You can buy the most expensive electric razor in the world but it will too eventually lose its sharpness. A dull razor blade is just as dangerous as it is useless.
Interestingly enough, electric razor blades won’t actually get dull, per se. Over time, the edges of the blades oxidize which disrupt the cutting performance.
To hone your electric razor, all you have to do is polish off the oxidization from the microscopic pores of the edges. You will need something moderately abrasive for the job.
Unfortunately, this only applies to rotary shavers. There’s no legit way to sharpen a foil shaver due to its physical limitations. So when the foil and the cutter wear out, replacing them is the only way.
I should also note that sharpening a rotary razor doesn’t mean you can use the same blade forever. After a certain point, sharpening won’t just work anymore because the metal will wear out.
But for now, assuming your electric razor is more or less than a year old and in good condition, you can follow the steps below to bring your rotary electric razor to life again-
Table Of Contents
Sharpening Electric Razor with Toothpaste
You read that right, toothpaste can effectively knock off the oxidation from the edges of a razor blade and shield screen. Make sure to use a regular toothpaste and not those fancy ones with microcrystals.
Toothpaste contains just the right amount of grit required for the job. Before we go on any further, please remember that the said process is only applicable for wet/dry cordless electric razors.
Don’t try this method on a corded razor to avoid getting electrocuted for nothing.
Those who own cordless waterproof electric razor, follow the steps below-
Step 1: Gather up the Essentials
For this method, you will need-
- A small cleaning brush.
- Regular toothpaste.
- Hot water.
Step 2: Disassemble and Clean
You need to take apart your electric razor and give it a thorough clean-up before you move on to the sharpening part. You see, the loose hair, shaving foam, and dead skin cells buildup inside the shaving head can also affect the cutting ability of your razor.
A lot of electric wet/dry shavers have a switch on the side to disassemble the blade and screen. If not, you can use a screwdriver to take apart the shaving head.
Once disassembled, scrub the parts with a small brush or a toothbrush under running hot water. Once all the junk is gone, rinse them off with hot water. Reassemble and get ready for the next step.
Don’t worry if your electric razor doesn’t allow you to disassemble it due to its design. Simply hold it down and use a brush to scrub down all the hair trimmings and grime with just a little bit of hot water. Don’t hold it directly under running hot water. That’s all I am saying.
Step 3: Honing the Razor Blade with Toothpaste
This part is going to be a little messy. Take a small amount of toothpaste in your palms and gently rub it on the razor screen and blade. Carefully push the razor head against your hand, allowing the toothpaste to get into tiny nooks and crannies of the cutter.
Next, switch on your razor and the motion of the blades will automatically spread the toothpaste all around the edges of the blade. Keep it on until the razor is noticeably hot to the touch.
Switch it off for a few seconds and repeat the process 2-3 times or more depending on how dirty your razor actually is.
Step 4: Removing the Toothpaste
For the final step of the process, you will have to disassemble the blades from the cutter once again. Thoroughly remove all the toothpaste by holding the blades under running hot water.
Leave them to air dry before reassembling. For the razors that cannot be disassembled, use a washcloth and hot water to remove all the toothpaste residue.
Take your time to make sure it’s fully cleaned up. Even a small amount of toothpaste residue can clog your razor blade and hinder its cutting performance.
Sharpening Electric Razor with a Sheet of Glass
People have been using glass to sharpen razor blades since the time of world war II. You can use any sheet of glass such as a mirror for the job. For this process as well, disassemble and clean the blades following the same steps mentioned above.
Once everything is cleaned up, do the following –
Step 1: Start Sharpening
Assuming there are three cutting heads on your razor, remove them one by one for sharpening. Don’t try to sharpen all three of them at once.
At first, take out one cutter, place it on the glass sheet, press it down with your fingertips and make a figure 8 motion with it. Repeat the motion at least 50 times for each cutter.
The pressure should be high at the beginning and light towards the end. You can also add a few drops of water on the glass sheet to help the cutter glide easily.
Do this for all the three cutters one by one and put them back on the housing.
Step 2: Wash up and Lubricate
Add a few drops of baby oil or mineral oil to the moving parts. You can also use a lubrication spray for a less messy experience. Periodic lubrication is extremely important to keep your electric razor functioning optimally in the long run.
Step 3: Reassemble
Reassemble the shaving head and turn it on/off a couple of times to evenly distribute the oil inside the cutters. And voila! Your razor is restored to its glory!
Sharpening the Electric Razor with Oil Stone
If you would rather go for a more traditional approach, consider getting an oil stone. Oil stone is a slab of fine-grained stone that only sharpens but also polishes the edges, giving dull blades a brand new appearance.
The rubbing surface of an oil stone naturally lubricates the blades while sharpening.
To sharpen your electric razor with an oil stone, take the shaving head apart and clean it as instructed previously.
Now take one blade and run it along the stone surface multiple times, until the edges look shiny. Flip it over and repeat the same process for the other side of the blade. Do this for all the blades in your electric razor.
Pro tip: To avoid over sharpening, minutely observe the blade edges. Stop the process when the edges feel smooth and look shiny.
For the final touch, oil the blades and put them back, tighten the screws. Turn the razor on and off a couple of times to check if it’s working all right.
Tips to Keep Your Electric Razor Stay Sharp for Years
The cost of replacing electric razor blades can quickly add up. But that’s something you have to do after every 12-18 months. How long your razor will stay sharp depends on the density, texture of your hair, and how often you shave.
A little care will go a long way in keeping your shaving tool at the top of its game. Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to do to help your razor retain its sharpness-
- Clean your electric razor with hot water after every shave. Give it a deep clean-up with a small brush and running hot water at least once a week, twice if you have really coarse hair.
- Disinfect the blade occasionally by soaking them in isopropyl alcohol. A quick spritz of a disinfectant spray will also work.
- Keep the cutting heads well-lubricated with mineral oil, baby oil, or any clipper blade oil. Don’t use more than 2-3 drops or you will clog the razor.
- Invest in a razor with self-sharpening blades. These blades are strategically arranged to rub against each other when cutting. The resulting friction naturally sharpens the blade.
Self-sharpening blades will also require replacement after a couple of years or once the metal wears out. But they definitely remain sharp way longer than standard electric razors.
To sum up, yes, you can sharpen an electric razor without any fancy tool or special skills. Technically, what you’d be doing isn’t sharpening but honing. Honing is the act of removing materials from the blade edge.
In this case, we need to remove oxidation or metal tags or from the small holes on the edges of a razor blade. Electric razor blades don’t lose sharpness until the metal degrades.
The slow, lousy performance you’re experiencing right now is due to the blade metal oxidation. Use any of the methods above to get rid of it and continue enjoying close, comfortable shaves.