How to Sharpen Tweezers




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Can't completely remove all your unwanted body hair? This is an instructable that shows you how to take an old pair of tweezers and sharpen them up so they are like new.

(Note: these are instructions for sharpening tweezers that you buy at the drug store to use on your body. Tweezers for model making and detail work often require a different, sharper, more narrow point than this method will provide).

Step 1: Materials

To sharpen tweezers you will need:

- dull tweezers
- rough grit sandpaper (150 grit)
- fine sandpaper (400 and/or 800 grit)
- a flat thin piece of metal or glass
- a small amount of water

Step 2: Prepaire the Sharpener

Wrap the sandpaper around your smooth thin piece of material. You want just one layer over the backer material, don't wrap the sandpaper around more than once.

Typically glass covered in sandpaper is used to put an edge on a metal surface because glass is typically very smooth and very flat. I used a very thin piece of aluminum sheet here because it is almost as flat and smooth as glass, and it's thinner than the glass I had lying around.

You want to choose something thin to brace your sandpaper with because that will allow you to have the tweezers in the correct position while your sharpening them.

Step 3: Sand With the Rough Grit Paper

With the rough sandpaper wrapped around your backer material take the tweezers and "grab" the sand paper. While applying pressure to the tweezers move them in an up and down motion on the sandpaper. This will remove any gross irregularities in the tips so that you can move on to finer sanding and sharpening in the next step.

If your tweezers aren't in too bad a condition you can skip this step and move right on to the fine sharpening.

Step 4: Fine Sanding and Sharpening

I like to use a wet/dry sandpaper while sharpening objects.

Soak your fine sandpaper in some water and then wrap it around your backer material just like you did with the rougher grit paper. Again, "grab" the sandpaper with the tweezers and apply pressure. Now just like you did with the rough grit, move the tweezers in an up and down motion on the sandpaper.

You are trying to flatten the very edge of the tip of the tweezer, so try to apply pressure right down to that last millimeter of the tweezer.

You will quickly work up a slurry - a mixture of metal and water, this will help in the sharpening process so don't wash it away.

Make a few more passes with the tweezers once you get a little slurry and you've probably sharpened it enough.

Step 5: Sand the End of the Tweezer

The last step is to sand the very ends of the tips of the tweezer.

Squeeze the two tips together and alight them on the fine sandpaper so that the angle that is on the tweezer meets the sandpaper over the entire length of the tip.

(Basically pretend that you are standing the tweezer flat on its edge on top of the sandpaper.)

Then, carefully drag the tweezer across the sandpaper maintaining that same angle.

A few strokes back and forth is all you will you need unless the tips of the tweezers are really bad.

Step 6: Revel in the Sharpness

When you're done the tips should meet at the very end.

Test it out by pulling on something and see if its any better.
If it's not to your liking, just go back and do some fine tuning on the fine sandpaper.



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    16 Discussions


    6 weeks ago on Step 6

    Hey, I have started using this tool called Tweezerfile to sharpen my old, blunt tweezers and that made them almost like new. Works pretty much as described in your article but with lasting materials, so no further waste and I got to keep my tweezers instead of buying new ones. Actually works pretty well that tweezerfile, check it out!


    1 year ago

    So very helpful. I used just 1,200 grit wet/dry sandpaper. I wet it then covered a ruler and sharpened for 30 seconds as in directions. I then sharpened end. Just like new!

    Mo Poppins

    4 years ago on Introduction

    You know how you can sharpen a knife on the bottom of a mug (or other unglazed ceramic surface)? I noticed that my tweezers weren't as grabby as they once were, so I thought I'd try sharpening them with the mug.

    I scraped one side at a time, using a pinching motion, maybe 5 - 10 passes on each side? I tested their sharpness by plucking at a really short arm hair (maybe 1/16"?), and they worked!

    I went off to do something else, so I didn't get a chance to fully complete the task, but unless I was imagining it, I think the mug method would work for sharpening tweezers, as well!

    Worth a try for anyone who doesn't have sandpaper lying around, since we probably all have at least one mug/plate/bowl that's made of ceramic. You'll know it's working, if you see metal scrapings along the unglazed ring.


    5 years ago on Step 6

    Excellent instructions! I'd been trying to figure out a method on and off for about a week! This got the job done in < 10 minutes. Thanks much!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much for these directions. I have two older tweezers, one round-tip and one slant-tip. They were made back when things were supposed to last and of high quality. They were not grabbing hair as they once did and all my old tricks failed to work to fix them. Did as your instructions said and they are as good as new. Again thanks!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    So my husband drops my la cross premium tweezers on a slate floor.
    This totally worked! Am so grateful! Thank you thank you!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    thanks....already on my way to find some sandpaper


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I did it just like you said - used a metal ruler as my thin piece of metal, works fantastic! Thank you - a good pair of tweezers is easily 30 dollars and if you drop them one time they are shot. I was able to totally sand away the kink from the end of a pair and then just make them a bit shorter. I even used the same principle on two pairs of small scissors - amazing, they are so sharp now they will be a pleasure to use.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I found that using my Dremel worked great for doing just this when I did it a couple months back. Just pinch around the sandpaper bit and your done in 5 seconds.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Very useful - thanks! And after over 20 years of tweezing my eyebrows to shape, I don't have as many stray hairs to pull out these days. But still need to sharpen the household tweezers for things like splinters. :D


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I have a few pairs of tweezers that are worth keeping and yet blunt. Now I know how to restore them, thank you.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Well done very useful instructable. A+


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Jeesh. It's going to take *forever* to remove all your arm hair with those things.


    I'll have to try this, I always wondered how to fix a pair of tweezers after they stopped working right.