Whether you are a beginner or a pro user of a machete, you must always follow certain safety measures while using, carrying and sharpening your machete. Because it is just a moment of heedlessness and you are faced with a fatal injury by your machete. Having said that, in the following section we will discuss the fundamental steps to follow for machete safety. While walking you through the procedures about how to use a machete safely, we will also inform you the expert opinion that will help you to make the best out of your machete.
Let’s also check out what the experts said about blade safety.
But first, let’s enjoy an Infographic on machete safety
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Most Common Problems Regarding Machete Safety
- Hard Grip and Blisters
- Hitting hand or knee while striking
- Machete Slippage
- Swing Angle
Know Before Using a Machete
You may use a machete for cleaning your backyard, camping, and chopping. Whatever be the purpose is before using machete make sure:
- You are not already tired due to other works. Using machete when you are feeling tired is very dangerous.
- You are not cutting or swinging the machete across your body. Otherwise, if your machete slips away it may hit your body especially knee or hand and something fatal may happen. So you have to cut outside of your body meaning you have to cut to the right or left of your body.
- Check and double check no one is standing in your blood circle meaning, if anybody is near you, make sure he is not within the radius where your slipped machete can reach. Take care of your babies and pets.
- If you are in an outing and following someone who is also using a machete to make a way through, maintain a safe distance while tracking the first person and also clean the sharp branches, spikes or trees throughout the way made by the previous person. So that if anyone falls, nobody is hurt seriously.
- Never ever walk and chop. First, chop, check your surroundings and then advance.
How to Hold a Machete
It’s a common misunderstanding that, to make the best out of a machete, one has to use it with a crazy hard pick death grip. Is that so? Let’s see. With time, most of the machete users learn a flexible way to move and handle machete with much more usability, which is called the pinch grip. In easy terms pinch grip is, taking your forefinger and thumb to hold the machete loosely. And the other fingers will support your loose hold of the machete. This way the machete can move much more flexibly within your hand resulting in hardly any blister and the flick will do the cut mostly.
If you are a beginner, it is highly recommended to wear gloves and also it is better to use a lanyard. Then gradually you will be habituated with the movement and torsion of the handle and eventually, become such an expert that even without gloves and lanyard you will use the machete for a long time. And if you have moisture palm then you should always use gloves otherwise machete will slip away and cause accidents.
So the key points are:
- Use the pinch grip
- Use gloves and lanyard
- Be aware of moisture palms
The Angle of Contact for Machetes
You may wonder about the title of this section. Is it really a big deal to maintain a certain angle while striking your machete? Just strike straight as hard as you can and the job is done! But this is not the case.
So with a perfect grip, you have to strike with a right angle to make best out of your machete. Instead of straight strike try to maintain an angle of 45-degrees. This will boost the flick of your machete made by pinch grip and do the most of the cutting and penetrate deeper.
Before slashing soft vegetation try to find out whether upward or downward flick will be appropriate. In case of slashing thicker branch, a downward strike will be more effective.
Now one thing you have to keep in mind that, the flicking thing may not work well for thick branches, logs, and small trees. It has a smart solution. Create a V-shaped notch by striking in the right and the left alternatively. This theoretical trick may seem difficult to understand. Don’t worry! We will show you a video guide.
So the key points are:
- Swing by 45-degree angle
- Create V-shaped notch for thick cutting
How to Carry a Machete
Machete is a sharp and dangerous tool. You should never keep it open unless you use it. So always keep your machete in its sheath whenever you are not using it. Also, carry your machete in its sheath if you are transporting it.
To carry your machete with great ease, try to buy from machetes that come with a good quality sheath. Sheath with D loop is great to be set with the belt.
Safe Machete Vs Unsafe Machete
- While you are not using your machete, make sure it is in the sheath
- Before using your tool, sharpen it enough to meet your requirements. Read our detailed guideline on how to sharpen a machete
- Use lanyard if you need to
- If you are carrying a machete with your belt, check you can sit with it without any harm
Don’t neglect any of the suggestions, otherwise, you will make your tool dangerous.
Make Your Machete a Perfect Tool
Hope you are still staying with us. If that is true, now you know how to hold a machete safely and perfectly, at which angle you should strike and how to differentiate while cutting soft vegetation and thick wood. The craftsmanship does not end here since machete is a versatile tool. One of the main challenges is selecting the perfect machete for you. For detail guideline on how to buy the best machetes, you can follow our detailed suggestion.
After you successfully buy a good one, you can use your machete for a large number of purposes according to your expertise and witness. You can customize the backside of your machete front part or the handle, even you can make a custom sheath for your favorite tool. Try to use the front-rear part of the blade when you are cutting something thick or hard, use the lower part while batoning.
Let us show you some precious guideline from an expert.
Wrap it Together
Sometimes tons of words can hardly express a great thing, while a short video can serve just properly. After knowing so many theories, tips, do’s and don’ts why not enjoy a video which will practically demonstrate pretty much everything. Let’s jump into it.
Always sharpen your machete before your use. For maintaining your machete, read our article on how to clean a blade. You should have perfect sharpening stone or other accessories for your machete. You can check our best sharpening stones guideline.
If you are a beginner, this article will help you a lot and for expert machete users, there are definitely some tips that will be useful. Beginners do mistake since they don’t know the simple tricks and experts fall into accidents due to their negligence of safety measures. So safety procedures must be followed by all. With this, we conclude our detailed guideline on how to use a machete safely. We want you to be safe while becoming an expert machete user. Hope you will find some useful tips and guidelines from this article and apply them in your upcoming machete use.
If you feel interested, you can go through our discussion on machete history.