How To Sharpen Hair Clipper Blades

In general, most hair clippers are designed so that the blades are self sharpening. They hone one another as they run back and forth across each other, maintaining a sharp cutting surface. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect on the part of users can cause blockages to slip in and prevent this from happening as it is supposed to. Then it becomes necessary to know how to sharpen hair clipper blades in order to avoid replacing the appliance completely.

Oster clipper blade.

The outer blade is the one that is normally stationary. This blade is attached to the clipper body by two screws. In order to sharpen the blades, one must remove these screws and take this blade off completely.

The next step is to clean both blades thoroughly to remove any hair that may have become trapped between them and to remove rust. Usually, a toothbrush and/or a small piece of steel wool are sufficient for this purpose. Anything more abrasive or coarser can damage the cutting surfaces and cause gaps that will make sharpening impossible.

One should apply a generous amount of machine oil to the metal. Reattach the outer blade. Turn the clipper on and allow it to run for not less than 5 minutes. It will be necessary to adjust the power of the unit and the spacing between the blades to assure the proper honing action takes place. This will sharpen the blades.

In order to avoid problems of this nature in the future, one should make sure to maintain the unit properly. This means using a brush to remove all hair after use and applying oil to prevent rust and help the blades to slide against each other effectively. It is trapped hair and rust formed from a lack of oil that normally causes clippers to dull and begin pulling hair instead of cutting.

With proper care and maintenance, one might never have to worry about knowing how to sharpen hair clipper blades. However, if the need arises, following the above instructions will restore the cutting surface to its original factory sharpened condition. Maintaining the unit will help to keep one from having to sharpen them again in the future. Failure to do so can result in repeatedly having to work on the cutting surfaces and unnecessary wear that can cause them to wear out much faster than they would under normal operating conditions. This can lead to having to replace the unit much sooner than its designed life expectancy under normal use.



  • Hi, i really hope this works. I’m from South Africa and i find it impossible to find blades around here or even someone to sharpen them. Have tried other clippers but …. they are useless. Nothing beats a wahl!!

  • I have been the distributor of Oster blades etc in Sa for more than 25 years.
    There are no self sharpening blades in existance.
    You need to send them to a service centre who has the factory supplied wheels to have your blades sharpened.
    The cost is R 36.00 and it is a job best left to the professionals as the blades can be damaged if you do not have the proper eqpt.
    Oster blades do not rust unless they are left in a solvent for months.

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