Machetes can be very useful tools. I like to use mine when I'm practicing what I call "Rural Bushcraft" at the farm. Your choice of any tool should be determined by its ability to perform the job. A tool that can't perform in the manner you require is going to be next to useless otherwise.
My new machete that I obtained from our local Ace Hardware affiliate has replaced my old machete. It's basically the same size at 22 1/2 inches in overall length with a blade length of 17 1/2 inches. It also cost only $6.99 plus tax whcih makes it somewhat cheaper than the big box store brand cost of my old one. It is also twice as heavy but that is not a problem. Its main use is for clearing small saplings of cedar and mesquite from the fence line at the farm and is a lot easier to pack than a chainsaw. It also does a terrific job on grapevines which I have more than enough to deal with at the farm. It also has a hardwood handle that has the plastic handle on my old machete beat hands down. It's a comfortable grip for me and that's important for obvious safety reasons. No way do I want a big sharp blade to get away from me. I'm kind of fond of my body parts!
The only problem with my new machete is that it didn't come with a blade sheaf. I plan on making a home-made holding tube out of some scrap 3" pvc pipe and some old strap material that will allow me to carry it on my back. This will make it a lot easier and safer to carry.
Pictured above is my old machete. It has the typical black plastic handle you find on a lot of the garden variety machetes that are out there. It is also relatively lightweight and although it is a lot easier to carry as a result, it doesn't really get the job done.. While it probably does a decent job on banana leaves, it's not been much use to me around the farm when I'm cleaning around the creek bank or clearing brush and small saplings along the fence line.
Choosing the right tool for the job will make your work a lot simpler!
As the blind monk says in the old Kung Fu TV series "Choose wisely grasshopper!"
Staying above the water line!