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Can I sharpen a machete with concrete? Answered

Hi, so I bought a machete in Costa Rica, but it's not very sharp at all. I want to be able to cut open a coconut with it, so I need it to be relatively sharp. I found a video of a guy sharpening his blade on a regular, large, flat stone using only water. I can't find a large flat stone to sharpen it with, but I happen to have a large, flat, concrete surface, conveniently located in my basement (it's the floor). Using water, can I sharpen my machete on the concrete surface, much like the guy in the video did on the rock? He pretty much just moved it in a circular pattern, at an angle to the rock. I don't want to invest any money on this, so please let me know if this is possible.



Best Answer 8 years ago

Well, it might work, but you probably won't get it sharp enough to slice open a coconut - at least not without crushing it, too!

The method you saw is one way to sharpen a knife - but there are others.  If you have a Dremel tool you can sharpen it with that.  It's what I use to sharpen my lawnmower blades.  There are also hand-held carbide sharpening tools, but they're usually meant for smaller blades.

This is the video I saw. I don't know how well the machete is sharpened, but this is pretty much what I'm going on:


Yup, I knew exactly what you meant even before seeing the video.  He's using what's called a wet stone (or at least an improvised one!)  They are used all the time by woodworkers to sharpen chisels and other bladed tools.

I guess the only thing I'd worry about with using a concrete floor is that the concrete would be too soft.  While a bit of the stone does wear away (the water is there to bind the dust and include it in the sharpening process) the concrete might wear away too fast, leaving you with gouges in your floor.

Perhaps you could go for a walk and find a suitably flat rock to try.

I've sharpened Machetes on cinder blocks before, it works perfectly.

Try a whetstone. They're relatively inexpensive and I've used one to sharpen everything from my pocket knife to my sword to my lawnmower blade. When you get good, you can get any amount of precision. I bet that there are instructables here on how to use a whetstone, and they will last you your whole life. Mine was my grandpa's.

Yes it will work fine. But you'll get better honing quality using an actual knife sharpener which is actually dirt cheap, I got one that I've been using for woodcarving knives WHICH have to be sharp for months now and it's worked great, and it was only ten dollars.

What kind of sharpening stone would you recommend (grit, brand, water versus oil, etc) for sharpening a machete (to the point where it could cut open a coconut)?

 Your thinking of a whet stone and this might work but hes actually using oil, not water. And it would have to be very very very very flat concrete.

The machete is a very important tool for the farmer in Spanish American countries because it is a farming tool and it also serve as a weapon. If the machete is very important for you, you should invest in a sharpening stone to keep it sharp.
In some countries to rasp the concrete with the machete is a warning or a dare to fight. It only happens in extreme circumstances. I grew up in a Spanish country and I have seen my share of machete wielding people.

You will get it sharper than dull, but if the grain size is to large, it will still not be terribly sharp

If you follow the same method it will sharpen, but not as well as the right material. Try it and see - nothing to lose really?