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How To Sharpen Clipper Blades Like A Pro (In 10 Minutes)

Shaving head using clippers

It's not everyone who thinks it possible to learn how to sharpen clipper blades.


What if I told you that you don't have to be a pro barber to sharpen your own clipper blades? As a matter of fact, if you own a clipper, you should know how to sharpen its blades yourself.

It took me no more than courage to do it myself with zero expertise.

I'll show you how to do just that in no more than 10 minutes.

It's that simple.

How To Sharpen Hair Clippers At Home

There are two ways to sharpen clipper blades: with or without a sharpening stone.

At most barbershops, they'd carry out the process with a sharpening stone - usually an old one in my experience. Not that it matters.

But there are so many routes to sharpen your clippers without a stone. You can use a wire brush, aluminum foil, or you could even learn how to sharpen clipper blades with sandpaper. 

Tools You'd Need to Sharpen Your Clipper Blades

  • Screwdriver - one the size of the screws on the clipper blade
  • A stiff toothbrush 
  • Sharpening stone with a fine 3000 to 8000 grit for best results
  • Sandpaper 
  • Clipper lubricant/ oil
  • A marker  
  • Cotton cloth or rag

Clipper Blade Sharpening In Under 10 Minutes

1st Minute: Unscrew the Clipper Blades 

It takes less than a minute to unscrew the blades from the clipper head. Find the two screws at the back of the blade and loosen them.

Some clipper models may have detachable blades. Whichever way, take the blades off the trimmer as specified in the owner's manual.

Now, you should see two blades after dismantling - the big one with screw holes and a small one underneath.

What's next? 

2nd To 3rd Minute: Clean The Blades 

two blades on a tableI know this isn't a tutorial on how to clean clipper blades. But it's the best way to maintain top-notch performance for your clipper. Do this regularly, even if you aren't sharpening.

After dismantling the blades, wipe hair and oil debris off the two with a toothbrush to your satisfaction. I brush down the blades for 30 seconds to about a minute.

It makes washing, which you'd do next, less messy. It can be irritating to have lumpy hair in your washing bowl. For me, at least.

Brush down the blades again but in soapy water or alcohol solution this time.

Dirty Clipper Or Dull Clipper?

Many times when the best clippers for black men show signs of being dull, it might just need some cleaning.

That's why you should dry and test the clipper after you've washed the blades.

If the blades still cut miserably, then you must prepare them for sharpening.

4th Minute: Prepare The Blades For Sharpening

Now, you're sure your clipper blades need to be sharpened. We're about to get down to the business of the day.

So we'll prepare the blades for what's to come. Because while sharpening the blades on a whetstone or sandpaper, it's easy to get carried away.

But you can create a safety net when you highlight the interior of the blades with a marker. As soon as its paint disappears, you know your job is done.

Before you start the process, lubricate the sharpening stone with water or oil. However, if you own a clipper with ceramic blades, be sure what you have is a diamond sharpening stone. 

Whetstone Requirements For Sharpening Clippers Blades 

  • 3000/8000 grit 
  • Diamond sharpening stone for ceramic clippers

black and gray slab of whetstone6th Minute: Sharpen The Blades

Now, you have everything set. It's time to sharpen the blades.

For A Sharpening Stone (Whetstone) User

Place the whetstone on a flat surface with the 3000 grit side facing up.

Lubricate the stone with a dash of water or clipper oil over the area you want to work.

Press the blade flat on the whetstone, then glide it back and forth over the length of the stone.

You can use a fast motion or make long scenic strides over the stone.

When you think you've done a good job, switch over to the 8000 grit side of the whetstone and repeat the process. 

For A Sandpaper User

Place the sandpaper on a flat surface.

Spray the sandpaper with some oil or water for fluid motion.

Scrub the interior of the blades over the sandpaper.

Scrub on for about 30 seconds and start over with a new piece of sandpaper. Repeat this three to four times to give it a lustrous shine.

Pile of sandpaper sheetsBesides, you should see a similar result once you rub off the highlighted part of the blade. Remember to tick the inner part of the blade with a marker.


10th Minute: Add Final Touches 

Clean the debris off the blade with a dry rag after sharpening.

Now, compile the blades on the clipper head and screw them tightly.

Once you're done, add oil to the middle and corner of each blade's teeth.

Turn the clipper on and let it run for about two minutes. Oiling is a necessary supplement for the moving parts to run smoothly, more importantly, to stay sharp.

Your clipper should be edged well enough for a good haircut. If it's not, you should start all over.

Finally, clean all the tools you used and store them in a dry place. Maybe have a grooming kit bag. Missing just one tool can really hurt when you need to sharpen the blades again. 

Clipper Blade Sharpening FAQs

What Is The Best Way To Sharpen Clipper Blades?

The best way to sharpen clipper blades is with an appropriate whetstone. It sharpens the blade with ease and professionalism unseen in other methods.

Also, the stone can last almost a decade or more if you're only sharpening clippers blades.

How Often Should Clipper Blades Be Sharpened?

Your answer is closely related to how often you use your clippers. If you only shave or cut with it once in a few weeks, then the blades can be sharpened once in 3-6 months. However, a public clipper or dog grooming clipper would need to have its blades sharpened, preferably monthly.  

How Do You Sharpen Clipper Blades At Home?

You can sharpen your clipper blades with these simple steps: 

  • Detach blades clipper
  • Clean blades
  • Run the blades over a fine sharpening stone or sandpaper
  • How do you Sharpen Clipper Blades with a Sharpening Stone?

How Much Does It Cost To Get Clipper Blades Sharpened?

A clipper sharpening service costs less than $10. It costs you nothing if you DIY the process with instruments you already have at home. A sharpening stone ranges from $30 to $30 and would last almost a lifetime. You can use the stone to sharpen your knives. 

Wrapping Up

Learning how to sharpen hair clippers is as easy as making tea.

It's a process. If you follow it judiciously, it becomes a habit as soon as your second sharpening session.

Remember to highlight the interior part of the blades you're sharpening with a marker. It lets you know when you're done.

Hopefully, your clipper works faster and gives edgy shape-ups now.

Were you able to sharpen the blades in under 10 minutes? Don't rush it, if not.

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