Salt! An ingredient that used to have. it‘s used to help us make a lot of wonderful meals. However, in this context, Can it help us to sharpen our clipper blades?
Is it safe? Is it effective? I once had these questions when I was in a tight situation and I knew my blades needed sharpening.
But don’t worry, I have the inside knowledge of sharpening clipper blades with salt I would like to share it with you
So if you’re ready, let’s begin.
Can I Use Salt To Sharpen Clipper Blades?
Salt can be used to sharpen hair clippers however it should not be your first method of sharpening.
– Salt can become trapped inside your clippers
– The natural wearing of the blade as you sharpen can make your blade un-even
– It’s not effective at creating a hollow or making your blade sharper
– It’s difficult to tell when your blade is actually “sharpened”.
In essence, salt won’t majorly change the cutting potential of your blades and you might find yourself worse off than when you began. So not worth the hassle in my opinion.
I provide easy-to-follow guides on both below:
Now, if you (must) sharpen your clippers with salt, how exactly would this work?
And what makes salt a viable option when sharpening your clipper blades?
The rest is explained in the rest of this article.
How Does Salt Salt Sharpening Work?
In order for a blade to be sharpened it needs to create friction with a tool that is harder than the blade itself.
This is why another unusual material such as aluminum foil, will struggle to sharpen any blade. Even though it’s rumored to be able to. It is simply too light to sharpen a blade let alone a hair-clipper blade.
Hair clipper blades a made of hardened steel.
A lot of friction is needed to chip away at the dull metal on top to reveal the sharper metal below.
Salt does just that, salt has a melting point of 1473.8 F (801*c). This allows the salt to handle any friction produced by a blade when sharpening.
As well as this, Salt is very hard. Salt has a hardness of 2.5 on the MOH scale of hardness.
This means physical table salt can easily act as the sharpening base.
Table salt can easily sharpen a clipper. It’s plentiful and a lot cheaper than other hair-sharpening methods. Something I talk about later.
So now we know salt can sharpen a clipper blade, how do you know if your blades need sharpening?
How Do I Know If My Clipper Blades Are Dull?
Do not sharpen your hair clippers too often. Your blades can be sharpened 3-5 times before they will begin to wear out. Avoid constantly sharpening your clippers at any convenience.
Aim to sharpen your blades well well rather than constantly sharpening them at any convenience.
Oversharpening your clippers or just sharpening for no good reason, can lead to your blades blunting. You must avoid wearing your blades out.
To help you avoid over-sharpening your clippers, the detailed guide below lists the steps you can take to make sure you sharpen your blade with quality so you don’t have to keep re-sharpening them.
Signs to not sharpen Hair clippers
Do not sharpen if your clippers are dirty.
Yes, sometimes, people think just because their blades are a bit grimy they need sharpening. This is not the case.
Don’t confuse a dirty blade with one that is blunt. Yes, both can affect performance but how you fix it is key.
If you just sharpen them at the slightest inconvenience, all you doing is thinning your blade further unnecessarily.
Look to clean and maintain your clippers, then if any of the real sign below appears it’s justified for you to sharpen your blades.
Hair clippers need sharpening when they pull hair.
Pulled hair is a sign that your blades are struggling to cut. From this point, you can look into it further and decide whether your blades need cleaning or sharpening.
Always clean and oil your clippers first. When you have done this and still notice hair pulling, then you can take your blades to a grindstone.
Check the charge
Also, look into the plug and battery of your clippers. If you have a cordless hair clipper you most likely have a battery.
Batteries over a long period of time can wear out. The constant recharges over months and years mean that the clippers can become inconsistent in their level of power output.
Check your batteries are in top condition. A shortage of power can mean your clipper blades do not move as quickly.
With corded Andis clippers, make sure your hair clippers are all the way plugged in. You’d be surprised how many times this has tricked people into thinking their blades are done for.
Always make sure the socket you plug your blades in outputs enough power to move your blades correctly.
Do your blades still pull hair? If your clippers still pull hair even after all of these checks, then you can get them sharpened.
Now that you know your blades actually need sharpening, you can take them to the saw… I mean salt.
Yes, although sharpening your blades can bring them back to their best, it doesn’t always work and there are times when sharpening your blade may do more damage than good.
If you run your finger over the blade and it feels rough or gritty, it can be a sign that the blade needs to be sharpened.
However, if it’s very rough or even cuts you, you may need to get your clippers blades completely replaced or get them sharpened by a professional.
If you can see that the blades of your hair clippers are dull, or if you notice visible nicks or chips on the blade, they may need to be replaced.
