What is the best machete

Which is the best machete?

The fact that you're reading this tells me that you've probably wondered what the best machete is. A pragmatist would say: the one you have with you. He's not entirely wrong about that. However, I don't have one yet, so I did some research first. Finally, I narrowed my selection down to the following three:

  1. Fiskars WoodXpert XA3
  2. Martinez Albainox ESPARTANO machete
  3. WALTHER Machete MachTac 1

But first a definition.

What is a machete and what is it used for?

The term “machete” comes from Spanish and describes a strong knife about 3 cm thick. Machetes are mainly known from adventure films where they are used as weapons and machetes to cut your way through the thicket. In fact, it is mostly used as a tool, especially when harvesting sugar cane. In Europe, forest workers use similar tools in their work, such as Hippe and Schweizer Gertel.

Properties of a good machete

  • Weight. Depending on the main purpose, you will need a heavy machete (for cutting thick branches) or a lighter machete (for carrying on the hip on a long hike). If you do not yet know the main purpose, it is best to choose one that is in the middle of the range in terms of weight.
  • Length. The longer a machete, the more it weighs, but the more you can cut with just one cut. The disadvantage is that a long machete is also heavier and therefore less suitable to be carried on the hip. So it is not very suitable for hiking.
  • Sharpness. Self-explanatory. Of course you want a blade that is nice and sharp and that stays as long as possible.
  • Material. Different types of metal hold their sharpness differently. Some metals are quite soft and dull easily. Other metals stay sharp for a long time, but rust very easily due to the high carbon content.
  • Scabbard. A machete usually comes with a sheath (otherwise it's not safe). This should be of high quality. It is just as important as the machete itself. If you intend to use your machete regularly in damp areas, you should use a synthetic cover, as this is more resistant to moisture.

Fiskars WoodXpert XA3

Check price on Amazon - here.

The Fiskars WoodXpert XA3 machete is a rather small machete with a blade length of 22 cm. The shape of the blade shows unmistakable parallels to the hip shape commonly used in forestry in Europe and is equally suitable for right and left-handers. The Fiskars Machete is ideally suited for cutting off small and medium-sized branches up to a diameter of 5 cm, for debarking tree trunks and for clearing shoots and undergrowth in the garden.

With its sharp, non-stick coated blade made of hardened Finnish quality steel, it makes clean and precise cuts. Thanks to the optimal weight distribution and the steel blade bent backwards, working with it is almost effortless.

A firm hold - even with gloves - is guaranteed by the curved shaft end with a non-slip grip surface. The handle is also suitable for one-handed use. The lanyard hole enables a loop to be attached to secure it on the hand and for space-saving storage.

Just like the blade, the handle made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic is designed for durability, the protective cover ensures safe transport. The blade can be re-sharpened with the separately available blade grinder. Steel / glass fiber reinforced plastic, color: black / orange.

Martinez Albainox ESPARTANO machete

Check price on Amazon - here.

The ESPARTANO by Martinez Albainox has a 45 cm long blade, a triple screwed plastic handle and a non-sharpened saw teeth on the back of the blade.

The black coated blade is made of 420 steel (more about this steel here), its total length is approx. 61.5 cm. The plastic handle has a hand guard and a lanyard hole. A sheath made of high-quality Cordura nylon with a belt loop and snap fastener complete the product.

However, the blade is a sandwich blade. This means that the inside is made of a different material than the outside. It is therefore NOT suitable (or only to a limited extent) for heavy work such as chopping wood!

WALTHER Machete MachTac 1

Check price on Amazon - here.

Walther, once known as a well-known manufacturer of security products, no longer exists as an independent company but only as a brand since it was taken over by the Swiss company Laserline AG.

What immediately strikes you with the Walther Mach Tac 1 is the hook on the back. It looks martial, but what is it supposed to be used for? No idea. The blade is razor-sharp and the scope of delivery also includes a nylon sheath for safe storage and attachment to the belt. The scabbard is on the heavy side at around 150g. On the one hand, this makes it more robust, on the other hand, almost 1 kilo dangles from the belt. That is, if you really want to wear it on your belt.

The 440 steel used has similar properties to 420 steel - high resistance to rust and corrosion, and easy to sharpen. As always, the advantages are also the disadvantages - that means it has to be sharpened regularly for this.

However, the machete has one really serious design flaw. Although it is a full tang knife, the handle is only attached in 2 places and these are glued (and not screwed or riveted as it should be in my opinion). It doesn't have to be, but it can be a security risk!

And the best machete is ...

... still the ones you have with you. But joking aside. As always in life there is THE BEST Do not make, only the best for the purpose at hand. If you are looking for a machete primarily for gardening, then I would use the Fiskars. If you want one to hit your way through the undergrowth in the wilderness, then the Martinez Albainox Machete may be the tool of choice. I particularly like the circumferential protective bar, which reliably prevents the palm of your hand from accidentally slipping onto the cutting edge when your hands are sweaty. The disadvantage, of course, is the limited area of ​​application. The Walther MachTac 1, on the other hand, was not at all convincing. It is also the heaviest, including the sheath. It seems to me that this is more of a decorative item that is supposed to look scary.

From here I make a conditional purchase recommendation for the Martinez Albainox ESPARTANO, and a CLEAR RECOMMENDATION for the Fiskars WoodXpert XA3, it is not free # 1 best seller. I would not let myself be influenced by the recent negative reviews regarding the allegedly poor quality. On the one hand, they are not meaningful, because who knows how the damage actually came about. On the other hand, Amazon is very accommodating and unbureaucratic when it comes to complaints, which practically reduces the purchase risk to zero.

Fiskars WoodXpert XA3

Check price on Amazon - here.

Martinez Albainox ESPARTANO

Check price on Amazon - here.

WALTHER Machete MachTac 1

Check price on Amazon - here.

More about machetes here:

Nepalese machetes

Buy a Kukri Machete - which one is the best? - here.

Indonesian machetes

Parang machete - which one is the best? - here.

Cover photo:Paola Bampi of Pexels