How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper?

In this post, we cover everything you need to know about sharpening clipper blades with sandpaper: how often you should do that, what you'll need, and which grit to use, as well as the process itself.
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Last updatedLast updated: November 29, 2022
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In this post, we will consider how to sharpen hair clipper Trusted Source Hair clipper - Wikipedia A hair clipper (often individually known by the apparent plural hair clippers in a similar way to scissors) is a specialised implement used to cut human head hair. They work on the same principle as scissors, but are distinct from scissors themselves and razors. Similar but heavier-duty implements are used to shear sheep, but are called handpieces or machine shears. blades with sandpaper. A hair clipper is an appliance that every man should own. It helps to keep your hair in check, ensuring that you look great at all times without having to head over to the barbers. Having a hair clipper and learning how to use it correctly can also save you plenty of money in the future as you might not have to visit the barbershop as frequently as before.

However, with this power comes the responsibility of maintenance. You need the blades to remain sharp. While there are different sharpening methods, sharpening the hair clipper blades with sandpaper comes with unique advantages. All the advantages and tips are discussed in this article.

Read on to find out more!!!

How do you know it’s time to sharpen hair clipper blades?

How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper?

Regardless of the method you use to sharpen your clipper blades, you need to know when to sharpen the blades.

How do you know when the time is right? While this is a pretty straightforward question, it is actually a bit more complicated. Your blades will need to be sharpened when you notice that they start to tug or pull at your hair.

Many people mistake a dirty clipper with a blunt clipper and vice versa. So, if the clipper’s blades pull on the hair instead of trimming or cutting it, it is either dirty or blunt.

However, if the clipper simply doesn’t cut your hair, or fails to start, then you should check the plug and outlet before tossing the clipper or looking to repair it.

If your clipper blades are blunt, that isn’t enough reason to throw it away. You could actually sharpen it yourself. You can use different things, but we have discovered that using sandpaper is the most effective way of making the blades cut once again.

How often should you do that?

How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper?

Now that we know that your blades need to be sharpened, should you sharpen them often? How often should the blades be sharpened?

Well, the answer to that is dependent on several factors.

The frequency of sharpening depends on the following factors:
  • The type of hair you are cutting
  • How frequently you use the clipper
  • The maintenance level of the clippers and blades
  • Frequency of oiling the blades
  • How you use the clipper blades.

In summary, you should sharpen the blades as often as is required to keep the blades cutting smoothly. This will ensure that the blades don’t pull on your hair. A dull clipper is no fun and will make you work harder than it needs to be. With sharp blades, you will cut faster and smoother.

If you are a professional barber, your blades must be sharp all the time.

What you will need

For sharpening the blades of the clipper, you will need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Oil for lubrication

For cleaning the blades, you will require:

  • Toothbrush
  • Screwdriver
  • White vinegar
  • Bowl
  • Lukewarm water
  • Clean rag or towel

Consider the sandpaper grit

Since there are so many grits of sandpaper available on the market, you might be wondering the best grit that will help to sharpen the blades of your clipper.

You must get the right grit or coarseness because the wrong grit can damage the clipper’s blades.

When considering the grit of sandpaper, keep in mind that the higher the sandpaper’s grit grade, the gentler the sandpaper would be. LANHU produces some very versatile sandpaper products that can be used for sharpening clipper blades and even furniture.

When using sandpaper, we recommend that you use only fine or extra-fine grits. Coarse grits will remove more steel off the blades than is required. This also applies to using a whetstone for sharpening the blades.

Reviews show that the 3M Wet or Dry Sandpaper is an excellent option because of its fine grit and overall quality.

Clean the blades first

How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper?

Before you start sharpening the blades, it is highly recommended that you start by cleaning the blades.

Cleaning prepares the blades for the sharpening process. So, this section focuses on how you can successfully clean the blades of the clipper.

For the best cleaning, follow these steps:

  • If the clippers are plugged into electricity, first unplug them and disconnect the power cable.
  • Remove the attachments on the clipper
  • With a cleaning brush, remove hair and debris from the clipper
  • The next thing is to clear any bits of debris and hair with a spray.
  • After spraying, use a clean cloth to wipe down the blades.

