How to Sharpen a Kukri Machete

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One of the best machetes for chopping and slashing, the kukri is a versatile tool for outdoor activities. However, proper maintenance is very important for best performance. The curved-shaped special blade is different from typical blades and, therefore, can be a bit tricky to maintain. That’s why it is essential to know how to sharpen a kukri machete like a pro at home.

How to Sharpen a Kukri Machete- The Most Effective Techniques

Kukri sharpening needs some special care due to its curved-shaped knife. Here are some most effective strategies you can use to sharpen your kukri machete.

01. The Chakmak Sharpening Technique

There are some machetes equipped with two small knives on the back of the sheath to make the complete set. Featuring a sharp edge, the small knife is known as Karda, which can be used for paper-knife tasks or skinning purposes where a kukri machete is unable to perform.

The second one is the Chakmak or the sharpener. The Chakmak can be used to sharpen a kukri machete. In fact, it is the most traditional way used for a particular purpose.

Hold the knife handle firmly off-hand at a slight angle. Apply some pressure to the machete as you move the sharpener from the tip of the notch.

Now flip the knife and repeat the procedure on the other side of the machete. Take sandpaper and wrap it around the eraser. Use it for quick touch-ups after aligning the edge with the Chakmak.

Main a certain rhythm for best sharpening results to the action throughout the process.

02. Honing Steel Sharpening Technique

Honing steel, also known as sharpening steel, sharpening rod, whet steel, chef’s steel, butcher’s steel, and sharpening stick, works like a Chakmak. Stand the steel on the wooden surface before sharpening the machete and start at the tip.

Work the steel up to the top of the blade. Make sure to apply decent pressure on the blade but less as compared to the Chakmak technique.

03. Stone or Puck Sharpening Technique

You can easily find different stones or pucks for sharpening kukri machetes. You have to apply different techniques to the concave and end section of the machete blade.

Rub the stone back and forward along each side of the blade. Make sure to keep a consistent angle for the concave section of the machete.

If you are using a puck, execute the action with the help of the small, angled surface. Make sure to use the flat surface of the puck or stone. Always rub the blade in a circular motion for the end section. This technique works best for blades that are blunt.

04. Rada Quick Edge Sharpening Technique

Rada is a double steel wheel used to sharpen kukri machete quickly. The process is effortless yet very effective. Just pull the machete between the wheels four to six times, and you will be amazed by the ultra-sharp edges of your blade in no time.

How to Sharpen a Dull Kukri Machete?

If the kukri is totally dull, none of those mentioned above sharpening techniques can work. You have to use a fine to medium metal file on the blade to gain a minimum sharpness. Scrub the metal file back and forward to sharpen the blade.

Make sure a steep angle on the concave section and less curve on the heavier side. When you see the kukri has gained some sharpness, it is time to use honing steel, Chakmak or stone, or pluck for further sharpening.

Safety and Maintenance Tips

  • Be careful while sharpening the blade, as the process is dangerous, especially for your hands.
  • Make sure to use safety gloves and glasses during the process.
  • Use turpentine or kerosene and a clean cloth to remove rust and debris from the blade.
  • Always keep the machete in the sheath when not in use.
  • Keeping the blade wet for too long can cause rust issues. Therefore, it is recommended to clean the machete after every use.

Final Words

Kukri is a perfect survival machete, but you have to maintain it properly. You can choose from the above-motioned sharpening methods, but it entirely depends on your personal preferences. Remember, you don’t need to be an expert to sharpen a kukri machete. Simply follow any of these sharpening methods, and you will get the ultra-sharp blade to make things easier for you. Don’t forget to take safety precautions before starting the sharpening procedure.

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