Survival-Pax Blog: Machete Sharpening Tips

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Machete Sharpening Tips

A little while ago, I wrote about my experiences with a machete  in the northern midwest while camping this past summer. To sum it all up, I was very impressed with what a machete can do, especially a Tramontina 18" Machete which normally costs less than $10.

However, I found out that, out of the box, the machete came quite dull. This is a common theme among many machetes. I'm not sure why, but it seems that most machetes need their blade edges to be ground down to achieve the sharpness to use the machete to its full potential.

Don't be discouraged, however, since sharpening a machete is really quite easy. Personally, I like the fact that I have to sharpen it. Whenever I use it and see how well it performs, I think to myself, "I put the edge on this machete and that's why it works so well." It lets me take pride in my work, which is a good thing.

To sharpen my machete, I just used a file, and it worked great. However, if you are looking for a sharpener specifically designed for machetes, along with other edged tools, take a look at the Lansky Lawn & Garden Tool Sharpener.
The Lansky Lawn & Garden Tool Sharpener works great on machetes!

The Lansy Sharpener's large size makes it easy to hold, while its rough, abrasive surface makes sharpening very quick.

Using the Lansky Sharpener to sharpen a machete is simple and I'll teach you how. I should also say that these tips also work if you wanted to use file instead.

Sharpening Tips:
You want to start by making sure that the machete is supported along the whole length of the blade. You can do this by clamping it to a bench or table.

Once it is secured, grab your sharpener/file and find the angle that the blade edge is ground down at. You want to match this angle as you sharpen.

Start filing the edge away, moving across the whole length of the blade as you move the sharpener/file back and forth.

Be very careful of your fingers, since the edge will be getting sharper and sharper, increasing the risk of cutting yourself. The blade will also be facing you when you do this, so be sure not to bump into it.

Work on one sharpening one side of the machete. Then, turn it over and work on the other side. Every once in a while, look down the blade edge, to make sure that you aren't removing too much metal from either side.

In short time, you will see that your machete  has been sharpened to a surprisingly sharp edge. It wasn't that hard, was it?

Now, your machete is ready to use to chop through thick brush, logs or anything else that might need chopping.

I know that sharpening a machete can be daunting, especially for someone who has never sharpened a blade before, but with the right tools and technique it can be easy. Don't be afraid to try something new.

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