How to Sharpen Clipper Blades

By Matt Smolsky , last updated June 24, 2011

Sharpening clipper blades is an easy task for all skill levels. All you need is a screwdriver and a fine-grain sharpening stone (sometimes called a whetstone or water stone). Here's how to sharpen clipper blades.

First, brush off any loose hair. Then, look for two small screws on the underside of the clipper, near the blades themselves. Remove these screws and take the cutting head apart, remembering the order in which you disassembled the cutting head. You'll see the actual blades, the cutting guide and perhaps a guide that keeps the blades in contact with the cutting guide. Some models have this and some don't.

Clean Thoroughly

Clean all the loose parts thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol. Soak them for just a few minutes, then rub them with a soft cloth and clean off any dirt, corrosion, old oil and other debris. Check between the blades. You want your blades very clean before starting the actual sharpening process.


This simple cleaning process may improve the performance of your blades. You might not need to actually sharpen them. If you do, simply take the blades and cutting guide, one at a time, and gently rub the blade across the whetstone. Go in a back and forth and circular motion. Be sure to hold the blades and cutting guide at the proper angle. You'll be able to tell by sight and by the feel of the blades as you rub them across the whetstone.

Once you have the blades and cutting guide sharpened, wipe them down with isopropyl alcohol. Then, realign the blades, cutting guide and guide, and replace the screws. Be sure the blades and cutting guide are aligned correctly. Oil with light grade oil and you're ready to cut again.

If your clippers don’t cut as well as you want them to, then you likely need a new set of blades or a new clipper.

Resources and References
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