Feel more than a Spartan with a camping machete that can take on the day!
Best Camping Machete: Let’s admit it. There are just some things that a camping knife can’t tackle. And that’s when we turn to a good survival machete for camping.
A well-made machete is strong enough to chop wood and clear bushes without chipping. Add to that it’s easy to carry weight and handle.
Gone are the days of heavy and savage machetes.
We’ve scoured the market for the best-crafted ones and narrowed down the list to 7 of the best camping machetes that you can bring with pride to your next camping trip or just add to your survival kit.
In this Best Camping Machete review, we’ll be going over:
- The strongest machetes for heavy-duty work;
- Best lightweight machetes;
- The best machetes for every budget;
- What to look for when buying one;
- Lots more!
After going through the list, you’d also want to see the buyer’s guide that we’ve prepared for you so you can decide on the best camping machete to get.
So if you’re now ready…
…let’s swing it!
SECTION 2: Best Camping Machete
Best Titanium-Bonded Blade Camping Machete – Editor’s Choice Award
Camillus Carnivore X 18’’ Machete with Sheath
- Perfectly balanced full tang steel
- 3x stronger than most machete steels
- Double-edged machete
- It also has a rope or wire cutter and gut hook
- The head can be used for digging
- Patterned and textured handle for better grip
- Tough ballistic sheath
- It comes with a belt loop
- It also comes with a smaller hand knife
- A bit heavy
- You may need to reinforce the handle for a more secure grip
Gone are the days when a machete is just a big knife. Some well-crafted ones today can be used in many ways, just like this review’s Editor’s Choice, Camillus Carnivore 18-inch survival machete.
This 18-inch machete has a full tang blade to start with, and its handle is quite light in addition to that. So that gives us a perfectly-balanced machete from top to bottom.
And nothing beats working while knowing that your tool won’t break on you.
And that’s not all.
It also has another blade edge aside from its leading edge. I’m talking about its saw back. It may look like just another extra little feature but it proved to be really useful not only to us on our camping trips but also in prolonging the life of this machete.
Thanks to its double edges, I didn’t have to use the leading edge for everything. I’ve experienced having my blades chipped because I didn’t have anything but them when I had to saw wood or do other heavy-duty tasks.
The fine edge is not thin but is just right for rough work. It never chipped or even got scratches.
Aside from that…
…along the saw back, there’s also a recessed part that you can use to cut wires or ropes. It can also be used as a gut hook if you’re into hunting!
Did I say “multipurpose?”
And its many uses don’t end there. The top of the blade is also angled as it’s designed to be used for digging. I haven’t used it for that purpose yet, but this area felt harder and more solid.
Right out of the box, it was already sharp, and taking it out was a bit of a struggle. As a result, I’ve acquired a little injury, but I was glad because that’s a sign of the blade’s sharpness.
Just so you know…
…it may be sharp but it’s not wicked sharp if that’s what you’re looking for. So make sure to sharpen it first before bringing it to your camping trips.
Sharpening it was easy-peasy and didn’t take an hour despite its size.
After that, I didn’t have to sharpen it again for months, so I guess that’s saying something. And that’s with regular camping trips, in case you’re wondering.
The blade is stainless steel, which is known for its rust resistance but not its hardness or durability. So I didn’t expect this Carnivore machete to be tough at all. But after about three months of use, it’s still scratch and chip-free.
Not to mention, it’s also resistant to rust. So if you’re looking for the best survival machete for your camping, hunting, or even fishing trips, a corrosion and rust-resistant one like this is your best bet.
This tough cookie is encased in its own equally strong sheath that’s made from ballistic materials.
As for its handle…
…as previously mentioned, it was light enough to not disturb the machete’s overall perfect balance. But that means some tradeoffs.
It’s patterned and textured, but the textures still didn’t seem enough to give me a good grip. The plastic itself was still smooth.
So I had to improvise and reinforce the handle by wrapping pieces of cloth around it. You can also do it with a rope.
My favorite part?
Well, it came not only with a sheath but also another survival knife! This knife is a trimming knife with its own sheath.
