How to Sharpen a Machete with a Bench Grinder

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Machetes are useful tools that boast a long history as well as numerous application across different parts of the globe. In the past, they mostly were used as agricultural cutting tools and weapons during combat.

Nowadays, the use of a machete has evolved as they usually used in cutting unwanted branches, clearing bushes plus other duties around your farm or yard. Additionally, if you love survival-in-wilderness adventures, then it is a piece of essential equipment to own. However, machetes usually need sharpening right after buying them as well as after you have used them for a prolonged duration.

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​A useful tool you can use to sharpen your machete is a bench grinder which features a grinding wheel integrated into its design that spins at extremely high speeds. Therefore, thanks to this tool, you have an inexpensive and excellent way of sharpening your machete.

In this article, you will be taken through how to sharpen your blade, thereby guaranteeing you have an easier time when using it.

How do you use a bench grinder to sharpen your machete?

If your machete is completely blunt hence requires to be sharpened forcefully, then a bench grinder is a perfect choice. This equipment will guarantee that your blade is not only appropriately sharpened but also giving it an incredible shine. Therefore, if you want a new look on your machete, then you need to sharpen it using a bench grinder.

You should place the bench grinder in a room with adequate space if you want to effectively sharpen your machete as this will give it a smooth edge. Moreover, this process generates a lot of heat, thus making use of this machine in a squeezed space might cause you some irritation.

As you do the grinding, make sure that the rpm is not very high since this may cause your machete to overheat, consequently destroying it. Thus, you should always keep the rpm at low to moderate levels.

However, if you feel it is necessary to use high rpm, you need to have some water with you to pour repeatedly on the bench grinder as this helps regulate its temperature. Furthermore, doing this will ensure the environment is more conducive and more comfortable so you will have no concerns about suffering from any temperature issue.

Sustaining low temperatures is also essential if you want to maintain the composition grade of your machete. This is because extreme temperatures result in carbon blades’ low grading, and consequently, you will end up with a ruined machete.

Thus, if you want to sustain your machete’s grading as well as to achieve the best sharpening quality, you need to apply a correct technique, maintain the temperature and stick to the appropriate pattern.

Tips to sharpen your machete using a bench grinder

1. Use a proper angle

A common mistake that is often repeated is placing your machete flat on the wheel of the bench grinder. However, you must never sharpen your machete while its side flush is against the bench grinder as this will shine it rather than sharpening it. When grinding your machete’s edge, place it at a 45-degree angle towards the grinder’s wheel with the best way of ensuring it is sharpened appropriately.

2. Allow the grinder to work

When using a bench grinder, you must never place too much force on the machete, a mistake often done by most first time users. Doing this can cause the blade to chip, and subsequently, you lose control of it.

Usually, the grinding wheel spins at an extremely fast speed, so you must never try to help do its work. Instead, allow the grinding wheel to carry out its function by merely setting the machete in place at a suitable angle. Consequently, allow it to work along the blade’s natural curvature.

3. Natural movement

Many machetes feature a bend in their design and as you make use of the grinder. Thus, when making use of the grinder, ensure you always stick to its natural arc. While you sharpen your machete, the grinding wheel automatically starts to pull it inside along this line.

Rather than fight the grinding wheel, allow your blade to follow it naturally and as you move it constantly. This is because the grinding wheel moves the machete, so you should do the same. Additionally, you must never try to resist the blade’s as well as the grinding wheel’s natural friction but instead manage it. Move your machete is a timed and even manner to ensure it is sharpened uniformly.

4. Never make use of a vice

Bench grinders are usually associated with high speed; hence, why you may feel the need to use a vice to keep your blade in one position while it is sharpened. However, you need to avoid this gut reaction as the sharpening of your machete is not a linear process. Therefore, to achieve an appropriate edge, move your blade naturally along the grinding wheel.

What is the best angle to sharpen your machete?

You should grid your machete on both sides as this allows the formation of a cutting edge. The sharpness of your blade does not need to be razor end, but chopping-edge as this serves its purpose of cutting through branches, vines as well as bushes. Additionally, if you make your machete to be too thick, it will be harder to chop into the wood, and if it is too thin, chances are it will break.

The angle you choose to sharpen your machete affects its performance, so you need to be careful before you make a decision. If you are planning to carry out light cutting, that is, cutting non-wood, soft vines and grass, then smaller sharpening angles between 20 to 25 degrees are ideal. However, the sharpening angles need to be between 25 to 35 degrees if you are planning to carry out weightier cutting duties like cutting wood branches.

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If you are planning to work low towards the ground hence vulnerable to hitting sticks, rocks and other items, you need to expand the angle to more than 30 degrees. These angles will foster chopping motion, thus perfect for chopping wood.


If you were trying to figure out how to sharpen your machete with a bench grinder, this article has provided you with everything you need to know. Furthermore, you also know of the best angles to sharpen your blade with this dependent on the intended use as well as the tips to help you improve your sharpening experience when using a bench grinder. Therefore, going forward, you will be well aware of what to properly sharpen your machete.

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