Do you have any tips on keeping a machete sharper for longer?

Good cutting technique has a huge impact on edge retention (how long your machete stays sharp).

This is something that you just learn instinctively on the job. Most everyone I have shown picks it up pretty quickly once they know the general do’s and don’ts. It’s a tough one to explain. It’s not just ‘how I can cut through something in the least amount of strokes’.

The first step is having the correct primary bevel for what you’re cutting. A thin hollow ground edge just won’t stay sharp for long here in Australia. Even our weeds are tough! a thin convex edge is a great edge that compromises little in it’s slice-ability but retains its edge far longer in heavy material.

During use, it’s a combination of a lot of things, some of which include:

• Correct cutting angle for that branch in that situation

• Just the right amount of force

• Avoiding bouncing off or skating the blade down a branch

• What not to cut

• How to cut so the branch does not pinch the blade

• Avoiding cutting too low and following through into the dirt

I’m sure there is a lot more I could put down, but just being conscious of ‘how you cut effects edge retention’ is the first step.

You can feel it in the handle if you are on the right path. A golfer or cricketer just knows if they have made a good hit by what they feel it in the handle. Machetes are the same except it’s far easier to feel a correct stroke with a machete than it is with any bat and ball sport.

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