Various types of machetes explained

Machete is a broad knife widely as a cutting tool all over the world. Machetes have been in use since the 16th century. There are a number of functions of machetes such as harvesting crops, cutting bushes and thick vegetation, chopping firewood and even self-defence. The machete comes in a plethora of designs, shapes and sizes. Each type of machete is well suited for particular purposes and is popular in particular regions.

Some of the common types of machetes have been discussed here.

Barong Machete

Barong Machete has a leaf-shaped blade. The thick blade is sharp on a single side only. Barong machete originated in the tribal areas of the Philippines. The tribals use this type of machete as a cutting tool. Barong machete has high slicing power and can be used for hunting and cutting through vines and bushes. It is also used in martial arts.

Golok Machete

Golok Machete or Parang Machete has a curved design. The edge of the blade and the spine are both curved. The curved design ensures the concentration of force in a small area while preventing the blade from getting stuck in the material. The blade is usually thick and is ideal for chopping wood. Golok machete originated in Indonesia.


Kukri Machete is associated with Gurkhas of Nepal and is also the signature weapon of the Gurkha soldiers. The highly curved blade of Kukri has three parts. The sharp tip of the blade is for stabbing, the wide midsection is for chopping, and the narrow part near the handle is for carving and whittling. Thus, this is a multipurpose machete.

Colima Machete

Colima Machete has its blade sharpened on both sides. It is well suited for cutting through large areas of thick vegetation because of its sweeping cutting motions in both forehand and backhand. The backside of the machete is weighted to help in backstroke cutting.

Bolo Machete

Bolo Machete has a long blade with a pointed tip. The blade is wider as compared to other types of machetes while the handle is smaller as compared to other machetes. The upper part of the blade is bulged to provide extra chopping power. Bolo machete comes in a number of shapes. It is widely used for harvesting crops and chopping vegetation.

Bush Machete

Bush Machete has a long straight blade. There is little or no curve associated with the blade, and it is evenly weighted. The blade is wider towards the tip. This is an all-purpose tool and is widely used for agricultural purposes.

How to select?

Selecting the right kind of machete depends upon the purpose for which you require it. Some factors to consider are as follows.

  • Blade shape varies from one type of machete to another. The blade-style depends on individual requirements. Popular blade styles are that of Kukri, Bolo, Bush and Golok machetes.
  • Blade length ranges between 10 inches to 28 inches. Short bladed machetes are portable but have smaller reach while machetes with long blades are difficult to carry but clear large areas in lesser time.
  • Tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle. Full tang machetes are suitable for chopping and slicing.