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Our Top Picked Survival Machetes | SurvivalBoards

What purpose does a camping machete serve?  Thinking back to the 1980s when I was just a young man, there may have been only a few times a machete was used on a camping trip.   Most of the time I had a camping machete strapped to the side of my ALICE pack, but it was only rarely used.  So when was the machete used?  Mostly when my buddies and I camped along the swamps of Southeast Texas that were only accessible by boat.

On these trips my buddies and I would load up in a small aluminum boat with a 25 horsepower Johnson motor on it.  We would usually take around 45 minutes to get from the boat launch to our wilderness camping sites.  If we wanted to pick a new site we would scout along the bayou looking for flat ground that suit our needs.  Once a camp site was picked out we would take our machetes and clear some of the underbrush.

Some people may not understand clearing brush for a camping site as it violates the “leave no trace” policy.  But this was camping in densely overgrown areas in a marsh environment, not the type of place you want to bring the family.

★★★★★
$51.71
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Features

  • Manufacturer: Columbia River Knife & Tool
  • Part Number: K910KKP
  • Item Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5 inches
  • Item model number: K910KKP
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Size: One Size
  • Color: Onion Chanceinhell Machete
  • Finish: Coated
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Shape: Drop Point
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Number Of Pieces: 1
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Measurement System: Imperial
  • Special Features: Manual
  • Usage: Inside, Outside
  • Included Components: CRKT K910KKP, Sheath, Pamphlet
  • Batteries Included?: No
  • Batteries Required?: No
  • Warranty Description: Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Enhanced Protection: Black coating improves corrosion resistance
  • Exceptional Grip: Football textured handle for grip
  • Built Tough: Reinforced nylon sheath provides carry options

Description

  • Enhanced Protection: Black coating improves corrosion resistance
  • Exceptional Grip: Football textured handle for grip
  • Built Tough: Reinforced nylon sheath provides carry options
  • Designed by Ken Onion in Kaneohe, Hawaii
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty covers...

    User reviews

    This is my 2nd failed attempt to purchase a decent machete for trail building.I previously purchased a Gerber and it sliced right through 1-2" limbs like butter, taking 2-4 off at a time, but after a my first use (about 5 or 6 hours), the blade edge was bent very badly in multiple places and the tool was basically garbage.It was amazing while it lasted, but quickly was destroyed.This CRKT Chanceinhell machete was the exact opposite.It simply bounced off the small limbs, forcing me to swing 3-4 times harder and faster and occasionally caused me to loose my balance on the steep slopes.I used it for about 2 hours until I threw it aside and grabbed my camping axe.I tryed sharpening it, but it made very little difference.It looks to me that the first bevel (closest to the edge) is way too blunt, resulting in the blade not doing the job a machete was intended to do.It worked ok for chopping, but not as good as my $13 camping hatchet.At this point, i guess I'll try a better hatchet than my camping hatchet.Tired of wasting money, contributing to landfills and wasting the rare time that i have to work on my trails.
    This machete really does the trick. I wanted something that I would be able to hack my way through the thick Woods for hunting season. I took it out today clearing out shooting lanes and was easily able to cut through 2in thick saplings. The grip on the handle fits well. The edge of the machete is very sharp and holds its Edge after a full day of slicing through everything. I am very impressed with this blade. I took it through the ringer today. My blood is on the blade as well as on the sheath. You have to be careful to put this in the sheath correctly. I did not at one point and when I went to grab it I cut myself.. I am man enough to admit that. This machete is a beast and I think you will be more than happy by purchasing it. My previous machete was a gerber and that thing held an edge for a very short period of time and got kNicks in the blade. I really gave this thing a hard test today and it passed with flying colors. This blade will cut as Doug marcaida would say.
    This Ken Onion Machete is perfect, for the intended use. Not a big log splitter, bt rather a thinner, well designed hacker and lightning fast as a fighting machete.The angle of the handle is great, and makes that sweet spot on the belly just slice like it was butter I was cutting.I put a fine, sharp edge on it, and it stil has it, but the steel and the black coating seem to hold up very well.I'd recommend this to anyone loooking for a really good machete! Not a 5 pound sharpened pry bar, but for what it is, it does it well!UPDATE: After using this for a few months, and lightly at that, I am quite surprised what a piece of junk it is. At first, it seemed really nice, BUT.. in the handle, the holes were so offset, on several, a lanyard would not even go through. To make it worse, when I tried to drill one out, thinking they were ferruls or hollow rivets that went through the tang, they started falling out, and they were actually little grommets just pressed into the rubber handle on each side, which explains why they didn't line up. Garbage. I'm sure, under more rowdy use, they'd start loosening up...Reminds me of some cheap Chinese crap... oh, wait.. it IS some cheap Chinese crap!It is really dissappointing to see Columbia River get ahold of a really nice design, and make it really cheap and flaky.Not the end of the world. I'll use it for what it is, and give it the respect it deserves, which is NOT that of a real Ken Onion knife.


