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How To Sharpen Hair Clippers

Are you wondering how to sharpen hair clippers but aren’t sure how to do it or whether you even need to?

Well, you’re not alone. It’s not something that comes up very often and many people may not have even heard of the idea of sharpening your hair clipper blades.

However, there are some benefits you gain when you sharpen hair clipper blades so we think it’s worth knowing how to do it and giving it a try.

Below we’ve created a step-by-step guide that details everything you need to do and consider before you sharpen clipper blades.

Let’s jump in!

Things You’ll Need To Sharpen Hair Clipper Blades

A Rag or Paper Towel – You can also use a microfiber cloth. It will come in handy when you need to dry or wipe debris off your blades.

Sharpening Stone – It should be a 3000 and 8000 grit combo for the best results.

Tooth Brush – In most cases, the toothbrush is often stiffer and way better than a clipper’s cleaning brush.

Screwdriver – You’ll use it to unscrew the blades off the clipper and back.

Marker – It will help you determine how much surface area has been removed off your blades.

How To Sharpen Hair Clippers: A Step By Step Guide

  1. Disassemble –  First, you need to carefully take the clippers apart with your screwdriver. There should be 2 blades to a set of clippers, so pull them both off and you may as well clean them while they’re out.
  2. Magnet (optional) – To make things easier and not have to worry about dropping your blade you can place the base of the blade in the slit of a magnetic holder, so the sharp edge of the blade extends past the magnet edge giving you much easier access.
  3. Remove debris – Use your toothbrush and cloth to wipe away any stray hairs or other debris that’s caught between the blades. Debris can cause your blades to dull over time so making sure everything is unclogged is important.
  4. Dry – Now wipe the blade with a clean piece of cloth or tissue. Sometimes, things like rust don’t come off at all. In which case, this is a sign that you need to change your blades. 
  5. Test your clippers (optional) – It may just be that your clipper blades were clogged up and removing the debris was enough to boost your hair clippers’ performance. You don’t have to do this step but if you’re not certain that you need to be sharpening your clipper blades then you can try this out and see if it helps.
  6. Marker – Marking the clipper blades helps you keep track of how much you’ve worn them down so you can determine whether you need to sharpen the blades. It also prevents you from over-sharpening them so mark the interior of the flat sides that rest on each other and you’ll be able to see if you have blunt blades with ease in the future.
  7. Sharpen – You’ll want to sharpen the flats of both the top and bottom blades. All you have to do is lay the blade flat on the stone and run the blades back and forth along with the stone with gentle pressure. You shouldn’t need any more than 10 passes along the stone to properly sharpen it. so long as you make sure the flats of the blades remain flat on the stone. It’s surprisingly easy!
  8. Oil – Once you’ve sharpened your blades you’ll want to give them a clean and oil them prior to reassembly. Just use some soapy water and then apply a small amount of oil.
  9. Reassemble – This part can be tricky so take your time. Ensure that the blades are lined up properly and don’t tighten the blades down all the way until you’re 100% sure that everything is in place.
  10. Test– Once that’s done you can oil the blades again if you wish but if not then just start up your hair clippers and hopefully, they give you a much closer shave than you were getting before.

Self-Sharpening Hair Clippers

Sharpening your hair clippers is necessary to maintain them and give you better performance. You may not think it’s important but you should sharpen clipper blades when you can.

Disassembling your hair clippers can be a tedious process as can going through the whole process to sharpen blades. In which case you may want to consider self-sharpening hair clippers.

Self-sharpening blades are one of the latest developments in hair clipper technology and it’s a very popular feature that once you have, you’ll never want to lose.

So how do they work?

Self-sharpening clipper blades contain a blade and a piece of metal that rub against each other during use which causes friction and keeps blades sharp.

This saves you a lot of time when it comes to hair clipper maintenance as you don’t have to get out your clipper oil, diamond sharpening stone, etc. all so you can have a clean shave.

Hair Clipper Maintenace Tips

Wireless Hair Clippers – Re-chargeable hair clippers with no wires are the safest to use and require less maintenance as the machine is in a totally sealed unit, meaning no hair and dust can get in and cause damage.

Removing Hair Clipper Blades – It’s best to remove the blades after clipping, simply brush them off with a toothbrush or cloth and put in them a protective box. If there is any damage to the teeth of the cutting blade then it’s best to just replace the blade or hair clippers.

Hair Clipper Oil – You can oil hair clipper blades before or after shaving. Before you start clipping, run clipper blade oil along with the teeth and either side and in any oil holes. Then wipe off any excess with a soft cloth. You should always use proper hair clipper oil in preference to the aerosol spray.

Wires – If you’re using an electric hair clipper then ensure that the cable is in good condition with no obvious breaks or wires exposed. 

Plug – You should also check that the plug isn’t damaged and always ensure you have a circuit breaker attached.  

Storage – Before you put away your hair clippers you can lightly oil them before storing them if you don’t plan on using them for some time. Make sure not to wash your cutting blade with water though, as this will cause rust to develop.

Spare Blades – It may also be worth keeping a set of spare blades in case your current hair clipper blades go blunt. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Are ceramic clipper blades better?

The pros to ceramic blades are that they’re incredibly sharp, heat resistant, and don’t erode or rust. however, the drawback with ceramic blades is that they work with only a handful of clippers, tend to be more expensive, and are less durable than steel blades. Plus, if you drop one then you’re almost certainly going to need to replace it.

How do I use hair clippers?

If you want some help with getting the most from your hair clippers then check out our article on how to cut hair with clippers.

How do I choose a hair clipper?

To pick the perfect clippers, think carefully about the styles you want to create now and in the future. To cut and style different hair lengths, most products come with a choice of combs, guards, and other attachments, but the variety varies with every model. One thing worth considering is a self-sharpening hair clipper. You won’t have to worry about upkeep with these as they’re built to sharpen as you go.

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