You’d probably use a machete instead of a cutlass when you’re out in the wilderness camping, hunting, farming, or homesteading (unless you also have a part-time pirate hustle). A cutlass is not commonly used throughout most of the world, although the Machete is. Nonetheless, there might be a reason for the mistake because both instruments appear similarly. This Machete vs Cutlass in-depth comparison will help to know the uses, similarities, differences, benefits, and drawbacks of Machete and Cutlass.
Table of Contents
What is a Machete?
A machete is a bladed implement used to chop big plants and other materials. Its blade can be up to 1/8 inch thick and 12 to 18 inches (or 20 to 26 inches) long. A machete’s hole at the end of the handle is reasonably practical. You sweat a lot while working outside in the hot sun.
You can create a loop big enough for your hand to fit through by tying a short string through the opening. Doing this significantly reduces the likelihood that the Machete may escape your moist, slick hand, become lost, or hurt someone.
What is a Cutlass?
A cutlass is a short, heavy sword previously used by sailors and pirates on vessels. It features a convex edge and a curved blade. Think of the Pirates of the Caribbean, where they fought with sabers, broadswords, and cutlasses. Sailors employed this while boarding hostile ships and pirates for intimidation and warfare.
Over time, cutlasses have become lighter, more balanced, and more like heavier versions of battle sabers used on the ground. It gets its name from the 17th-century English use of the 16th-century French word “coutelas” to describe a blade similar to a machete but is mid-length and single-edged.
What is a Machete Used For?
A machete blade is comparable to an axe used for farming or a long-bladed knife used for bushcraft, survival, or battle. Machetes have developed into the point-heavy slashing instruments they are today, employed for various domestic and agricultural duties.
A machete can be used outside, especially in the wild, too: trim overhanging branches that tangle fishing lines; cut through brush and sugarcane fields; forage; hunt; split fruits and nuts; clear brush; cut and maintain trails; chop compost; clear woody vegetation; make traps and snares; construct shelter from bark and poles; butcher and process meat; and manage a campsite (clearing, tindering, making firewood, shelter construction). Plus, all tasks that require chopping, cutting, and or slashing.
What is a Cutlass Used For?
A cutlass is a slicing blade created as a weapon and was frequently employed as a naval weapon during the Age of Sail and Caribbean exploration. Cutlasses, however, are no longer helpful in modern society. Like the U.S. Navy model 1917/1941 ceremonial Cutlass, rumored to have been in battle until 1950, they are exclusively available for proper use.
Advantages of Machete
The advantages of using a Machete over a cutlass are similar to those stated in the paragraph above. A machete can be used in several ways. It can be used as a versatile tool, weapon, and tool.
A machete can be used to clear the way in the wild, cook food, and, all in all, do any and everything a Cutlass can. The thing that makes the Machete superior to a Cutlass is the fact that the Machete offers greater precision than a cutlass.
Drawbacks of Machete
A major drawback that comes from using a machete rather than a cutlass can be observed while the Machete is being used as a weapon (either in a battle or in self-defense). A machete doesn’t have pre-attached hand protection like a basket hilt.
If you intend to fight or face dangers in the wilderness, then a cutlass would be the perfect weapon. It is because (as stated before) it is a weapon rather than a tool, so it best serves its purpose in self-defense or on a battlefield rather than being used as an agricultural tool or an axe.
Advantages of Cutlass
On a hand-to-hand battlefield, the Cutlass reigns supreme due to its thin (thinner than a machete) blade and its hand protection in the form of a Basket hilt. So if you intend to make a trip to a place that you know offers hostile entities, then the Cutlass is the right instrument for you.
Disadvantages of Cutlass
The uses of a cutlass are pretty limited as the Cutlass was designed to be used as a weapon and nothing more. In theory, one can use it to spit wood and cut crops, but the result would be messy as the Cutlass lacks the accuracy of the Machete, and the cuts aren’t fine enough.
Is Machete Similar to the Cutlass?
The similarities between a machete and a cutlass are limited because both are bladed weapons and can be used to slash things into pieces. This is where the similarities end.
What are the Differences between the Machete and the Cutlass?
The significant difference between the Cutlass and Machete is that a machete offers better precision. You can chop things up more precisely and in better portions. It is because the blades of most machetes are thicker than the average Cutlass. This allows the Machete to be used as an axe, an agricultural tool, and a weapon. On the other hand, the slimmer blade of the Cutlass makes it far more suitable to hack open impending dangers and enemies.
Overall, a machete and a cutlass are bladed weapons with varying lengths of blades. The Machete is primarily a tool that can be used for anything from splitting up wood to using it in self-defense. On the other hand, the Cutlass is mainly a weapon, which is second to none in single hand-to-hand combat. Using a cutlass is limited to fighting and cutting stuff up, but without the precision the Machete offers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Are Machete and Cutlass the Same?
No, a machete and a cutlass are not the same. Although they share some similarities in shape and usage, they have distinct differences in design, origin, and historical use.
- Is a Cutlass Double-Edged?
A cutlass is typically a short sword with a curved blade that is sharpened on both sides, making it double-edged.
- Machete or Cutlass, Which is Better for Cutting?
Both machetes and cutlasses are versatile cutting tools that are commonly used in different contexts, such as agriculture, forestry, and survival situations. However, the effectiveness of each tool depends on the specific task at hand.