Is A Machete Sword Or Knife Or Else: Machete Vs Sword Vs Knife Explained!

Machete is a broad-edged sharp tool that works like a knife, sword, or axe. Basically, it is a gardening tool, but nowadays it serves multiple purposes such as chopping wood, clearing brushes, self-defense, survival situation, camping, outdoor uses, and so on.

Machetes are long which is quite similar to swords. On the other hand, it acts more likely to knife. So the question arises “Is a machete a knife or a sword”. But what type of tool does the machete actually is? To be honest, the machete is a large knife, this is a more realistic answer. But, how?

Don’t be fret! In this article, we’ll break down the differences between machete vs sword vs knife in-depth to clarify your worries.

Machete Vs Knife Vs Sword – Basics


What is a machete? A machete is a versatile, long-bladed chopping and hacking tool used for centuries. The main parts of a machete are a handle and a blade (cutting edge). Blade length of machetes usually varies between 10 to 28 inches (average length 14 inches) and thickness ranges from 1/8 to 3/8 inch.

Types of Machete

Over the years, different types of machetes are evolved for making your job easier. Some of the common styles of machete types are –

  • Bolo machetes –   Good for chopping woody vegetation and harvesting crops.
  • Kukri machetes – All-purpose utility blade widely held in Central Asia.
  • Parang/Golok machetes – Ideal for cutting woods without lodging.
  • Barong machetes – Good for livestock slaughter, hunting.
  • Billhook machetes – Typically used for cutting small woody material, agriculture, and hedge construction.
  • Cane machetes – Handy for cutting rice, bamboo, corn stalks, and sugar cane.
  • Bush/Latin machetes – Good all-purpose utility tool and commonly used for cutting green vegetation.
  • Colima machetes – Generally used for mowing big swaths of vegetation.
  • Bowie machetes – Skinner tip makes them great as a utility knife for hunters and woodsmen.
  • Panga machetes – Ideal for slicing and chopping the medium thickness woody vegetation.
  • Heavy machetes – The best choice for chopping wood or rough vegetation.
  • Hawkbill machetes – Perfect for cutting tall grasses.
  • Survival & Tactical machetes – Ideal for self-defense, dig pit during the outdoor trip.
  • Combat machetes – Made for piercing armor.

Also Read: Tips to sharpen a machete without any sharpener



A knife is one of the earliest multi-purpose cutting tools or weapons having a sharp blade. The blade edges have different designs for dissimilar purposes. According to different blade sizes and styles, different types of blades have come.

From home to outdoors, knives have a wide range of applications. Some common types of knives are table knives, kitchen knives, hunting knives, combat knives, skinner knives, pocket knives, folding knives, utility knives, crafting knives, etc.



Swords are made from the longer blade, usually used for slashing and thrusting.  The blades might be straight or curved. Some swords are double-edged style.

Several popular types of swords are cutlass, broadsword, longsword, shamshir, Chinese swords, Japanese swords, shinai, etc.

Knife Vs Machete Vs Sword – Comparison Table

Comparison TopicKnifeMacheteSword
Blade materialCarbon steel, stainless steel or high carbon steel, or titaniumCarbon steel, high carbon steel, or stainless steelCarbon, or high carbon steel
Handle materialWood, plastic, rubber, leather, stainless steel, and MicartaWood, plastic, ivory, rubber, and MicartaWooden and metal
Blade tipPointed tipBluntedPointed tip
Blade lengthSmallMediumLong
Knuckle guardYes (but some of them don’t)NoYes
Intended forAll types of cuttingHacking, choppingCutting, slicing
See moreBuy Best KnivesBuy Best MachetesBuy Best Swords
Is A Machete A Knife Or A Sword

Is A Machete Knife Or Sword Or Else?

The bevel (edge of the blade) of chopping tools and swords are much duller than the machete. But knives and machetes have an almost similar bevel. So machete is more likely a knife.

Swords are larger than machetes. But the design and construction of the machetes are almost similar to knives, not swords.

Machetes are mainly used for chopping but their thickness is thinner than most other chopping tools. So they are different from traditional chopping tools. But they behave more likely knives.

There are many other reasons that show machete is one kind of knife. Considering all these, the machete is classified as a large knife.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Hatchet vs machete – what are their differences?

Answer: Both hatchet (axe) and machete are used for chopping purposes. But the hatchet is thicker than the machete. Thus axes are used for heavy chopping whereas machetes are used for medium to light chopping.

Hatchets are smaller in size compared to machetes. Also, their bevel angle is also different. So machete vs axe have lots of differences from construction to functionality.

Read Also: Sleeping bag and pad differences

Q: Is a machete a weapon?

Answer: Machete is not a weapon actually. But you can use this as a good weapon and self-defense purposes.

Q: What is the difference between machete vs katana sword?

Answer: Katana is designed to use as a weapon especially for thrusting, whereas a machete is not basically intended for self-defence. The katana sword is quite hard to care for but it’s better for the superior cutting edge.

Q: Kukri vs machete – what are the differences?

Answer: Kukri has a curved blade that is heavier than a machete. So, the Kukri is quite hard to pack and unpack. Also, it’s quite challenging to hone and sharpen the kukri blade.

Q: Should I carry a machete for outdoor trips?

Answer: Yes, machetes are good for the outdoors like at home. You can carry it in your summer or beach camping bag for great benefits.

Wrapping Up

A machete is nowadays a handy tool for farmers, gardeners, choppers, and outdoorsmen. We believe, after reading this article, you might understand the main differences among machete vs sword vs axe and other edged tools.

Now, use this multi-purpose tool wherever you want. But, use and carry it safely!

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