Not everyone thinks of carrying a machete when they’re considering their survival knife options, but a good machete can do quite a bit. They’re a great supplement to carry along with your folding or fixed-blade knife, since they’re tough enough to hack through brush and heavy enough to baton with risking damage. Not even a full-tang survival knife can match the sheer power of a big, heavy carbon steel machete or parang.
What’s The Difference?
Parangs have gotten popular lately, and while they share a lot in common with a machete, there are a few key differences. Compared to a machete, parangs tend to be balanced further forward on the cutting edge, making them more effective at splitting and batoning, but less easy to control if you’re hacking brush. Parangs also have a large sweet spot in their blade, because of the difference in balance, which makes them ideal for jobs that require one big, hard strike.
Big, Tough, and Durable
Both parangs and machetes are much, much tougher than just about any fixed blade survival knife on the market. You might not want to use your machete to pry up rocks, but anything short of bending the blade under hundreds of pounds of pressure is probably going to work out just fine. With enough patience you could even hack down a tree. It’s very hard to do any lasting damage to a machete, and even if the edge chips it’s much easier to re-hone the blade and work out the chips than it is with a smaller knife.
A well-made machete can easily match the convenience and versatility of a hatchet. The sweet spot of the blade is perfect for chopping and hacking, while in toward the hilt the edge is best for shaving and making feather sticks. In areas where machetes are used as everyday tools, it’s not uncommon to hear about natives who even use the tips of the blade to skin game. Although it takes a little bit of practice to get familiar enough with your machete or parang to bring all of that versatility out of one massive blade, it’s absolutely possible.
One of the best parts about machetes is just how cheap they are compared to some other knives. These big blades don’t need to be quite as resilient as some knives do, since their size alone prevents the sorts of failures that you see when batoning with a smaller knife. In short, machetes are huge hunks of steel that don’t necessarily need to be honed to a razor sharp edge in order to be effective, so it’s easy to find a deal on a machete or parang that will work well for most everyone’s needs.
The Perfect Tool For Survival
Machetes and parangs have been used for survival for centuries or even longer. They grew up in the rainforest jungle, carried by natives who needed to have a tool that was capable of doing hard work without constant maintenance. You might just be surprised at how well a machete or parang fits into your survival training.