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CRKT Halfachance Fixed Blade Parang Machete: 18 Inch Black Powder Coated Carbon Steel Parang Style Blade with Nylon Sheath for Survival, Hunting & Camping K920KKP

★★★★★
$51.62
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Features

  • Manufacturer: Columbia River Knife & Tool
  • Part Number: K920KKP
  • Item Weight: 1 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5 inches
  • Item model number: K920KKP
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Size: One Size
  • Color: Onion Halfachance Parang Machette
  • Finish: Coated
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Shape: Drop Point
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Number Of Pieces: 1
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Measurement System: Imperial
  • Special Features: Manual
  • Usage: Inside, Outside
  • Included Components: CRKT K920KKP, Sheath, Pamphlet
  • Batteries Included?: No
  • Batteries Required?: No
  • Warranty Description: Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Enhanced Protection: Black coating improves corrosion resistance
  • Exceptional Grip: Football textured handle for grip
  • Built Tough: Reinforced nylon sheath provides carry options

Description

  • Enhanced Protection: Black coating improves corrosion resistance
  • Exceptional Grip: Football textured handle for grip
  • Built Tough: Reinforced nylon sheath provides carry options
  • Designed by Ken Onion in Kaneohe, Hawaii
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty covers...

    User reviews

    Things I really like about this knife:1. The grip. Very firm, good form and the hollow pins are great.2. The sheath. Super versatile, secure and just cool.3. The blade. The shape is great. It's pretty sharp on arrival.4. The look. It's just a great looking knife.5. Performance. It hacks through brush, small trees etc. with relative ease.Things I really dislike about this knife:1. On my first "real" trek into the woods with it, it broke right in half when chopping. It was eating right through anything in my way when *snap*. Upon investigation of the break, the powder coating had found its way down into the steel. Makes me think there was a hairline crack in the steel before it was even powder coated. (see photo)Things I'm not sure of yet:1. CRKT customer service. I'll keep this review updated as I speak with CRKT about this product. It appears to me that this was defective and not reflective of the actual quality of this knife. Let's see what CRKT thinks.UPDATE:I've heard from CRKT and at this point they agree to send me a new one! If it all pans out, I'll post a new update. At this point, I'm updating to 2 stars until I have a final verdict.UPDATE:They sent me a new knife no questions asked. While this was a pretty significant failure, the customer service was spot on, they owned up to the failure of the blade and sent a new one right away. Updating to three stars since the blade did fail so dramatically, but customer service was excellent. Just can't give four stars to a knife that snapped in half regardless of the service. :)In the end I can recommend the knife. I think I just got a defective one to snap in half like that!
    I bought this to fend off and vanquish coyotes while camping. I was sleeping one morning in a tent with my family when all of a sudden two deer ran straight into the tent in a effort to avoid a pack of coyotes. The coyotes encircled the tent and I was left to defend us with a burning stick I quickly plucked from the campfire nearby. The deer finally ran off with the coyotes in tow, but it was very touch and go for a few minutes and I wasn't sure why I hadn't thought to have any defensive tools up until that point. We're in CA, anyway, so we are legally obligated to die in situations of life and death; I guess I had just become accustomed to being the victim.Thankfully, California has not criminalized the possession of machetes yet (probably), so I bought the CRKT Halfachance as soon as I had signal. Now, I am able to slay coyotes whenever I am out in the wild! Of course, I can also do my yard work and chop branches for firewood with ease. The extra weight at the end of the blade makes this a great chopper and you can easily leave your hatchet behind on your next car camping excursion. The handle is very durable and comfortable so you can last through any battle, regardless of intensity. A perfect tool. Just like me.
