Wahl Clipper Model 9918C
Clipper Blade Sharpening
I have seen the WAHL Beard Trimmer on sale for as low as $16.00 although you will normally find it selling for around $21.00. Replacement blades are available from a number of suppliers for $10.00 to $13.00 plus shipping.
I suspect most people will opt to pitch this model of Wahl Clipper in the trashcan once the batteries no longer hold a charge or the blades quit cutting just as you would like. For those of you that recognize a penny saved is a penny earned, you should know that you can stretch the life of these inexpensive clippers far beyond what most would expect. Using a charger, you can continue to use the clippers even if the batteries will no longer hold a charge. By cleaing and sharpening the blades you can restore the cut to like-new or even better-than-new. If you decide to have your clippers cleaned and sharpened, say twice, you will be investing $12.00 verses $32.00 and up.
Wahl advertises the Model 9918C as being self-sharpening which is true. However the self sharpening is based on the principle of the cutting blade being a harder metal than the comb metal. As the cutting blade moves back and forth across the comb, a very slight loss of metal on the comb and cutter equals a “self-sharpening” action. As would be expected, the longer the clipper is used, the more loss of metal there is. As you can see from the diagram here, the comb has two “lands.” As the metal wears, the cutter cutting surface area becomes smaller resulting in less cutting area and therefore less efficiency. In other words, the clipper blades are now dull. The most significant problem is that there is now a groove worn in the comb landing. As the cutter blade cuts more and more into the comb, again there is less cutting area. Although the blades are probably sharp due to the “self-sharpening” action, you are loosing efficiency in cutting and we think of this condition as “dull.”
Sharpening these clipper blades is really intended to remove these grooves and restore as much cutting area as possible. There is no real sharpening being done, like with a knife or scissor. Instead we are creating as much as possible an ideal environment for the inherent sharpening capability of the blade.
Pictured here are three clippers I picked up from a customer on Firetower Road in Semmes AL. This customer was referred by Al’s Barber Shop, also in Semmes AL. (Thanks, Al).
Total investment is getting these clippers cutting like new: $18.00