How to Sharpen a Windshield Ice Scraper




About: Weekend warrior with a day job creating workforce programming and standards for the material handling industry and keeping me from making a mess in the garage.

This Instructable sounded more like a punch line to either of two bad jokes:

1. How do you know you’ve lived in a northern climate too long?
2. How do you know you’re cheap?

Regardless, over the years, I had grown rather fond of a particular window ice scraper, due to its design which included both a brush and a second handle to accommodate two-handed scraping (a must in the dead-of-winter Michigan mornings, due to the fact that my garage stores far too many tools and projects to ever consider using it for parking cars).  However, this November, I had noticed that the blade had become nicked and dull, rendering the tool rather ineffective in removing frost from my windshield. 

Step 1: Get to Work!

Realizing that there had to be a solution present somewhere in the aforementioned garage, I set off to sharpen my ice scraper blade using the following equipment:

• Sandpaper, assorted grit (I used 100, 150, and 240 grit);
• Sanding blocks (a hand sander and a piece of scrap wood); and
• A dull ice scraper.

Step 2: Sharpening - This Will Look Familiar

Anybody who has sharpened a chisel or other sharp object will quickly recognize this technique. 

First, I attached the coarsest sandpaper to the sanding block.  This is done to create a firm, flat surface to accommodate even sharpening.

Next, I started sharpening by laying the scraper blade across the sandpaper at the same angle as the bevel of the blade, and rubbed side to side, applying light to moderate pressure.  I then sanded the underside of the blade, also applying light to moderate pressure.  I repeated this process until the noticeable nicks were sanded away.

I repeated using the 150 grit sandpaper, then finished using the 240 grit sandpaper, until the blade felt uniformly sharp and smooth.

Step 3: Sharper Than Woodpecker Lips!

Viola!  The scraper worked worlds better after a quick 15 minutes in the shop.

Postscript:  Apparently, window scrapers aren't meant to last forever.  On a particularly cold Michigan January morning, the blade snapped in two.  It didn't have anything to do with the sharpening.  The plastic was old and brittle and I was being a bit too aggressive.  The technique definitely worked! 



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    3 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I just KNEW there had to be a way to sharpen those buggers! I HATE having to buy new ice scrapers every time I need one to work! Thanks bunches for sharing this!


    6 years ago on Step 2

    Sooo Simple,Duuuuuu. Why didn't i think of that!!!!!! Thanks..