    I bought this recently and took it out for its first test today. The test subjects were various Autumn Olive trees which I thought were great for testing. They're invasive, I'm having them ripped out soon, they're still green strong wood, and I had all various sizes to hack away at from 1/4" to 3-4". I also tested it straight out-of-the-box, I have not sharpened the edge additionally.It did a great job and cut through anything 2" and under usually in one swing. Small twigs on the branches flew off with just a light touch. You can hack through 3-4" trunks if you wanted or were in a pinch where you were left without an axe/hatchet, and while not it's intended purpose with a little work it did as well as I could expect. I cleared out 5 of the Autumn Olives without much effort at all. The second section was chopping back the grape vines that had become diseased that we're removing. Machete and vines? A match made in heaven and there was no disappointment here. The other thing I liked is that our grapes were growing up and through metal fencing, and this knife was easily maneuverable enough to chop what needed, without striking the metal of the fence.What are we left with at the end after an hour of work? We have a blade that held up amazingly. It will need a sharpen to conform to perfectionist edge standard, but it's still plenty sharp and I can see easily getting more hours out of it without needing to sharpen it again if I were really so inclined. This is a working blade through and through and my initial impressions are I'm very impressed with it.The biggest thing I've notice? After that hours work I had no hand or arm fatigue. Whatever they did with this handle was amazing and I couldn't recommend it more. I have a bad wrist and not once was that a factor while using this in that hand. If the first hours is any indication, I could have chopped for hours with ease using this. The black coating also held up wonderfully, not a spec out of place.


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Jungle Master JM-031B Machete, Black Reverse Serrated Blade, Black Cord-Wrapped Handle, 21-Inch Overall

★★★★★
$21.90
$20.13
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Description

  • 21-inch short machete is easier to maneuver, great for lightning-fast reaction
  • Black stainless steel blade with heavy duty reverse serration
  • Black cord-wrapped handle for excellent grip
  • Includes durable nylon sheath for storage and travel

User reviews

I’m a women that like to work in my yard and i use the machete for the first time and the handle fell apart on the first try ,the sharpness didn’t last,It’s a waste of money ,
WHAT A P.O.S. !!! It was like trying to cut a cinder block with tin foil ! I attempted to finally use this P.O.S. Machete in my back yard on some shrubs and after a few swipes, I noticed the blade wasn't cutting anymore. So I looked at the blade and the blade was DAMN NEAR TWISTED AND WARPED LOOKING! I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I WITNESSED. A MACHETE BLADE TWISTED AND RIPPED UP INTO A JAGGED PEICE OF METAL FROM STRIKING WOOD? How could this be? This machete or lack thereof should be removed from all of AMAZON listings ASAP!!!
The blade is weight well and is sharp and the backside saw teeth are an added benefit.The handle is worthless. The braided corded string came u raveled on the first use. Too late to return so I guess I will find some leather do make a wood handle.Not good.


