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You have always gone to your barber’s and had your haircut. Then recently, you discovered the joys of learning how to cut your own hair and bought a clipper. But after using it a couple of times, it is no longer working as well as it used to. You may have gone back to your retailer before you realized that you had neglected something important – maintaining your hair clipper. If you see yourself in this kind of situation, this is for you.
Why Do I Need To Sharpen My Clipper Blades?
If the only issue is a reduced performance, you can go ahead and manage it. But dull blades mean your clippers won’t cut your hair that well. The reason is that the blades will start to snag on your hairs and so result in an irregular cutting. You will end up will something similar to a bird’s nest after wasting precious time.
What Are The Things I Need?
To do a good job of sharpening your clipper blades, you should have the following on hand:
- A screwdriver (look for the right size that will unscrew your clipper blades)
- A toothbrush
- A sharpening stone
- Hair clipper oil
- A hair clipper cleaning product
- A small bowl
- A cotton ball
- Soft cloth
- Tweezers (optional)
- A magnet (optional)
Okay, I Already Have Them. What Should I Do?
- Hold the blades of the clippers and unscrew them using your screwdriver. Most clippers have two blades with the screws at the base of these blades. Carefully detach the blades but if you find it difficult to do (most likely due to rust), use a pair of tweezers to pull it off. It is important that you note how everything is arranged so that you don’t have problems by the time you need to reassemble the clipper.
- Use the toothbrush to clean the blades. It will remove all the hair stuck to the blades.
- If there is any spot of rust on the blade(s), drop in the cleaning product of choice. Use the instructions at the back of the product as a guide for how long it should stay. You may need to dip a cotton ball in the cleaning solution to scrub off any stubborn spot. Use a clean towel the blades until completely dry. If there are no rust spots, skip this step and move on to the next.
- If your hair clippers are the self-sharpening type, cleaning might be the only thing it needed. To test this, you may decide to reassemble it at this point and turn it on so the blades can work. Try them out and if they are still dull, move on to the next step.
- Now is the time to sharpen the blades. Hold the blade in your hand. Make sure your hand is steady. If you can’t hold it steadily, put the base of the blade in the slit of the magnet. The sharp edge of the blade should extend beyond the edge of the magnet.
- Use either a sharpening or honing stone to sharpen the blades. The grade to which you sharpen the blades should be based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Run the blades across the face of the stone at an angle of between 30 to 40 degrees. Do this between 6-12 times. Dust off the ground-off metal powder with a soft cloth. Check for sharpness then turn to the other side and do the same. Note that for a ceramic blade, diamond sharpening stones should be used. Ceramic blades do not need sharpening as the metal ones do. Since they are brittle, you should handle them with care so they don’t break especially when used on thick hair or tightened too much.
Replace the blades and put the clippers back together. Make sure that the blades are in the same direction they were facing before you dissembled them but do this with care. The blades are once more very sharp and you may injure yourself if you are not cautious. Oil the blades to reduce friction and prevent overheating once you start using the clippers again. Do not use dark, heavy oils. Such oils will clog the blades. Turn the clippers on for a minute or two to let the blades rub against each other. After confirming that everything is in place, go ahead and use your sharper and once-again-efficient clippers.
What Else Can I Use Apart From A Sharpening Stone?
Using sharpening stones or honing stones is the most common and accessible way of sharpening clipper blades. There are, however, other means such as:
- Using a grinding wheel
- Using a lapping wheel
Sharpening Your Clipper Blades With A Grinding Wheel
A grinding wheel is made of aluminum. It has pits and ridges that could be between 12 and 25 inches in diameter. An abrasive, which could be a wet or dry diamond solution or a paste made of a mixture of graded sand and fat, is held in the pits and ridges.
The clipper blade is run forward and backward on the radius of the grinding wheel. The coarseness of the cut depends on the size of the sand particles in the paste. This also determines how quickly the blades are sharpened.
Using A Lapping Wheel To Sharpen Your Clippers
A lapping wheel is made of cast iron. Compared to the grinding wheel, it rotates slowly but this makes the finish on the blade to be smoother. The blades are kept inside a jig on the rotating ring. For some designs, you may have a holding arm or lose weight to hold the blades to be sharpened.
So that is it, all you need to know about sharpening your clipper blades. If you use your clippers to clip your pet(s), it will water out faster than when it is strictly for human use.
If you have any useful tip for keeping hair clipper blades sharper for longer, do not hesitate to put it in the comments section.