How to Use a Machete

How to Use a MacheteThe versatile machete can handle almost any cutting job, from veggie slicing to trailblazing through dense brush. It will cut down small trees and handle the springy brush and vines that would stall an axe. Machetes are commonly found in lengths from 16 to 30 inches, the longer and heavier versions requiring less effort to cut bigger wood. Shorter models can be carried even on backpack trips. Whatever the size, quality counts because flexible spring steel keeps an edge and warps less than cheaper metal. A good sheath protects you from the blade in transit.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Machete
  • Gloves
  • Sheath
  • Sharpening stone
  • Machine oil
Step 1
Sharpen your machete. Lubricate a sharpening stone with machine oil, match the angled edge of the blade to the surface of the stone and bring the blade across the stone with medium pressure a dozen times on each side, wearing work gloves.
Step 2
Grip your machete like a hammer. Check the security of your grip on the machete and your distance from any onlookers.
Step 3
Stand close enough to your target not to require a long reach but not so close that you will have to hitch your swing.
Step 4
With your business hand back and elbow forward, swing down at an angle, never toward your legs or feet, and snap your wrist as the widened area of the blade meets its target.
Step 5
Clean off water and dirt, and oil the machete after use.

Article Written By Barry Truman

Barry Truman has published many outdoor activity articles in the past five years with International Real Travel Adventures, the Everett Herald and Seattle Post Intelligencer newspapers, Backpacking Light Magazine and He has a forestry degree from the University of Washington.

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