Big Blades For Survival

woodsman pal militry_Having a good solid knife is one of the basic survival tools you must have. If I had to choose only one item of equipment to survive with, a quality knife would be it. If you have a good quality knife, you can either do, or make the things to do, any survival task you could need. But there are some jobs that are best done by a bigger blade.

Weight is always a consideration when planning your preps. For homesteading or bugging in, you can afford a lot of heavy items. If you are solar equipped, you can even use power tools in a grid down. But if you need to bug out and move on, all that heavy stuff might have to be left behind. A good survival knife will get a lot of things done, but many chores can best be accomplished by a bigger blade. And if you have to foot mobile by bug out bag, axes and saws are going to be weight prohibitive. While in Vietnam with the 101st Abn. Div, we lived in the jungle and mountains for extended periods of time, carrying everything we needed by rucksack. Ammunition, food, water, “necessities”. Weight was always a serious consideration, and if we didn’t need it, we didn’t carry it. I carried a military issue Ontario machete ,Ontario machete slipped between the rucksack and frame. I found it extremely useful for clearing brush and all of the other chores machetes are designed for. It is still a good design.

A good machete is a versatile tool that is usually made with a full tang. They usually have blades of universal thickness designed to avoid chipping or breaking. Today, many manufacturers offer a variety of designs that you might find useful and I present a few of them here for your consideration.

12 Survivors Machete.12 Survivors machete

 Overall length: 18.11 inches. Blade length is 12.99 inches and is made from 420j2 stainless steel. It weighs 1 pound, 3 ounces and comes with a paracord wrapped handle and a nylon sheath.


Cold Steel Bowie Machete

Cold Steel Bowie Machete

Blade Length: 12″
Overall Length: 17 5/8″
Steel: 1055 Carbon Steel w/ Black Baked Matte Finish
Weight: 14.3 oz
Handle: 5 5/8″ Long Polypropylene

woodsman pal militry_Woodsman’s Pal

16 1/2″ overall length .5″ Military style soft leather grip with steel knuckle guard – Cool in summer and warm in winter. 1/8″ thick x 10 1/2″ high carbon steel blade hardened to Rockwell C47. Blade cuts branches and wood up to 1 1/2″ in diameter with a single stroke


Gerber GatorGerber Gator Machete

Edge and reverse saw blade. Overall length 25.7 inches. Blade length 18 inches. Weight 18 oz.

Gerber 31-002289 Bear Grylls Parang Machete Bear Gyles machete

         Overall Length: 19.5’’

  • Blade Length: 13.5’’
  • Weight (with sheath): 25.4 oz.
  • Weight (no sheath): 19.4 oz.




These are just a few of the choices you have when selecting a machete like large blade knife for your preps. Research your needs based on the type of terrain you may be surviving and your individual needs.








12 thoughts on “Big Blades For Survival

  1. I have the Gerber gator Jr machete,it’s made from decent steel,tempered properly,blade hold an edge well,and the saw on the back of the blade actually works.
    I carry a folding saw,and a pair of hand pruners in my pack/BOB. helps with setting up camp-or making a place to hide.

    I do a lot of bowhunting,and carry a pair of hand pruners made by Felco
    Also carry one of two folding saws I have,depending on where I’m hunting.
    The Felco saw is great as it cuts when you pull,rather than when you push.

    The Ameristep…

    I got the Ameristep saw for $4.99 at our local Tractor Supply store-they mark down all their hunting stuff right after Christmas,I found the saw I have in Feb. which is why it was half off.
    The saw works great,is well made,it’s light,will cut through anything you feel like sawing through.


  2. Ayo Gorkhali ! The Gurkha Approach!
    The Kukri rules in my kit!
    Mine is not like those Cold Steel toys, it’s an issue blade.
    Needs a lot of care but one heck of a tool.

    Mine unfortunately is no way as nice as this example as it’s had one VERY hard life.


  3. The Cold Steel machete version shown is questionable for survival purposes. That long, thin point is fragile, and does not provide a lot of mass to enhance chopping, the primary purpose of a machete. It is more appropriate for a blade intended primarily for “fighting”.

    There are actually 4 separate categories of fixed blade “knife”, although there is some blurring in between the categories. The categories are Machete, Field (large) Knife, Bush (medium) Knife and Other (usually a Small or Specialty knife). A machete is pretty much for chopping, particularly clearing brush. The field knife can do most any knife job, but is particularly suited for chopping. It may not be convenient for some jobs, but can get them done. A bush knife is good for most knife jobs except for chopping.

    Having a machete for chopping and clearing is a good thing, if you have the room and carrying capacity after covering all your other knife needs.


    • I agree that the Cold Steel model is basically a long fighting knife that can be used to chop if one is careful to use the rear most part of the blade.


  4. I used to recommend Gerber when Fiskar made their machete line, now they are made in China and at a cost around 500% less than we see. Condor makes a superior and very cost effective line, the Parang and my favorite large woodsman knife the Condor Hudson Bay Bowie :)
    I do have two of the Gerber 18″ machetes made by Fiskar – awesome machetes very long lasting have cut down numerous mesquite with just these and zero problems!

    Great article, awesome selections (minus gerber) nice!


  5. Pingback: Big Blades For Survival | Azweaponcraftprepper

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