Though a low quality machete may do little more than push plants out of your way, a high quality machete will allow you to cut your way through dense underbrush and cut down small trees. The type of machete that you purchase should be determined by the environment in which you intend to use it and the purposes toward which it will be put.
ESEE Lite Machete
The ESEE Lite is a machete with an 45cm/18-inch blade and a 12.5cm/5-inch handle. The blade length is ideal for clearing brush and vines. The machete ships with a razor sharp blade so that it is ready to cut as soon as you receive it. The blade has a conventional convex bend to create a target chopping point. This allows the machete to be used as a hatchet replacement for smaller chopping tasks. The handle is coated with a Micarta grip for a natural feeling hold. The ESEE Lite retails for between £30 and £40.
Gerber Gator Machete
The Gerber Gator Machete has a conventional machete-style blade like the ESEE Lite with the addition of a saw on the back side of the blade. The blade on the Gator is not as sharp as the blade on the ESEE Lite, but it features a rubberised two-handed handle for more power with each swing. The blade edge is 40cm/15 inches and the saw edge is 45cm/18 inches. With its integrated saw blade, the Gator Machete is designed to be used for cutting through larger pieces of wood and smaller vines and underbrush with only one tool. The Gerber Gator sells for between £10 and £15.
Cold Steel Kukri Machete
With only a 30cm/13-inch blade, the Cold Steel Kukri Machete is considerably shorter than the Gerber Gator or the ESEE Lite. However, its curved blade focuses the force of each swing onto one point for increased cutting power. This, along with its 450grams (16 oz) weight, gives it a tremendous amount of cutting power. This extra power makes it a strong hatchet substitute while also maintaining the cutting ability of a traditional style machete. The machete ships with a modestly sharp blade, but it can be sharpened with a file. The Cold Steel Kukri Machete sells for £16.
Ka Bar Kukri Machete
The Ka Bar Kukri-style machete is slightly shorter than the Cold Steel machete, sporting an 30cm/11.5-inch blade. It makes up for its slightly shorter blade with a slightly denser blade for more power on each swing. The blade is made from 1085 carbon steel, which provides high durability so the blade maintains its edge over time. The Ka Bar Kukri ships with a very sharp blade for cutting through virtually any material. The handle is designed with an ergonomic grip to allow you to maintain control of the blade even through strong swings. The Ka Bar Kukri Machete retails for £32 to £39.