Machetes are amazing tools; it’s quite normal that most of them need sharpening when new.
They cut through many things because of their length and shape but only if they are sharp enough.
There are many ways you can get a great cutting edge when you have never sharpened one before. You will need basic skills and knowledge to help you.
It’s a large blade, and you need to be careful when handling it to avoid accidents. The best way to sharpen a machete is to do it often, every time it gets blunt or before you use it.
The good thing about learning how to sharpen a machete is there is enough blade to play with. A few errors the first time won’t hurt.
How to Sharpen a Machete with a File
A file is very effective; it doesn’t require a lot of techniques. The first thing you need is something to hold the machete tightly in place and the file.
There are two types of files, the smooth and the rough ones. Once you get the machete in place, you can start pushing or pulling the file over the blade repeatedly.
The reverse can also work; the machete can go against the file. Once one side of the machete is sharp, you need to repeat the process on the other side.
Files are very convenient because they are easy to carry. You can take them anywhere with your machete.
How to Sharpen a Machete with a Stone
A whetstone is one of the traditional ways of sharpening a machete. It gives it a polished edge and keeps it sharp for a long time.
Soak the stone in water for some time, and then remove when you are ready to sharpen the tool.
Move the machete up and down the whetstone for several minutes, and do the same for both sides.
It is also a simple method that will require some effort, but it is easy to do. The best trick is to apply more pressure when sliding forward and less when sliding back the blade.
Rinse the blade when you are done and check how sharp it is. You can always repeat the process if it’s not sharp enough.
How to Sharpen a Machete with a Grinder
For a razor-sharp machete, the grinder is the best option. Grinders can also restore an old machete easily, unlike other methods.
It eliminates all the big nicks and dullness; you will need a spacious working area. Place the machete’s tip in front of the wheel; the rest of the machete should be resting on the metal holder.
Press it against the grinder wheel and avoid wobbling; steady motion is very important. Run the blade consistently across the wheel, and repeat the motion a few times.
When you don’t produce a fluid motion, the edge will be uneven. Consider the RPMs on the grinder because it produces heat. It will help you avoid chipping and overheating.
How to Sharpen your Machete with a Dremel
A Dremel is a sharpening tool that is handheld and has a rotating sharpener. You are going to need a vice to hold the bland before you start the process.
When the machete is gripped, you can power the Dremel and start running it laterally over the blade’s edge.
The process should be repeated severally on both sides of the machete until you get the desired sharpness.
You can avoid small imperfections with this hand tool. It is perfect for retouching your blade tool after some difficult uses like cutting tree branches and other stuff.
Dremel is easy and simple for beginners to use. If you experience uneven edges from this tool, you can fix them with a file.
How to Sharpen your Machete with a Sander
Belt sanders are common methods of sharpening this tool. Many experienced people consider it the easiest way of sharpening long blade machetes.
Turn on the belt sander, take the blade and run it from tip to heel or vice versa. Use an arching motion; the motion is the best way to sharpen the whole blade.
Keep flipping the machete so that both sides are sharp enough for you. Rinse your tool and check to see if there is any burr.
You can chop anything to test if it has attained the right sharpness. Consider the belt grit size; when you get the size right, you will save time and avoid shaving too much metal.
Sharpening is part of owning a machete; the factory edge is not very effective for many uses. You need the tool’s cutting edge to fit all your necessities.
The angle you sharpen your machete with matters a lot. The angle will immensely influence the performance of the tool.
If you use it to cut big things like branches, a large angle is appropriate. Use a small angle when it’s used to cut things like grass.
I am an independent safety and survival expert and consultant. I have over 15+ years of experience working with corporations and individuals to help identify, remediate and prepare for threats and and disasters. I help clients understand risks and blog about my thoughts and techniques at DisasterShelters.net