You have owned a machete at home for years now, but it has probably lost its former luster. It is no longer so sharp and efficient. Don’t worry. If you really try, you will be able to restore your machete to its old glory.
However, in order to sharpen a machete, you need to possess at least a little knowledge about it. Step by step, we will go through together what all it takes to sharpen a machete, but also what types of machetes there are.
Types of Machetes
This species originates from Southeast Asia where it had several uses. It was used in agriculture, but also in war as a very effective weapon. It is very easy to cut various shrubs, vines and branches with it. This machete looks very nice thanks to its matte finish that prevents the machete from rusting and corroding. You will always get this machete together with the carrying case.
This type of machete was used long ago as an agricultural tool. Its ideal purpose is to remove side buds and shoots. Its blade is hooked, pointed at the inner curve. This shape is ideal for maintaining your garden, especially if you have a hedge.
This type of machete was first found in the Philippines, and then in the jungles of Indonesia, the jungles of Malaysia and Brunei. Its main purpose is to clear the roads, that is, the path. It is most often found in villages because it is a very useful agricultural tool.
With it you can cut coconut, but also plow the land. Because of its presence and accessibility, many farmers own it in their homes. The blade in this case is made of stainless steel, and its handle can be made of wood or even animal horn. Those bolo machetes are used for both gardening and home use.
This type of machete comes from Latin America and has multipurpose use. The blade has a straight back and its blade is very firm.
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This machete originates from the Indonesian archipelago. It is possible to use this machete on two occasions, in the field or in battle. Golok machetes can be found in sizes from 25 to 50 centimeters. Its predominant use is for cutting branches and shrubs.
The material from which this machete is made is carbon steel. This is an extremely practical variant, considering that it can be easily sharpened even when we are not at home. Its blade is the heaviest in the middle. Although most of these machetes are now produced in the factory, handmade specimens can still be found in Indonesia.
Material Types of Machete
To know how to best sharpen your machete you need to know what it is made of. Most often, there are three variants of the material from which machetes are made of. I will list all three below.
Machetes Made of Stainless Steel
Machetes made of this material are very resistant to corrosion. The reason for that is the large percentage of chromium in the whole blade. Chromium and nickel are responsible for the protective layer that is created around the steel.
Machetes made of this material will retain their shine, but you can always additionally oil them if you think it is necessary. Due to this characteristic, most of these machetes are used as decoration or for display.
Machetes Made of Carbon Steel
This is a traditional material from which machetes are made. The advantage of this material is that it will stay sharp for a long time thanks to the hardness of the steel, but when you want to sharpen a machete made of this steel, you will encounter difficulties because hard steel is very difficult to sharpen.
You will want to keep this machete as far away from moisture as possible, otherwise it can rust very easily. This type of machete are most often used by farmers.
Machetes Made of High-Carbon Steel
Machetes of this material are an ideal combination of two materials – stainless steel and carbon steel. It is very resistant to rust, but it contains a larger amount of carbon, which allows it to be harder. These machetes are ideal for display, for very successful and easy cutting and use in agriculture.
My Advice for Longer Machete Life: Never leave the machete near a source of moisture. Also, if you do not plan to use it for a while, do not keep it in a holster. This will prevent the machete from corroding. Now that we have learned the types of machetes there are across the globe, it is time to find out what are the best ways to sharpen a machete.
How to Sharpen a Machete With Help of a Belt Sander?
This is the most popular method of sharpening a machete for several reasons. You will master this method very easily. You should remember not to move the blade too fast on the sander, as this will overheat and damage it. The procedure is not complicated. After turning on the sander, grasp the machete with one hand on the handle and with the other on the back end of the blade.
Move the machete from tip to heel or from heel to tip, depending on which sander you use. Repeat this movement several times, then turn the machete and repeat the procedure on the other side. After sharpening both sides of the machete, you should clean them and check if you have missed anything.
The speed of this method will depend on which belt grit size you choose. The bigger the grain, the higher the speed, but also the faster the removal of metal, so you have to be careful not to remove more than you want. So my advice is to use a smaller grain until you become very skilled.
How to Sharpen a Machete With a Sharpening Stone?
This traditional method of sharpening is excellent because it does not require expensive equipment, and it can be easily performed in the field. Don’t buy expensive water stones, especially if your machete is cheap because it would be unnecessary. By following these steps, you can easily sharpen your machete. Place the stone on a flat surface in front of you and it would be desirable to fasten it with nails.
Then wet the stone and place the tip of the blade in the lower right corner and move it forward until you reach the upper left corner. Estimate for yourself how many times it takes to repeat the process. Of course, with this method, the last step is to clean the blade and check how well you have sharpened the machete.
How to Sharpen a Machete With a Grinder?
This is a slightly more demanding method than the previous two. The first method I have given you is incomparably easier, but with a little practice, you will master the technique easily. The grinding wheels you will encounter here are great for a more aggressive sharpening. I do not recommend this technique for regular sharpening, but for removing rusty places, and some larger irregularities.
Whenever you use a bench grinder and grinding wheels, you must be very careful and follow all instructions. You must protect your eyes and body by wearing goggles and gloves. After starting the machine, make sure to place the top of your machete in front of the grinding wheel. You can lean the outer part of the blade on the metal holder for easier handling.
With a steady motion, at a consistent angle, lightly press the blade onto the wheel. The movements must be coordinated if you want to get an evenly sharpened blade. Repeat this process on both sides. Another tip related to this sharpening technique is to be sure to take into account the number of rpms. If the number of rpms is higher, it will be easier to heat up and heat up, so I recommend those with a lower number of rpms.
What Is the Most Ideal Angle of Sharpening a Machete?
One of the key steps in sharpening a machete is choosing the angle at which you will sharpen the blade. The angle at which you do this depends on the purpose of your machete. If you use your machete to cut grass or non-wooden sticks, the ideal sharpening angle will be from 20 to 25 degrees. However, if you need a machete to cut tree branches and thick sticks, opt for an angle of 25 to 35 degrees for better performance.
If you want to make this process easier for yourself, be precise in following the steps. In order to sharpen your machete so that it best serves its purpose, it is necessary to know first of all what type of machete you have. Be careful when choosing the technique and tools you will choose for this purpose. Consider which sharpening method is most affordable for you.
Sometimes a machete gets so dirty and rusty that you might need additional measures. And for the very end, don’t be lazy when you put down your machete. Always after sharpening, put down and arrange your machete in the already advised way.