by Hari Won
Well, you might be a machete lover and adventure nut while during the jungle trips, a solid, sturdy and perfect quality machete is your best friend.
This will not only keep you stay confident but also safeguard you from critical situations and during survival times.
In this article, we will cover how to sharpen a machete perfectly.
At the first sight, it might look like an easy job but it involves highly precise actions, precautions and one needs to follow all safety measures.
Maybe you are doing a lot of yard work, cutting chores, and need the best supporting machete, that never demands manual sharpening on a routine basis. Those who prefer to sharpen a machete as it grows old, they must consider it as a serious job. Sharpening a machete can be quite technical and it's risky too, so due to this, the machete sharpeners are playing an important role nowadays!
One can even damage the hands or the fingers while sharpening a machete and that's why, you need to follow some special guidelines and perform the task in a safe, calm, and less crowded place. For safe sharpening people also uses diamond sharpening stones.
A machete is a broad and heavy knife. It is famous for its precise and flawless cutting performance. Most of the time, people use it as a daily item as a knife or as an ax.
The blade always supports quick and sharp cutting, while the upper section provides the force. With time, it grows older and that's why the blade requires some manual sharpening.
Top-level machetes don't come with sharp edges, and you need to sharpen them according to your needs. Many people don't know about sharpening tools or they are not as a pro in different ways to sharpen them.
In this article, I will share some basic knowledge and skill set that is really useful to sharpening a machete.
Since it is a large and heavy tool, you need to be very careful when using it. There are many types of machete sharpeners, and you need to decide the one that best suits your job.
You can use such types of sharpening tools for different top machetes like Gurkha kukri machete, Barong machete, and Survival machete, and much more.
All the machete sharpeners come with some precautions, and use guidelines. You will be always lucky to find these guidelines when you buy the machetes. Most of the time, these knives come with the necessary details and you must have to follow them.
How to sharpen a machete in the best way will depend greatly upon your tool selection, so let us move towards this part first. Six most effective tools to sharpen your machete are given below, along with their usage instructions.
1. Belt sander
6. Field sharpeners
The most common and the easiest way of sharpening your machete is to share it through a belt sander. It is a wonderful tool and will make it very easy for you to sharpen the blade of your machete.
You will be able to achieve the finest sharpening with a utility edge if you maintain proper techniques and use it skillfully. For many long blade machetes, it is the perfect way to sharpen with as confirmed by many experts.
Keep the heat of the machete to a medium level as more heat will damage the carbon-steel composition of this belt. On the other hand, lower heat won't make sharp edges. Once the machete is perfectly heated, apply light pressure, and you will get a straight edge.
For aggressive sharpening, a grinding wheel is used. We see it most often used by professionals who have perfect skills and used it expertly. Factory dullness is eliminated through this process.
However, you need to have a spacious work area to let you have an even edge. This will enable you to sharpen your machete with one go.
As said earlier, this method is the favorite for experts and home users to avoid. The reason is the heating of the blade that is caused by grinders. If you operate the grinder at a high rpm, it will heat your machete and will turn your high-quality blades into lower quality ones.
You should either use the grinder on lower rpm or pour some water continuously on it. However, both jobs are very difficult and become the largest reason why home users avoid using them.
This one is the most favorite method for home users. No complex techniques are required for this method to be done. A vice and a file are needed for its application. A vice will hold your machete tightly during the process. Files come mainly in two types.
One of them is a double cut that is a rough file, while the other one is a single cut that is a smooth file. I will suggest you a file that is neither too rough nor too smooth.
After holding the machete tightly into the vice, you need to decide the required angle and start pushing the file over the blade of a machete. One thing you should keep in mind is that never pull the file over the blade; it works only through pushing.
Once one side of the machete is sharpened as per your need, you will apply the same process on the other side and sharpen it too. Files are very small and are easy to carry anywhere; thus, this method is liked by home users who have occasional need for machete sharpening.
Another easy method is very common for machete sharpening. A Dremel is a powerful tool that has sharp rotating ends and is used in hand. For Dremel, too, you need to have a vice for gripping purposes.
Just power your Dremel up and run it on the edges of your machete blades. When the first side is finished sharpening, you need to perform the same method on the other side.
Using a Dremel, there is a great chance that you will get uneven edges. The reason for uneven is that this tool is not applied on the whole machete, rather done step by step.