Best Budget Camping Machete – Best Value Award
Hooyman Machete For Outdoor And Camping
- An ergonomic H-grip handle
- The handle turns tacky when wet
- Tough full tang machete
- Good edge retention
- Backed by lifetime warranty
- It may be too thin for very heavy-duty work
- Not razor-sharp out of the box
Looking for a good entry-level machete that you won’t feel bad abusing? You certainly don’t have to get a poorly crafted one because there are actually machetes that come at an agreeable price with impressive value in them.
I’m talking about the best of them all, this review’s Best Value machete, this curved blade by Hooyman.
It’s such a looker at the very first glance with its nice shape and curves, and with the performance, it didn’t disappoint.
Right out of the box, though, just know that it didn’t come razor-sharp. I had to sharpen it for a while, but with its price and value, as well as its performance, later on, it was worth it.
After sharpening it, it took three months of regular use before it needed sharpening again.
As for its blade…
…as for its blade, it’s made from 3CR13 stainless steel, which is a favorite among some knife makers because of its hardness and resistance to damage.
Of course, there’s also its rust resistance! That sounds like a heck of a blade, right?
It’s also quite easy to sharpen. Maybe its thinness also contributed to that. It’s about ⅛ of an inch so it’s easy to sharpen and refine. Add to that, the material itself has good machinability, so there’s that for you.
…it also means that you may want to be careful about using it for heavy-duty jobs such as chopping down a large stump of a tree. As for clearing brush, it proved efficient with its sharpness and lightness.
Because of its weight, it’s also a good machete for self-defense if you’re looking for one. It’s easy to hold and easy to swing, too.
And speaking of hold, its handle is also satisfying. It’s very roughly textured with an H-grip along the handle. It’s also ergonomic, so you can hold it securely, even with wet hands.
Oh, and did I mention that the surface of the handle gets tacky whenever it gets wet? That adds to the effectively secure grip of this machete.
It comes with a 1680D polyester sheath with plastic lining inside to add more protection to the blade.
Overall, it’s lightweight with an almost perfect grip. Just perfect if you’re also just learning to hold a machete.
Best Stainless Steel Blade Camping Machete – Top Pick Award
Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri Machete
- It comes with a sheath, shoulder pouch, shoulder, and leg strap, and a belt loop
- Full tang blade
- It also comes with a Ferro rod with a striker plate
- The handle has a strategic ergonomics for an excellent grip
- The thickness of the blade isn’t ideal for delicate or fine works
- The sheath may be too soft and needs reinforcement
If you’re looking for the best Kukri machete for all your outdoor endeavors, we vouch for this 19.7-inch goodness from Schrade.
The SCHKM1 may look plain at first glance (except for its classy black look), but if you look into the details, even a beginner can tell how well-designed it is.
The handle is my favorite part. It’s ergonomically shaped to fit your hand like a glove. And the cool thing is, we tried it with both big and small hands, and both felt comfortable and perfectly snug, even after a long period of use.
In addition to that…
…it has the Schrade trademark safe T-grip. The handle is wider at the bottom, and it narrows down as it goes up to the quillon. This is so you can have more choices in holding it.
For light use, you can hold it lower on the handle, and for some heavy swinging, the upper part is just perfect for a tighter and more comfortable grip.
The lower part of the blade, at about one and a half inches, is also unsharpened to further keep it safer for your hands.
See the excellent design and craftsmanship?
This is just one of the reasons we decided to make it this review’s Top Pick!
And it doesn’t end there.
As for the blade, it’s quite tricky as it’s both soft and hard at the same time.
It was already sharp out of the box but not as sharp as what’s ideal for us, so I sharpened it first before using it.
The stainless steel is 3CR13, much like our Best Value machete. They just differ in treatment.
The thing is, it’s actually a soft blade. That said, it absorbs impact well as it bends rather than breaks.
On the other hand, it’s quite a thick blade. That gives it just the right amount of hardness needed for heavy tasks. That means that you can also definitely use it for chopping wood and other rough camp jobs.
As expected, it didn’t chip at all. But if you know that you’ll be doing fine work on your trip, make sure to also bring along a good little knife or a smaller and thinner machete, as this big guy isn’t very ideal for delicate tasks.
To add to that…
…the blade also has a nice curved shape with a big belly which lessens the time it would take for the blade to make contact with wood or any surface you’re chopping.
It comes with its own sheath, which is made from polyester. The polyester sheath is durable with double stitching, but you still want to be careful with it and, perhaps, give it a bit more reinforcement to keep the blade safe inside.
