How To Sharpen A Machete
For years, Machetes have been used by people all over the world for various purposes. Whether it is to cut the crops in the field or to chop the vegetation in the forest, machetes have always been handy. The names and styles of machetes vary from region to region. In survival situations, this tool also works as a weapon.
You can buy a good machete from any local hardware retailer. If you are good at browsing, then you can also find some good deals on machetes online. Things that you need to keep in mind before purchasing a machete are
- the length of the blade,
- composition of the blade
- blade style,
- handle material and
- Handle style.
When you are clear about these things you can make decisions easily without any confusion.
Machetes are sturdy as they are made from a single piece of steel. To keep them working effectively for longer time you need to give proper care and maintenance. When you buy a machete, some of them come with a sharp edge while most of them are sold without sharp edges. Whether it is a new machete that is not sharpened or an old rusty one with dull edges, you need a sharpener to sharpen the edge of the blade. If you are using a machete you also need to know how to sharpen the machete.
Things Needed To Sharpen Your Machete
If you are sharpening your machete at home for the first time, then you need to know what all you need to get started with this task. Your aim is to give the blade a chopping edge and not a razor sharp edge. Some of the sharpeners most commonly used by the machete users around the world are,
Most of the professionals around the world use belt sanders to sharpen their machete. If this is your first machete, then buy a belt sander to sharpen the edges of your blade. Belt sanders are very easy to use and are also inexpensive. This sharpener also gives a professional look to the edges. Apply light pressure when you are using this sharpener and also make sure the blade is not getting over heated. If the blade is over heated, you will end up damaging the carbon steel composition of the blade.
Once you gain some experience with belt sanders, you can move to grinding wheels to sharpen the machete. Basically, grinders are aggressive and are used to fix the old machetes that are completely worn out. Grinder wheels are good at polishing the bluntness of the blade. It also removes the large nicks that occur from prolonged use from an old machete. When you are the grinder, place your work station in a large room where there is enough empty space all around. You also need to keep dousing the blade with water from time to time to prevent it from overheating.
Sharpening a machete with a file is very simple and inexpensive. You do not need any special tools. All you need is a mill file with bastard grade teeth and a vice. To sharpen the blade you need to fix your machete into the vice in right angle and push the file repeatedly over the blade. Once the first side is done, turn the blade around and sharpen it from the other side. The file is good with large blades as it does not sharp aggressively. However, the process is a little time taking since you have to sharp each side separately.
Generally, Field sharpeners are used only for the touch up. If your machete fails to function properly on job, you can sharp the blade instantly with the field sharpeners. These sharpeners are very small in size and can be easily carried in your pockets.
Step By Step Instructions On How To Sharpen The Machete
You see normal wear and tear on your machete when you use it regularly. After some rigorous use, you will notice that your machete has become dull. And if while cutting the bushes and branches you hit the rocks accidentally, then your blade will also have nicks and dents. To bring the spark back into your machete you need to sharpen it with a good sharpener. With the following steps you will learn to sharpen your machete with a belt sander.
- First buy a good belt sander. Then start the belt sander and then in slight curve motion run your machete from hilt to tip across the belt. Moving in the curve motion to ensure that the tip of the machete is sharpened in align with the rest of the tool.
- Once the first side is sharpened, flip the machete to your other hand and repeat the process. Usually aggressive belts finish the job quickly. But do not get tempted to buy an aggressive belt if you are inexperienced. Wait until you gain some experience in using the sharpener.
- Hold a honing rod in your hand and run the machete across in the curving motion to give some finishing touches.
- If you are not happy with the sharpness of the blade and still see some imperfection in your machete you can always polish it off using a buffing wheel. Move the wheel perpendicularly across the machete to give it a clean and neat edge.
Bonus: Video Guide By TheKopassuss
By the end of this process, you will have the machete in your hand that you just sharpened all by yourself. Sharpening the machete is not that hard after all. You just need to have some patience and technique. Once you become an expert, you can try your skills on other sharpeners like the grinding wheels and others. However, start slow and enjoy the experience. Leave your comments to let me know your thoughts!