How to Sharpen Nail Clippers

August 23, 2013


You know what really grinds my gears? When I go to clip my nail and the nail clipper is so dull that it won’t even cut through my nail. It’s even worse when the clipper is dull and you end up tearing away your nail and inevitably ending up with a hangnail!  When this scenario happens you have two choices;

(A) Go out and buy another set of nail clippers


         (B) Take a couple of minutes to sharpen the clippers

I bet you can pick which option I’ll choose, so get out some stones and start sharpening! Luckily, sharpening nail clippers is by far one of the easiest and non-labor intensive sharpening activities you can take on. The stones/abrasives I use to sharpen nail clipper can include:

The first step in sharpening nail clippers is to take them apart. Squeeze the clippers together to remove the lever and the pin that holds the lever to the clippers. Make sure to keep the loose pieces in a secure place where you won’t lose them.


Nail clippers generally have two chisel ground blades that meet to clip your nail. Chisel grinds are usually very easy to sharpen since there is only one bevel to worry about shaping and a flat side. The difficulty you come across with sharpening nail clippers is that they often have concave edge geometry. This is why having various round abrasives will be useful when sharpening various nail clippers with different edge geometry.


Severely damaged edges

First off, determine the best tool for the job. This pair of clippers has pronounced concave edge geometry, so I’ll start with Lansky Tapered Rod or the Blademedic Sharpener.

Lay the very tip of the Tapered Rod flat against the bevel on one side of the clippers. In this case I’m bringing the sharpener to the bevel so I will be pulling the sharpener against the edge rather than pushing the edge against the sharpener. Now I’ll work from the top of the edge to the bottom of the edge using standard sharpening techniques. Continue this until you’ve removed all damage and see the bevel becoming consistently “shiny” with new metal.


Once all the damage is removed, pick up your ceramic rod (I like using the half round ceramic on the Blademedic) and just polish up the rough bevel a little bit.


Once the bevel is sharp and polished, you still have one more step. Pick up your Diamond Tapered Rod and slide it between the teeth of the clippers. Line up the flat side of the edge underneath the bevel you just sharpened. The flat edge should lie flat on the tapered rod. Now work back and forth on the tapered rod to polish the burr formed on the flat side of the edge.


You have now sharpened one side on a pair of nail clippers! Repeat this process on the other side of the clippers and enjoy a better experience anytime you clip your nails.


That's a sharp pair of clippers!

Be Smart, Be Safe and Stay an Edge Above the Rest!



Category: How To Sharpen


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