Survival Machetes | 7 Field-Tested and Approved Machetes I’ve Used in The Real-World

If there is one tool that I would consider the ultimate survival item, it would be a machete! Sure, if I were in a real survival situation and had my choice, I would want a satellite phone to call for help or a firearm for hunting and protection, but if those two options were off the table, I would want one of the machetes below. I would also choose a machete over a survival knife any day, as they are more capable and offer more usefulness if you can only have one tool on you.

Now, before we go further, let’s acknowledge the ridiculousness of these types of lists, but since so many people email me and “Google” what are the best survival machetes, I can’t help but answer the question from my experience.

Though I have never been in a real survival situation, I have certainly spent enough time in the backcountry and wilderness to recommend a good machete to have with you.

Here are my top choices for a survival machete. This list could be made up of over 20 Condor Tool & Knife choices as, in my opinion, they are just awesome choices. However, I wanted to offer some other options. Every machete on this list, I have real-world experience with or have owned and used several other options from the manufacturer.

To make the list below, the machete had to be made of a thicker blade so you could do more with it; these are not your traditional thin-bladed jungle machetes. Each one below is able to cut, chop, swing, and perform a wide variety of tasks.

Condor Tool & Knife Mountain Pass Machete

Condor Tool & Knife CTK2838155HC: Mountain Pass Machete
  • 21.88″ (55.58cm) overall
  • 15.5″ (39.37cm) Condor classic finish 1075HC steel blade
  • Natural canvas micarta handle
  • Convex grind blade
  • Includes Brown leather belt sheath

The Mountain Pass Machete by Condor Tool & Knife is a robust choice for survival enthusiasts. Its exceptional balance and durable construction make it ideal for building shelters and clearing paths. The ergonomic handle ensures comfort during prolonged use, making it a reliable companion in the wild.

Condor Tool & Knife Amalgam Machete ‎CTK2817117HC

Condor Tool & Knife, Amalgam Machete,Brown
  • Crafted from the highest quality materials
  • Built for performance and durability
  • Made in El Salvador

This Amalgam Machete stands out for its versatile design, combining the agility of a traditional machete with the strength of a heavier blade. It’s perfect for intricate tasks like crafting tools or preparing game, while still robust enough for defending against wildlife. The Condor Amalgam has made several other of my machete lists like the Best Condor Machetes here.

Ka Bar KA1248-BRK Cutlass Machete

Ka-Bar KA1248-BRK Machete Cutlass
  • Sturdy machete with cutlass-style 1085 carbon-steel blade
  • Ideal for chopping down weeds, clearing campsites, or cutting branches
  • Ergonomically shaped Kraton G thermoplastic elastomer handle
  • 20-degree edge angle; blade measures 11 inches long
  • Includes leather/Cordura combination sheath; weighs 1.12 pounds

The KA1248-BRK Cutlass Machete from Ka Bar is a fusion of traditional design and modern toughness. Its cutlass-style blade is ideal for navigating through dense vegetation, and the comfortable grip makes it a top pick for extended survival expeditions. This is one of my favorite all around machetes and I reviewed it here on the Best Machetes For Clearing Brush article.

Condor Tool & Knife Bushcraft Parang

Inspired by the traditional Parang design, this machete excels in chopping and slicing through thick brush. Its curved blade is not only efficient for shelter building but also effective in hunting scenarios, making it a multifaceted tool for any survival situation. You can’t go wrong with this machete!

TOPS Knives Yacare Machete

TOPS KNIVES Yacare 10.25in Machete – YAC-01
  • The fixed blade and drop point machete knife is made of 1095 RC 56-58 steel
  • The fixed blade knife comprises 10.25″ blade length and 15.50″ overall length
  • Drop point style of the blade is supplied with Black Canvas Micarta handle
  • Includes a slim, durable Black Ballistic Nylon sheath with Belt Loop
  • Can be used both for tactical, hunting and survival purposes

The Yacare Machete by TOPS Knives is a testament to innovation in survival gear. Its unique design offers superb control and power, making it excellent for precision tasks like fire starting or tool crafting, while still being robust enough for defensive needs. The Yacare is on the more expensive side, but in this case you get what you pay for.


CRKT KUK Fixed Blade Knife: Carbon Steel Knife with Full Tang Kukri Recurved Blade, Injection Molded Handle, and Polyester Sheath 2742
  • Powerful Cutting: Kukri blade style provides powerful cutting
  • Strong And Durable: 65 mn carbon steel is tough and holds and edge well
  • Secure And Comfortable: Injection molded handle with texture for grip
  • Designed by Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Versatile Use: Perfect for use when camping, doing yard work or bushcrafting

CRKT’s Kuk is a modern take on the traditional Kukri, known for its distinctive curved blade. This machete excels in both chopping and carving, making it an indispensable tool for building shelters or preparing food in the wilderness. I reviewed the CRKT Kuk in detail here.

Esee Jaraca Kukri

ESEE Knives EXPAT Jaraca Kukri Machete – Cordura Sheath – Walnut Wood Handle
  • Blade Material: 1075 Carbon Steel
  • Blade Finish: Textured Black Powder Coat
  • Blade Length: 11.50″, Blade Thickness: 0.250″
  • Overall Length: 16.75″
  • Weight with Sheath: 1 lb. 7.0 oz.

