How To Sharpen Clipper Blades With Aluminum Foil (Revive Dull Blades)

You want to avoid blunt clippers.

In this case, weak poor-performing hair clipper blades. Sometimes blades need to be sharpened to perform at their best. 

However, we may not always have tools like grindstone or sandpaper to sharpen our blades. However, is aluminum foil the answer? Will it actually sharpen your clipper?

In this guide, you’ll learn the process of how to sharpen clipper blades with aluminum foil (and other ways to sharpen your clippers at home).

So let’s take a look. 

Does foil sharpen blades?

You can sharpen your clippers with aluminum foil, but it’s one of the least effective ways you can sharpen your clippers.

– It’s time-consuming(Foil easily rips in the process)
– It often doesn’t “sharpen” your blade
– The best you can do is buff your blade

Aluminum foil is a sheet that isn’t physically capable of sharpening a hard blade. Most clipper blades are made from hardened steel. 

In order for blades to be properly sharpened, the opposite object needs to provide enough friction to chip away the metal on the surface to reveal the sharper metal below. 

Aluminum foil simply cannot do that. Aluminum is made from

  1. 98.5% Aluminum
  2. 1.5 % Iron/silicone 

To put it simply, Aluminum foil is far too light, the alloy cannot give the resistance to properly sharpen a hair clipper blade.

This is why if you truly want to sharpen your hair clippers properly, you should use sandpaper or a whetstone.

I provide a detailed Guide on both below:

How To Sharpen hair clippers with sandpaper (Full Guide)

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So, if you still want to “sharpen” your clippers with aluminum foil, what are the benefits?

and what exactly is the process?

All of these questions are answered nest, let’s get into it.

How To Sharpen Clipper Blades With Aluminum Foil

Here is a quick guide on how you can “sharpen” but it’s more buffing out of your blade, foil won’t really sharpen your clippers.

How To Sharpen Clipper Blades With Aluminum Foil
A thick sheet of aluminum foil.
Remove blades
Unscrew both blades so you’re left with the top cutting blade and guard blade/ front cutting rail blade
Get Foil
Roll out some foil (a very generous amount).

Then fold the foil in half many times until you have a large, thick square which you can use to sharpen your clippers
Now, get one of your blades and place the flat side on the foil (be gentle, the foil is thin)

Now move the blade slowly in Figure 8 . Do this a minimum of 10 times.
Now turn the blade over and check if it’s ‘shinier’ this indicates it’s been sharpened.

Do this for both blades.
When done just put your blades back on your clippers and oil them.

This is only a quick outline of the process, later on, this article, will go more in-depth on buffing your blade with aluminum foil.

Benefits of Aluminum Foil 

However, Aluminum can benefit a hair clipper in other ways. 

While it may not be able to sharpen a hair clipper blade to the level of a grindstone or sandpaper, It can clean the surface of the blade. 

Aluminum foil can help to remove micro-hairs and grease on the front of a hair clipper blade. 

Doing this leaves your blade with a shinier, smoother, and cleaner blade surface. 

Also, when using aluminum foil on your clipper blades, you can find grooves and dents in your blade. 

Dents in a hair clipper are a sign your hair clipper blades are damaged and may be sharpened professionally as doing it at home cool makes the damage worse 

Using Aluminum foil to check for dents here’s how to check for dents in our blades

step 1:

Remove your blades from your clipper

Brush them down with a hard bristle brush and wipe them down with a cloth

step 2:

Fold some foil (fold a few times as a sheet by itself is too weak), then place the foil on a flat surface

Step 3:

Place your blade down on the sheet (the side where both blades touch) and pass the blade on the sheet 10-15 times.

Step 4:

Take your blade off the sheet and place to ‘sharpened’ side facing upwards

Step 5:

Now, using your index finger, run it across the teeth of your blade and look to feel any bumps and dents.

Step 6:

If you feel any big dents on your blade they are more than likely damaged and they need to be looked at professionally or be replaced.

You can leave the blades as they are if you are still satisfied with their performance. However, if you want clippers to perform at their best they will need professional attention or need to be replaced.

Eventually, damaged blades will decrease in performance and lose their value over time. 

Aluminum foil can help you to spot this sooner.  

How To Sharpen Clipper Blades With Aluminum Foil

Before sharpening your blades you want to make sure blades aren’t chipped damaged or rusted.

Rusted blade

If your blade has severe dirt or rust, foil simply won’t be enough to sharpen it.

Ideally, your blades should be fine as they are, at the most, they should have very few signs of un-evenness. Anything more and you’ll just rip through the foil.

