How to Sharpen a Paper Cutter Blade in Different Methods

Although most of the offices and institutions largely depend on computers these days, still, there is significant use of paper in all aspects.

This is why machines related to paper are still in use. Paper cutting machines are one of such examples you can find easily.

As the cutter uses a blade to cut papers, it often gets dulled. But there is no need to replace the blade in this case only. You can sharpen its blade using various methods and this is what I’ll be discussing in this article.

So let’s see what are the easiest way to sharpen the blade of a paper cutter at home.

Does the Blade Need Sharpening or Honing?

Before proceeding further, you need to make sure whether the blade needs sharpening or not. Herein, don't get confused between honing and sharpening.

When the blade bends quite a bit around its edges, it gives you the impression of dulling. And, if you try to sharpen a bent blade, it will create rough edges.

In case of a bent blade, all you need to do is honing and trying to make it straight until the blade fully recovers its original thin edges. Whisking the blade against sharpening steel will do the trick here.

Alternatively, cutting aluminum foil also helps to maintain its sharpened shape.

But still after honing, if you find the blade isn’t cutting objects properly, then it’s dulled for sure. Now, you can proceed to sharpen the blade.

First, Remove the Blade

How on earth will you be able to properly sharpen a blade without removing it?

The blade is attached to the cutter with a few bolts. Use a wrench to remove them and start unbolting from the end, because typically a blade is held in its place by the center bolts.

When it comes to handling sharpening materials, there is no exception to deal with a blade carefully. Even though the blade is dulled, still it can screw your hands like a pro.

Method 1 - Sharpening a Blade Using a Stone

There is no real difference between your paper cutting blade and a knife regarding how both of them cut objects. Knives are sharpened using a whetstone and this is not an exception when it comes to sharpening the blade of a paper cutter as well.

So, for this method, you will need a whetstone, or grindstone, or a fine of 1,000 grit or more. The higher the number, the better the stone will be able to sharpen your blade. It would be better if you collect a lengthy stone as with every stroke, the stone will cover the blade entirely.

The trick to effectively sharpen the blade is to maintain a proper angle. Make sure you are giving the strokes with a 20-degree angle. But maintaining a correct angle every time is tough. In this case, you can use adjustable jigs to ensure more precise strokes.

Keep stroking the blade across the stone. And how do you know if it’s done? When you see the blade turning shiny and feels sharp to touch, the sharpening is done successfully. Now, cut an object to confirm the blade’s sharpness.

If the blade isn’t sharp enough, keep stroking until you are satisfied with how well it cuts. Finally, you need to hone the blade’s reverse side for removing the burr.

Method 2 – Sharpening a Blade Using Bench Grinder

This method is for those who don't bother to invest few bucks to get a grinding tool to make the sharpening task quicker. With high-speed grind wheels' rotation, you can easily sharpen your blade using a bench grinder.

But you will have to be more careful with this method because the wheels rotate and remove the steel very quickly. So, if there is any mistake or misplacement of the angle while grinding, you will ruin the blade.

However, if you use a hand-held rotary tool, it will minimize the risk while providing you with better control over the blade.

Before starting the process, wear protective goggles to protect your eyes from sparks. It would be better if you choose a high grit size to sharpen the blade. Grind the blade until it gives you a shiny look and feels sharp to touch. Test the sharpness by cutting an object.

A sharpening attachment helps greatly to sharpen the tool easily. These attachments are found in local hardware stores and online shops as well.

Getting Done by a Professional

If you don't want any hassle of doing sharpening at home, you can always ask a professional to do it for you. It can be you haven't done something like this before and you want to get the best results. In this case, you should get the work done by a professional without a second thought.

In most towns and urban areas, there are numerous sharpening services you will find. Some hardware stores also offer this service.

Installing the Blade

Once the blade is sharpened and ready to work, reattach it into the cutter mount and secure it by screwing the bolts back. Now, your paper cutter is ready to handle some serious loads of cutting work efficiently.

Better Having a Spare Blade

If you are someone who needs to work with the paper cutter daily and don’t have enough time to sharpen the blade yourself or cannot wait for days to make it done by a professional – having a secondary blade would be beneficial for you.

You can use the secondary blade until you manage some free time to work on the blade. If you choose professional service, the secondary blade will buy you a few days before you get the re-sharpened blade.

In this way, you can swap between the blades without having any interruption in your cutting work.

Tips to Sharpen a Paper Cutter Blade

Although sharpening the blade seems quite easy, there are few things that need to be taken care of. Here are a few tips regarding sharpening a paper cutting blade –

  • If it's your first time and you have no idea how to remove the blade from the cutter, before attempting further, have a look on the instruction manual about disassembling it.
  • There are two sides in a cutter blade, beveled and slating side. Either sharpen the flat beveled or slating side. Don’t sharpen both the sides.
  • Holding the blade at a correct angle is the key to successfully sharpening the blade. It's recommended to hold it at an angle of 20-degree. However, it may change depending on how you are holding the blade.
  • If you lubricate the sharpening stone, the metal filings will not be able to get stuck on its surface pores.
  • To sharpen the blade steadily, maintain a uniform pressure with both the hands.
  • Once you have finished the sharpening, hone the other side of the blade to straighten its bent edges.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I sharpen a guillotine paper cutter?

Actually, it's the same way that I have discussed in the sharpening section. You need to dissemble the blade from the cutter first and sharpen its sloped side with an angle of 20-degree using a grinding wheel or stone.

Can I use aluminum foil to sharpen my paper cutter blade?

Aluminum foils cannot sharpen the blade. However, you can keep a sharp blade from becoming blunt using aluminum sheets over time.

How to lubricate a paper cutter?

Sprinkle vegetable oil or other oil (recommended on the instruction) on several papers. Then cut those papers using the cutting machine.

Final Words

Anyone can sharpen his paper cutting blade using a stone or grinding tool at home. It doesn’t take a lot of efforts; all you need to do is to remove the blade from the cutter and ensure that you are holding the blade at a correct angle.

After giving a few strokes, you will have the blade working like a new one.

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