While Ronnie prefers the longer blade, I selected the shorter one. Actually, a couple of reasons. I don't do nearly as much bushwhacking as he does. I'm just not all that interested in that activity, nor its products. And, the 18" has a saw blade sharpened into the back side of the blade.
Hopefully, this tool will serve three purposes: bushwhacking, sawing, and digging. Though, my expectations are that the machete will dig about as well as an entrenching tool bushwhacks. Which is to say, neither tool is designed to do well at the other tool's primary function. And, we all know, there is nothing like having the right tool for the right job.
So, I'm spring loaded to the "we'll see" position.
Last night, an outdoorsman buddy of mine was telling about a Woods Pal, like what was recommended above. He liked it. Now has a machete that is too long. It requires too much energy to both accelerate and decelerate it - otherwise the carry through seemed excessive. And he's an experienced woodsman. So, again, we'll see.
Doing what you like is FREEDOM
Liking what you do is HAPPINESS
I spent most of my money on airplanes, whiskey, and women - and I'm afraid I just wasted the rest.