Now we’ll cover how to sharpen your clippers with aluminum foil in more detail.

For these steps, you will need a few tools:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Brush
  • Hair clipper oil
  • Blade wash

Step 1:

Detach your blade from your clippers, you can do so by removing the screws on the back of the blade. 

remember you only after these two blades, store the screws in a safe place.

Alternatively, you have a detachable hair clipper, you can pop the blade out by pushing against the teeth as shown below. (I go through how to put them back together later on).

Step 2:

Brush the blade with a hard bristle brush and wash both blades with blade wash

Step 3:

Dry both blades with a towel (you don’t want any moisture staying or your blades)

Step 4:

Get lots of aluminum foil and fold it until it becomes a dense block almost which you can use to buff your blade..

Place an aluminum sheet on a flat surface

Step 5:

Before you begin, just take a look at how your blades look and how shiny they are at the moment.

Place the back of your blade (flat side) on the sheet and slowly slide up and down.

Now, if your Alumunium foil is in front of you, place your blade at the top of your foil with the teeth facing away from you. Then drag the knife across the stoke toward you. Then pick it up at the bottom and put it back on top of the stone
and do it again. Do this while applying reasonable pressure(but try not to split the foil).

Step 6:

  1. Slowly but firmly each blade over the sheet as many times as you get the shine that wasn’t previously there. That would be the new layer coming through.
  2. (Look keep it to under 50 passes) . This should be enough for a good amount of buffing (shine).

Take your time with this step and do not rush, being impatient can lead to you ripping the sheet and becoming frustrated.

Step 8:

When the blades are shinier than what it was previously you can stop.

Now you can put your blade back together and attach it to your clippers. 

If you have a blade such like below, it may become complicated to put it back together (if you have a detachable blade.

If you have a lever blade, you can simply attach them back to your clippers and screw it.

This video can also help in re-assembling your blade if you have detachable clippers.

But before putting back on your clipper, give your blade some oil, as shown in this video:

if you have a lever-based clipper, Use this video to put your blade back together + Zero gapping them:

This process of ‘sharpening’ your blades to clean and shine them is quite useful for overall hair clipper maintenance. 

Shining your blades can get you into the rhythm of working with a blade and also give you some skills to sharpen your blades yourself at home. 

How to sharpen your clipper blades

Sharpening your clipper blade is not hard. Many say clippers need sharpening professionally.

I don’t believe this to be true. 

Professional blade sharpeners are no different to you and me. Blade sharpening is a skill that can be easily picked up. 

If you can get the tools and can follow instructions you are more than capable of sharpening your hair clipper blades and you save a lot of money in the process. 

Why do blade sharpenings even cost so much?

This is because professionals oftentimes charge the cost of your clippers just to get the blades sharpened and cleaned. It adds up and can be too much at times. 

This is why I advocate for self/home sharpening as I believe 

  1. You will save more money over time 
  2. It’s a skill you must learn to have full blade mastery

However, I do believe you should have your blades checked professionally if there are signs of damage such as denting which I mentioned earlier. 

So before you type ‘hair sharpening near me,’ I recommend you try it yourself first if you want to master the skill.

A guide to hair clippers sharpening can be found on the blade sharpening page.


You should have a better understanding of How To Sharpen Clipper Blades With Aluminum Foil, while it may not be able to improve the sharpness of your clipper, Aluminum foil can:

  1. Help detect dents in clippers
  2. Improve shine and clippers and keep them clean

Both of these are important in possibly improving your hair clipper longevity. Then look to get your blades properly sharpened using a grindstone or sandpaper.

How does sharpening clipper blades with aluminum foil work?

The foil’s abrasive surface scrapes off any buildup, sharpening the blades.

Is it safe to sharpen clipper blades with aluminum foil?

Yes, it’s safe to use aluminum foil as long as the clipper blades are cleaned and oiled properly afterward.

Can I sharpen any type of clipper blades with aluminum foil?

Yes but it isn’t the most effective

If you have found this article on How To Sharpen Clipper Blades With Aluminum Foil helpful, please leave a comment with your experience with aluminum foil and check out other related articles: How to sharpen horse clipper blades or how to sharpen dog clipper blades

Patrick Boulang

Patrick Boulang

Patrick is the Primary editor for Clipphub. He has sales background however has always had a passion in barbering and personal self grooming. He now he spends most of his time giving information to hair clipper users to get them comfortable with personal grooming and improve their work on clients as he believes anyone can become skills with their blades.