Being African born and bred, I’ve always had a high regard for a machete as a very useful all-round tool. It can not only clear brush or chop up light wood; it’s easier to carry than an axe, it’s a very viable weapon if push comes to shove, and it’s cheap enough that if you break one, it’s seldom a problem to replace it.
That being said . . . Cold Steel is currently having a sale on many of their machete models. Some are below $10! They make good tools, and the prices they’re advertising are the lowest I’ve ever seen for some of their models.
If you don’t have a machete, or don’t have enough machetes (who does?), or have friends who need one, there are some very good deals. No, I’m not shilling for them, and they’re not compensating me in any way for publicizing this. I just own several of their products, and I thought my readers would be as interested in these deals as I am.
I've been in general pleased with Cold Steel products.
By no means custom knife craft, but solid dependable factory produced tools.
And I took advantage of their line of machetes when my grandson expressed a burning interest in swords.
Cold steel does offer a selection of true swords in the $100-300 range, but they also produce machetes in several sword styles.
Grandson now owns functional blades in the styles of Gladius, Katana, and Cutlass. Wicked sharp, perfectly functional, if not as well crafted or balanced as the real thing.
The Cold Steel machetes are far stronger than your conventional hardware store blades.
I would classify them more as very flat swords.
And you can't beat a gladius, Kukri or falchion/cutlass blade for hand-to-hand fighting in close quarters like a home or shield wall…
Ontario Knife Company also makes very fine machetes. http://ontarioknife.com/tools/machetes.html
They are well thought-out and executed tools.
Machetes are for soft, damp tropical forests only. They are useless in drier coniferous environments. Get a folding saw!
I sold my inherited WW2 Collins US Signal Corps machete on eBay. It's useless in Colorado.
While generally true with the thin and wobbly machetes, there are "horses for courses". I live in Oregon, and the place is overrun by blackberries, manzanita bushes, and lots of other brush. The blackberry clumps can easily reach 20 feet tall, with thorny stems as thick as a shovel handle. A good machete is the only way to deal with it by hand without getting cut to ribbons. I use a Condor Golok machete, which has a thick blade and more weight out front. When sharp, it makes short work of the toughest woody brush, and even small trees. I've even used it, quite satisfactorily to cut down 4-5" trunks when an axe wasn't handy.
Hard to beat a good machete. I am a fan of the Martindales, though Cold Steel also makes some good stuff. Thanks for the heads up on the sale.