Your hair clipper blades perform the best when they’re at the sharpest state and give you a smooth & effortless experience even through the densest of beards. However, once they start to get dull, you’ll feel a certain change in feeling and specific symptoms will tell you it’s time you did something about it.
While there’s no specific lasting period of clipper blades longevity as it depends on a few variable factors like your frequency of shaving, beard density etc., you must take action to mitigate these sooner or later. The rule of thumb dictates you to swap your clipper blades every other month for safekeeping, but such practice can often take a toll on your wallet.
That’s why we bring you an alternative to making new purchases and provide you with all the details on ‘how to sharpen clipper blades’. We’ve provided two genuine methods that work perfectly depending on the blades’ condition and offer you relevant knowledge that’ll ensure the safest and smoothest clipping operation for your face and hair!
- Sharpening Method 1: With Honing Or Diamond Stone
- Sharpening Method 2: The Sandpaper Technique
Is Sharpening Clipper Blades A Good Alternative?
Everything in this world decays and nothing truly lasts forever – your clipper blades are no exception to such a universal line. Although we’re showing you the methods of sharpening these blades, in reality it’s not going to be your permanent solution for every occasion.
Every blade has a point beyond which sharpening won’t work for them. You must identify that point because any attempts after that would be futile and it can even cause you harm in one way or another. You should apply the sharpening only on blades that are relatively new and have a lifespan of within one year.
If your blades are past that age, it’s highly likely they aren’t going to function the way they are supposed to no matter how good of a sharpening process you take them through. It’s only a cost-effective measure that spares you from changing your blades every other month.
It’s also efficient if you’re using it on your dog or other animal’s trimming process as their hair isn’t generally as coarse as human hair. And with all this information in mind, let’s move on to the sharpening process to make your shaving life easier again!
Things You Will Need
Here is a list of things you’ll need at your arm’s length to efficiently go through with the cleaning process. Most of these are things commonly available at every household, so you won’t need to make any separate purchase except for the sharpening item, whichever you may choose to go with.
A Screwdriver: This will help you remove the blade from the clipper body unless it contains a removable head
One Toothbrush: Toothbrushes often provide with a more effective cleaning than regular brushes
Sharpening Sandpaper or Stone: One of these items will be used for the sharpening process
Towel/Rug: A towel or rug is required to keep around so that you can dry the blades after thorough cleansing
Warm Water: Warm water will help you get the cleaning process done neatly
Lubricant: It’s better to use a lubricant after the initial cleaning process to help the blades sustain for the longest possible time
Once you have these items gathered round, you’ll be all set to proceed toward the clipper blade sharpening process.
Sharpening Method 1: With Honing Or Diamond Stone
Many consumers ask us: how to sharpen Andis clipper blades? The answer is the same for every blade including the ones from Andis, so following our methods given below should produce similar results.
Our first method today uses a honing stone or diamond stone – both which are generally regarded as sharpening stones. You can easily find either of them in the local market or online retail stores.
This process runs in three phases – Wash, Sharpen & Use! Let’s look into it!
Step 1: Unscrew
In this first step, you’ll need to apply your screwdriver for removing the clipper blades from the body. You’ll need to remove your clipper guards first to expose the top side of the blades. Generally, these blades are fastened by two or three screws to the shaver head and unscrewing them gently should see you remove the blades without much trouble!
Step 2: Clean
Cleaning is absolutely necessary for the sharpening process due to a number of reasons. Oftentimes there have been cases of residue build-up that blunted the blades temporarily. When such cases occur, a thorough cleaning process gets the blades back in shape and ready for action without needing to sharpen them.
You need to wash your blades gently under warm water. Use your toothbrush to help in the process so that there’s no extra hair bits lingering around and the blade edges are free from any kind of residue. Once there, use your towel or a rug to nicely mop & dry the blades.
Remember: You must completely dry your blades before you move on to running them on a stone.
Step 3: Grind Against The Stone
This is where you put in the most labor of the process. You can use a flat magnet to have a firm grip on the blades that’ll ease the grinding, otherwise you might find it challenging to hold such a small object and rub effectively.
For blades made out of metal, you can make do with a 4000 grits honing stone. Lay the stone flat and hold your blades at a 45 degree angle. Run them along the stone only in one direction, which is from the blade edge toward the blade body like in a pulling motion.
Continue this until you see the shiny bits expose themselves, then mop off all the residue and do the same process for the other side of the blades.
For ceramic blades however, you’ll be needing diamond stones as regular stones will end up hurting the blades. Follow the same procedure that you did with the regular stone until you are satisfied with the progress.
Step 4: Reassemble
Wash the blades gently again and mop them to a complete dry stage. Put them back on the shaver’s head and fasten the screws that you had removed. Once done, move on to the final step!
Step 5: Lubricate
Lubrication is very important for your clipper blades, not only for the sharpening process, but also is a healthy practice for regular use. Apply sufficient lubricant to your blades to complete the process and turn your shaver on to see the surprising results!
Sharpening in such a method provides fine results since these materials don’t chunk out particles from your blade, but only sharpens the edges efficiently.
Sharpening Method 2: The Sandpaper Technique
If you can’t find any sort of honing stone or diamond stone to use in the sharpening process, you can settle for a cheaper alternative. But mind you, this requires a certain degree of finesse on your end, because overdoing it would damage your clipper blades beyond recovery.
For the most part, this method follows the same steps as our Method 1 above, the only difference is in Step 3 where you sharpen the blades. To help you in this regard, we’ve introduced an indicator that’ll tell you when to stop with the grinding.
Use a permanent marker to draw a line on each side of your blade. Make sure to draw on the edge where all the grinding action will take place. Once settled, rub your blades on the sandpaper in the same motion as you would on a sharpening stone. Keep grinding until the marker line completely disappears, which takes about 15 passes on each side.
If you can delicately pass the grinding keeping a keen observation on the drawn lines, you’ll end up with a sharp set of clipper blades ready for action. Don’t forget to follow the fourth and fifth step after the grinding!
Signs You Need To Sharpen Your Clipper Blades
In this section, we’ll briefly tell you how you’ll know that it’s time for you to sharpen your clipper blades without any delay.
There are mainly two major signs in this regard, one of which is pulling or tugging. When you’re in the trimming or shaving process, you’ll feel a certain level of discomfort in the shape of pulling your hair and finding it uncut.
Another big indicator is that your shaver will leave behind a track line after each pass.
If either of these occur, you’ll know your blade is dull and it needs some sharpening or changing.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you have a thorough understanding on how to sharpen clipper blades. Although we have taught you two methods, these aren’t often enough since each blade is in their unique condition and general treatments won’t always work perfectly.
Our verdict is, if you are willing to spend, you should go for a replacement instead of sharpening your blades. This ensures safety & security with reassurance that your shaves are going to be convenient again unlike the sharpening process.