Machetes are an ‘old world’ tool from a developed nations perspective.
Since we have moved off the land to the city’s and the introduction of some great petrol driven agricultural tools, machetes were forgotten pretty quickly. It’s a shame as they are one of the most versatile tools out there!
Things are changing. Recently they have been becoming quite popular again in the bushcraft world, particularly Canada, USA and Australia. The problem we have is all the knowledge we had on them is a few generations past. Most of us did not have the chance to watch and work with our elders who were proficient in using and maintaining a machete.
Using and maintaining hand saws, hand planes and hammering nails are an example of tools and skills you can still find a lot of people happy to help get you started with. These are old world skills quickly being replaced by power tools. Unfortunately, machetes are much further back down the line!
So where do we start?
Well we are lucky as the internet has a lot to offer in this department. It’s full of people’s videos, pictures and articles on how they use machetes. Can we assume all the information is correct, safe or appropriate for you?… Not a chance! That’s why it’s called research. You need to sort out what you feel is appropriate. That goes for everything we mention as well. How we use and maintain a machete is different to how the next person will. You get to work out what is correct for yourself.
Two of the more comprehensive places to start looking would be a gentleman named Colhane from Brazil and Ray Mears.
Colhane was a great inspiration for us many years ago when we first started our research. He has a huge amount of uploads on youtube all revolving around machetes. Every environment has its own specific challenges however, we found a lot of his advice is appropriate for us down here in Australia. Click here for a link to his channel.
Ray Mears, well his reputation speaks for its self! If you don’t know of him, he would be the David Attenborough of the bushcraft world. He has a few uploads on the Parang machete worth viewing. He covers some safety advice that we personally follow on the farm.
The other problem we have with Machetes is that being from the old world, there are no safety manuals! If you asked me for advice on safe chainsaw use, I would point you in the direction of Stihl’s chainsaw operating manual and video as well as some TAFE courses. If it was about a motorcycle, the NSW Riders Stay Upright class is comprehensive! The same cannot be said about machetes. When you bought your machete 100 yrs ago, it did not come with an extensive manual or instructions on safe and effective use. You just walked it home!
There are vast amounts of others sources and you will soon find a few of your own favourites. You need to filter all information and work out what is appropriate for you. One person’s method of use might be classed as extremely reckless to another.
You get to set your own boundaries as you are always 100% responsible for how you use any machete!
← You mention many times over to do my own safety research. Do you have any suggestions?