Uses of Machetes

In much of the world, machetes are a part of daily life. The tool is extremely versatile, as it can act as both a knife and an ax. The machete blade is used for cutting, while the weighted upper blade provides force for chopping.

Here at, we strive to offer the largest selection on the web of this most vital of tools for all your outdoor needs:

Cut and Maintain Trails

One of the most popular uses for machetes is cutting and maintaining trails. From Southeast Asia to the Americas, individuals use machetes for clearing paths and blazing new trails.

More recently, hunters and fisherman are regaining interest in the machete for clearing paths to fishing holes, creating funnel points for animals, chopping down brush to create fish habitats and for creating shooting lanes. The machete rising in popularity with many hunters and fisherman is the Kukri – a lightweight machete that is heavily used in the Philippines for clearing brush.

Clearing Brush

Similar to cutting trails, machetes are the go-to option for clearing brush. For effectively clearing brush, we made this short video, How to Clear Brush with a Machete, so that our customers use the proper safety and tactic.

Many surveyors have begun using machetes to clear areas for placing survey stations, clearing lines of sight and cutting trails to reach boundaries.

Chopping Compost

Another go-to use for machetes is chopping compost into small pieces that break down quickly.

Agricultural Uses

Crops, such as rice, sugar cane, corn, rye, millet, barley, buckwheat, oats and many others can be easily harvested with a machete. Bill Hook and sickle styled machetes are both great for agricultural use.

These machete styles can also be used for removing cover crops or dead plant residue from farms and gardens by scalping the above ground vegetation and leaving the root biomass in place. Additionally, removing vines is no trouble. Just chop segments from tree-hugging vines for removal and apply herbicide to the chopped surface to kill the base and roots of the vine.

Carving, Incising and Coppicing Wood

Machetes are amazing tools for carving, incising and coppicing wood. Inicing, or preparing wood to be treated, can be a daunting task without a machete, and there’s no better go-to for coppicing – which is process of chopping a tree stump to promote shoots and new tree growth through that stump.

Clearing Woody Vegetation

Machetes are a great choice for pruning and clearing woody vegetation, as well as snedding – which is removing side branches from the main truck of a tree.

Many landscaping professionals opt for machetes for quick and clean trimming of unruly branches, plants and unreachable tall grass; and, similarly, more foresters are using machetes to clear underbrush to reduce the risk of forest fire.

Campsite Management

If you live outdoors, or are on a camping trip, a machete is a must-have tool. Machetes are the best choice for firewood and tinder gathering, or for clearing a new campsite alltogether.

Additionally, machetes excel when being used for shelter construction. With a machete, cutting poles and roofing materials is effortless, and it is also useful for creating the lattice in wattle and daub housing.

Hunting & Survival

Machetes can be useful for outdoorsman to fend off wounded or angry animals and venomous snakes.


Machetes are also good for butchering wild game, livestock or poultry – quickly breaking deer or large livestock carcasses into manageable pieces – and can also be used to harvest berries, grapes and other various fruits and nuts.

Fruit and Nut Splitting

The coconut is the classic example for this.

Other Popular Uses for Machetes Include:

  • Cut fodder for livestock or small pets.
  • Thin your woodlot for growth of income-producing trees.
  • Diversify habitats for native species.
  • Coppice trees for firewood, charcoal, or other uses.
  • Remove invasive plants.
  • Trim overhanging branches that tangle fishing lines.
  • Use as a general utility tool to cut line, ready lures, open bottles, and gut fish.
  • Construct shelter from bark and poles. Use the machete to strip large pieces of bark from trunks.
  • Use as a snow knife to cut and shape snow shelters
  • Carve, incise, or plane wood. Make tools, poles, and spears.
  • Gather edible or medicinal plants. Dig for roots.
  • Make traps and snares.
  • Butcher and process meat.
  • Create diverse habitat, meadows and brush piles, for attracting wildlife.
  • Clear brush and scrub for visibility and photography.

More Machete Information

Read our other valuable articles on the make, use and care of machetes:

How will you use your machete?

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