And so you’ve probably done the research, got your clippers, even started using them and learned a haircut style or two. But your trusty new best friend the hair clipper is starting to lag, and no matter how much you shake it, it seems to be performing less well than it had.
The epiphany strikes, you need to maintain your clipper from time to time.
Of course many models now, especially home grooming models are offered with self-sharpening, or auto sharpening blades. In this case your blades should go on for a little while before you need to worry about sharpening your hair clipper blades. If not though, this is important.
If You Don’t…
When your blades get a little blunt they begin to snag on your hairs, start cutting irregularly, and are generally slower and more laggy than usual.
This might be the first time you’ve needed to sharpen your blade, and the chances are you’ve already noticed that your clippers just aren’t cutting your hair properly anymore. Leaving some parts uncut, tugging at others, and taking forever to cut.
Fear not though, it’s certainly far more simple to sharpen your blade than it is to cut your hair, so you’ve totally got this!
Tools You’ll Need
- Small brush / toothbrush
- Cleaning product for hair clippers
- Sharpening Stone
- Magnet (not essential)
Step by Step
- Step one is hardly a step at all, simply find the appropriate screwdriver for your clipper blades, and unscrew the screws holding the blades, there are usually only two.
- Give your blades a clean – take a small brush and gently remove the hair and debris from the blades.
- If your blades are rust free, move on to step 4. Step three is bathing your blades in cleaning solution to remove any rust, check the cleaning instructions for time, and wipe clean after.
- Now you’re ready to sharpen. You have two options, either hold the blade steadily in your hand, or use a magnet to hold it for you.
- A sharpening stone, honing stone or waterstone is what you’ll use to sharpen your blade. The grain is coarse to varying degrees, check your blade manufacturer for recommended grade, 4-6000 is usually recommended.
Take the blades and run them forward facing across the stone, repeat 6 to a dozen time until the blade looks and feels sharper, repeat for each side of each blade that you’re sharpening.
With that you’re pretty much finished!
You just need to reassemble and oil your clippers before turning them on for one or two minutes to finish the job. Your hair clipper blades are now ready to be used without snagging or pulling on hairs, and producing even consistent cutting once more.
What if I Don’t Want to?
Well… there are a few alternatives if you’re really averse to sharpening your clipper blades. As we mentioned you can find plenty of options with self-sharpening blades that don’t require sharpening.
You can also take your blades to high street craftsman like cobblers (shoe repair guys), who can often sharpen your blades for you. There are also services specifically for sharpening blades that you can use, or you can mail your blades to the manufacturer for sharpening, for a small fee.
All this said if you’re planning on using hair clippers to self-style your hair in the long-term it really isn’t worth the hassle of avoiding learning how to sharpen hair clipper blades, it’s easy and requires hardly any time at all. We really recommend saving money from commercial sharpening by buying your own sharpening stone and sliding your blade down it 12 times every couple of months, really.