How To Sharpen an Electric Razor
A razor no matter how fancy or expensive is only as good as its sharpness. The primary purpose of a razor is to simply cut hair – it doesn’t matter whether you’re shaving body hair or facial hair, at the end of the day if you have a dull razor, you’ll be in for a poor experience.
Worse, dull razors not only fail at shaving hair properly, but they also shave hair dangerously, increasing the likelihood of self-injury. Fittingly, this begs the seminal question: how do I sharpen my electric razor’s blades? Well for starters, know that you’ve come to the right place.
The good news is that the vast majority of electric razors don’t really need much extra sharpening. They often come fitted with their own self-sharpening functionalities! That being said, there are a handful of things you should do to make sure they’re kept as sharp as possible and the best method may surprise you: using toothpaste. Check out our guide below where we delve into this neat trick.
1 – Before cleaning: Disassemble and Prepare
Disassembling your razor is pretty straightforward and will give anyone direct access to the actual razors. There should be a button on the size of any electric razor that automatically decouples everything, but we suggest you defer to your razor’s instruction manual for this. Once all the individual bits are laid out in front of you, simply give them a good rinse in some warm water.
Of course, some razors don’t come with this feature and that’s okay! Simply grab a toothbrush or anything similar and scrub it down gently with some warm water. You want to ensure you get all the little bits of dirt, grime, and loose hair strands here in order to make the next steps as easy as possible.
Once you’re done, grab some toothpaste and get ready for step two.
2 – Using Toothpaste
Here’s the fun part: gather some toothpaste on an empty hand (we suggest the same amount you’d use to brush your teeth) and rub it all round your razor’s blades. Be gentle here and make sure you get into all the crevices but feel free to use a little extra toothpaste if needed. Once done, switch on your electric razor to ensure the toothpaste finds its way to every corner. This is a neat little trick that really makes the razor do the actual heavy lifting for you!
Do this for up to twenty seconds or until you feel your razor heating up then stop for a while before repeating this process for at least three more times. As to how many times you may need to repeat this really depends on how dirty your razor is. Just judge it with your eye and you should be set.
3 – Washing Up
Once you’ve finished the step above, simply gather all the pieces of your razor and wash them throughout under a tap of hot water. If your razor doesn’t disassemble, just wash whichever bits were covered in toothpaste. You should wash for as long as it takes to remove every ounce of toothpaste as having even the slightest amount of residue will negatively impact the shaving abilities of your electric razor.
After you’ve ensured everything has been washed properly, leave out your razor to airdry until all moisture has evaporated which should take a few hours. And voila! You’re left with a sharp electric razor that’s ready to do some heavy cutting.
What to avoid sharpening: Foil Razors
Do note that the above steps only apply to traditional non-electric and electric rotary razors. Foil razors unfortunately cannot be sharpened because of their design. Specifically, it is because of how the razors here take on an oscillating design and how they are packed so tightly together so as to remind anyone of packed sardines!
This means that it’s virtually impossible to access the space between each blade which is imperative when it comes to sharpening. So unfortunately if you own a foil razor, the only option you have is to simply purchase a new electric razor.
Methods to avoid: Sandpaper
Another common method to sharpen electric razors that plagues the internet is using sandpaper. We cannot stress enough how horrible of a notion this is. Sandpaper is a bad idea simply because it’s well, paper. This means that it’ll form both grit that can clog up inside your razor (which also dulls the sharpness of the blades) and has a high risk of tearing. This absolutely can cause it to form an uneven surface which makes for a poor sharpening experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I sharpen my electric razor?
How often you should sharpen your electric razor depends directly on how often you shave and how much hair your razor is expected to cut. If you’re a frequent shaver, we suggest aiming for at least once a week and honestly, even if you’re not, sharpening your razor once per week won’t ever do any disservice to you. You’ll be rewarded with an easier shaving experience with a blade that is far more hygienic and safer, so it really is just a win-win situation here if you can spare the time for it.
If I follow the steps above, does this mean my razor will last me a lifetime?
Unfortunately, the answer to this is no. While the electric razor itself can last a lifetime with proper care, its blades cannot. Blades will dull overtime and every time you shave, the blades itself become less and less sharp. Sharpening the blades gives them a little extra vitality but this is only temporary. After a while (around 12 months on average), the actual blades will become dull beyond repair.
Can I use just about any type of toothpaste?
We suggest using only ‘white’ toothpaste. By this, we mean toothpaste that doesn’t come with any fancy additives like those minty crystals or weird flavorings that form a swirly patten when the toothpaste is squeezed out. Go for something like ‘whitening’ toothpaste and you’ll be set. We’ve found that they work far more effectively as they don’t come combined with those pesky particles that can negatively impact the sharpening process.