What Are Machetes Used For?

What Are Machetes Used For?

The modern-day machete is a very useful tool for a wide variety of tasks. From camping to farming, yard work to the military, machetes are a truly versatile tool. But, what are machetes used for exactly? I will dive deep into its multiple uses, and how it is better than its rivals.

What is a Machete?

A machete is a long broad-bladed tool that is either like a sword, in a swinging motion, or as a knife, in a chopping motion. Somewhere between a knife and an ax, this tool has long been used to make daily life better. Historical versions looked like short swords, sometimes with a hook or serrated edge.

The blade usually between 10 and 24 inches in length and made of carbon steel. Machete blades can be straight or curved, and the handle shape will depend on the shape of the blade itself. It is a lightweight tool that is still strong enough to clear small trees.

What is a Machete?
What are machetes used for? Check out this list!

Machetes also have a handle and sheath, which can be made of different materials, such as wood, plastic, rubber, composites, or elastic polymers. The handle should provide an excellent grip to help with the numerous tasks machete can be used for.

What Are Machetes Used For?

For centuries, machete-like tools have been used to improve human life. The machete closely resembles the falchion, a medieval European short sword used primarily for defense. Now, this tool is mainly used in the wilderness and the backyard to easily chop or cut anything in its path.

The machete can replace just about any cutting or chopping tool for outdoorsmen, hikers, farmers, or woodworkers. Its better than knives at cutting, almost as good as axes for chopping, and nothing compares to the machete for maintaining back-country trails.

1. Creating a Path

The most common use for a machete is to clear a path. Whether you are hiking, clearing out a yard, or removing dead plants, a machete will be a handy tool. Sometimes a machete is used to clear a path so that it can perform other activities even better.

How to Clear a Path With Machetes
How to clear a path with a machete.

When I am asked “what are machetes used for?” this is exactly the task that comes to my mind first. It is better at clearing paths than just about any other cutting device. Using broad cutting strokes, a machete makes quick work of bushwhacking, clearing vines, bushes, and thorns.

2. Farming And Agriculture

Another task that machetes are used for is in farming and agriculture. Machetes are extremely useful for cutting grain crops, such as rice and wheat, because they are precise and light enough to not ruin the crop while harvesting.

Machetes are useful for clearing dead plants at the end of harvest, or for removing weeds. A machete vs a knife in for this task is a no-brainer. The length of the blade, its light-weight, and versatility make it super helpful for any crop farmer to maintain their fields.

3. Hunting, Fishing, And Camping

Of course, some of what machetes are used for are more for fun, instead of work! Outdoors sports often require the use of tools. What better tool to use for hunting, fishing, and camping than a multipurpose, and cool, machete?

This long, light-weight, strong blade is perfect for butchering wild game, gutting fish, and for clearing branches away from your campsite. It can also be helpful for blazing a new trail to a hidden fishing spot. Also, a machete can be very useful in defense against wild animals you might meet on your travels!

4. Yard Work

Similar to clearing paths and farming, yard work is also made easier with a machete. It can help fell small trees, clear out dead plants, and even trim bushes. Some people even use machetes to chop wood for their fireplaces.

What Are Machetes Used For
An active latino senior man uses a machete to clear field. His ethnicity is Puerto Rican.

While an ax or hatchet might also be useful in the yard, a machete vs an ax will win, because of its extreme versatility. An ax can’t be used to trim hedges or to gut fish! For people with limited storage space, like me, a machete is a much better choice.

5. Food Preparation

I hinted at this before, but machetes are also helpful for food preparation. Butchering, chopping vegetables, cutting wood for your smoker, and a laundry list of other food-related tasks are made easier with a machete.

Preparing Food With Machete
A cocoa farmer in Ghana uses his machete to open a cocoa pod to test for ripeness ** Note: Slight graininess, best at smaller sizes

Especially for cutting hard-shelled fruits like coconuts, this is one of the most fun uses for a machete that I know of. What better way to show off your skills with this blade than to cut up a watermelon? If its machete vs katana, I would pick the more rugged machete to cut my fruit.

6. Crafting

Finally, machetes are sometimes used by wood craftsmen to widdle down larger pieces to a more manageable size. In this case, a machete is used alongside carving blades and finishing knives to produce household items or pieces of art.

In the tropics, machetes are essential parts of daily life. People make doors, wooden frames, and even furniture with a machete. There are different types and sizes of machetes that can create different cuts that become a regular part of a wood crafter’s toolbox.

Of course, there are many more ways to use a machete than I can detail here. It is useful for people in the military, hikers, and homeowners alike. If you are looking for a light-weight long blade that can be used for just about any purpose, the machete will be an excellent addition to your tool shed.

Afterthought

Machetes are some of the most versatile tools available on the market. So many people around the globe are using them, and there are lots of models and designs. From yard work to jungle survival, from agriculture to self-defense – machetes excel at any number of these jobs.

If you go hiking and camping, don’t forget to bring your own bush-sword. It will be your faithful friend along the way and a lightweight travel companion. Who knows, if God forbid, something goes wrong it may save your life!

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