What sort of tools would you guys promote for sharpening a machete?, maybe a coarse iron file and a smoothish one?, dunno, ive had a really good quality Brazilian machete for about 15 years, but never sharpened it.
I sharpen all mine with a generic ass stone so I leave my good sharpener for my hand knives. If you're looking for a factory edge, most good factories use a wax and cardboard wheel impregnated with diamond-laced wax and then buff it briefly after shapening on a cloth wheel. If you're looking for a hand done edge just remember once you take that metal off you can't put it back on. With my machetes I get them to a certain sharpness and then add another steeper bevel at the edge and hone that down till it will bur hair from your arm. Chetes are some damn hard steel and hold an edge pretty well. You can use guides, but I don't like them. Nothing replaces knowing how to get a good edge by hand. The best advice I could give is angle angle angle. Getting BOTH angles right is a must. also remembering that you actually want an edge that is not perfectly smooth because that is more like a razor and will dull easily. You want a rougher, more minutely serrated edge because its good for more work and bites in better. Axe edges are just broader and the blade edge is steeper. I will use a smiths camp sharpener and a steel by henckles, but now I just use the sharpener in most cases.
I'll admit that I do not know the nomenclature of my sharpening/shaping stones. Some have Japanese "lettering" on the label, some do not. My dad had this "painfully slow method" on sharpening, and it got so bad that I adopted the procedure for my own knives. It appears my dad was right.
I do not seem to develop a burr on either my stones or my knives. People who watch me sharpen say things like, "Is this going to take longer--I'm double-parked..." Of course, these guys pay a "slightly larger" invoice.
The issue is quite simple. I was so scared to put a stone on an expensive knife the first time I would make a gentle pass, set down the stone, and then look at "my damage" with a stout microscopic loupe.
from what I understand.. most quality machetes are made with high carbon steel (spring steel) , to enable them some flexibility so they aren't brittle...
that makes them softer than some of the newer fancier knife steels (cpm 3v, m390, m4)
but that makes them easier to sharpen...
from what I understand... they take edges nicely with a file, and a dual sided course stone, (try one of those axe hockey pucks)
and oil it afterwards since high carbon steels can rust.