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Machete

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A machete (pronounced Mah-SHEH-tee) is a fairly light, chopping tool and weapon found in most hardware stores.
1942 Machete
Machetes were initially fashioned not as a weapon, but as a tool for clearing out dense brush from swamps, fields, and rain forests. Because of this, it is important to note that the weighting of the machete leaves it significantly lacking in melee dueling against weapons developed for combat. Likewise, the hilt was not designed to be counteract the shock of striking a solid object (for this reason, it is considered more of a large knife than a sword, despite the fact that it's blade is roughly the same length as the roman Gladius). Crossguards and weighted hilts allow for much better maneuverability, and defensive movements. 
Machete

Zombies, however, have no such defensive capabilities, and the front loaded nature of the machete blade inflicts maximum (one handed) damage. One does not have to be a strongman to sever the spinal column with one blow from a machete. Hacking off limbs or heads at will, however, is merely the stuff of hollywood dramatics. Only a physically-gifted wielder could possibly pierce a skull and brain with a swing of a machete, and only a strongman can do so with impunity. The neck is the most vulnerable target with a machete.

As common/old machetes are not always composed of high quality steel (nor is any product available at the $20-$100 price range), regular sharpening is recommend if this is one's designated primary zombie weapon, as is lengthening or reinforcement of the hilt, for superior grip and ease of wield. For best results, Max Brooks recommends finding those sold in military surplus stores since their machetes tend to have higher quality steel with darkened blades for better night-time concealment.

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