How to Sharpen a Machete with a Whetstone
Machete is one of the cutting tools used to slice thick shrub, bush, vines, and tree branches. Unlike a knife, a machete is crafted with a broad blade, and they are available in different sizes.
A dull machete is annoying and cannot be used to carry out any cutting job. Sharpening of machete requires a coarse grain sharpener that allows users to set blade angles based on the blade depth expected. Accordingly,
Whetstone is the most efficient sharpening tool that gives you the privilege of what your machete and make it effective for cutting thick bush.
How to sharpen a machete using whetstone
1. Choose the appropriate whetstone suitable for a machete. Use a whetstone with fewer numbers of grits to achieve a stunning result on your machete blades.
A whetstone assembled with less than 500 grains is rough enough to grind a broad blade. As a rule, the fewer the number of grits, the rougher your whetstone will be. Wide blades require rough stones in order to be sharper.
Also, you must choose a wider sharpening stone that will match the size of your machete blade.
2. Spray enough water or dip your whetstone in a container full of water. This will ease your rubbing effect and also makes the stone firm when grinding your machete.
Wet grits will hold your blades in position and make them sharp. Suppose you are using oil whetstone, you will be required to use honing oil instead.
Honing oils will lubricate and soften the grits to sharpen effectively. Again, the honing oil can remove swarf from the pores of the stone making it clean for your sharpening.
3. Choose your work area wisely. You may decide to sharpen your machete inside the house or at the open field in your home compound.
However, you must consider the length and the weight of your machete. Long machete will definitely require spacious worktop, while short and lightweight machete can be sharpened on top of your countertop.
Don’t sharpen your machete near the food package. Metal fillings are dangerous for your consumption.
4. Use nails or bolts to lock your whetstone on a wide piece of wood. This will stop it from moving while you are sharpening your machete. Keep in mind that some machetes are so big that you cannot hold with one hand while another hand is supporting your whetstone.
You must make sure that the stone is fully supported because both hands will be busy once you start sharpening. Place this wood on a spacious worktop and prepare to start your grinding job.
In case of a small machete, you can spread a wet towel on the worktop to hold your whetstone when you grind. The towel can also grab all metal fillings and prevent them from spreading on the work area.
5. Hold the handle of your machete firmly with your primary hand and carefully support the further edge opposite to the blade with your secondary hand.
Set your blade at the angle of about 30 degrees and cautiously lead it to the grits. If it is a new machete, you will have to set the blade line for the first time.
6. Rub your machete blade on the grits forth and back as you maintain the sharpening angle. You may do it circularly to achieve a sharp blade quickly.
Try not to slip your supporting hand to avoid cuts. Maintain sharpening on the same side before you turn the other side of the blade.
7. Continuously spray water or honing oil to avoid dryness as you grind your machete. As stated above, this will enhance consistency of your rubbing and prevent slips.
8. Turn the other side of your machete blade and follow the same procedure again. You will be required to maintain the same blade angle and the same length of your blade. Do not exaggerate your grinding as this might weaken your blade.
9. When all the sides of the blade are whetted, you may turn the opposite side of the whetstone to access finer grains for smooth finishing.
Whetstones are built with two sides – finer grit and coarse grit. You don’t have to turn your whetstone suppose you have a higher grit whetstone besides you. Smoothen all the sides of your blade and make sure it is leveled.
10. Sprinkle water on the blade and clean the sides to remove metallic fillings.
11. Use a clean and dust-free towel to wipe your machete and make it dry. You may expose it on the open air to enable it to dry fast.
12. Test and confirm if it is working as expected.
13. Store your machete safely by covering it with sheath. Sharp machete is dangerous to your body; you must handle it with care. Caution while working
Caution while sharpening
• Cover your hands with protective gloves when sharpening your machete. This might not be important, but you can lessen the probability of cuts on your hand.
Put on thicker gloves made of leather materials. This will protect you from an unpredictable wound.
• Never sharpen your machete with the sharp edge facing your body. Always hold your machete the proper way indicated on the instruction above. Your dormant hand should hold the handle of your tool firmly, while the other hand supports the edge of the tool. This will reduce the possibility of an accident.
• Lock your stone firmly on the worktop to avoid slip. Loose stone can easily slide as you grind your machete. Make sure that the stone is firmly held, and do not force it to slip. If the stone slips your machete is likely to bounce on your body.
• Don’t be in a hurry when grinding your machete. You can easily encounter an accident. You can only avoid the accident if your speed is moderate, and you are attentive.
• It is advisable to use your protective glass to prevent metallic particles from endangering your eyes.
• Don’t grind your machete near the utensils as the metal fillings might contaminate your plates.
• Don’t sharpen your machete with a child beside you. Most children are ignorant, and can easily endanger their lives unknowingly.
• Use the appropriate honing oils for lubrication. Some oils might dry up your whetstone, and this can cause friction which might result in an accident. Too much friction can also cause a tear on the stone, and the blade as well.
In conclusion, the machete is relatively long and wide; you should use a wider stone that will be able to support and prevent it from slipping.
Also, you must be careful with the hand that supports the blade on the grit. A slip of a sharp machete can cause a deep wound.