Best way to sharpen new machetes

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by velocity101, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. velocity101

    velocity101 New Member

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    Just bought new a set of machetes off of cheaperthandirt but they're dull as all heck; they don't come pre-sharpened I guess. I realize a grinding wheel is probably the best way but alas I don't have one.

    Any other ways aside from hand grinding with a file for hours?
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't take hours.

    First, never use an electric grinding wheel on something with an edge. The wheel spins too fast, and the steel gets too hot, and you lose temper, and edge-holding ability.

    Yes, professionals use an electric wheel, but they are aware of what they are doing.

    Second, the steel on a machete is normally fairly soft. A good Nicholson Black Diamond 12" bastard file will put an excellent edge on one in a very short time.

    Then, if you want to really make it nice, get yourself a hockey puck
    http://www.amazon.com/Lansky-LPUCK-...FW0Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333389410&sr=8-1

    I have one of those (actually three - you can never have enough good stones) for my axes, but used one on the machete just to see the result. You can get one shaving-sharp.
  3. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I agree with Alpo, but you don't need a really sharp edge on anything that will take the abuse that an ax, hatchet, or machetes does. Remember, the thiner the edge, the eaiser it will chip, and break! A good file is all I use.
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Yep a simple mechanics vise from the hardware store to clamp the blade in and a flat bastard file will do it. It pust a rough edge on it but its a machete, so itll be fine. And it takes about 10 minutes per side to file an edge on one.
  5. H-D

    H-D Active Member

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    The file is cheap and user friendly great for lawnmower blades and hoes too I use a 6 inch for clippers and smaller tools
  6. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Just be sure that file has a handle on it! I've cut my self more than once using a file to sharpen machetes, hoes, shovles, and axes, that did not have a handle.
  7. Frogtop

    Frogtop New Member

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    I use a dremel tool on slow speed with an emery and keep it moving so that the metal doesn't heat up. I agree if the the edge is exceptionally dull that starting with a file is the best way to go. Sharpen at a sharp angle mabe 30 deg rather than 20 or less like a knife. These thing are mini axes rather than knives. As mentioned above a knife edge will quickly dull and chip with a hacking motion rather than an slicing motion.
  8. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    a bastard file?
  9. Frogtop

    Frogtop New Member

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    Yep, as referenced to a mill file or a safety file. Its all about the way the grooves are set on the file. A bastard file is more aggressive than a mill file and a safety (I'm sure there is another name) has no grooves on the edges to protect close work. If memory serves the bastard has crossed hatched grooves and the mill's are all parallel. As per usual, I sure there are more variations and that we have colleagues more familiar who will enlighten us - please.:confused:
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  10. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    ok just looked it up i have one did not know u called it that
  11. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    Alternative method I use for quick and dirty but still get a good working edge in a short time. A table belt sander, it moves slower than a grinding wheel unless you have the special slow speed grinder and the blue wheel made especially for blade sharpening.
  12. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    File, file, file...

    Then touch it up with... A file. :D

    Keep yer angle at what the tool is meant for. Yer not shaving with it. Yer chopping wood, brush, etc. Razor sharp isn't always better.
  13. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Beth

    Little old lady got a part-time job at the hardware store.

    Guy comes in, the first day, says he needs a file. She asks what kind. He tells her he is looking for a 12-inch bastard.

    She was OUTRAGED!! Started in on him about language and how to speak to a lady, and was getting so loud that the store manager came running over. When the customer explained to the manager what happened, the manager then explained to his new clerk that "bastard" was a type of cut. She apologized, both the manager and customer said it was all right, she sold him the file, and everything was fine.

    Few hours later this young guy comes in and tells her he needs a file. She asks, "How about this 12-inch bastard?"

    He says, "You're cool, Mama, but that's too big. I want that 6-inch mo(nope,we don't use that kind of language on TFF) over there.
  14. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    sound like something i would have said:lmao2::lmao2::lmao2::lmao2::lmao2:-good one
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    this is correct info. A bastard file has cross hatched teeth and cuts aggressively and quickly, but leaves a rough cut. A Mill has parrallel teeth on an angle and makes a smooth even cut.
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