This will probably come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog, but in my opinion you can never have too many weapons. You might not get the chance to use them all but its better to have them there than not. Lets have it right, a machete isn’t a gardening tool, hunting knife, butchers knife, or razor to shave your Mrs’ legs with — granted, you could do all those things with a machete, but what it’s really for is hacking body parts off people you don’t much care for. I’ve got ten of the things, and trust me, I didn’t buy any of them to go camping in the Amazon with.
My cheapest machete is a Tramontina, with an 18″ carbon steel blade and wooden handle, which is about $15, and my most expensive is a Fox Machio Machete, with a 14.2″ 425 Stainless Steel blade and ABS handle, which costs $86. The Fox Machio is made out of a better steel, which isn’t that important in a machete because they could both lop off a head easy enough, but the Fox Machio would feel better in your hand when you did it because it’s got a nicer handle and better balance. But you don’t need to spend $86 to get a decent machete.
I’ve got the 21″ and 24″ blade Cold Steel Latin Machetes, which are both 2mm (0.08″) thick and made out of 1055 Carbon Steel with a black anti-rust matte coating, which is fine for a machete, especially as they both only cost $18 each. They also have decent polypropylene handles. Although they’re Latin machetes they’re actually made in South Africa and personally sharpened by Nelson Mandela (alright, I made up that last bit). Cold Steel also make Bolo, Panga, Kukri and a heavy machetes, but their best fighting design is their Latin machetes. You can buy sheaths for them for $8 if you want, but I’m a Catholic and the Pope doesn’t like sheaths.
I also have six Condor machetes. The Condor Tool & Knives Company is a great firm from El Salvador. No surprise that a firm from El Salvador makes good fighting machetes. They’re a seriously good firm that have some brilliant designs. The quality are their knives and machetes are pretty good as well and they’re also cheap, which is always a bonus. As well as the machetes I’ve also got the Condor Bush knife, Rodan knife, Borneo Headhunter Pipe knife and Bush Cutlass – love them all.
Condor have range of carbon steel and range of stainless steel machetes. The only Condor carbon steel machete I have is the 18″ El Salvador Machete, which is a lot like the Cold Steel latin machetes in quality and design. The blade is coated in epoxy black powder, it has a polypropylene handle and costs $25. The rest of my Condor machetes are made out of 420 HC Stainless Steel, which isn’t much different from the 425 Stainless Steel that my Fox Machio is made of.
The Condor Combat Machete has only got a 13″ blade but it’s 3mm (1/8″) thick, double-edged and spear pointed. It’s also got a really comfortable Ergonomic “PoszeGrip” Santoprene handle. I’ve got it in the Mystic Camo but you can get it in blasted satin or black . It costs $65 and comes with a sheath.
My biggest Condor machete is the 20″ Outback machete. It’s 2 mm (0.08″) thick like the Cold Steel Latin machetes. Black coating, comes with a sheath and has a high impact polypropylene handle. It’s $75 which is pricey for a machete but this is made out of 420 HC Stainless Steel, so it’s more durable and will last you longer. That said, the Cold Steel machete could still take a head off.
I’ve also got two Condor machetes with knuckle guards: the 18″ Jungle Saber and 18″ Hog Sticker. My Jungle Saber in Mystic Cammo and Hog Sticker in black. Again, both 2 mm (0.08″) thick and have high impact polypropylene knuckle guard handles. They both cost $70 and come with sheaths. The knuckle guard is a good feature for combat because it offers hand protection and doubles up as a knuckle duster, which is still a valid sabre fencing technique.
Lastly, my favourite Condor machete, the 14 1/2″ Puerto Rican machete, 2 mm (0.08″) thick with a hardwood handle and comes with a sheath and black blade. It also costs $70. The reason I like this the best is that it’s similar to the Italian roncola, I can use the curved top edge for hooking and slicing the opponents limbs.