Home » Machete vs Sickle : Which is the Best Gardening and Survival Cutting Tool?

Machete vs Sickle : Which is the Best Gardening and Survival Cutting Tool?

Machete vs SickleWhen it comes to gardening and survival techniques, having suitable cutting tools is essential. Machetes and sickles are two of the most popular cutting tools used for these purposes. While both tools are designed for cutting, they have distinct differences that make them better suited for specific tasks. Comparing the features of Machete and Sickle can help you choose the best one for your gardening or survival needs.

What is Machete?

A machete is a large blade that can be used as a tool for agriculture, like an axe, or in combat, like a long-bladed knife. The blade typically measures between 30 and 45 centimeters in length and has a thickness of less than 3 millimeters.

What is Sickle?

A sickle is a farming implement with a tiny handle and a C-shaped blade (about the size of a hammer handle). It is designed to be used in one hand and is often used to cut clumps of plants (like grasses or grains) at the root in order to harvest them.

Machete Features

MacheteA machete features a blade that can be up to 28 inches long and has no detachable parts. Depending on the materials used for the handle and the blade, the tool might weigh up to 0.5 kg or 1 pound. The machete’s handle is shorter than the blade. A machete is a practical outdoor instrument that works well for slicing, chipping, and chopping.

The Blade

A machete’s blade can be anywhere from 10 and 28 inches long. Shorter blade designs offer better agility and are simpler to load. On the other hand, longer-bladed machetes have wider swing arcs and are perfect for quickly clearing large areas of any potential threat or plant life. The edges of the blades may also be sharpened differently or even on both sides, depending on how the machete will be used.

The majority of machetes come with sheaths that, while not in use, protect both the user and the blades. By being tucked inside a tool bag or connected to your belt, the sheath can be utilized to carry the machete.

The Handle

The handle or grip of the machete, which is its shortest part, can be made from wood, plastic, or carbon fiber. To prevent the instrument from slipping while being utilized and harming someone or anything, it is designed to provide a solid grip.


The type of material utilized for the blade and grip determines how much the machete costs (just like everything else). The price of a machete has no upper bound and can be as low as $20. The shape and length of the blade, the ease of the grip, and the type of material utilized for the sheath can all affect how much the machete costs. 

Also, the place where you purchase the blade affects the pricing. Some stores might provide blades at a lower price than other retailers. Everything depends on where the store is located. Even if you buy a machete online, some retailers charge less for the blade than others.

Sickle Features

SickleA sickle is a farming implement with a tiny handle and a C-shaped blade (about the size of a hammer handle). It is designed to be used in one hand and is often used to cut clumps of plants (like grasses or grains) at the root to harvest them. However, The sickle can be used as a makeshift bladed weapon, just like other farming equipment.

 The Madurese people of Indonesia are frequently connected with the indigenous sickle known as celurit or clurit, which is used both as a weapon and a domestic utility.

From the dawn of the Iron Age, hundreds of regionally distinct sickle variations—originally made of iron and later steel—have developed. 

Two varieties of sickle blades—smooth or serrated—can be used to chop mature cereals or green grass, employing somewhat different methods, depending on the culture. Even in the current grain-harvesting machinery and some kitchen knives, the serrated blade that descended from ancient sickles still predominates in the reaping of grain.

The Blade

A sickle’s blade is often curved to make sweeping cuts across crops simple. The curvature may be more or less obvious depending on how the sickle is made. Sharpening a sickle’s blade simplifies cutting through challenging plant material. The edge’s sharpness may change depending on the sickle’s intended usage.

The Handle

A sickle’s handle is often constructed of wood or another sturdy material and is built to be easy to hold. Depending on how the sickle is made, the handle’s size and shape may change. The hook on the end of the blade of some sickles can be used to catch and hold the plants that have been chopped.

Depending on their intended function, sickles can come in various sizes. To be more manageable, certain sickles may be small and light, while others may be larger and heavier to cut through harder plants.


Price-wise, you can buy a sickle for about $12 to around $300. The price depends on what materials are used for the handle and blade. In addition, how comfortable is the tool to use? Moreover, you will get different price quotes depending on the location of the store. If you buy online, the price varies from seller to seller, so you should remember to compare the prices before buying.

Which One Should You Choose & Why?

While using the sickle, the user must harvest while hunched over or squatting due to the short handle. The sickle gave way to the longer-handled scythe, whose user stands upright. Even though sickle harvesting is extremely labor-intensive, it is nevertheless popular worldwide, especially for cereal crops like wheat and rice, and as a gardening tool.

On the other hand, the machete can be used to chop compost into tiny pieces so that it breaks down more quickly. Sugar cane, rice, corn, oats, buckwheat, and many more agricultural items can be harvested with a machete.

You can use a machete to clear your garden of cover crops or residual dead plants by scalping the above-ground plants to conserve root biomass. So depending on what you intend to do and your budget, you can either go for the sickle or the machete. 

Our Verdict

If you wish to take the tool on hiking or a trip, the machete is a better option because it can easily be used as a short sword and a tool to cut and chop things up. Due to the sickle’s curved blade, chopping up things precisely can be difficult.

Final Words 

Ultimately, both tools have their strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to the user to decide which is best suited for their needs. Also, the choice between a machete and a sickle depends on the specific task. A machete may be the better choice if you need to clear a large area of dense brush or woody weeds. However, a sickle is the best cutting tool if you need to harvest crops or trim delicate vegetation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Are Sickle and Scythes the Same Thing?

Scythes and sickles are different agricultural tools. The scythe comes with a long handle and a slightly curved blade. On the other hand, the sickle has a short handle with a hook-like blade.

  • Which is Better, the Machete or the Sickle?

Machete is best for thicker targets due to its long blade and large swing, whereas the sickle works excellently on thinner grasses.

  • Can I use a Sickle as a Weapon?

You can use a sickle as an improvised bladed weapon. 

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