The Esee Jaraca Kukri combines the classic Kukri design with contemporary materials. Its formidable blade is perfect for heavy-duty tasks like clearing land or cutting through thick materials, while its ergonomic handle ensures ease of use during long survival tasks. Don’t listen to the fools on Amazon, this is an outstanding machete from a great company.

The Vital Role of a Survival Machete

As an experienced outdoorsman, I know firsthand the critical importance of having the best survival machetes in your gear arsenal. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or venturing into the wilderness, a top-quality machete is essential for ensuring your safety and preparedness.

In any survival scenario, every tool counts – and that’s where a machete truly shines. Its primary function is to help you navigate through dense vegetation and thick undergrowth with ease. With its long blade and razor-sharp edge, it effortlessly cuts through branches, vines, and foliage that may obstruct your path.

But its usefulness doesn’t stop there. A reliable survival machete can also be used for shelter building by efficiently chopping down small trees or branches to construct sturdy structures that provide protection from the elements. This versatility makes it an indispensable tool when setting up camp or creating emergency shelters during unexpected situations.

Furthermore, a well-crafted survival machete serves as an effective self-defense weapon against potential threats in the wild due to its size and weight which make it suitable for delivering powerful strikes if necessary. However, always remember to approach using any tool for self-defense with caution and only as a last resort.

In conclusion, recognizing the vital role of having a high-quality survival machete cannot be overstated. It not only aids in navigation but also assists with various tasks such as clearing paths and constructing shelters while providing peace of mind knowing you have a versatile tool at your disposal in case of emergencies.

Essential Features for the Best Survival Machete

When it comes to finding the perfect survival machete, there are several key features that you should prioritize. These features will guarantee that you have a reliable and durable tool that can handle any outdoor challenge or survival scenario. Here are some crucial factors to consider:

  1. Blade Material: The material of the blade is critical as it determines the machete’s strength, sharpness, and resistance to corrosion. High-quality steel blades such as carbon steel or stainless steel are commonly used in survival machetes due to their durability and ability to maintain a sharp edge.
  2. Handle Design: A comfortable handle design is essential for a secure grip during use. Look for handles made from materials like rubber or textured synthetic materials that provide excellent traction even when wet or sweaty.
  3. Overall Durability: Survival machetes need to be able to withstand heavy use without breaking or bending easily. Consider models with full tang construction, where the blade extends through the entire length of the handle, providing maximum strength and stability.
  4. Sheath: A sheath is not only important for safely storing your machete but also for easy portability during outdoor adventures. Look for a sturdy sheath made from high-quality materials like nylon or leather with secure fastening mechanisms.
  5. Size and Weight: The size and weight of a survival machete play a significant role in its usability and versatility. A balance between being lightweight enough for easy maneuverability while still having enough heft behind each swing is ideal.
  6. Blade Style: Different blade styles offer various advantages depending on your intended use of the machete. The classic Latin-style blade provides excellent chopping power, Kukri-style blades have a forward-curved shape that enhances slicing capabilities, and sawback blades add versatility by allowing you to saw through branches or other tough materials.
  7. Multipurpose Functionality: Consider whether you need a machete that can perform multiple tasks. Some survival machetes come with additional features like saw teeth on the spine, firestarter rods, or even built-in compasses.

By considering these essential features, you can ensure that you choose a top-notch survival machete that meets your specific needs and provides reliable performance in any outdoor situation. In the next section, we will explore some of the top-rated survival machetes currently available in the marketplace.

You Never Know When A Machete Can Help You Beyond Basic Gardening!

  1. Clearing Paths: Easily cut through dense vegetation to create paths or trails in the wilderness.
  2. Building Shelters: Chop branches and small trees to construct shelters for protection against the elements.
  3. Firewood Gathering: Collect and split firewood for building fires, essential for warmth and cooking.
  4. Hunting and Preparing Game: Use it for hunting small game or preparing caught food.
  5. Self-Defense: A machete can be a formidable tool for self-defense against wild animals.
  6. Signaling for Help: Reflect sunlight off the blade as a signal mirror to attract rescuers.
  7. Digging Tool: In the absence of a shovel, a machete can be used for digging, such as creating a fire pit or latrine.
  8. Food Preparation: Chop fruits, vegetables, or meat for cooking.
  9. Making Tools and Utensils: Carve wood to create other tools, utensils, or even makeshift fishing gear.
  10. Cutting Rope or Vines: Useful for cutting rope, vines, or other materials for various survival needs.
  11. Clearing Snow or Ice: Can be used to clear snow or break ice in colder environments.
  12. Harvesting Plants: Harvest plants or herbs that can be used for medicinal purposes or as food.
  13. Opening Cans or Containers: In a pinch, the machete can be used to open cans or containers.
  14. Creating Drainage Trenches: Dig trenches around a shelter to divert water and prevent flooding.
  15. Fashioning Rafts or Floatation Devices: Cut and shape materials needed to build a raft or other floatation devices for water navigation.

A machete’s versatility makes it an essential tool in any survival kit, capable of performing a wide range of tasks that are crucial for survival in the wild.

Remember, investing in a high-quality survival tool is crucial for any outdoor enthusiast – it not only serves as a versatile tool but also provides peace of mind during challenging situations.

So take your time, do thorough research on various models available on, read reviews from trusted sources, and choose wisely! Happy exploring!