Aside from the sheath, it also comes with shoulder, leg, and waist straps, so you have the freedom to decide how you would mount it.
And that’s all.
It also comes with a high-quality shoulder pocket that you can also remove if not needed. Inside, you can put the Ferro rod and striker steel that also come with the package.
All this for an incredibly agreeable price? Definitely count me in.
Best Camping Machete With Exquisite Finish
Woodmans Pal 284 – Multi-Use Axe Machete
- Multipurpose; it’s a machete, shovel, knife, and brush ax all in one tool
- Exquisite vintage design
- Handmade leather handle and sheath
- It also has a steel knuckle guard for extra protection
- Excellent hardness and quality
- Comes with a belt loop
- The handle could lose a bit of a grip when wet
- Not ambidextrous
- A bit pricey
If you want something that’s both beautiful and functional, there’s no better option than this upgraded version of the machete that’s been used by the U.S. Army since WWII.
The 17-inch stunner Woodmans Pal 284 is certainly more than looks because it has more than one purpose aside from being just a machete.
As a matter of fact…
…it’s a machete, ax, shovel, and knife all in one tool! Can you believe that?
Well, just look at its sickle-like shape. Its spine has an edge, too, so you’d want to be careful with that. You can use that edge like a knife. Meanwhile, it also has some kind of a hook on the top part of the blade.
The edge is angled to perfection, so it can be used to pull or clear vegetation that’s not possible to cut or chop. With its moderate size, it’s very easy to use to clear bushes on a wide scale, especially if you’re out hiking or doing bushcraft.
You can also use it as a shovel, although you may want to lower your expectations.
After all, it doesn’t have much of a recessed area to hold that much stuff like soil or leaves. But it’s still handy and incredibly helpful if you’re ever left with no options, or you have to bring fewer tools on your trip.
If you’re wondering about the quality…
…let me tell you that there’s no question about it.
Well, some parts, such as the hook, may need a bit more reshaping right out of the box. But overall, it came sharp and ready. It’s also treated to a tough and durable perfection, making it one of the longest-lasting machetes on this list.
I mean, there’s a reason why it has become an heirloom for most of its holders.
Its spring steel is impressively hard and thick. That means it’s also perfect for all sorts of the woodwork. You can even carve wood with its shaped tip!
But it doesn’t end with the blade…
…because the handle is also exquisitely designed.
The blade ends in a thin but solid handguard, but that’s not all. Unique to its design, it also has a knuckle guard, which doesn’t only keep your hand extra-safe but also gives your machete a very nice vintage look and feel!
But the true highlight of the machete is the leather pieces.
The handle is wrapped with thick leather with bridle quality, so it’s not just your typical skin. The sheath is also made with the same tough material.
Moreover, this leather has been treated with Neatsfoot oil to preserve its quality and durability, as well as add a nice color to it.
Of course, it would certainly need more maintenance than the typical machete, as you’ll need to treat the leather every once in a while.
But for a piece of history? Yes, I’ll take it, please.
Oh, and it also came with a belt loop, which I didn’t expect, so it was a nice surprise. Now, you can hang your badass machete on your waist like a Spartan.
Best Easy To Use Camping Machete
Billhook Heavy Machete
- Durable and heavy-duty
- Rubberized and textured handle for good grip
- The handle is also shock absorbent
- The spine is solid and thick
- It’s not rust-resistant
- Could scratch easily
Now, this is another good level-entry machete knife if you don’t want the extra fluff.
Straight and uncomplicated, this Billhook machete is interestingly shaped. It doesn’t have a hook or other features like the other machetes, but its spin is really thick, pretty much like the sharp edge itself.
The blade is made from carbon steel, which is really nice. If you are a knife person or you have one at home, you’d know that most heirloom knives and machetes are made from carbon steel.
This material is super strong and solid, and it is reflected in this heavy-duty machete.
It came a bit rough on some parts, but it’s rugged at its finest. Add to that the thickness of the blade, and you have a machete that can carry you on camping, hiking, bushcraft, or even just crafting in your backyard.
But of course, there’s the tradeoff.
Its steel isn’t rust-proof, so you may want to think twice before using it on water or anything moist.
On the other hand, even my oldest machete has gone through rusting, and it’s actually what protects it at times. But then, you can also always clean it up and dry it after every use.
