Best Survival Machete: 2018 Top Picks and Buying Guide

Best Survival Machete

If you are a survivalist, a prepper, or just an outdoor enthusiast, you are probably aware of how a machete is a must-have! It is a multi-purpose survival tool that can be used when it comes to building a temporary shelter, gathering firewood, or getting rid of obstructions in the campsite. It also makes a great tool for self-defense, especially with the animals in the wild.

Looking for the best survival machete in the market? You will be overwhelmed with the tons of the options that are available, although this should not be taken as an excuse to pick just any product. If you need a helping hand, keep on reading and we will have a quick look at some of the top machetes that should be on your list.

Our Top Picks for the Best Survival Machete

We won’t make things any harder for you! Below are some of the machetes that can prove to be the ultimate companion the next time you are outdoors.

1. Gerber Gator Machete

Gerber Gator Machete - Black w/ Nylon Sheath [31-000758]

If you need a machete that comes with an exceptional quality at a price that is pretty much practical, this is one product that should be on the top of the list. It may not be the cheapest, but the price is economical for most users.

The construction of the machete is also worth noting, although some people noted that it can be prone to bending. The machete has a length of 18 inches on one side, which can be used as a full-featured saw. The other side, on the other hand, can be used as a fine blade and has a length of 15 inches.

Aside from the blade, the handle material is also great. Some reported that it becomes easily loose, but with care and maintenance, this should not be a problem. It comes with a grip mold that has been exclusively developed by the manufacturer. There is also a rubberized handle that makes it comfortable to hold, even for an extended period. The sheath, on the other hand, is made of nylon.


  • Comes with an exceptional sheath 
  • Compact and lightweight 
  • Excellent price to quality ratio


  • Blade can be easily prone to bending 
  • Handle is a bit loose


This machete has a saw blade on one side and a fine blade on the other. It has a nylon sheath and a rubberized handle that ensures your highest level of comfort.

2. Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri

While it looks like a machete, technically, this falls under the category of kukri. It has a steep curve, which is its biggest difference from a machete. Nonetheless, the two can be used almost for the same purposes.

The main material that is used in the blade of this kukri is a carbon steel blade. This has received good words from many users because of its durability. Others, however, wished that it is longer if it is to be used as a machete. The blade also comes with a black coating, which is great in terms of preventing rust.

The blade of this kukri has an overall length of only 11.5 inches, which is why you might find it to be quite limited in terms of the things that it can do compared to a traditional machete. The thickness of the blade is 0.165 inch. Together with the molded handle, on the other hand, the overall length is 17 inches. Lastly, the blade angles at 22 degrees.


  • Well-balanced design 
  • Comfortable handle 
  • Extensive warranty coverage


  • Blade is too short for some people 
  • Sheath quality could be better


While this is technically a kukri and not a machete, it is another option worth highlighting. It comes with a carbon steel blade, which is angled at 22 degrees.

3. Kershaw Camp 18 (1074) Camp Series Machete

Kershaw Camp 18 (1074) Camp Series Machete; 18” 65Mn Steel Fixed Blade with Black Powdercoat Finish and Rubber Overmold Handle; Includes Molded Sheath with Nylon Straps And Lash Points; 2 lb. 14 oz

This machete comes with an 18-inch fixed full-tang blade. It is well-loved by many of its users because of the 65Mn steel, which is known for being durable. There is also a powder coating, which is one more thing that is responsible for demonstrating a strength that is hard to match.

Aside from the blade, the handle is also excellent. First, it has a contoured shape, which will make it easy to hold and use. Nonetheless, you should be mindful as there are some people who reported having ripped skin in their palms after using this machete. There is a textured rubber that covers the handle, for a secure grip. If you have sweaty hands, however, you need to be more careful as it can be slippery.

There is also no need to worry about carrying it with you in the campsite. It comes with a molded sheath and nylon straps for portability and safety while in transit.


  • Blade has exceptional sharpness 
  • Contoured and comfortable grip 
  • Excellent balance


  • Grip is slippery for people with sweaty hands 
  • Handle can rip skin in your palm


This is an 18-inch machete with a full-tang blade that is made of premium and durable steel. It is also powder-coated for added durability. To protect the blade, there is a molded sheath that is included.

4. Ontario SP8 Machete

Ontario SP8 Machete (Black)

While this is quite more expensive compared to most of the machetes that are mentioned in this post, you can be confident that the performance will not be compromised. One thing that ensures the latter is the 1095 carbon steel blade, which is known for its exceptional strength.

The length of the blade is only 10 inches, but it is already versatile in terms of the things that it can do. The nose is chisel-like. The blade is also hardened to make it longer-lasting.

The Kraton handle is also worth mentioning. It is designed with longevity in mind, which is one thing that justifies the steep price of the machete. The handle also has finger grooves so that the grip will be safe and secure.

Nonetheless, with a weight of 22.8 ounces, this can be quite heavy for some users, which can be a reason for you to complain of discomfort.

It comes with leather and nylon sheath that is included, which is great in terms of protecting the blade from external elements that could speed up wear.


