The Corona brand has been making garden tools since the 1920s. They make saws, shovels, garden clippers, tree pruners—you name it—and their Corona Clipper machetes are among the more popular items in their product line. I’ve used them extensively and found them to be exactly the right tool for certain tasks. For other tasks, not so much.
This makes the Corona machete a tough one to review. The thing is, we tend to ask a lot of our machetes. We often want a tool that can clear brush, but also cut down trees and split logs. To be perfectly frank, that’s not what machetes are for. There are other tools for that.
I say this because if you buy a Corona Clipper expecting to hack through arm-thick tree trunks, you’ll find it lacking.
“But if you buy it with the intent of clearing out brush and weeds—which, again, is it’s intended use—then you’ll find it to be just the right tool for that job.
Measurements and Specs
Corona Clipper machetes come in two sizes: 18” and 22”. I chose the 18” model, and have found it to be just right for my needs. The 18” measurement, by the way, refers only to the blade length. If you include the handle, the machete measures just a hair over 23 inches.
This machete has a pretty thin blade, just about 1/16” at the spine. It also has some significant bend and flex to it. These could be viewed as negatives, but they bring me back to a point that I’m probably going to end up making a few times in this review. That point is: this is a good machete for what it is. A thin, agile blade is what you want for bushwhacking through weeds and underbrush.
I don’t know the exact makeup of the blade steel. It definitely has some decent carbon content, and the blade is heat tempered to give it extra strength and longevity while maintaining flexibility. A lot of machetes have softer steel and are not hardened, so this is nice to see.
Note: Buy The Right Model
The model reviewed here is the MA60061 with an 18″ blade. Many product listing on other sites have the right model #, but incorrect picture, even Amazon. This is the one you want: Corona MA60061. There is also a Corona 22″ blade machete version with the same ergo handle.
Right out of the package, the Corona Clipper machete is decently sharp. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s honed to perfection—to be honest, the factory grind is a bit uneven—but it’s sharp enough to use right away if you want to. Personally, I’d run it over with a file to get a keener edge.
Whatever the makeup of the steel may be, I must give the Corona credit for being easy to sharpen. It takes an edge nicely, which is important because despite the tempered steel, a machete like this will dull with natural wear-and-tear, so you’ll want to sharpen it often.
Handle and Grip
The handle of the Corona machete is made of hard plastic with a rubberized grip. It’s well contoured for an average-sized hand, and the rubber (actually a rubber-like plastic called Santoprene) makes it comfortable as well as slip-resistant, even under wet conditions. The handle has a built-in hand stop, which also helps keep it firmly in your hand and minimizes slipping. There’s a lanyard hole at the rear end of the grip.
The handle is made up of two pieces, which are clamped around the blade and held together with steel rivets. It’s a sturdy design, but there is a bit of a seam where the two parts meet, and you can feel it in your hand.
I actually sanded the handle of mine down just a bit to avoid getting blisters from the seams during heavy use (you could also tape the handle, or just wear gloves, which is probably a good idea anyway).
One thing I love is that the blade has a full tang that extends all the way through the handle and provides good balance and stability.
Using the Corona Machete
The 18” Corona Clipper is perfect for clearing overgrown trails, cutting down vines, and getting rid of unwanted brush. I’ve taken it with me on some trail maintenance treks and found it to be an ideal trail buddy. There’s a place on my property where the woods are constantly trying to take back the yard, and this machete always comes with me when it’s time to hack down all the new vines and saplings that pop up back there.
These are the kinds of situations in which the Corona shines. The thinness and flexibility of the blade, along with its easy-to-sharpen edge, make it an ideal tool for this kind of light-duty work.
If you need to cut through anything bigger around than your wrist, this isn’t really the right tool. It can be done with a series of V-cuts—I’ve definitely used the Corona this way to get through some thicker, woody vines—but you’re better off using a good hatchet, or a blade like the Kershaw Camp Knife. The latter is a great tool that inhabits that “not-quite-a-knife, not-quite-a-machete” space.
Final Thoughts on the Corona Machete
I haven’t talked about price yet, but it’s with noting that this is a very budget-friendly machete. Coming in well under $20, the 18” Corona Clipper is really a top-notch product in its price range. I’ve seen these things go on sale as low as $10, which is kind of crazy when you consider what you’re getting.
You could definitely pay much more and get a more versatile, high-end machete. And if that’s what you need, then by all means do so. But if you’re looking for an affordable machete that handles light-duty work like a champ, then you’ll have a hard time finding a better deal than the Corona.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his clients websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.