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Sharpen a Cold Steel Machete ?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by duller, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. duller


    Apr 14, 2007

    How does one sharpen a machete made from 1055 steel?
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  2. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    Most don't come with much of a edge and usually are sharpened with just a file or a coarse stone by most. A machete is made softer so it can flex and take abuse plus be sharpened with little effort, no need for polished razor sharpness just a usable edge.
  3. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    If you think the edge on a CS machete felt dull, I am sending you to my local sporting goods store. The machetes they sell there.....literally........

    And when I use literally here, I am talking literally........

    The edges were as thick as a quarter. About two to three full butterknife thicknesses. I have a belt sander, and could sharpen one up in a few minutes......but come one.

    With my CS machete (Magnum Khukri), I just used a medium diamond stone.

    Eventually, I hit it with my belt sander for a quick and dirty convex edge.

    If you have stones, that is all you need, I would really just leave the factory angle. The steel is softer, so there is a diminishing return for going thinner. You will end up doing repair work more often than if you just left it steeper.
  4. TLARbb


    Jan 24, 2010
    For rough limbing, I just use a fine 10" file to sharpen my Cold Steel machete. It seems to work well for what I am doing with it. That Bowie style you show might need a finer edge depending on what you are going to use it for.

    I am using the one I have to chop privit hedge out of fencing. Some of it is too big for the machete, but I still have to work the small stuff out of the way to be able to cut it down with the chain saw or pruning saw as appropriate. Then I have to deal with getting it out of the fence wire. It is slow work because I can't do much at one time. So, the file is fine for what I'm doing. The particular machete I'm using is the 15" heavy duty model like this:

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  5. duller


    Apr 14, 2007
    1055 is soft enough that it should sharpen fairly easily.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  6. shecky


    May 3, 2006
    The cheapest and quickest way to sharpen the machete is probably a file. I have a two sided 8" Nicholson Handy File that works quite well for getting an edge on these new machetes.

    A quicker way is to use a belt sander.

    How sharp can they get? Pretty sharp! 1055 is reasonable knife steel. Where it will lack is edge retention. Machetes are rarely run hard, because they are expected to take lots of impact without fracturing. Once given an edge, you can sharpen it as keen as you wish, using any normal method.
  7. ChapmanPreferred


    Oct 7, 2006
    You should be able to get as fine an edge on your machete as you get on your knives with your stones.

    I have a CS Bolo machete and I sharpen it on a 120 grit belt on a belt sander and buff the burr off on a paper wheel to a lovely sharp edge.
  8. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    With a machete all you need is a file. Stones will surely make a finer edge but the first time you whack through something and connect with dirt it's over. I mean it'll be no worse than a file sharpened machete. Machetes were intended to be sharpened with simple, course tools like very course stones or files and I, who strop my knives with green compound, don't bother going any farther that a file with my two Collins Legitimus machetes...no real point to it.
  9. twosharp


    Jun 21, 2010
    I used a Samurai Shark and the metal was peeling off!Then I used a belt sander and then a sharpeing stone to finnish it off... Its not the sharpest tool as i would like it to be but hey for 20 bucks what do ya expect.

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