Bolo Knives

By 
jenndodd
   ·   
Published Sep 12, 2021
   ·   
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A bolo knife is a large, broad blade that was traditionally used as an agricultural tool. It can be either single or double-edged and has a curved cutting edge.

The bolo's origins are in the Philippines and it continues to be associated with rural folk who live by farming. While those living in urban areas have largely left this type of blade behind, the bolo's popularity has grown among survivalists and military personnel due to its versatility as both a weapon and tool.

The best thing about the bolo is that it’s not just for show; when you need something cut down or chopped up, there’s nothing better than grabbing your trusty bolo knife! This handy device will also serve you well on camping trips, as its curved blade is great for skinning games or cutting small trees.

In this blog post, we review the best bolo knives on the market. Read on to learn more about bolo knives and how they might be useful to you!

Our Top Picks For Bolo Knives

Reviews Of The Best Bolo Knives From Our Research

1. Schrade SCHF14

Sale
Schrade SCHF14 7.9in High Carbon S.S. Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife with 3.4in Drop Point Blade and G-10 Handle for Outdoor Survival, Tactical and EDC
  • DIMENSIONS: 7.9 inch (20 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3.4 inches (8.6 cm) and a weight of 5.6 ounces
  • DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 8Cr13MoV Stonewashed High Carbon Stainless Steel with a black, G-10 handle
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient multi-carry Kydex belt sheath making it ideal for everyday carry
  • SECURE: Have confidence that the blade will not slip with the security of the forefinger groove and jimping
  • BE PREPARED: Knife features a full tang design and lanyard hole

The Schrade Company has been making knives since 1887.

They are one of the oldest knife manufacturers in the United States and they put their experience to work for you with this heavy-duty bolo knife.

It's a great choice for those who need an all-purpose blade that can handle anything from chopping down small trees or clearing brush to cut rope, vegetables, or meat.

You'll love how easy it is to control, thanks to its tough 3mm thick blade made of high carbon steel with a satin finish, so it won't rust as easily as other brands might.

This bolo features a long ergonomic handle that fits comfortably in your hand and helps you keep your grip even when things get slippery.

Features

  • The blade is 3mm thick and made of high carbon steel, ensuring that it won't rust as easily as other brands.
  • It has a satin finish, so it will still look nice after long-term use without the shine.
  • The bolo knife is  7.9 inches (20 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3.4 inches (8.6 cm) and a weight of 5.6 ounces.
  • It has a full tang design and lanyard hole.
  • Schrade SCHF14's long, ergonomic handle lets you control the knife more easily, even when things get slippery.

Pros

  • Solid and tough design
  • The blade is durable and long-lasting.
  • You can grip the knife easily with its ergonomic handle.

Cons

  • It may be difficult to sharpen due to its shape.
  • It doesn't come with a sheath.

2. Gerber Gator Bolo Machete

Gerber Gear 31-002076N Gator Bolo Machete 22 Inch, Black
  • Bolo machete with full tang construction
  • Gator grip handle provides an amazing grip
  • Lanyard for safety and security
  • Overall length: 22.5 Inches, Blade Length: 15.5 Inches
  • Nylon Sheath included

Gerber Gator Bolo Machete is a heavy-duty knife that can be used in many different ways.

The blade is made from high carbon steel and has a satin finish, so it won't rust as easily as other brands might.

The handle is long and ergonomic to keep your grip under control even when things get slippery.

It's the perfect all-purpose knife for those who need something that can handle anything from chopping down small trees or clearing brush to cutting rope, vegetables, or meat.

Features

  • Gerber Gator Bolo Machete Blade is made of high carbon steel with a satin finish.
  • Ergonomic handle to keep your grip in control.
  • Perfect for chopping down small trees or clearing brush
  • Long handle to provide more control when using the blade

Pros

  • The Gator grip handle provides an amazing grip.
  • The rugged nylon sheath keeps the blade from getting banged up when not in use.
  • It comes pre-sharpened so you can use it right away.

Cons

  • Non-essential features tend to get in the way when you're using them.

3. Condor Tool & Knife, Duku Machete

Sale
Condor Tool & Knife, Duku Machete, 15-1/2in Blade, Wood Handle with Sheath
  • 1075 High carbon steel
  • Natural blade finish
  • Finished hardwood handle
  • 15 1/2" Blade length
  • 22 1/4" Overall length

The Condor Tool and Knife Company is a family-owned company founded in 1972.

The Duku Machete features an ergonomic handle with a finger guard, giving you more control even when things get slippery.

