Quick Tip - Extending knife blade life

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 10-10-2010 07:32 PM 2910 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I use an Xacto Knife for veneer and fine cutting. The tip of the replacement blade wears out all too quickly

This is the problem drawn for clarity

The top two drawings show a side and top view of a new blade. The middle two show a worn blade (exaggerated). The fine point is now a larger flat (or more accurately rounded) point and will also be burred over slightly (not shown) making it even duller. What I do to restore the point is grind the back of the blade off, at a slight angle, on an oilstone, to past the blunt material (bottom two drawings). This can be done several times and whilst the attacking angle of the tip of the blade is a little broader at least you have a freshly sharp tip to work with.

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

13 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3051 days

#1 posted 10-10-2010 07:46 PM

great tip Martyn
I had scraped hundreds of theese kind of blades over the years and they ain´t cheap
when you use them that fast :-( it seems to me it can be done 5 to 6 times before trashing them now
thank´s for sharing it :-)

take care

View Wes Giesbrecht's profile

Wes Giesbrecht

155 posts in 2747 days

#2 posted 10-10-2010 08:13 PM

Why didn’t I think of that? :-)

-- Wes Giesbrecht

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3290 days

#3 posted 10-10-2010 09:29 PM

Now there is a tip for you…so simple and yet so very effective.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View patron's profile


13598 posts in 3277 days

#4 posted 10-10-2010 09:40 PM

to cool

great tip


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View SPalm's profile


5316 posts in 3817 days

#5 posted 10-10-2010 10:36 PM

Well how about that. Simple enough.
I like it,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View mafe's profile


11638 posts in 3025 days

#6 posted 10-10-2010 11:00 PM

exelent idea, so simple.
Less is more again!
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2858 days

#7 posted 10-10-2010 11:12 PM

That is quick sharpening tip. How thick is the blade? Thanks for posting.

-- Bert

View Flemming's profile


417 posts in 2832 days

#8 posted 10-10-2010 11:51 PM

great thinking martyn!
thanks for the info :)

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18227 posts in 3611 days

#9 posted 10-11-2010 01:14 AM

Great idea!! I usually use more of the blade but if I get to inlaying a lot, that will sdave some long Yankee Green!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2824 days

#10 posted 10-11-2010 07:49 AM

This is an old idea but a good one. I first saw it in an old book on marquetry and have used it for a while now.

In answer to the thickness of X0acto blades, I think they’re about 1/32nd inch or so.

For veneer cutting, you can get at least a half dozen resharpenings out of a blade. Just extend the rear bevel a bit more each time.

I never thought to post this here. I should have, but at least someone did, and that’s the important part.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3331 days

#11 posted 10-11-2010 01:40 PM

I have been sharpeniing Xacto blades and the similar blades used for cutting matte boards for picture framing.
I also have found the ‘snap off’ box cutters to be sharp enough to use for careful cutting and can be similarly resharpened for extended working life.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View swirt's profile


2611 posts in 2907 days

#12 posted 10-11-2010 04:36 PM

Very clever and so simple. Thanks for taking the time on the diagram. It instantly makes it clear.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Armand's profile


232 posts in 2846 days

#13 posted 10-13-2010 08:14 AM

You have a beautiful mind Martyn.

-- My Master is Mankind's Greatest Carpenter.

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