Actually, we find that you don’t, provided the primary bevel has been properly set. It’s the shape behind the edge (convex grind) and the extra length/weight with a machete that will help compensate for a less than top notch sharpen.
For beginners, learning to sharpen anything can be frustrating. Teachers can make it seem a little mystical as well. This is the reason we like to show beginners sharpening on the farm using machetes. It’s a great ego boost because they can feel the difference in the way it cuts immediately!
The skills you learn with sharpening a machete translate to just about any single edged tool. With practice you just keep getting better. Blunt kitchen knives anyone?
Of course if you are skilled at sharpening, you’re going to get a great edge much faster. The trick then is how do you keep your edge for much longer. This is covered in how do i keep my machete sharper for longer?
← Do I need to be a skilled sharpener to maintain a machetes edge?