It's perfect for anyone looking for an all-purpose blade capable of handling any task from clearing brush to cutting rope, vegetables, or meat.

Features

  • An all-purpose blade that can handle anything from chopping down small trees or clearing brush to cut rope, vegetables, or meat
  • Tough 1075 high carbon steel with a satin finish
  • A long ergonomic handle provides better control when using the blade.

Pros

  • The Condor tool knife has a long handle that provides more control over the blade.
  • It has a great balance between weight and length, which makes chopping easier.
  • It comes with a hand-crafted welted sheath.

Cons

  • It can be difficult to sharpen due to its shape.
  • The leather cord wrap on the handle can become loose with heavy use.

4. Tramontina Bolo Machete

Sale
Tramontina Bolo Machete
  • Crafted from the highest quality materials
  • Built for performance and durability
  • Made in Brazil

The Tramontina Bolo Machete is a heavy-duty knife with 1070 carbon steel and a hardwood handle.

Perfect for cutting down small trees or clearing brush, it's a great all-purpose blade.

This bolo features a finger guard that lets you keep your grip even when things get slippery and is designed for chopping.

The blade is not only long but also extremely durable.

Features

  • 1070 carbon steel with a sharp blade
  • Hardwood handle provides more control when using the knife.
  • Perfect for chopping down small trees or clearing brush
  • Long handle to provide more control when using the blade

Pros

  • Tramontina bolo has a long handle that provides more control over the blade.
  • It comes pre-sharpened so you can use it right away.

Cons

  • It cannot be sharpened with a typical sharpener.
  • The blade can bend if not used properly.

5. Schrade SCHKM1 Kukri Machete

Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri Machete with 13.3in Stainless Steel Blade and Safe-T-Grip Handle for Outdoor Survival, Camping and Bushcraft
  • DIMENSIONS: 19.7 inch (50 cm) overall length with a blade length of 13.3 inches (33.8 cm) and a weight of 1 lb 6.6 ounces
  • DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 3Cr13 Powder Coated S.S. with a black safety grip handle
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient polyester sheath with a removable shoulder pouch, shoulder strap, leg strap and belt loop making it the ideal cutting tool
  • SECURE: Have confidence that the blade will not slip with the security of the front quillon
  • BE PREPARED: Machete features a ferro rod, sharpening stone and a lanyard hole

The Schrade SCHKM1 Kukri Machete is made of stainless steel with an easy-to-use rubber grip.

This blade is long, durable, and lightweight, making it easier to control the blade when using it. It features an ergonomic T-grip handle that allows you more control even when things get slippery.

It can handle tough tasks like chopping down small trees or clearing brush without getting too heavy on your hands.

Pros

  • The blade is composed of 3Cr13 Powder Coated Stainless Steel with a black safety grip handle.
  • The convenient polyester sheath with a removable shoulder pouch, shoulder strap, leg strap, and belt hook allows quick and easy access, making it the ideal cutting instrument.
  • With the front quillon's security, you can rest assured that the blade will not slip.

Cons

  • It might need to be sharpened before use since it's not very sharp when you get it out of the box.

6. Condor Tool & Knife, Ironpath Bolo Machete

Condor Tool & Knife, Ironpath Bolo Machete, Brown CTK3928-9.8HC
  • Crafted from the highest quality materials
  • Built for performance and durability
  • Made in El Salvador
  • Material Type: Synthetic

This Condor Tool and Knife Ironpath Bolo Machete is made of high carbon steel.

The full tang design gives it more stability and better durability than knives with partial tangs.

It has a hard-hitting blade that won't let you down when you need to chop through tough vegetation or brush, as well as a long handle to provide better control of the blade.

Features

  • High carbon steel material for durability
  • Full tang design for more stability and longer life span
  • Long handle to provide better control over the blade

Pros

  • Lightweight, so it's easy to control the blade
  • Long handle for more control over the blade.
  • It comes pre-sharpened so you don't have to spend time sharpening before use.

Cons

  • The sheath is a little bit too short, which makes it harder to fit onto your belt or leg straps.

Buyer's Guide For Bolo Knives

There are several factors to consider when looking for a bolo: price, durability handle, material, and length-which should be at least 18 inches.

When buying bolo knives, you should look for one that is durable and lightweight. You'll also want to make sure that the knife has a good grip and comes pre-sharpened.

Blade

The blade is one of the most important parts of this type of knife. A quality bolo will have a sharp blade made out of durable material to ensure the blade lasts for a long time.

Make sure that the blade is at least 18 inches long. The longer the blade, the more control you have when using it. Also, look for one with full tang construction for better durability and stability.