This makes it a perfect tool for clearing small imperfections. People often use it to give a slight touch to the machete after they perform some heavy job.
For many decades, people are using this method for sharpening their machetes. You only need a rock, some water, and a beacon to apply this method.
Soak your whetstone in the water for some time and start moving the blade of the machine at the perpendicular angle. Moving the blade of the machete up and down the stone will help.
It is the least technical method used to sharpen your machete. Whetstones are even available in the market with perfect shapes to help you perform the job easier.
Unlike the other five tools that are mentioned in this article, the field sharpener is used when we have an easy task to perform, and we don't want to put more effort. They are just used to give small touch-ups to the machete while, on the other hand, heavy sharpeners are known for removing metal parts to shape the edge.
Field sharpeners are often used after heavy sharpeners are done and help to remove the dullness quickness. When you are chopping vegetation, applying a field sharpener will give you instant sharpening.
Selecting the right angle is very critical when you want to know how to sharpen a machete. The reason is that the angle defines the purpose for which you are sharpening the machete.
A small angle is very useful if you want to use the machete for grass cutting and other non-woody stuff. An angle of 20-25 degrees will be enough for this purpose.
For complex jobs like cutting wood, branches of trees, or other thick stuff, it is necessary to select an angle of 25-35 degrees. It ensures that the machete will provide you a better output.
Selecting the right angle is also very important as the wrong angle will leave you in trouble of not being able to perform your work satisfactorily. Always know before sharpening the purpose for which a machete is required.
Once you know the purpose, select the angle wisely as per expert guidelines.
1. You need to cover your heads with protective and high-quality gloves. This is not too important or a preferred precaution but, for the newbie, it's essential. It will reduce the chances of any inquiry.
The professional machete users never need gloves while sharpening. Still, it's always a better idea to cover your hands.
2. You can even wrap the hands with the leather material or stuff. This safeguards you from an unpredictable wound or deep injury.
3. Never need to sharpen your knives and machetes with the sharp edge pointing towards your face or body. It's a better approach to face out the sharp side of the machete away from the body and face. This will keep you protected from any mishappening or slippage during the sharpening
4. Make sure that your dormant hand is always gripping the handle strongly and firmly. The dormant hand always has a powerful grip and hold, so avoid any chances of slippage. The other hand should support the tool blade edges. This small tip will reduce the chances of an accident or cut.
5. It is always better to Lockdown your stone firmly and grip it with strength. The worktop must be a non-slippage surface, supporting friction. Don't use any loose place or the stone, as it can cause slip!
6. Hold the machete firmly so minimizes the chances of slip.
7. Be patient! Don't be in a hurry while you are sharpening or grinding the knives or the machetes! A quick sharpening can damage you and increase the chances of an accident. Be gentle, polite and it's better to sharpen a machete when alone or in a good mood.
8. It is highly advisable and recommended to use a protective glass, as it escapes you from endangering and contamination of your eyes with the small metallic piece.
9. Don't unnecessary grind your machetes or knives.
10. Sharpen a machete when you are alone and avoid doing it while you are surrounding the child and the family members.
What are you waiting for? When you start sharpening the blade of your machete, it means you don't need the help of other people to start your work. You will develop more methods that will be effective in different scenarios.
There are no strict rules about sharpening techniques, and every person uses them in ways he or she likes. When you keep using the sharpeners yourself, you will learn more things with experience.
How to sharpen a machete will depend greatly on the type of tool selected by you. Professional suggests that you must clean your blade every time after usage.
It's better to follow the top precautions so you avoid any accident cut, damage, or any inquiry. Care must be taken in the early sharpening as with time, you might become professional, and then it's been easy to sharpen a kukri machete. Best of luck!
About Hari Won
Hari has been a close friend with Josh since kindergarten. Her place is right around the corner from Josh’s.
She claims they are only friends. Hari also loves to drink. By accident, she tried her first taste of beer in middle school; felt in love with them since then.
Life has been up and down lately for Hari. She and/or other friends often meet up with Josh for a few packs. They may drink through the night, while taking turn to tell their life stories.
Hari received her BS degree in biochemistry from University of Phoenix. She hoped to become a great brewmaster someday...
Kitchen - Outdoor