What is the Best Machete?

We reviewed the top 3 machetes and found one surprising secret. Unlike most people, I’m sure you’re looking for the best machete because you want to survive the Zombie apocalypse (or just cut down some stuff when hiking, either reason is good in my book). Well, after reviewing the top 3 best selling machetes, guess what? One of them just plain sucked.

Name Kukri Colossal Bear Grylls
Brand Kabar Trademark Gerber
Sharpness Extreme Dull Very
Weight 1.9lbs 1.28lbs 1.8lbs
Length 17″ 25″ 25″
Material Carbon Stainless Carbon
Sheath Good OK Good
MSRP $66 $30 $55
Amazon $42 $17 $32
buy now buy now buy now

What makes a Good and Best Machete

These are features that you want in a good machete.

  • Weight. Depending on your task, you might need a heavy machete (for cutting thick branches) or a lighter machete (for carrying on your hip during a long hike). If you don’t know what you are gonna use a machete for, pick a middle of the road weight.
  • Length. The longer the machete, the more it weights. Also, the longer the machete, the more you can cut with just one swing. In addition to that, the longer the machete, the harder it is to carry it around on your hip (not good for hiking).
  • Sharpness. This is self explanatory. You want a nice sharp blade that will remain sharp for years. Pro-Tip: If you’re cheap and won’t be using the machete a lot, just get a cheap machete and buy a cheap sharpener ;). This leads right into…
  • Material. Different types of metals hold their sharpness differently. Some metals are quite soft and will get dull easily. Other metals are harder to dull but these types usually rust easy.
  • Sheath. The machete will come with a sheath (it isn’t safe otherwise) and the sheath should be of high quality. It is as important as the machete itself. You would want something sturdy. If you are going to a humid place, choose a synthetic sheath because it’ll resist moisture better.

Ka-Bar Black Kukri Machete

Kabar machete with box


Ka-Bar (pronounced K (like the letter ‘K’)-bar(like the place you buy drinks at)) is a classic name in survival knives. The company originally produced combat knives for the military but now has branched out into other cutting tools. This knife has a 11.5 inch blade and weights 1.7 pounds. We found that this is just the right amount of weight and length to cut items in the woods behind our house with ease. Small branches were sliced in half with just one cut. It also did not become uncomfortable to carry around after an hour.

The handle is the classic Ka-bar grip. It is made of some type of plastic (I don’t know what) but, don’t worry, it won’t slip out of your hands easily. The handle also has a little hole at the end where you can attach some 550 cord to give you a loop to place around your wrist–for those of us who are afraid we’ll accidentally fling the machete across the room. You can also attach a whistle, fire starter, or mirror to the 550 cord.

The knife is very popular on the internet since it is the ninth best selling hunting knife on Amazon. Other Reviewers stated how the blade came razor sharp right out of the box. One even mentioned how he has abused his for years a it is still in great condition. Get the Ka-bar Kukri machete here.

Trademark Colossal 25″ Heavy Duty Machete

photo of 25 inch machete

This machete is HUGE.

This machete is a little lighter then the last one at 1.28lbs and has a longer blade (20 inches long, or 8.5 inches longer then the last one). This one felt a lot lighter then the last one and, because of its length, felt more adequate for cutting twigs and branches. The length gives this machete tons of power. I agree with one customer who stated that this machete is more like a sword–and it is!

Once again, this machete came razor sharp right out of the box. After a day of fooling around with my brothers, the machete got quite dull. I don’t think this thing was meant to cut branches. Also, some reviews said that their machete came dull. Eh, this machete isn’t winning a lot of people over.

I, right now, have almost no use for this thing. It is too long to carry on your hip but it would be great if you are going through the Amazon where the vegetation is leafy and not woody. I’m quite sure that they actually made this machete for the Amazon because the blade is made of stainless steel–it’ll never rust in moisture. Most reviews online were mixed about this machete and, for that, I don’t recommend this knife. You can read more about it if you really want to.

Gerber Bear Grylls Machete

Bear Grylls with his Machete

Gerber is a name that any outdoorsmen knows. Bear Grylls is a former Special Forces member and, now, a TV host. The Bear Grylls machete was designed for survival and weights almost 2lbs. This is the heaviest knife we tested. It has a 13.5″ blade. The weight and shortness of the knife made the knife a great tool for cutting down chunks of wood. In fact, we were bored and started chopping up some 2×4’s in the backyard with it. The machete can be used as a hatchet if you find the need.

This knife was designed more for camping and survival than hiking. It is great for heavy duty work but I wouldn’t carry it around all day on a long hike–too heavy. If you need a machete for the occasion vegetation clearing and utility work, this knife does both just fine.

The machete also has a really cool handle that grips like Spiderman. It comes with some cord at the end and you can get a fire starter for it if you like. The sheath is so-so in my opinion–nothing special but it gets the job done.

The reviews online stated that this knife is all right. There is also a recall for older models of this knife as of Fall 2012. Guess Gerber screwed something up at the factory because they recalled the Bear Grylls Survival Knife the other year as well.  Read more about this machete.

The best Machete is…

Out of our test, what is the best machete? Well, first off, Bear Grylls has been accused of being a fake and, after testing out his machete (as well as knife) I believe them. This dude is just someone riding a wave of hype. Yes, secret’s out Bear Grylls. You think spending the night in a hotel during your “3 day survival” series won’t spread around?

As for the Trademark Colossal, that thing is only good if you are going to the Amazon rain forest. I’m pretty sure only a small handful of the readers are going to the Amazon ;). If you want something cool to play around with in the back yard or at the camp site, avoid this machete because the blade is made of stainless steel–it will not hold up for long.

And, with all of that being said, I think the KA-BAR kurki machete is the best. It is heavy enough to chop thick branches as well as light enough to carry around on a trip. The blade lasts forever and it has a really good handle. The brand is also much more trustworthy than Bear Grylls. You can get it here.

Don’t believe Bear Grylls is a fake? Have on of these machetes at home? Just board and want to tell me what you’re listening to? Post it in the comment box below. I personally read all comments =).

  • Andrew Law

    Cold steel makes a decent and cheap machete in quite a few different styles. They hold up well and you don’t need to worry about messing them up when you accidentally hit a rock clearing some brush.

  • Mathew Rudkin

    Interested in peoples opinion of Extrema Ratio kukri, ie: People seem to say their blades are over hardened?

  • Lawrence Gasior Jr.

    Saying Bear is a fake really pisses me off. The TV show is just that.. TV! He is a special forces veteran and goes on expeditions all over the world. and the survival demonstrations he executes on television are awsome and REAL. One night in a hotel is not what he does on every shows filming. It happened once! Give the guy some credit. Your just jealous and wish you were as cool as Bear!

  • Lawrence Gasior Jr.

    Also, all three of the machetes listed above are impractical for general use. Check out the Damascus Tracker Blades online. There a little pricey but they are beautiful and you can choose between mycarta handles to rosewood and my favorite camel bone. There made to use or collect.