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Gerber Gear 31-002076N Gator Bolo Machete 22 Inch, Black

★★★★★
$49.00
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Features

  • Manufacturer: Gerber Legendary Blades
  • Part Number: 31-002076
  • Item Weight: 7 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.5 x 28 inches
  • Item model number: 31-002076
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Color: Clear
  • Material: Other
  • Power Source: AC/DC
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Number Of Pieces: 5
  • Number of Handles: 1
  • Usage: Business
  • Included Components: Machete, Sheath
  • Batteries Included?: No
  • Batteries Required?: No

Description

  • Bolo machete with full tang construction
  • Gator grip handle provides an amazing grip
  • Lanyard for safety and security
  • Overall length: 22.5 Inches, Blade Length: 15.5 Inches
  • Nylon Sheath included

User reviews

nice design.. but i guess I am spoiled. I don't know anything about high end machete/bolo but this sucks compared to the home made bolo i am used to in philippines. The bolo there have a good heavy weight and sharp edge. the weight is what does most of the work. easy to cut branches and splice bamboo for flooring and side walls on houses.This blade is thin light weight and not sharp at all. I went out side to cut a limb the thickness of a good magic marker... fresh tree limb... took several wacks with just its own weight. There is no need for me to have to swing so hard to cut a lil branch like this. I wish I could return this "TOY" and just wait till i bring one back from the islands. Save your money just go to harbor freight and spend 10 bucks... same sharpness and weight.
Your browser does not support HTML5 video.  I bought this machete over a year ago it is one of the best I have ever owned. Am from Jamaica where we use a machete for almost everything on the farm, if you need a good machete this is one of the best not perfect because there is no such thing, but absolutely awesome. It is well balanced, the weight is in the tip this make it great for cutting your way through the bush. It easy to sharpen, I love it so much I am going to buy three more for my friends. And don’t forget, you get a carrying case with it.
This goes with me into the field every time. I has a great balance and strength. The edge goes away quickly but I would expect that from a cheaper blade. I keep a wetstone in my pack. Great for brush clearing for my forward observers. The straps on the scabbard are great for molle. The velcro is less than adequeate. The handle has discentegrated after a couple days use but not too bad. I have had to tighten the handle down a couple times after abusing it. I let one of my Soldiers use it and he struck some rocks, but the dinges were easily ground out. It is hard enough to cut through 6" tree trunk and soft enough to put a quick egde on. I might be ordering these for an entire unti. Big fan. Overall I think this is a great tool to have out in the field. I take if for all my Army field training and it gets used every time. Still has a lot of life in it. Easy to out and egde back on it.


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20” Hunting Survival Machete Knife 3CR13 Steel Sharp Blade Full Tang Swords

$28.95
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Features

  • Blade Material: 3CR13 Hand Forged Steel
  • Handle Material: Leather
  • Type: Hunting, Survival
  • Tang: Full
  • Blade Color: Black

Jungle Master 19" Full Tang Survival Machete Hunting Kukri Knife Fixed Blade

$29.89
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Features

  • Blade Color: Black
  • Tang: Full
  • Blade Length: Over 5in.
  • Type: Combat, Hunting, Survival, Machete, Kukri
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • MPN: JM-027BK
  • UPC: 805319068556

Ontario OKC Military Jungle Machete Knife 23 1/4" Carbon Steel Black USA MADE 18

$33.66
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Features

  • Color: Black
  • Features: Colored Blade, Lanyard Hole
  • Blade Length: 18"
  • Blade Color: Black
  • Blade Material: Carbon Steel
  • Handle Material: Polymer
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Dexterity: Ambidextrous
  • Authenticity: Original
  • Type: Machete
  • Handle Color: Black

On these trips my buddies and I use to go on snakes were an always present danger.  From time to time we may use a machete to take care of cottonmouth water moccasin who may be too close to the camp site.

Would we use machetes to chop firewood?  Rarely if ever would we use a machete to chop firewood.  Usually there was plenty of fallen branches for the campfire.

There is one question I keep asking myself, and that is are machetes overrated?  As much as I would like to say yes, they are overrated, part of my realizes they can play an important role when camping in wilderness areas with thick underbrush.   Machetes are good for clearing brush, and for cutting limbs for making tent stakes.

While some people may argue the machete serves no real purpose I would have to disagree with that.  A lot of it boils down to the type of camping, or the types of wilderness you are exploring.

 

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018