In this age, everybody likes to keep themselves groomed and looking good. Thus, for men, electric razors have become a necessity that help them with facial hair grooming.
It is quite an investment to buy a good electric razor and to maintain it to keep it running smoothly. Electric razors are actually very feasible as they last for quite some time if they are properly taken care of and you can use them whenever you need and wherever you want.
However, the blades of the razor can get dull over the course of time with constant use. No amount of caretaking and cleaning the blades can stop this from happening because they have a certain lifespan.
When blades get dull, this can affect the performance of the clippers and the blades will not be able to cut the hair. Instead, it may result in a painful shaving session.
When you are met with such an unfortunate event, instead of panicking, either replace the blades or try sharpening them up. Sharpening the blades will definitely pull your razor back to its optimal performance. However, you would need to properly follow the instructions and steps required to sharpen them.
When Should You Sharpen the Clipper Blades?
When it comes to sharpening, some clippers come with self-sharpening blades that do not require much attention. However, those that do not have self-sharpening blades require attention when they go blunt.
When your clipper is cutting hair unevenly and pulls and tugs at your hair while shaving and you have to make a couple more strokes than usual, that is high time to sharpen your clippers’ blades.
You also need to make a decision whether to sharpen the blades or replace them depending on the condition of your razor. If most components of the razor have been eaten by rust and dust, you should consider replacing the whole razor altogether. However, if your razor is in top-notch condition and it is only the blades that need a little bit of work, opt for just sharpening them up.
How to Sharpen the Clipper’s Blades
You need the following equipment to sharpen the blades:
- A bench or honing stone
- Cleaning brush
- Cleaning solution or isopropyl alcohol
- Soft cloth or rag
- Clipper oil
- Baby oil
The first step is to remove the blades from the clipper using a screwdriver. There are usually two screws that will need to be removed completely in order to access the blades. Blades sometimes do not come off easily, so you may need a pair of tweezers to detach them from the base.
Once the blades are off, you need to clean out any dirt or debris left behind using the cleaning brush. Removing the dirt and debris can accelerate the process of sharpening the blades and make it easier and less messy. You can use a toothbrush as well to clean the dirt.
Now, take a look at the blades. Some blades may have a buildup of rust. You will need to clean the rust to bring the blades back to their optimal condition. In order to remove the rust, you will need a cleaning solution or isopropyl alcohol toned down with water. Then, wipe the blades dry with a rag or soft cloth.
Test the blades again to find out whether they need a mere cleaning or sharpening up. If you feel like your blades need only cleaning, assemble the clipper and try it out. If it works, good for you, but if it does not, go ahead and disassemble the clipper again before you follow the remaining steps.
Step 5: Part A
You need to have a sharpening stone in order to sharpen the blades. Before we can get to using them, you should know about the three tools available for this purpose:
Using a Grinding Wheel
A grinding wheel is usually made of aluminum with ridges and pits that range from 12 inches to 25 inches in diameter. The pits and ridges of the wheel carry an abrasive, which could be a wet or dry diamond solution or a paste made up of fat and graded sand.
The abrasive is applied to the wheel, and the blades are run back and forth on the wheel along its radius. The coarseness of the cut is determined by the size of the particles in sand. Its finish is rough as compared to that of an oil stone or a lapping wheel.
Using a Lapping Wheel
A lapping wheel is very smooth and made of cast iron. It has grooves along its radius that help drain any carrier or abrasive. When compared to the grinding wheel, a lapping wheel rotates slower and the finish it gives is smoother. The rotating ring has a jig, though some designs have a loose weight or holding arm, which is responsible for holding the blades during the sharpening process.
Blades go through double rotation when they are being held during the process, which ensures better sharpening. While the wheel is rotating, an abrasive solution is added that aids in sharpening and polishing the blades, depending on the grade of the lapping wheel.
Using an Oil Stone
Oil stones have been used for centuries to sharpen blades. The top surface of an oil stone is flat, and its level of grade may vary. Nowadays, these stones are very effective as new improvements have been made to them. They come in steel, plastic and resin plate with a diamond grit coating. They can even be diamond plated.
The coarse or smooth finish depends on the grade of the grit and its size. The finish of an oil stone is better and smoother than a grinding wheel.
Step 5: Part B
After cleaning and drying the blades, get an oil stone or grinding or lapping wheel. An oil stone is usually preferred as it is better than grinding or lapping wheels. Just run the blades several times along the stone. Keep sharpening them until you get the desired result.
After one side of the blade is smooth and shiny, flip it over and repeat the same process on the other side. Pay close attention to this process as you do not want to over-sharpen your blades.
Make use of the manual that comes with your clipper. It tells you precisely how to sharpen the blades. If you feel like the blades are not sharp enough, you can go back and repeat the process until you get the desired results.
After you have cleaned and sharpen the blades, now is the time to oil the important components. For lubrication purposes, you will need to put a few drops of any clipper oil or lubrication spray onto the functional parts of the clipper.
Now, reassemble the clipper, tighten the screws and test out the lubrication and blades to make sure everything is working properly.
You can also use a toothpaste to sharpen your electric razor’s blades. You will need a brush, baby oil, toothpaste and some water. Keep in mind to use a normal toothpaste, not the medicated or whitening ones.
- Clean the blades with a brush to remove any strand of hair that was left behind or was stuck.
- Apply the toothpaste to the razor screen and blades. Cover every part that needs to be sharpened with the toothpaste.
- Now, remove the blades from the razor, rinse them with water, pat them dry with a cloth and apply some baby oil for lubrication. Then, reassemble the razor and test it to make sure it is working properly.
Tips to Maintain Your Blades
- After using the razor, try to put hair clipper oil on blades to prolong its functioning capacity.
- Keep the blades clean to avoid any sort of debris or dirt buildup, which is the main culprit that affects their functionality. Hence, do not forget to clean them on a daily basis.
- Try to keep your clipper away from any sort of moisture and humidity.
- After using the washing solution on blades, remember to dry them completely.
Blades are effective tools and very easy to take care of. Well-kept blades will last for a longer period, saving you both money and time. You will not need to spend any more money on buying clippers once you learn to clean, oil and sharpen the blades yourself.
Among the tools, you only need to spend money on an oil stone and clipper oil. These tools are usually a one-time investment and will help you take proper care of your electric razors. You can sharpen anything on the stones like knives instead of just your clippers’ blades.
All in all, keeping your blades honed will ultimately prove to be a great aid in your personal grooming. You will not have to worry about going out and spending money on an extra set of clippers when you run out of them. Just get the honing stone and sharpen the blades.