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Better to sharpen Xacto blades or just replace?

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Better to sharpen Xacto blades or just replace?

Old 12-13-2020, 04:00 PM
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Default Better to sharpen Xacto blades or just replace?

Me? I have usually re-sharpened my Xacto blades instead of throwing them away... It's just easier, and less expensive. Plus, that way you don't run out, almost ever. This was for all the blade types I use, the standard #11, the long #2 handle carving blade #26 and the always useful chisel type, #17. I've bought a 100 pack of #11s once, but still have some left, and that was about 35 years ago when i bought them...!
When I was a kid, I used a fine carborundum stone (synthetic), but now an Arkansas stone does it.
On the other hand, I can see an argument for supporting those companies we depend on, like Xacto.
What do you guys do: Sharpen or replace?


Old 12-15-2020, 06:09 AM
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Replace.
Old 12-15-2020, 10:34 AM
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LOL im one of those people that rarely change the blades knowing full well that im going to ruin them on the same material in the short term. if it still cuts then its fine, if i need to saw at it then its replacement.

Last edited by nel33; 12-15-2020 at 11:40 AM.
Old 12-15-2020, 10:46 AM
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$25 / 100
https://www.mcmaster.com/35435A83

replace them when they need it. Cutting covering or foam I always use a fresh blade or it will pull and damage.
Old 12-15-2020, 04:00 PM
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Mine seem to get dull fast so I started sharpening them myself.
Old 12-16-2020, 08:17 AM
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I use a sheet of glass as a cutting surface when I'm covering, which gives me very clean, sharp edges but eats up blades in a hurry. I keep a sharpener on the bench, and make a couple of passes over it whenever the blade starts to pull slightly on the covering. The sharpener I use is no longer available, but works like this one: https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/W...-P1820C18.aspx

I can tune up a dulled blade faster than I can change it.
Old 12-16-2020, 04:43 PM
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toss 'em. but interested in learning how to sharpen
Old 12-17-2020, 06:23 AM
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I sharpen mine on a Japanese waterstone. Not to be bragging, but I believe I can get them sharper on my stone than they come out of the package. When cutting fabric or monokote, they dull very quickly and I would rather just hone the blade real quick than toss it out every 15 minutes.

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Old 12-17-2020, 07:49 PM
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What grit water stone are you using? Do you just eyeball the angle?
Old 12-23-2020, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Matanuska
What grit water stone are you using? Do you just eyeball the angle?

For a touch up, I use the 8,000 side of a Norton 4,000/8,000 grit combination waterstone. I don't eyeball the angle, I feel for it. It takes practice but after a while you will know when the angle is right. Check the blade often while sharpening to see where it's rubbing. If you get the angle too high, it will bite down into the stone. You don't want that.

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Old 12-23-2020, 09:03 AM
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I worked at a place once when I was young where we did a lot of construction, and we had our own saw shop where I'd fill in when they needed an extra hand.
We had a bunch of belt sanders with coarse to fine (400) grit belts on them, and a few buffing wheels. You could put a really good edge on something in a few seconds.
I remember once when some guys who were demo-ing something brought in an axe to be sharpened. I shaped and sharpened it, down to the 400 grit belt, then buffed the edge. It was like a razor's edge, the edge was mirror polished, and clean. It probably took about a minute or so.
So I gave it back to the guy and he looked at it and said: "But it's just an axe". I said: "Well, be careful with it until you use it and dull it up a little". He later told me the edge lasted almost the entire day, and at the end it was still sharper than he was used to. Seems like he took a little extra care not to cut too many nails with it. But the thing is, if you really polish it with a fine stone at the end the edge lasts a long time.
Old 12-23-2020, 09:14 AM
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Ill have to give the water stone a try. Do you leave the blades in the handle or hold them some other way?
Old 12-23-2020, 10:01 AM
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Yes- you have to hold it somehow. You just kind of lock your wrist to hold the angle, and try to match the existing angle on the blde. You stroke into the stone like you're cutting it, but holding light to medium pressure on it. Use real light pressure at the end, and coarse then fine grit on the stone.
Old 12-24-2020, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzard350
Yes- you have to hold it somehow. You just kind of lock your wrist to hold the angle, and try to match the existing angle on the blde. You stroke into the stone like you're cutting it, but holding light to medium pressure on it. Use real light pressure at the end, and coarse then fine grit on the stone.
And then a strop.
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