You don’t need to buy new hair clippers again and again when the blades become blunt. You can save yourself some cash by learning how to sharpen clipper blades with sandpaper. This is the easiest method, as you’re sure to have sandpaper within reach all the time. But there are many ways to bring blunt blades back in good working order. Some use a wire brush or a honing stone. Others go the more sophisticated path by using special sharpening stones, or whetstones. Read on to get some tips on how to sharpen clipper blades with sandpaper.
Clipper Blades Maintenance
Sandpaper can be bought at hardware stores and come in a good variety, with specific stones used for certain blade types. Ceramic blades, for example, need a diamond sharpening stone. Note that there is a difference between ceramic sharpening stones and sharpening stones for ceramic blades. Ceramic sharpening stones refer to whetstones that are made of ceramic. The latter refers to sharpening stones that are not necessarily made of ceramic but can sharpen ceramic blades well.
Most hair clippers also have self-sharpening blades. How do these things work? They are quite interesting because as the clipper does it’s cutting and trimming job, the blades are positioned at an angle that allows them to glide against each other. The friction caused by this action keeps the clipper blade sharpened. The whole idea of this intelligent design resembles the way a knife is sharpened against a honing surface.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can leave the work of sharpening to this built-in design. Metal wears out too at some point, especially without correct care. Clipper blades then also need proper maintenance. Before you think of sharpening clipper blades, your first consideration is cleaning them up every now and then and how to sharpen clipper blades with sandpaper.
Below are some steps you can do to clean your clipper blades and prepare them for sharpening. For a round of cleaning, you will need the following:
- An old toothbrush as your main cleaning tool
- A screwdriver that is the size of the clipper’s screw
- White vinegar as your main cleaning agent
- A bowl for your cleaning solution
- Lukewarm water
- A hand towel or cloth to dry your clipper blades with
Steps on How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper
The best place to do the cleaning in the bathroom or any place that has good lighting. Remember, too, that you will be flushing out bits of hair and particles, so your work area has to be far away from food. So let’s get started. Here are some tips on how to sharpen clipper blades with sandpaper.
Cleaning Your Blades
- Step 1. Using a screwdriver of the appropriate size, remove the screws off the clipper. Most models usually have their screws attached to the bottom of the clipper head.
- Step 2. Clean the clipper blades by brushing out all the junk, hair, dust, and particles using an old toothbrush.
- Step 3. Bring out your bowl and fill it with white vinegar and lukewarm water. You also have the option of using isopropyl alcohol or a commercial blade wash, but the latter may not be as organic and safe compared to what you have in your pantry.
- Step 4. Dip your toothbrush onto the white vinegar mixture.
- Step 5. Using the wet toothbrush, scrub your clipper blades clean.
- Step 6. When your clipper blades are free from dirt, wipe them dry with a hand towel or cloth.
Sharpening Your Blades
If your clipper blades are visibly rusty, and the steps above fail to clean up the rust, it might be time for you to get a new one. Remember that clean blades are a necessity before sharpening them. If these are visibly clean, you are now ready to revive your blunt babies. Just follow these instructions on how to sharpen your clipper blades using sandpaper. But first, get your materials ready:
- Sandpaper is your main sharpening tool
- Any oil to lubricate the blade
Step 1. Lay your clipper blade on a flat surface.
Step 2. Rub the clipper blade with sandpaper. Repeat this rubbing motion many times on all the blade’s surfaces. Do it for some twenty seconds.
Step 3. This time, do the opposite: lay the sandpaper flat on a surface. Hold the clipper blade and rub all its surfaces on the sandpaper. This helps polish your clipper blade and gives it some shine.
Step 4. Oil the clipper blade so that it glides smoothly when you start using it again.
Step 5. Test the blade if you’ve sharpened well enough. To do this, screw the clipper blade back to the clipper body, and try it out on hair. If it still feels blunt, repeat the process of sharpening the clipper blade with sandpaper.
The best way to keep your clipper blades in tip-top shape is by cleaning it every six months. However, if you are not the only one using your clippers, cleaning up has to be more frequent than that. Always have lubricating oils on standby. You can also explore other honing options by purchasing whetstones, but learning how to sharpen clipper blades with sandpaper works just fine. Here’s how to learn more about sharpening tools.