Few weapons or survival gear enthusiasts would argue that Russian military and survival equipment is top of the line. One of the most excellent blades ever produced for the Russian military was the Spetsnaz machete, made for the Russian special forces, or Spetsnaz, from World War II almost until the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Today, the original Spetsnaz machetes are historical collector’s pieces, and even replicas are sometimes hard to come by. Despite this, however, they really are among the best pieces of survival equipment ever made by Russia.
The Spetsnaz machete is very different in both form and function that a traditional brush machete. The machete had a curved blade that widened out as it got further away from the handle. The side opposite the sharpened blade was flat and serrated, making for an excellent sawing tool.
The blade was made from an extremely hard high carbon steel that made the tool very heavy, especially toward the tip of the cutting surface. This hardened material made the blade somewhat difficult to sharpen but also allowed it to be used as a pry bar without risking any damage to the flat edge. In addition, it features a hollow handle that could be used to house any number of pieces of survival gear, including matches, fishing line and hooks, and emergency medicine.
Without a doubt, the Russian Spetsnaz Machete is a very durable tool. The hardened high carbon steel blade construction made it nearly impervious to impact damage, and the blade would resist rust in the mostly dry Russian climate. When put into use in other parts of the world, however, it became apparent that the high carbon blade presented something of a problem in that it was susceptible to rust in very wet conditions.
This did little to alter the manufacturing of the machete, as it was still largely employed in drier climates. Besides the oxidation issue, the Spetsnaz machete is a model of durable Russian military equipment.
When put into use in other parts of the world, however, it became apparent that the high carbon blade presented something of a problem in that it was susceptible to rust in very wet conditions. This did little to alter the manufacturing of the machete, as it was still largely employed in drier climates. Besides the oxidation issue, the Spetsnaz machete is a model of durable Russian military equipment.
It is difficult to estimate exact price on a Spetsnaz machete due to their collector value. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around $300 on the modern market, if not a little bit more. There are companies that make replicas, as well as updated equivalents. However, none of these will have the exact build and specifications of the original machetes.
Unlike many pieces of modern survival equipment, there was nothing theoretical about the Spetsnaz machete. It was designed for and repeatedly put to use in some of the most extreme circumstances imaginable, and performed well enough that it went unchanged throughout its history. The Spetsnaz machete was intended to be used for sawing, cutting, chopping, prying, and even digging.
The Spetsnaz machete was intended to be used for sawing, cutting, chopping, prying, and even digging. In this sense, it is less a weapon than a multi-function survival tool. Needless to say, in a combat situation, it was also designed to be a highly effective bladed weapon.
Despite superb design and great durability, the Spetsnaz machete had its share of drawbacks that any potential buyer should be aware of. The first problem has to do with balance. Due to the hollow handle combined with a heavy, unusually shaped blade, the machete feels very unevenly distributed, with the bulk of the weight being at the front of the blade.
While not a serious problem, it does make it awkward to use. In addition, the machete is not the best for usage in extremely wet or humid climates, as the high carbon steel has a tendency to rust in such conditions. Finally, the lack of availability of these machetes makes it difficult to obtain a replacement, should anything befall an existing one.
Despite a few minor drawbacks, the Spetsnaz survival machete is among the best survival gear ever manufactured for the Russian military. The machete is extremely versatile and functional, and will stand up well even to excessive use. For someone who is serious about having the best in survival gear, this machete is certainly worth consideration. Finding one may be a bit of a hassle, but the machete is well worth it. It is advisable to purchase a very good wet stone along with this machete, due to the difficulty in sharpening the hardened blade.