DIY machete knife - features, specifications and reviews

The machete survival knife over the past two decades has gained great popularity in Russia. This tool came to us from Latin America. Its ability to easily cut through impassable vegetation has made it an excellent helper in hiking trips. A large machete knife is sold in all major sporting and travel goods stores. It is easy to manufacture and easy to make with your own hands.

Knife story

As an independent type of agricultural tool, a machete was first used in the harvesting of sugarcane. With its help, they cleared the jungle under new plantations. A heavy wide blade easily cut through bushes and helped pave the way. The length of the blade from 35 to 60 cm and a thickness of 3-4 mm turned it into a formidable weapon, which subsequently began to be used by rebels and armed forces of different countries.

Folding machete

Such weapons were used not only in South America. In Nepal, Gurkha warriors have been using kukri, an analogue of a machete knife, since the 15th century. Depending on its purpose, it has several varieties:

  • Badhum - a combat knife with a very thick blade - 0.8 cm.
  • Hanshi is an agricultural tool replacing the Gurkha sickle.
  • British army service - a military weapon used in the arsenal of the British army.

The modern machete knife has significantly expanded its functionality in comparison with the prototype. The blades of some models additionally acquired a saw. Knives made for tourism received hollow handles in which you can store a survival kit: fishing line, fishing hooks, flint. To equip the US special forces, a machete folding knife is issued for safe landing.

What is the design?

Machete knives have many varieties. Before you make such a tool yourself, you need to decide what tasks it will be used for. If the goal is to create a universal tool, then you can make a machete knife with a wide massive blade, which is convenient to use with both an ax and a sapper blade.

Varieties of machetes

The classic version lacked any protection for the hand. Because it was used only for cutting shrubs. Military varieties have already received a guard so that the palm is protected during the strike. In the manufacture of a homemade knife, you can make a little emphasis on the hand. This will provide the necessary protection, but at the same time it will not allow the knife to be classified as a cold weapon.

Do it yourself machete knife: what to make of?

If a person himself decided to make a machete, then for sure he does not want to invest a lot of money in manufacturing. Therefore, as a material, you can choose old-fashioned parts or tools:

  1. Band saw blade. It uses high carbon steel. It is used on sawmills for longitudinal cutting of wood. In addition, there are band saws for cutting metal blanks. The material used in them is much stronger. When making a machete knife, it may be difficult to process this material.
  2. Car springs. They have different sizes both in width and in thickness. Therefore, you can choose any option for your model. This is a solid, high-quality material that has one drawback - bending. To eliminate it, you have to work hard. The spring can be leveled using a press or using thermal heating. The second option is more preferable, since in this case it is possible to additionally harden.
  3. Circular saw blades. They are ideally suited, except for one drawback - it is difficult to find a disk of the desired diameter. As a way out, the handle can be made separately from the body of the blade.

A homemade machete knife at a price will cost much cheaper than the factory one, but it will not be inferior in quality. Made on an individual project, it can be much more convenient.

Making a blank

After you have decided on the model and picked up the material, you need to make a pattern of thick cardboard. It is better to experiment on paper rather than on a workpiece. After the final changes, the workpiece is outlined on the metal. You need to take a small margin, leaving an allowance for processing.

Machete blank

There are 3 ways to cut a workpiece. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Laser cutting High precision method. It is used in enterprises for the manufacture of new parts. This method is good in that further processing after it is minimal. It is also suitable for cutting neat holes in solid material, which is much more difficult to do with a drill. The disadvantage of this method is that it is not available to everyone. In addition, the laser overheats when cutting metal, so the cutting edge may not hold sharpening well.
  2. Waterjet cutting. This is a method of cutting with a jet of water with the addition of abrasive particles. This method is ideal except that it is difficult to access.
  3. Cutting with a grinder. This is the most affordable and time-consuming option. To work with a grinder, you need to stock up on used circles that have the smallest diameter. This is necessary in order to make curved cuts. It is dangerous to work with large diameters. Moreover, the cuts will be sloppy. You need to leave a large margin for processing.


Individual manufacture is good in that you can fit the handle to your hand. It needs to be done a little more than the width of the palm, and emphasis should also be provided. In the lower part, several holes must be drilled. One for fastening the lanyard, the rest for rivets that will fix the lining of the handle.

Knife in wood

The material for the linings can be taken different, as far as imagination is enough: wood, plastic for shoe heels, textolite. Hardwood is better to use hardwood: oak, beech. The wooden handle can be treated with wax or hot linseed oil. In this case, the oil polymerizes in wooden pores and reliably protects the handle from water. In addition, this treatment will show the texture of the tree and give an aesthetic appearance.

Blade sharpening

Since the thickness of the blade is 3 mm, sharpening is difficult right away. First you need to make gentle descents that will give a wedge shape to the lower cutting part of the blade. For this work, you can use a grinder with a petal nozzle. The rotation speed of the grinder is very high. It can easily overheat the workpiece and thereby overheat it. To avoid this, you need to work with minimal pressure, without holding the petal circle in one place.

Blade sharpening

After giving a wedge-shaped shape, the blade is additionally sharpened on an emery machine. For sharpening to be accurate, the abrasive wheel should not have a runout. The blade is sharpened at low speed with constant cooling with water. The machete handle must be done after giving the workpiece descents, but before sharpening.

Knife case

To protect yourself and others, the machete knife must be in the case. For its manufacture, a piece of thick leather or plastic and fabric is suitable. Strong stitches or rivets will also be needed. To make a cover, you need to wrap the blade with a piece of leather. Then outline it with a large margin. This stock is needed so that subsequently it is possible to put rivets. After that, the skin is trimmed along the contour.

Machete case

Before connecting the edges of the workpiece, you should make slots for wearing the cover on the belt. You can sew leather loops instead of slits. After the loops are made, the workpiece is folded in half and fixed with rivets.

Final refinement

Sometimes it’s not possible to make a tool that fully satisfies the first time. The problem may be in sharpening, the shape of the handle. After working for some time, the owner may feel the weight of the knife as a disadvantage. Then it will be necessary to eliminate the shortcomings by finalizing the design. For example, a cleaver weighing 1.5 kg can quickly cause fatigue during operation, then it will be necessary to cut off the excess part of the blade, making the tool easier.

Handle cord

If logging is ineffective, you can re-sharpen the slopes, thereby reducing the angle of sharpening. After that, the blade will enter the hard material better. If you don’t like the wooden or plastic handle, you can remove the pads and wrap the handle with a cord. Such a handle will definitely not slip in your hand. Thus, you can bring the machete to perfection.

Reviews of machete knives

In Russia, a large knife like a machete has been around for a long time. It is called a cleaver. As a utility knife, it is used everywhere. Those who use such a tool say that it is very convenient for some purposes. For example, a machete is better for chopping off bushes than an ax or chainsaw. A long blade can handle thin, flexible rods more efficiently. In some cases, the machete easily replaces the ax when chopping wood. After all, his blade has a weight of 700 to 1300 g. In addition to thin twigs, he can chop branches and small trees. For example, he can chop a solid birch with a diameter of 10 cm in 3 strokes.


All Articles