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The Best Way to Sharpen a Machete

By Palmer Owyoung
Machetes can become dull with overuse.
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A machete is a cutting tool for trees, brush and shrubs. It is commonly used for maintaining front and backyards. The word “machete” comes from the Spanish word for saber. A machete can become dull from overuse. It also may come this way when purchased. Sharpening a machete requires just a few simple tools.

Hold the machete blade flat against a table. Keep the machete stable by holding the handle with your hands. The blade should be pointing away from you. You can also use a table clamp to hold the machete in place.

Measure at least 1 inch from the handle of the machete. Do not sharpen this portion. This will give you a safety buffer while handling the machete.

Hold the metal file flat against the edge of the blade in a direction away from your body. Move it against the blade several times in the same section of the machete. Work your way down to the tip of the blade. Repeat the same process with the other side of the blade.

Move the sharpening stone against the blade of the machete (see "Tips") away from you along the edge of the blade and down to the tip of the blade. Do this several times for each section of the blade.

Turn the blade on the other side and move the sharpening stone against it in the same manner until you reach the tip of the blade.

Test your machete on a piece of paper. If it slices it through it like hot butter then the blade may be too sharp. A properly sharpened machete should tear and slice at the same time. If the machete is too sharp then go back and file the cutting edge down slightly using the metal file.


Things You Will Need

  • Sharpening stone
  • Metal file
  • Work table
  • Table clamp


  • Sharpen the machete with the sharpening stone only if you want a fine razor-sharp edge. This is useful when cutting through softer material. If not only use the file.

About the Author


Palmer Owyoung holds a Master of Arts in international business from the University of California at San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a trained molecular biologist. He has been a freelance writer since 2006. In addition to writing, he is a full-time Forex trader and Internet marketer.