Hair clippers can be an excellent tool for maintaining your facial hair. The simplicity and efficiency of shaving with clippers is part of their appeal, especially when you want to have a stylish beard-mustache combo, stay clean-shaven throughout your day, or take care of your hair. However, even the most advanced of clippers won’t remain in good shape without taking care of them.
Dull clipper blades mean that shaving isn’t as effective as before, and you can spend more time on your routine. Thankfully, many new clippers have auto-sharpening functions, which keep them in top shape with little effort on your part. However, if you want to keep your clippers in the best possible condition, sharpening them on your own is essential.
If you want to get the best out of your clipper blades, read on! We have you covered with the best tips and strategies for how to sharpen clipper blades.
Before You Sharpen Your Clipper Blades
Consider the following steps before you sharpen your blades.
Clean Your Blades
While we’re going to get into sharpening our blades, you must clean any build-up first. Sometimes, edges can be dull simply because they’ve had debris built up, and they may not need sharpening at all! Even if you know sharpening is necessary, clean away any hair and such first so that they don’t hinder getting your blades in top shape!
Detach the Blades
The first step is to take the blades off your clipper. Make sure your clipper is off and unplugged, and then take out the screws that connect the edges. Usually, you’ll find two connecting points for a clipper blade. If you’re not familiar with the build of your clippers, you can take pictures of them during the process to see how they connect or check your instruction manual.
If you’re having trouble taking the blades out from your clipper, tweezers can make the process simpler
Brush Off the Blades
With your blades safely detached from the clipper, it’s time to brush off any debris and hair. You can use a toothbrush, a wire brush, or steel wool to clear away any mess effectively.
Use Blade Wash for Rust and Stubborn Debris
While rust can be a sign that it’s time to trade out your old clipper blades for new ones, blade wash can help you clean it away. You can either soak them in a small bowl for several minutes. For more substantial build-up, dip a cotton ball in the wash, and use it to scrub at problem areas.
Let Your Blades Dry
Once done with cleaning off your blades, it’s critical to let them dry off entirely using a towel. If you still see rust, you can repeat the above step.
With your blades clean, you can move onto the sharpening steps. If you want, you can test out your blades in between to help determine if you still need sharpening or if cleaning is enough.
You can tell you need sharpening if your blades are snagging hairs, not cutting effectively as before, or they still feel dull.
Sharpening Your Blades
Now that your blades are clean, here’s what you need to do to sharpen your blades.
Get a Honing Stone
If you don’t already have a honing stone for your blades, you’ll want to purchase one. Luckily, these are easy enough to find online.
Important Tip! Metal and ceramic blades need different types of honing stones. Using the incorrect one can damage your clippers, so make sure you stay alert when buying one.
Use the Honing Stone
With your correct honing stone at the ready, you want to run one side of the blade along the surface. The best angle is around thirty to forty-five degrees, and you want only to move the blades forward. Going any other direction will not best sharpen the blades for use in your clipper.
On average, you want to repeat this sharpening motion from five to ten times until the blades are even and shiny. Use a dry towel to wipe away the ground-off shavings. You can then repeat the process on the other side of the edge.
If you’re having trouble with holding onto your blades, you can use a magnetic blade holder or a flat magnet for metallic clippers. If you try to use a regular magnet, be careful while using it, so the blade doesn’t fall off and cut you.
Use a Fine Honing Stone
While using a honing stone can do plenty to sharpen your blades, a fine whetstone can further refine the clippers. Aside from switching out your sharpening surface, repeat the steps from the above process, making sure to clean between sides.
After You Sharpen Your Blades
Now that your blades are sharp, follow these steps.
Reattach Blades to Clippers
With your blades cleaned and sharpened, you can now reattach them to your clippers. Take care to put them back in the same way they were on initially. Be sure to put the screws on tightly, so your blades stay secure while using the clippers.
Apply Hair Clipper Oil
To help keep your blades in their best condition, apply some hair clipper oil to them. This product is excellent for helping keep down levels of friction and overheating.
Like with picking out a honing stone, be sure to confirm your oil is safe to use with your clippers so that you don’t clog up your blades.
With everything else in place, let your clippers run for a few minutes without using them. Most blades will sharpen further through this process, as many self-sharpening clippers will be at work. The next time you settle down to use your clippers, you should notice the difference!
How Often Should I Sharpen My Clipper Blades?
Guys can have plenty of different uses for hair clippers, so that means we tend to use them at different frequencies. Because of that, there’s no one best answer for how often we should sharpen the blades. However, if you’re looking for an easy rule of thumb, you should at least grind them every six months.
Naturally, clippers that go through a lot more regular use will need more frequent sharpening to stay in top shape. Pay attention to how your blades feel when you first use them. When their performance noticeably starts to drop, that’s a good sign it’s time for a sharpening.
At what point Should I Replace My Blades Instead of Sharpening Them?
Different brands of clippers and blades can have varying average lengths of use. Sharpening your clippers can increase their lifespan dramatically, too. However, whenever you start to have broken parts, like clipper teeth that have come off, that’s a sign that replacement is best.
Other Tips for Maintaining Your Clipper Blades
Here are some “pro” tips to remember when caring for your blades.
Keep Your Blades Clean
Regular blade maintenance is the key to having the best performance from your clippers. Cleaning after each use will help keep debris from wearing down your blades prematurely.
Store Your Blades in a Dry Place When Not in Use
Leaving water on your clipper blades will increase the chance of rusting, so you want to dry them off between uses. However, even if you do this, storing the clippers in the bathroom can expose them to moisture that can also cause damage. The best solution to this potential issue is to store your clippers outside the bathroom and away from steam.
Use the Included Blade Guard
Most clippers come with a blade guard, and you should use it. This protection will help prevent other debris from getting to your clippers. It can also prevent them from chipping or losing a blade tooth due to damage. Blade guards are also extra helpful when it comes to protecting your clippers while traveling.
Use Blade Oil Regularly
As mentioned above, blade oil is helpful because it reduces friction while your clippers are in use. You want to use some on your blades regularly. The best frequency will depend on your shaving habits, but using the recommended amount of oil on your clippers at least every use will maintain your clippers in the long run.
Benefits of Sharpening Your Clipper Blades
Whenever your clippers start to get dull, they won’t trim and shave as efficiently, which can be super frustrating to go through. Sharpening them will help maintain their performance over time and will reduce your replacement blade costs. Handling the process yourself also saves money as opposed to having someone else take care of it!
How Do Self-Sharpening Clipper Blades Work?
Lots of electric hair clippers come with self-sharpening features, which have an extra level of convenience. How they work is by making use of the motion of the blades when you use the clippers for trimming or shaving.
As you run the clippers, the blades rub against the sharpening metal, helping keep them sharper than they would be otherwise. However, something essential to note is that, even with these types of clippers, the blades will still start to dull over time. In this situation, knowing how to sharpen your hair clipper blades as we’ve covered is especially helpful!
Now you should have all the info and tips you need to keep your hair clippers in top shape