Handle

A good bolo should have a long handle that provides better control over the blade and ensures you can use your momentum to cut through vegetation easily.

The handle should be long enough to provide more control over your actions. The best handles are made out of hardwoods like rosewood, palm, or ebony.

You'll also want to make sure that it's ergonomically designed for comfort and has a good grip.

Usually, handles that are between 12 and 16 inches are good sizes for bolos.

Durability

Look for a bolo with a durable handle and lightweight to ensure that it can hold up to heavy use.

A bolo should be made out of high carbon steel for durability and longevity--look for words like "carbon," "steel," or "high carbon" in the description when buying one online.

Weigh the pros and cons of each product you're considering by looking at the material of the blades and their weight.

Price

Bolos can range in price from about $40 to several hundred dollars. Be sure to check the quality of the blade and handle material when you're determining whether or not a particular knife is worth buying.

Weight

Look for one with lightweight materials for longevity and comfort when in use.

Check to see if it comes pre-sharpened.

Also, check to see that the handle is durable and made out of hardwood for longevity.

Materials

Always look for a knife that has been made from high carbon steel material, as this is known to be durable, long-lasting, and keep its edge even after extended use. If you are looking for bolos, this material makes it easier to cut through tougher materials at a beautiful pace.

Frequently Asked Questions For Bolo Knives

What is a Bolo Knife?

A bolo is a traditional agricultural tool used to harvest crops or clear vegetation. But more importantly, it's the perfect Hollywood-style machete for hacking through thick jungle vines on some treasure huntin'.

Today, they are mostly used for clearing terrain of tropical vegetation. A bolo's blade varies in size from 12 inches to 18 inches long with a distinct curve on the end that looks more like an ear of cooked rice than an ice cream scoop.


What are the origins of the Bolo Knife?

Bolo knives are based on two tools from the Philippine Islands: the bolo knife and karambit. Filipino nationalists have used these blades during revolts against colonizers.


What is a Bolo Knife used for?

Bolo knives are traditionally used for cutting, chopping, and more recently for slicing and dicing vegetables. In the Philippines, farmers use bolos instead of machetes because it is easier to maneuver around crops.

Military groups and combat forces use bolo knives to cut through thick jungle vines or other vegetation in today's world.

They are a versatile instrument for survivalists and a good kitchen utensil for any chef who needs to cut through overly tough vegetables.


How do you maintain a bolo tool?

Always keep your bolo sharp and dry. You really don't want to use a dull, rusty blade. It is best to clean it with some soap and water if you've been using it for days of cutting vegetation or animal carcasses.

Dry the blade with a towel, then apply mineral oil, graphite powder, or gun oil.


What's the Best Way to Sharpen a Knife?

A whetstone is usually used for this task. If you don't know how to use it, make one side of your blade run along with it at an equal angle until both sides are sharp.


What Size Blade Do I Need?

12 Inches or Longer - The longer the blade, the better. Longer blades are easier to control and allow for more cutting power. Stay away from shorter knives that might be difficult to use.


What Material Should I Look For?

High Carbon Steel- This is best for durability and long-lasting sharpness. Look for a knife made from this material if you want something that can hold an edge and resist rusting.


What Material Should the Handle Be Made Of?

Hardwood- This is a better choice than plastic or metal as it is more comfortable and comes with a better grip.


What are the 7 types of bolo?

  • Barong - a leaf-shaped sword or knife favored by the Tausug people.
  • Batangas - a single-edged bolo from the Tagalog people that widens at the tip.
  • Garab - a sickle used for harvesting rice.
  • Guna or Bolo-guna - A weeding knife with a very short and wide dull blade with a perpendicular blunt end.
  •  Talibong - a tapering long sword found throughout the Philippines
  • Itak- a narrow sword used for combat and self-defense in the Tagalog regions.
  • Haras - a  scythe used for cutting tall grass. It is called "Lampas" by people from Mindanao.

Bolo Knife can also be classified based on the nature of the material, such as carbon steel bolo, ceramic bolo, tungsten carbide bolo, low alloy high carbon steel bolo, stainless steel, cobalt alloy bolo, and titanium alloy bolo.


Final Thoughts

If you're looking to buy a bolo knife, it's important that the blade is long enough for better control and has a comfortable handle.

You should also make sure your purchase comes with full tang construction because this will keep the blade from coming apart easily while cutting through tough vegetation.

Bolo knives come in many different sizes depending on what kind of work you'll need them for--you might want something smaller if you plan on doing more chopping than slicing as well as heavier blades if clearing off ground foliage is going to be your main use case scenario.

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