They are now dangerous and sandpaper may not be able to completely smoothen out the grooves.
In these cases, replace your blades or get them sharpened professionally.
Sharpening Clipper Blades with Salt
Salt was the go-to method of cleaning clippers back in time. Now there are other ways to sharpen a blade.
Nonetheless, it is still viable today. In fact, some would say it is the easiest method to sharpen hair clippers. So, let’s sharpen your clipper blades with salt
Clean your blades. Brush your clipper blades and remove any excess dirt or oil from your blades.
Get a large tub and fill the tub with enough salt to cover the whole blade(don’t worry you won’t actually have to cover the whole blade)
Then take your hair clipper and push it into a tub of salt making sure that the salt covers the teeth of both the top cutter and the cutting blade, kind of like how you would when you disinfect your hair clippers.
Make sure your clipper is facing straight down, and avoid placing your blade into the salt at an angle.
Now turn on your clippers and allow the blades to sharpen against the salt.
You may notice that the salt quickly becomes pulverized as time passes. This is fine, once a section of the salt has been pulverized, move it to other parts of the salt tub.
You may also notice some salt ‘splash’ out as you sharpen your blades, If this happens, be sure to straighten up your blades or take them out of the salt slightly.
This should help to reduce the mess.
You don’t want to sharpen them for too long.
It’s difficult to spot but in either case, salt may not be able to sharpen your blades.
Keep it in the salt but if after 3 minutes, if you don’t see a shine on the blade edge take your blades out.
If you fail to see shine, it simply means the coating of metal on the outer side of your blades is too strong, and keeping your blades in there would just cause your blades to wear down evenly.
How Often Should I Sharpen My Clipper Blades
If you’re looking to sharpen your blades more times in the future, I would advise you to use one of the methods I suggest further down in this article.
use salt sharpening as a last option.
Earlier in this article, I mentioned the signs you should look out for before you sharpened your blades but there is one more factor that shroud is noted and it simply is:
It’s how often you actually use your blades.
It’s not hard to realize that the more you use your clippers, the more likely they dull and wear out, you may possibly have to buy a new pair.
The mindset is, if you are a barber and you constantly use your clipper i.e. multiple times a day, you should be constantly checking if your blades are pulling hair.
As a barber, this should be on your radar regardless. Dull blades are uncomfortable for your clients and limit your freedom to express your skills.
So when you notice major hair pulling take your blade to the salt. However, sharpening your clippers with salt shouldn’t be constant.
If you maintain your clipper properly, you should notice that you sharpen your blades less and less.
However, if you maintain your blades poorly, you will be taking constant trips for blade sharpening.
If you keep taking your blade to be sharpened, in any form, all you doing is grinding it down and making it more open to damage and breakage as it weakens the blade.
You shouldn’t be over-sharpening your clipper blades too often unless your clipper maintenance is awful. If that’s the case, read my articles on ways to improve this.
But overall, you should still look for hair pulling and bad performance before you sharpen your blade, Don’t just sharpen them because you ‘feel’ they are dull.
Other Ways To Sharpen Clipper Blades At Home?
There are a lot of options when it comes to hair clipper sharpening. I will provide a range of methods below and a quick brief of the benefits and negatives.
Sharpen hair clippers with sandpaper
Sandpaper sharpening is an easy way to sharpen your blades. It is relatively not too expensive and can be easily done in the comfort of your own home.
There are a few more steps to follow compared to sharpening your blade with salt, but it is still a great option that will provide you with better results than sharpening clipper blades with salt.
I have an in-depth article on how to sharpen your clippers with sandpaper.
I also provide a guided article on how to sharpen hair clippers with sandpaper.
How to sharpen hair clippers with a stone
Using a grindstone is the most complicated and expensive method of sharpening hair clippers.
However, using a grindstone to sharpen provides the best results in hair clipper sharpening. This is why grindstones are used by professionals in hair clipper sharpening.
However, do not be put off, I believe anyone can sharpen their blades at home, all you have to do is gain the skill to do so.
This is why I wrote an article on how to sharpen hair clippers using a grindstone.
How To Sharpen Clipper Blades Without A Stone
If you want another method of sharpening your clippers that doesn’t use a stone, check out our article on how to sharpen hair clippers with aluminum foil.
You should know the process of sharpening clipper blades with salt.
It is not a complicated process but before you sharpen your clipper blades, always be sure to check your blade’s need for sharpening. The main sign is:
- Hair pulling
When this is constant, then you can implement the steps I provide within this article.
If you have found this piece on sharpening clipper blades with salt helpful, please leave a comment about your experience and check out other articles relating to this topic: