How to Sharpen a Machete With a Sharpening Stone

A machete is a vital tool for the outdoorsman, and it’s essential to keep it sharp. A sharpening stone is the best way to do that. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to sharpen a machete with a sharpening stone. So stay safe and enjoy your time in the great outdoors!

How to Sharpen a Machete With a Sharpening Stone

Machete blades are designed to be solid and robust. However, this does not mean they do not need regular sharpening to maintain peak performance. Follow these simple steps, and your machete will be performing like new in no time!

12 Ways on How to Sharpen a Machete With a Sharpening Stone

1. With a Wooden Handle

On a flat surface covered with a towel, lay the machete’s blade down on its side with one face against the towel and hold onto the top end of the handle. Grasp your sharpening stone in your other hand and place it an inch or so away from the edge of the blade, which is closest to you, then drag it toward your body. Be sure that the blade is facing away from you so that if the machete slips, it won’t be an accident of self-mutilation.

2. With a Plastic Handle

Lay the machete on a flat, stable surface and hold it securely by placing your hand and forearm on the handle and gripping the blade (so you don’t cut yourself). With your other hand, place one end of the sharpening stone against the edge of the machete at an angle.

Next, while holding that position, move the sharpening stone down the entire length of the blade and up again. Repeat this process for about 10 minutes or until you can feel a burr on top of the blade; sharpening both edges of the machete evenly.

3. On a Glass Surface

Leaving about 2 inches of the blade exposed, draw the knife slowly across the surface in one direction with moderate pressure. Turn the blade over and repeat on another side to sharpen that side as well. Continue alternating sides until you feel a burr form on either side of your blade.

4. On an Oilstone

Lubricate the Stone With Mineral Oil

Place the stone on a stable surface. Lubricate the stone with mineral oil or another lubricant. Draw the blade of your machete across the stone with moderate pressure, using only the weight of the blade itself to create pressure (no extra force should be applied by hand). Move it in one direction and repeat on the other side to create a burr.

5. On an Arkansas Stone

Begin by lubricating your stone with 3-in-1 oil or water. Next, place the heel of your blade at the base of the stone with about 1/2 inch exposed above it. Draw the blade across this area with moderate pressure, using only the weight of the blade to create pressure.

Next, begin on the left side of the stone with your machete perpendicular to it. Tilt your blade slightly away from you and move down across this section in a slight arc while maintaining moderate pressure.

6. With sandpaper

First, cut a strip of sandpaper approximately 1/2 inch wide and 4 inches long; then wrap it around the end of your machete. Next, wind the sandpaper around the blade to form a rounded tip and hold it in place with electrical tape. Then, with moderate pressure, move your blade up and down against the surface of your sandpaper to sharpen.

7. With a Sharpening Stick

Place the end of your sharpening stick on a sturdy surface. Lay the machete’s blade flat against the stick with the edge facing you. Place one hand on top of your other and, using moderate pressure, push down to create an arc along the length of your blade while drawing it toward you. Repeat on the other side to form a burr.

8. With a Belt Sander

Belt Sander to Sharpen Machete

Keep in mind that belt sanders have a coarser one and a finer one. To begin, place your machete across the middle of your sander with its edge facing away from the coarser side. Next, press down hard on the blade with your hand while moving it slowly toward you to sharpen it, then turn it over and do the same thing on the fine side of the sander.

9. With a Drill

Secure your machete in place by hammering one nail into each end of a section of 2 x 4. Then, insert a 3/32 drill bit into your drill and stick the tip of your machete in one of the holes. Slowly pull it toward you so that it moves along the length of the blade, creating burrs as you go. Repeat on the other side to sharpen that side, rotate your board, place the other end of the blade into a hole, and repeat.

10. With a Bench Grinder

Place the blade of your machete on the grinder with one end resting against its guard. Using moderate pressure, draw it toward you to create a burr on both sides. Repeat this process until you have sharpened both sides evenly. Continue alternating sides every few minutes until you feel an even burr on both sides. Then turn the blade over and repeat this process on the other side to sharpen it.

11. With a Cordless Drill

Start by drawing your machete toward you while using moderate pressure for about 10 seconds, then rotate it and place its other end into a hole in your work surface. Next, work your way down the length of your machete, rotating it and switching holes every few seconds or so until you have sharpened all sections of the blade.

12. With a Wet Stone

Lubricating Your Stone With Water

Start by lubricating your stone with water or oil, whichever you prefer. Next, place the heel of your machete’s blade on top of the stone with its edge facing you. Using moderate pressure, push down, then draw your blade toward you across the length of your stone to sharpen it. Repeat this process several times on each side of your stone until you have a burr on each side, then flip the blade over and repeat this process to create a burr from the other side as well.

Some Tips and Suggestions

1. To check if the blade has been honed properly, draw an imaginary line with your finger from tip to base of the machete. The sharpest part of the blade will be where your finger left a mark, and the unsharpened area will appear to have a reflection.

2. Use stone oil frequently as it helps prevent oxidation, speed up the honing process, and keep the stones lubricated to prolong their lifespan.

3. As you work, scan the blade often to ensure that you maintain a 10-degree angle, especially when you get closer to finishing.

4. If your machete has not been adequately sharpened in the past, it may take some time for you to create an edge suitable for chopping because when peeling bark or green wood with an unsharpened blade, the wood quickly sticks to the metal. As a result, the blade will eventually get duller and duller until it is sharp enough for chopping jobs as you peel more.

5. Start with a coarse honing stone (e.g., 400-500 grit) if your machete has never been sharpened before. Once an edge has been formed, move up to a medium (e.g., 1000 grit) and finish with a fine stone (e.g., 6000 grit).

6. If your blade is fairly new and sharp, you can just use the fine honing stone without needing to start at the coarsest level.

7. For machetes that haven’t been sharpened in a long time, you may need to start at the coarsest level and work your way up through the medium and fine stones.

Can You Use a Sharpening Stone on a Machete?

Yes, you can use a sharpening stone on a machete. While it’s probably unnecessary to use a sharpening stone to keep your blade at peak performance, anyone who frequently uses their machete will likely benefit from regular sharpening. A sharpening stone is the best way to touch up your blade between major sharpening sessions, or it can be your primary method of keeping a sharp edge on your machete.

Sharpening Stone Is the Best Way to Sharpen Machete

Various types of sharpening stones are available, each with different properties that make them better suited for some knives than others. Therefore, before you start sharpening your machete, it’s essential to understand how a sharpening stone works and which type of stone is best for your blade.


The sharpening stone is a tool that can be used for many purposes, but it’s most commonly known as the best way to sharpen your machete. Sharpening stones are often made of natural materials like Arkansas or Japanese water stones. However, there are also synthetic versions that have been created in laboratories because they are more durable and less likely to break down over time.

It’s essential to know how to sharpen a machete with a sharpening stone. Sharpening stones are inexpensive and easy to use, so it is worth giving them a try if you haven’t already. This article has given you all of the information you need to get started on sharpening your blade! So, grab your machete and get to work!

Jennifer Branett
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