How to Sharpen a Serger Blade (Serger Blade Sharpening Tips)

Serger blades are not scissor blades. There is a precision to them that needs to be maintained for the serger cutter to work like it is supposed to. many sewers get frustrated as serger blades are not exactly cheap nor are they easy to sharpen. Your experience with these blades may produce the same level of frustration.

It will take developing a new skill to sharpen the serger blades in a DIY method. The upper blade usually has a very complex design that regular sharpening techniques cannot adjust to. Plus, you have to match the precise angle or you won't get precise cuts.

To learn more about sharpening serger blades, and if you can do it, just continue to read our article. it has the information you need to know about if you are willing to attempt this feat on your own.

Tip 1: Sharpening serger blades should not be done at home as they require special tools you may not have as well as special techniques you may not have mastered.

Tip 2: Make sure you know the angle that blades are supposed to have. Any deviance and you can ruin the blade's cutting ability. Special tools will be needed to achieve that precise angle serger blades need.

Can Serger Blades be Sharpened?


Technically, any blade can be sharpened as long as you have the know-how, the technical ability, and the right tools. Serger blades are metal so they can be sharpened if you know what you are doing.

The reason some sewers think about sharpening these blades is that some of them can cost an arm and a leg to buy brand new. One price was $25 US while another was $45 AU and both prices are a lot of money for a tiny little blade.

However, the cost is due to the complexity of the design and the precision of the mechanics behind the serger knives. If you can get the right tools for less than that expense it might be a smart move to try to sharpen your own bladed.

But, you should know how to sharpen metal as different blades take different angles and you can ruin the blade even though it looks and feels sharp. Since serger blades need to fit together perfectly, you just can’t sharpen them like you would a kitchen knife that will be used to carve a turkey.

Then you have to be careful as you sharpen as the metal may not be as tough as it should be. One snapped when it hit a pin and pins are not exactly made from hard steel.

Tip 3: If you have a carbide tip blade, you need to use a flattened sharpening stone to make that tip sharper. Generally, these types of tips last a long time and may not need sharpening under normal use.

How to Sharpen a Serger Blade


If you are up to the task and want to give it a go, the following steps should help you get the job done. The key is not to be distracted nor disturbed when doing it as you will need to concentrate throughout the process.

Also, if your serger blade is made from carbide steel, you cannot use a regular sharpening stone to sharpen it.

  • Step 1: Gather your tools which will include small screwdrivers and a sharpening stone. Once the tools are ready, open up the case to expose the inner workings of your serger blade area. This is usually the front panel.
  • Step 2: Carefully remove the 3 looper blades and take note of how they came out as you have to put them back in the right way.
  • Step 3: Once the blades are off, lay them on a flat service. Then take your sharpening stone and run the stone along the top and bottom of the blades.
  • Step 4: After sharpening, replace the blades one at a time and secure them in place by tightening the screws.
  • Step 5: Once the blades are back in place, run a test on some scrap fabric to see if the sharpening technique worked.
  • Step 6: Not to be sarcastic, snide, or condescending, if the blades did not get sharp or sharp enough, then you should run out and buy new blades. Then replace the old ones. Sometimes sharpening will not work and there may be too many nicks that do not come out using the sharpening stone

Tip 4: Do not try to remove or sharpen your serger blades if your machine is still under warranty. Your DIY actions here could void that warranty and leave you without protection when more serious problems arise.

Serger Blade Sharpening Tips


As you can see we are posting independent tips as we write this article. The ones listed here will only complement those ti[ps and help you make the right decision when your serger blades get dull.

1. timing is everything and precision is vital. Sharpening your own blades may influence the precision of the blades as they are designed to cut the fabric without having the material move through the machine. If it didn’t the material could rip very easily.

2. One blade may be made of hardened steel while the other one is not. This means that the hardened blade should last you a long time. Make sure to know the difference between the two blades so you do not sharpen the wrong one. The hardened blade has a darker edge than the non-hardened blade.

3. To tell if your blades need sharpening or replaced, look at your fabric. The cut edge may be rough or fraying if the blades are dull. If they are really dull then the blades may rip, stretch or shred the fabric.

