Machete, a versatile knife

Ideal equipment for any adventure in the forest, the machete is the weapon of explorers and adventurers. In the jungle or in the wilderness, it remains an essential survival knife. In the old civilizations, it was also used in this sense. It is also the ideal tool for working in the field. Its great versatility allows it to be used for many purposes at any time.

Machete: for what use?

The machete is a versatile knife. It can be used for all common household tasks.

  • On a daily routine, it can be used to cut wood and make logs for heating.
  • In the kitchen, it can be used as a skinning knife or to cut the toughest meats, such as game.
  • In gardening, it is also useful for cutting branches, pruning trees or clearing land.
  • In fields and plantations, it can be used to cut weeds.

Apart from its domestic use, the machete is also used in martial arts. In some fighting sequences, it is used as a pruning weapon or as a rapier, depending on the model. This great versatility of the machete makes it a very particular weapon and gives it a great diversity of shapes and materials.

Characteristics of the machete

Between the knife and the sword, the machete is recognized by a long blade. This one can go from 25 to 70 cm. The most common models are about 50 cm long. It is a sharp, thick and solid weapon. The blade is usually made of either carbon steel, stainless steel only or titanium coated stainless steel. This last characteristic brings robustness and durability as well as quality. On some models, the machete may have a false cutting edge, in the shape of saw teeth. These are generally the multifunctional models for survival.

As for the handle of the machete, it is generally short, less than 1/3 of the overall length of the weapon. It can be made of wood, rubber or ABS quality plastic. These materials make it easy to use and ergonomic. They also allow for a better grip firmness. The machete can be carried in a case often made of leather or nylon.

What is the difference with the coupe-coupe?

Coupe-coupe is another name for the machete. In fact, the long knife with short handle has several names depending on the region in which it is used and the use to which it is put. Coupe-coupe or coutelas are the names given to the machete by Africans and West Indians. The Reunionese call the machete "the cane sword" or "sabre". Caledonians call the machete "sabre of slaughter". In addition to these names, the machete also exists in different models according to their geographical origin. One recognizes for example the bolo, the Latin, the kukri, the golok, the Bowie, the tapanga.

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The machete

In a large part of the world, machetes are part of everyday life. The tool is extremely versatile as it can act as both a knife and an axe. The machete blade is used for cutting, while the weighted upper blade provides strength for chopping.

The machetes come in different shapes and sizes. Throughout its existence in the many rural areas of the world, the machete has evolved, and today there are many styles, characteristics and adaptations to suit different types of use and specific environments. Names and styles vary from region to region. Even the names of machetes differ from country to country. However, everyone's preferences depend on their style, but the most important thing when choosing a machete is to choose according to your needs.

‌Choice of the machete according to the handle

The machete handles are available in many shapes, sizes and materials. Just like the blades, the choice of the handle is quite decisive. It is made according to your needs, e.g. workers (gardeners, farmers), needs manoeuvrability and freedom of movement. They therefore need a simple and light quillon.

‌The material from which the handle is made is also an important selection criterion:

  • ‌Wood is appreciated for its good adhesion and lightness, however it is not very strong.
  • ‌Moulded plastic has the advantage of being the cheapest and easiest to maintain, but slips on by hand.
  • ‌Stainless steel is strong and pleasing to the eye, but is relatively heavy.
  • ‌Rubber is pleasant to handle, but wears out quickly.
  • ‌Leather is robust and offers good grip, but requires good maintenance.
  • ‌The micarta is very comfortable and robust, but quite expensive.

‌So you would have noticed that each material has its advantages and disadvantages, but the main thing is to find the model adapted to your use and especially to your budget.

The different types of use of a machete

‌Agricultural uses

Crops such as rice, sugar cane, maize, rye, millet, barley, buckwheat, oats and many others can be easily harvested with a machete. The hook and sickle style machetes are both perfect for agricultural use.


Machetes are an excellent choice for pruning and clearing woody vegetation, as well as for snetting - removing the side branches of the main truck from a tree. Many landscaping professionals opt for machetes for quick and clean cutting of unruly branches, plants and inaccessible tall grass; and, similarly, more and more foresters are using machetes to clear brush to reduce the risk of wildfire. Management of the campsite.


Machetes can be useful for outdoor hunting enthusiasts. They are useful for killing wild game, livestock or poultry - quickly breaking deer, etc. They can also be used to harvest berries, grapes and other fruits and nuts.

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