The machete is an extremely effective survival tool. It combines the chopping power of the hatchet with the finesse of the knife. There are many different styles of machetes designed for different tasks. Here are some of the basic types and their uses:
1. Khukuri (aka. Kukri)
The Kukri, more a large knife than a machete, was created by the Gurkhas of Nepal and is carried by their army and used by their people as a general-use tool and weapon. The kukri is an amazing multi-tasker. The big heavy end provides chopping force close to that of the hatchet, and the sharp inner curve gives great control for finer tasks. (Cold Steel makes a great Kukri)
The bolo machete was created in South America, and is used in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Cuba. The bolo is a heavy duty tool used for brush clearing and light chopping in the field. (Gerber makes a great Machete for under $20)
The parang machete is my personal favorite. It was designed in conjunction with the British Army. It has excellent edge retention, and a great feel. When you hold it seems to become part of your arm.
The panga machete originated in Africa where it has been used in many conflicts. The panga, parang, bolo, and kukri all have the weight focused on the end of the blade where it provides more chopping force. The panga can be use effectively for slashing through light underbrush.
The machete has numerous survival applications from brush clearing, to wood chopping, quartering game, and even defensive purposes if it ever came to that. I keep one lashed to my Bug Out Bag in addition to a hatchet to cover any chopping needs I may have. They can be used for just about anything.
What Do You Use?
What type of machete do you use? Or if you are planning on buying one, tell us what type you chose and why it meets your needs.