavier blade that can pack as much power into a swing as possible.
6. Bolo Machete
Designed for maximum chopping power, the Bolo Machete places it’s weight forward in the blade, and features a smaller handle than most. Blade lengths are typically 15 to 20 inches long, and designed for heavy brush clearing.
You’ll see these in use for agriculture, plus it’s sometimes to go to weapon for Pirate costumes!
7. Tactical Machete
It’s these knifes that can be useful for weekend campers and kayakers. While still technically a machete, tactical blades have a lot in common with multi-purpose tools. You’ll find serrated edges, cutting areas and other handy features packed into a tactical knife.
There’s much overlap between the tactical machete, survival machete and (please don’t laugh) the zombie apocalypse machete! When you think about it, that stands to good reason as all three are what you’ll need to survive when the worse happens.
8. Golok/Parang Machete
Another classic design, the Parang is another machete with the weight placed forward for ultimate chopping power. The difference here, is like the Kukri, you’ll be able to pick up some true authentically made models, perfect for military buffs!
Unlike the Kukri, the Golok is almost purely designed as an agricultural knife. That’s not to say it can’t hurt someone when used in anger, yet the Kukri is designed from the ground up to be far deadlier in the right hands.
9. Bill Hook Machete
The bill hook is an ancient and well-known style of machete commonly used for agriculture and farming. The hooked blade makes harvesting smaller crops easy, and handles are almost always hickory, or extremely well designed for repeated use during the day.
Some Bill Hook machetes, also feature either a serrated or sheer cutting blade on the back of the blade. This turns the hook into a knife, making it a multi-function tool of sorts.
10. The Zombie Machete
This blade is obviously more ornamental than the others listed, with a design that comes straight from science fiction, rather than fact. Even so, thousands of these blades are made each year, with variants being used in TV/Film, plus battle re-enactment and zombie enthusiast clubs!
Aside from the funny name, Zombie machete knifes do share a lot with their tactical counterparts. They tend to have different serrated or cutting blade sections, and some so have additional bits that make them useful in a survival situation!
You might think we’re mad for suggesting you purchase a zombie machete, yet you’d be surprised how well made some of them are, worth a look.