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How to sharpen a machete

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Hi all,
You all know that a machete is a very versatile tool. It's a tricky part when it comes to sharpening it as no tools are more trickier than that. In this post, I'll cover this topic. (I've also elaborately described that with videos on my website, so you also can check that out!!!):

There are many unique tools out there that can be used for machete sharpening. In this article, we will talk about how to sharpen a machete with:

1. Belt sander
2. Grinder
3. File
4. Dremel
5. Whetstone/rock

01.Sharpening a Machete With a Belt Sander

Belt sanders are the most common and easiest method of sharpening a machete. Through this wonderful tool, you can easily give your blade a go that will result in a sharpened machete. A convex utility edge can easily be given if proper techniques are maintained all through the sharpening stage.

You just need to give a light pressure and a straight edge is there for you! Just don’t overheat your machete when you are running the blade across the belt. That will harm its carbon-steel composition. Besides, it’s much easier than using a grinding wheel for your machete. A moderately priced belt sander will be enough for your machetes.

02.Sharpening a Machete With a Grinder
Grinding wheels are mostly used when aggressive sharpening is needed. This process helps to eliminate the factory dullness or big nicks. As you need to sharpen your machete with a grinder in one go, the work area needs to be spacious enough for you. That will help you to get an even edge.

Also, the grinders can make your blade really hot if it is operated at a higher rpm. So either you need to operate it at a lower rpm or you need to continuously pour some water on the contacting parts of the tools. Otherwise, it will turn your blade composition into a lower grade. Both of the processes are considerably difficult if you are not experienced enough. That is why this technique is not a favourite among machete users.

03.Sharpening a Machete With a File
For a simple sharpening process, you can seek out help from a file. It doesn’t require much technique to get a sharpened blade. Firstly, you need two things for sharpening your machetes, a vice to hold your machete tightly and a file. There are mainly two types of file, one is a double cut or rough and the other is a single cut or smooth. What would be the best is a bastard cut which is an intermediary option of the two.

Once the machete is tightly held in the vice at the desired angle, you need to push the file repeatedly over the blade. Remember that you can’t pull it rather need to push it. Also in a reverse way, the machete can be drawn against the file. Once one side is done sharpening, the whole process is repeated on the other side. As files are really small to carry with you in the woods, you can also regain the sharpness of your blade there!

04.Sharpening a Machete With a Dremel
This sharpening process is also very common and easy to undergo. A Dremel is some power tool which is operated handheld having a rotating sharpener at the end part of its shaft. You also need a vice to grip the machete. Then you need to power up the Dremel and run it over the edge of the tool laterally. Once one side is done, you need to repeat it on the other side.

As the sharpening is done by lateral movement of the sharpener, there is a huge chance that the edges can become uneven. The reason is that you are not sharpening the whole edge in one go. But for small imperfections, this is a very good way to rectify that. That is why this process is most suitable when you are giving your machete a slight touch after some heavy uses in the fields.

05.Sharpening a Machete With a Whetstone/rock
This is another traditional way of sharpening your machetes to give a polished edge. For this method to work perfectly, you need a whetstone/rock, some water and a beacon if you are using an artificial stone. Firstly, soak the whetstone into the water for some time. Then you need to move the blade perpendicularly at an angle from the base of the stone to the tip. You need to move the blade up and down the stone for some time.

This process doesn’t require a lot of techniques and is a simple way to get your blade sharper within some minutes. There are many whetstones out on the market that can be handy. We have an article on the best sharpeners where we have talked elaborately on that. As this process doesn’t require so many tools and techniques, it’s a popular method among the users.

Machete Sharpening Angle
When you are going to sharpen your machete, you need to select the angle very wisely. Because machete sharpening angle directly influences its fields of performance. If the machete is used for cutting grass and non-woody staffs, then small sharpening angle is very suitable for that. An angle of 20-25 degrees would be really suitable for that purpose.

And if you need to cut wood branches and thick staffs then a larger angle of 25-35 degrees is recommended for a better output. In that case, the machete can take the beating of repeated chopping. Also, in case of a smaller angle, you may face problem for having a fine edge as they may get chipped away. So much concentration is needed for your blade sharpening angle.

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