The One Thing You Can’t Do Without: A Machete

Growing up in Puerto Rico, I learned from an early age that traversing through the rain forest is impossible without one essential tool: the machete. Filled with waist-high, super thick, and possibly poisonous weeds, you won’t get very far in the jungle without this long, light weight, sword-like instrument swinging in front of you. Its swipes also scare away snakes, and other vermin than may be lying in wait, trying to get at your ankles.

Machetes are pretty common in Puerto Rico. They’re necessary for anyone who lives in the country, as the vegetation is dense. Dense like, Indiana Jones kind of dense. They’re also an excellent tool to cut into a coconut. Ever try to open a coconut with a regular knife? Yeah. I’ve compiled a list here of a few machetes I think are not only functional, but also beautiful. Who says tools can’t also be attractive?

Arnolds Predator Knife 20 1/2″

Whaaa?! Yes. This thing is… wow. Ok, yes. It’s a movie replica, but what a movie replica it is. And it could slice through some jungle brush like nobody’s business too. If it was good enough for Arnold, it’s good enough for me! Anyone would be lucky to have one these on hand in the jungle. There’s nothing this guy can’t handle.

Condor Boomslang Knife Machete 17 3/4″

Understated. Powerful. Gorgeous. It only weighs 1.35 lbs, perfect for swinging away at vines and thick, overgrown vegetation. Made of high carbon steel with an epoxy black powder coating, and it comes with a durable (and awesome looking) leather sheath.

Grass Machete with Cordura Sheath 19 1/2″

Now I have to say, this one looks most like the machetes I encountered growing up. I never got to learn how to handle one, but I watched my parents cut everything from hanging vines to a papaya with them. Super light-weight and very practical, this baby will be with you for decades. Also, it has a thick rubber grip, for more comfortable handling.

The Original Woodman’s Pal 16 1/2″

This is unlike any machete I’ve ever seen. It can be used as either an axe or a machete, which would come in handy if you need to cut down small trees for firewood or shelter. This would be my personal choice if I were to end up in the jungle for some reason. The Woodman’s Pal is made in the USA, and has been artfully crafted in Pennsylvania since 1941. It’s composed of two blades, one  convex and the other concave. This makes it a versatile and exceptionally strong tool. Also, the sickle hook feature is chiseled sharp to slice through underbrush with ease.

Whether you’re in the jungle looking for adventure, or a way back to civilization, having the right machete with you is paramount. They might look cumbersome, but you’ll thank your lucky stars you brought it with you, because regular survival knives just aren’t enough when you’re deep in the bush.