You can also follow this other method to clean the clipper blades:

  • Using a screwdriver, remove the blades that are attached to the clipper
  • A toothbrush is your best friend here as it comes as a pretty handy tool for cleaning.
  • Use the brush to remove the dirt and debris on the blades and any that lie in the clipper.
  • To prevent rust, use white vinegar and lukewarm water to clean the blades
  • Scrub the blades gently
  • After washing in the bowl, use a dry, clean towel to dry the blades.
  • After thoroughly drying the blades and clippers, reattach the blades to the clipper.
  • Switch it on and test its sharpness and cleanness.
  • Always remember to lubricate the blades to improve their friction.
Cleaning your clipper is straightforward and is also very important. It keeps your clipper in the best condition and will prevent infection.

Sharpening the blades

Sharpening the blades of your clipper with sandpaper is easier than you might have imagined. It is a pretty quick and straightforward process, as long as you do it correctly. Before you begin sharpening, ensure that you have cleaned the clipper.

If you follow the instructions here, you should be done cleaning the blades in ten minutes or less.

Here are the steps to sharpening the blades with sandpaper.

Step 1 – Remove the blades

How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper?

The first step to sharpening the blades is to remove the blades. To do this, you will have to unbolt the clipper. The blades of the clipper have a pair of surfaces. This means that four surfaces work in tandem to trim or cut your hair.

Start by checking out these surfaces and get the sandpaper on a flat surface. While the blades might not be sharp enough to cut your hair smoothly, you should still be careful so that it does not cut you.

Step 2 – Sharpen the blades

How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper?

To do this:

  1. Place the blades on a flat surface.
  2. Hold the sandpaper straight and pass it forward and back over the blade.
  3. Repeat this movement up to ten times on each of the four surfaces of the blades. You can turn the blades to reach the other surfaces or just place the sandpaper under the blades.

While below the blades, pull the sandpaper forward and backward in the same way as you sharpened the other surfaces.

Step 3 – Change the sandpaper

You should have several pieces of sandpaper handy during the sharpening process. You cannot use a piece of sandpaper for all the blades of the clipper. One-piece will wear out and will fail to sharpen the blades correctly.

After changing the sandpaper, continue with the backward and forward movement on the blades. You can move either the blades on the sandpaper or vice versa. The goal is to create enough friction that will sharpen the blades.

Step 4 – Check the blades

If you have moved the sandpaper over the blades ten times, check to see the blades’ sharpness. When done correctly, the blade should have a smooth surface and texture.

If you sharpen the blades and still look dull, you will have to carry out the process again, increasing the pressure you apply on the blades and using new sandpaper. That should do the trick for you.

Step 5 – Clean the blades

Use a clean cloth to wipe away the steel that the sandpaper has cut. Afterward, screw the blades back on the clipper.

Lubricating the blades

How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper?

The blades of the clipper must remain lubricated. This will prevent rust and will ensure that the blades move smoothly. After applying oil, leave it on for some minutes to penetrate to the clipper parts that most require the oil.

Afterward, check out the sharpness of the clipper. It should be pretty sharp by now.

How to maintain the blades after sharpening

How to Sharpen Clipper Blades with Sandpaper?

Sharpening is just one of the ways to maintain your clipper. You need to maintain it in other ways. If not, your clippers would not last for a long time. Here are some important tips that can help.

Clean the blades. You need to clean the clipper blades often and after every use. If the clipper is dirty, it will become blunt early. Therefore, follow the cleaning instructions that we have provided earlier in this article.

Lubricate the blades. You must also keep the blades lubricated. This will reduce friction and reduce the rate of wear of the clipper. Don’t use water to lubricate the blades, as it can cause corrosion.

Store the clipper correctly. After washing and lubricating, ensure that your clippers are stored in a cool, dry spot.

Final thoughts

We have shown you how to sharpen hair clipper blades with sandpaper. We have also provided you with practical steps for cleaning your clipper. If you follow the recommendations and tips in this article, you can rest assured that your clipper will give you the best performance and will last for a pretty long time without serious problems.

Whether you use a budget clipper or a pretty expensive one, these tips come in very handy.


Hair clipper - Wikipedia
A hair clipper (often individually known by the apparent plural hair clippers in a similar way to scissors) is a specialised implement used to cut human head hair. They work on the same principle as scissors, but are distinct from scissors themselves and razors. Similar but heavier-duty implements are used to shear sheep, but are called handpieces or machine shears.
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