The Machete and Sickle are two of my favorite hand tools. I use them all the time. I use a pretty stubby machete and I only sharpen the end half or so and leave the rest as dull as possible which alloys me to choke up supper close to the bulbous end when I need to do work tight in. From large full body/arm swings to small wrist flicks they're killer tools as long as you don't pick up a shitty one (cheep ones can rock - its all about blade shape, metal quality, and balance though). With the sickle I do the exact opposite leaving the 4 -5 inches close to the tip totally dull so that I can use it to hack at the ground and tear up turf without much worry for my precious fingers. You can dig with the end bit two if you have one that's mostly straight before coming to an great arch curve. It's the best tool I know for cutting out sod and just peeling it back like a rug or skinning an animal. I keep the very inside curve from the handle to about 6 inches out as sharp as I can though. This way I can sneak behind whatever I want to harvest with the dull tip and use a pull cut to harvest.
Just thought I'd share.
Freakin' hippies and Squares, since 1986
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