It never chipped after we used it for bush clearing, chopping wood, and other woodwork for weeks. It didn’t bend or break, either.
As for edge retention, it’s not impressive, but it wasn’t bad. It’s just moderate. I had to sharpen it about twice in a month and a half.
As for the handle…
..it doesn’t look like it’s anything special, but its grip was actually good to the touch.
For one, the handle is fully rubberized, and that alone is enough to give me a good grip. But it’s also excellently patterned and textured, so I was able to use it even when my hands were wet.
In addition to that, it’s also shockproof, and it can immediately be felt at first touch. No wonder none of its parts ever broke, even when I swung it on a thick tree stump.
It has some weight to it, but it’s still a breeze to wield. It’s also longer than most survival machetes on this list, so you may want to practice using it if it’s your first time.
Best Durable Camping Machete
Gil Hibben IV Combat Machete Blade Knife
- Solid and durable
- Rust- and corrosion-resistant
- Includes a leather sheath
- Attractive design
- Thick spine
- Excellent edge retention
- A bit heavy
- The handle isn’t shock-proof
I didn’t imagine that one of the most durable survival machetes on the market would be so beautiful.
This Gil Hibben IV combat machete knife is straight out of a period movie but still modest and functional at the same time.
Let’s start with the blade.
It was well-packed and came already razor-sharp. It passed the paper test even more smoothly than expected.
Moreover, the spine of this blade is crazy thick, although it’s not the same as the actual sharpened edge. This gives the blade extra solidness and durability that will hold it together when used against thick and hard surfaces such as thick stumps of trees.
Its length is just average at a little over 16 inches of overall length and around 11 inches of blade length.
Now, that’s not very long, especially for a machete, so sometimes it felt like I was just holding a big knife or a small sword (and it looked the part, too!).
But its durability pretty much makes up for it.
For one, it’s beefy. Honestly, it’s much heavier than most machetes on this list, and I took it as an indication of its good quality and craftsmanship.
Now, you might be thinking…
…it says that it’s made in China. I actually saw some people get turned off by this. But really, the feel of this machete will make you think of a master forger handcrafting this line. Simply put, there was no hesitation once I held this hefty guy in my hand.
As a matter of fact, I was able to cut a ten-inch tree stump with just five strikes.
After a week of bushcraft using this, coming home, the blade still felt as good as new. It didn’t need further resharpening at all.
Now, that was quite surprising because it’s made from stainless steel. Stainless steel may have its many attributes, but it’s still much more brittle than other types, such as carbon steel.
And speaking of stainless steel…
…that also makes this beauty rust-proof and corrosion-resistant. But of course, it still won’t hurt to dry it after every wash or use.
Going further down, it has this gorgeous wooden handle to match the graceful curves of the blade.
It’s solid wood, but it’s not shockproof, for sure. So, solid as the blade is, you’d want to be more careful about striking it strongly against hard surfaces.
All this goodness is encased in a leather sheath of regular quality. But I like how it came oiled and polished.
Best High-Quality Camping Machete
Condor Tool & Knife, Bushcraft Parang Machete
- Made from high-quality materials
- Tough ballistic nylon sheath
- Good for rugged use
- Rubberized handle
- The handle needs more texture
- It’s not rust-resistant
This machete isn’t anything that you can ‘baby.’ If you’re looking for something that you can use for heavy tasks such as batoning, then this last best machete on our list is your best bet.
Looking just like the machete your grandpa keeps in his basement, this is a no-nonsense piece for a hard worker.
With a blade that’s made from high-carbon steel, it’s one of the hardest machetes we’ve ever tried.
The Parang machete is a favorite among woodworkers and even campers, as you can actually cut thick diameters of wood with this thing.
Trying it on a 15-inch tree stump, I thought it was over, and it was going to break as the blade started to bend as it went deeper into the wood.
But at last, the blade just came out straight again and was as good as new.
To add to that…
…the edge didn’t even chip, and it also didn’t need any resharpening after that.
That’s when we knew that this is for keeps.
On the other hand, don’t expect it to be rust-proof as it’s not stainless steel. That’s why most machetes owned by our grandparents usually have rust in them. They’re strong, but they do rust.
Of course, you can still remedy it by cleaning it with oil or wiping it dry after use.
