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Old 06-07-2011, 04:13 AM
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Default how do you sharpen a machete??

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I bought one from walmart (cause it was so cheap), and when opened I see its not that sharp at all. HOw do u sharpen one, ssharpening block?

Old 06-07-2011, 05:09 AM
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got a file?
Old 06-07-2011, 06:02 AM
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File, then a sharpening stone.
Old 06-07-2011, 07:18 AM
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First off, remember machetes are NOT designed to be razor sharp. More than anything that is a safety consideration. Not to sound snotty, but if you dont know how to sharpen a machete then you probably dont need a very sharp one to start with. Once get the feel for it you can get it sharper to make life a little easier.

One glancing hack, and those happen to the best of us, and you could be looking at a nasty bruise from a dull machete or a nasty bone-deep and life-threatening gash from a sharp one.

I have made many of those glancing blows and I can tell you nearly every one of them came back towards my legs. More than a few of them have made contact with my shins and thighs. I actually managed to catch the point of one in the thigh a couple years ago while working for a land survey company and its quite embarrassing trying to explain to someone how you manged to stab yourself with a 22" machete.

With that said, I will let you make the decision what you do with that advice...

The fastest and easiest way is to keep you a flat file. What I normally do is find a flat surface that I can lay the machete on and sit on it with an inch or 2 of the width of the blade hanging past the edge of the flat surface (I prefer a truck tailgate or such). Then I start near the handle and with a long stroke move the file towards the tip. You said in another post it was a "HUGE" machete so you probably wont reach the end before running out of file. Just keep working that same section a few strokes at a time then flipping the machete and working the same section on the other side(I normally do 10 strokes then flip). Once you get that section to where you want it start working the same way from where the first strokes ended moving to the tip. If its a curved tip it will take a little practice to make the turn while holding the file at the same angle, but youll get it.

I have used machetes since I was about 7 years old and hijacking my uncles out of his shed. Never have I used a stone to sharpen one. Stones are for getting fine edges and machetes are for hacking wood, not skinning animals or shaving. A wide fine edge will only chip and dull faster and youll spend more time sharpening it than you will using it.
Using a file on a 22" Collins or Ontario (harder steel than the one you have) I can have the entire blade sharp in about 5 minutes. Using a stone I could see it taking considerably longer since most stones are relatively fine grained and geared more towards sharpening knives to much finer edges.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:52 AM
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I use a rough file to shape, then a finer one. I actual prefer a slightly rougher filed edge vs a polished on a stone edge. I find it goes through saplings and limbs better.
Old 06-07-2011, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Domindart View Post
I bought one from walmart (cause it was so cheap), and when opened I see its not that sharp at all. HOw do u sharpen one, ssharpening block?

Easy, buy a different machete! I bought a walmart machete last year and it was somewhat sharp. I could do a little with it, but I had one awkward strike and it bent practically 90°. This year I bought a Bear Grills Parang. I'm in love! I got it from the walmart site for a great price and I doubt I'll ever be buying another machete again...well, never one like the walmart $8 specials.

If you really want to sharpen the one you have, I use a rough file to get the shape back and a fine file to finish up. Maybe a sharpening stone if I want to be able to shave with it..and my back can handle it that day.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:41 AM
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Check these guys out:

Lots of real machetes in stock at very good prices.
Some good info on sharpening & use too.

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Old 06-07-2011, 11:38 AM
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The Puck works well on machetes, but as slick said, you don't need a razor edge on a machete. You need a working edge.
Old 06-07-2011, 03:52 PM
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Hardware stores carry good choices of machetes also and you can actually put your hands on one to get the feel for it.

My personal favorites are Nicholson, Collins, and Ontario Knife. Those are professional grade machetes while they are a little more expensive... Ok you can buy 6 from Walmart for the price of a Nicholson, but they wont bend when you hit something and will hold their edge longer. Those brands also have a wider selection of blade length and types, rounded tip blades for more weight near the tip for better cutting on wood, pointed tips for lighter cutting like grass. Personally I prefer 22" rounded blades for more weight and leverage for cutting small trees.
Old 06-07-2011, 04:04 PM
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Double sided mill file, double cut side for rough sharpening and single cut side for finer edge, I never use a whetstone on a machete for what I use a machete for. Clamp it in a vise and work from the front to the hilt but don't sharpen the first couple of inches from the hilt.

Belt sander will give you a quick sharp edge and then touch it up with a file, Grinding wheels unless you have a slow speed one are good if your blade is in really bad shape but they heat up to fast and ruin the edge if you don't have a lot of practice using it and a big water can for quenching handy.

90% of the time if you do it on a regular basis all you need is a good mill file and a file card to keep the file clean.


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