I ordered the Jungle Master JM-021 machete as part of my quest to review each of the top ten machetes for sale on Amazon.com. It is not a good machete, and while I will never see my $14.41 again I take comfort in the knowledge that my sacrifice will help others avoid spending their money on this piece of machete-shaped garbage.
In keeping with Machete Maniac tradition I am providing a link to purchase the JM-021 on Amazon, but I strongly advise against both clicking that link and buying this machete. Instead, check out these reviews of my favorite machetes. They’re a bit more expensive but are far, far better values in the long run.
The Jungle Master’s 13.5″ blade helpfully informs us it is made with stainless steel. I don’t know what kind, but let’s not pretend it matters. This is not a machete made for people concerned with steel types.
It looks like a big ass Bowie knife, which is the one thing I actually like about this machete. There is something fun about walking around with a knife that would give even Crocodile Dundee an inferiority complex. (Readers under 30 please click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)
To be fair, the blade was pretty sharp right out of the box. Its real world was respectable, but I’ll admit I only spent a few minutes testing the JM-021 before I lost interest and went back to my trusty Eco Survivor. The JM-021 isn’t useless, but nothing about this machete compelled me to use it any longer than necessary.
On the side of the blade is screen printed text informing us that this machete was “Handforged in China.” It might be “hand forged” in the sense that a human hand made physical contact with the blade at some point during its construction process, but I doubt a skilled Hubei bladesmith toiled over hot coals with a hammer and anvil to bring you this machete for $14.41.
The choil (cutout just above the handle) is allegedly there to allow users to choke up on the blade for “precision” machete work. I attempted to test this feature but stopped after about two seconds when I felt like the flesh was going to be ripped off my finger. The choil’s edges are sharp and the shape is unlike human any finger I’ve seen, making the this feature uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.
The handle is wrapped with a cheap, light-duty paracord. I’ll admit that it does look sort of cool from a distance, but that’s where my praise ends.
The wrapping was somewhat loose out of the box, and after a couple test swings it was obvious that it would unravel further with any sort of real use.
I went ahead and unwrapped the handle to see what was hiding underneath. As you can see in the photos, the handle core is made of black tape wrapped around a couple wood blocks. The tape was thin and brittle and I couldn’t see it holding up for very long.
Some Amazon reviewers suggested replacing the original paracord with a some heavier 550 paracord. I suppose that’s an option, but I personally don’t see the point investing the time and money when the end result is a slightly less crappy machete.
At this point in the review I feel like talking about the JM-021’s sheath is about as necessary as describing the box that you get with a Big Mac, but here we go.
To call the sheath garbage would be an insult to garbage. At least garbage had a purpose before ending up in the trash can.
This machete is dangerously shoddy. I was able to rip it apart with barely more force than I’d use to pet my sister’s cat. The side stitching hardly put up a fight, but that’s somewhat irrelevant given that the blade comes into direct contact with the stitching and will very likely slice right through.
The stinky cherry on top of this poop-flavored sundae was the shoulder strap. It’s made of flimsy nylon webbing and tore off with minimal effort.
By now you have probably figured out that I do not think this machete is a good machete. Some might argue that for the budget price of $15 you shouldn’t expect much, but when there are much better options for the same amount of money I can’t go along with that reasoning.
For those of you with any lingering doubts, I’ll leave you with the actual, word-for-word description of the JM-021 as found on Amazon.com:
JM-021 Jungle ESAK8qo Master Machete With Cord Wrapped Handle 21″ fjfjdiiowpwie bnvnvmcjkdkdjeuiwwoq nvnvdhey djdueie787rtttyuvbcnas Jungle Master Machete LEFKt5Yg With Cord Xo3ENqxFx Wrapped Handle. Includes nylon sheath.21″ Overall
Clearly the words of company that cares about their product.
If for some reason you still want to buy this thing, please consider doing so by clicking this Amazon link. It won’t cost you anything and will ensure that at least one of gets something of value.