As for the handle…
…it’s textured by not deep textures. It can actually slip from your hand if it’s wet and you’re not holding it firmly, so be aware.
What you can do is wrap it with a cloth, or you can sand it, too. You can also wear gloves for a better grip.
I still think that’s quite a small and manageable price to pay for something so beastly in its strength and quality.
It comes with its own sheath that’s made from ballistic nylon. The sheath was expectedly tough and felt like it would hold the machete safely without ripping apart.
Section 4: Buyers Guide: How To Choose The Best Camping Machete.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Survival Machete for Camping?
Machetes can be really intimidating. But choosing the best one for your survival or camping needs isn’t that very hard if you’d just keep your eyes open for these criteria.
Material (Stainless steel, carbon steel, spring steel, etc.)
The material, especially the blade’s material, matters greatly. If you want to focus on rust and corrosion resistance, then you should get a stainless steel machete. The tradeoff is stainless steel tends to be softer and more brittle than carbon steel.
On the other hand, carbon steel isn’t rust-proof, but it’s proven to be long-lasting and exceptionally durable.
Spring steel and high carbon stainless steel are also some of the hardest and most durable materials there are.
The handle shouldn’t be an afterthought. It shouldn’t be slippery when wet, and it should have a good grip so it will stay in your hands even when it gets moist.
Look for a handle with good and deep texturing. Much better if it’s rubberized.
The sheath may look like just another extra, but it’s also an important part of your camping machete.
A good sheath doesn’t only protect your blade but you, as well. If, say, a sheath is thin, and of low quality, the blade could cut through it and injure the holder. It’s much better if it’s made of ballistic material.
Section 5: FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Q – Is a machete good for camping?
A – With their strength and size, machetes are ideal to be brought to cam]ing. Not only can it do the things your little knife can’t, but it’s also great for self-defense against wild animals.
Q – What type of machete is best for camping?
A – Machetes that have moderately thick and strong blades but aren’t overly heavy are the ones that are ideal for camping, much like the Camillus Carnivore X 18’’ Machete with Sheath. It’s about thrice harder than most machete steels, and it’s also full tang.
Q – Which is better, a hatchet or machete?
A – It depends on your goal. A hatchet is usually better if you’re looking to focus on wood cutting. But generally, you can do more with a machete as it can also act as a knife. You can clear bushes, chop wood, and many other things that require precision using a machete.
Section 6: Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
Value for Money
We’ve gathered differently priced machetes and observed the value they give in relation to their price tags. Some were just right, and some exceeded what was expected of them. The moral lesson? Not all cheap items are low quality, and not all expensive ones are of premium quality!
Ease of Use
Wielding a machete is no joke. If anything, it needs practice and familiarity. This is why we like these seven best survival machetes. Most of them are very easy to hold and not intimidating at all, even to beginners. They also have a good balance, and that’s why the machetes were very easy to swing and use.
A machete is not a toy nor a decorative item to play with. It’s meant to be used in rough and tough tasks. This is why you need a machete that is tough, strong, and hard. It should be able to take on even the hardest of wood without chipping.
We also looked at the overall design and engineering of these machetes. This includes how well the handles are shaped and textured, as well as the hand and knuckle guards. The right combination of materials is also very crucial in a machete’s overall durability.
What’s a machete without a sharp edge? Some came dull, and some came already razor-sharp. To be fair, we sharpened all of them before testing them out. All of these machetes came out sharp, but a few of them stood out with their wicked sharp edges and excellent edge retention.
Section 7: Conclusion: Best Camping Machete
A good machete can do a whole lot of things aside from just clearing the bushes. We’re thrilled to see some uniquely designed ones that can even be used for cleaning and gutting games!
So what’s the best machete on the market today?
Well, it still depends on your particular needs. But if you want the overall best, our Editor’s Choice Camillus Carnivore X 18’’ Machete is your best bet. It has everything we’re looking for in a good camping machete, from a sturdy blade that won’t give up easily to a durable sheath that can protect both the machete and the user.
But if you’re still working around a budget, the Hooyman machete would save the day with its quality that’s comparable to a $100 machete!
Whatever you choose, just don’t forget that machetes tend to go through lots of heavy work so it won’t hurt to clean and dry them at the end of the day to maintain their well-crafted goodness.