  • Made of high-quality steel 
  • Comfortable grip 
  • Sharp blade


  • A bit expensive 
  • Sheath quality could be better


The premium price of this machete is justified by its exceptional construction. It has a 10-inch blade that is made of 1095 carbon steel. It is also quite heavy compared to most of its competitors.

5. SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete

SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete MC11-N - Hardcased Black 12" Blade w/ Saw Back, Rubber Handle, Nylon Sheath

This machete has a 12-inch blade that is made of carbon steel. There are many people who praised this product because of the sharpness of the blade, making it an exceptional pick. Nonetheless, while it is indeed sharp, there are overwhelming reviews pointing out to how the blade is flimsy. It may not be strong enough for some tasks, making it easily prone to bending or warping, among other common external defects.

It comes with a Kraton rubber handle. The handle will help to promote a strong grip whenever it is used. This will be great in promoting your comfort and safety.

A nylon sheath is included with a purchase of this machete. Nonetheless, there are some negative reviews with regards to the size of the machete, noting how it is quite small.

Lastly, for your peace of mind and assurance of satisfaction, the manufacturer is offering a lifetime warranty.


  • Sharp blade 
  • Has a wide bevel 
  • Easy to hold and balance


  • Blade can easily bend 
  • Sheath is too small


This 12-inch machete has a sharp blade with a length of 12 inches, but it has received negative reviews when it comes to durability. The manufacturer is offering a limited lifetime warranty.

Benefits and Uses of a Survival Machete

Still unconvinced that a survival machete is a must-have when it comes to camping tools? Below are some of its benefits, which might finally compel you to invest in one.

  • Building a Shelter: When you need to create a temporary shelter out in the wild, a machete will come in handy. 
  • Self-Defense: A machete will also be a great tool for self-defense, whether it is a stray animal or another person who is a threat to your safety. 
  • Chopping Wood: Whether you need to start a bonfire, or you need chopped wood for cooking in the campsite, a machete will be useful. 
  • Clear Bush: You will also find the machete useful when you are clearing bush in the path or trail as you hike. It can cut and maintain trails, making it free from obstructions. 
  • Hunting: If you are looking for food to eat in the wild, you can use a machete. It can also be used for butchering.

Essential Considerations when Buying

As you try to select the machete to purchase, go beyond the price. Below are some of the most important things to consider to pick a product that can deliver the highest level of satisfaction.

Gerber Gator Machete - Black w/ Nylon Sheath [31-000758]


  • Blade Style: The shape of the blade is one of the distinctive features of a machete. The choice of the style of the blade will depend on the intended use of the survival machete. Some of the styles that you will encounter include kukri, bolo, and Latin-style machete, among others. 
  • Blade Length: Machetes can vary in length, which usually ranges from 10 to 28 inches. On average, most of the options are 18 inches. If you want one that is more portable, you should choose a shorter blade, although the biggest drawback is that the reach can be limited. 
  • Handle: Pay attention as well to the material and design of the handle. It should be made in such a way that it will be easy for you to handle. A contoured shape with a non-slip material will be great. 
  • Material: The material used in the blade is another critical consideration. Some of the most common materials are stainless and carbon steel. The material should demonstrate exceptional sharpness and durability. A powder coating will also be nice to make it less prone to rust.
  • Weight: Stay away from a machete that is too heavy as this can easily lead to fatigue. On the other hand, when it is too light, you might easily lose grip or balance. Find a weight that you are most comfortable with. 
  • Versatility: For the machete to be considered versatile, it should have a multi-purpose design. In the case of most machetes, one side has a fine blade while the other side has a more serrated blade, which can be used for sawing. 
  • Sheath: A sheath is an add-on feature that can be beneficial to owners of a machete. Often made of nylon or leather, this will protect against external elements and will also be great for your safety, making sure that the blade is covered when the machete is not used.

Safety Tips when Using a Survival Machete

Before we end this post, allow us to give you some quick tips on the things to do to ensure the safe use of a survival machete:

  • Grip the machete the right way. This will prevent it from slipping and will also minimize the likelihood that you will end up with blisters. Your grip should be smooth and flexible.
  • The right swing angle will also be a critical element for your safety. Swing the machete at 45 degrees and make sure that the surrounding is clear to avoid hitting anyone, especially kids. You should also always swing going away to your body. 
  • When the machete is not used, make sure that it is kept in its sheath and away from a place where it can be easily reached by children. 
  • Do not continue using the machete when you are tired. If you keep on working, there is a higher likelihood that an accident will happen.

Wrap Up

In sum, the best survival machete is a must-have tool for anyone who spends a great deal of time outdoors. It is a versatile gear that will make camping a lot easier. From self-defense to shelter-building, it will come in handy in more ways than one. To maximize the benefits and achieve the highest level of satisfaction, keep an eye on the five products we have briefly reviewed above.

Best Survival Machete: 2018 Top Picks and Buying Guide
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About the author

Michael Everett

I am Michael, I like camping and have camped many times over the place. I'm the creator of blog, through my blog I want to share my camping and travel experiences for people, there are explanations, questions and things you need.

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