4. You don't have to sharpen or replace both blades at the same time. Check the edges and only sharpen or replace the dull ones. Or to make things easier, you can replace both blades so you can forget about sharpening for many more years to come.

5. Signs of wear will have the blades looking uneven, alternating looks of shiny and dark, or there will be nicks and scratches in the blade. If you are not sure which one is dull you can sharpen both or replace both solving your dilemma.

6. Not everyone recommends sharpening serger blades. Instead, they are emphatic about simply replacing them. If you can afford to replace them, then that is a good option and will save you some time. This option will be up to you to decide as some people have reported that one blade is far more expensive than the other one.

Tip 5: To see if there are any nicks or scratches on your serger blades, run your fingertips lightly across the blade. Your fingertip should easily feel the difference between a smooth blade and one with nicks in it.

When to Change Serger Blade


This option will be up to your judgment as you may not serge every day and your blades will last a lot longer than those blades that are used daily. Also, it will depend on the type of materials used to make those blades.

Carbide tip blades last a lot longer than hardened or regular steel blades so those may take years before they wear out enough to be replaced. The primary sign that tells you that you need to replace your serger blades is when you see your fabric starting to fray even though it was just serged.

If you serge every day and for long hours at a time, and even possibly as shorts as an hour a day, you can expect to replace those blades every 2 to 3 months. The reason for this frequency is that most serger blades are made of regular steel and not made with the highest quality in mind.

If the blades are made from carbide steel then you do not have to replace them as often and most technicians prefer that style of serger blade. Keep in mind that serger blades are machine and brand-specific.

That means you are going to have to know the serial number or model number of the serger blades to get the right replacement. Write down the different model or serial numbers on your parts and keep that list in a safe place so you can get the right replacement part when you need it.

Tip 6: As we have said throughout this article, precision is vital when it comes to serger blades. If there is a gap between the blades, then those blades will not cut. Check the alignment of the blades to correct any gaps that may appear.

How Often to Replace Serger Blades

This step will depend on how often you use your serger and the type of fabric you send through those blades. Metal blades will get dull especially when they are cutting heavyweight and tough materials all the time. Lightweight fabrics may not affect the blades as much as heavier-weight ones do.

If you serge for a minimum of an hour a day every day, then you can expect those knives to wear out fairly quickly. That term is usually every 2 or 3 months. In other words, if you use your serger frequently, then you need to replace the blades a lot more than you would if you only used the machine on a part-time basis.

If you use a lot of heavy fabrics in your sewing projects expect the same amount of frequency when it comes to changing those blades. You will want to continuously have sharp blades in your serger so your fabric doesn't get ruined by dull blades.

But, with all of this said, it is still a judgment call and it will be up to your judgment whether you replace those blades a lot or if you delay in replacing them. Check the signs to make sure you do not have to replace the blades.

While there is nothing wrong with changing the blades sooner and when they are still sharp, it may not always be the best move to make. That is up to you to decide.

How do You Change a Serger Blade?

Changing the blades is simpler than you may think. The reason for saying that is the replacement is a matter of removing a screw or two or a bolt and putting those same screws or bolts back into their original spots.

This simplicity is why some people prefer auto mechanics over auto electrical work. it is a matter of removing the part and putting the new one in the old one’s place. That is the basics of replacing old serger blades.

The first step is to remove the front panel so you can see the screws that need to be removed. Pick up the right screwdriver and slowly loosen those screws. make a note of how you do the removing as the installation will be the reverse pattern.

Once you get the screws out, carefully remove the old blades and set them aside. Place the new blades in their place and do this one at a time. Once the blades are ready, place the screw in its proper place and tighten them up.

The key will be to check to see if there are gaps. If there are, you will have to loosen the screws and make adjustments to the blades until the gaps are gone.

Some Final Words

It may be best to skip the sharpening of serger blades. Not only because many people suggest that you do but also because it is a simpler task that requires minimal mechanical skills. The cost for new blades may be high but those blades should last for a while if you are a part-time serger.

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