Machetes are a great tool to have in the arsenal. I’ll be honest in saying that during the majority of my time in the Ranger Regiment, machetes were not all that common. They were, however, used by some lead elements to break through brush when conducting jungle specific operations or movements through the densely vegetated terrain. I’ve broken brush before without one and I’ve broken brush with one. Long story short, breaking brush sucks big time, so get a machete. Those of you that are avid outdoorsmen or find yourself moving off of paved roads on a regular basis would be well served to have a lightweight machete strapped to your bag. Beyond just breaking brush, and the obvious (being that they can be used as a weapon,) they are a great camp tool, and also a great yardwork tool, I.E. clearing brush, cutting sod to fit, etc. I received the Cold Steel Jungle Machete and put it through its paces. Overall, I’m impressed with fit, finish, and price.
Now I’m not going to blow smoke and sell myself as some sort of “machete expert.” And for the most part, I haven’t met anyone that is. Most of us probably fit the category of “novice machete users.” There are obviously tons of different machetes designed for equally as many applications. Most of us that have a desire to own one probably need it for the clearing brush application more than anything else. The Cold Steel Jungle Machete is designed with a weight forward design that allows an easy fling of the wrist to cut through vines and branches. No picture or video would do this description justice, as you really have to hold the machete to truly understand what I’m talking about. The weight balance is clearly thought out and feels good in the hand. The overall weight is exactly 22.8 oz, which is acceptable given the overall length is 22”, blade length being 16”. It’s large, but one could easily strap this thing to a side of a ruck and not notice that it was there.
The blade steel is 1055 carbon steel, and (after quite a few cuts,) seems to hold its edge and did not show any burrs. It comes well lubed and sharp out of the package. The handle is polymer but feels good in the hand and I don’t foresee any issues with it.
The sheath is one that Cold Steel calls a “Cor-Ex.” Basically nylon with some Kydex on the interior. Overall it seems decent, but the belt loop is pretty flimsy. Not really an issue as I would think most people would be attaching this to a pack with zip ties or 550 cord.
Now onto the price. With most of my equipment, I tend to not spend a lot if it’s not something I’m going to be using on a regular basis. I always try to go with a reputable brand, but there’s no point in buying a $300 machete if I’m using it once a month. That and the fact that a $300 machete does the same thing as Cold Steel’s Jungle Machete. This machete retails from Cold Steel for $39.99, which is more than fair as I think this machete will out-live me. From my initial use, the Cold Steel Jungle Machete seems indestructible. If you’re on the fence about getting one, or just always thought it would be cool to have one (like myself,) go ahead and pick one up and add it to the toolbox.
Author – Tim M. is an Army Ranger who has served in Afghanistan and is currently a K9 handler for ARSOF. In his free time, he enjoys shooting, working out and hitting the trails with the dog.