Card Scrapers

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Forum topic by Matt posted 04-16-2009 02:00 PM 6547 views 2 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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181 posts in 3397 days

04-16-2009 02:00 PM

Hi guys.

I just received my Garret Hack “Hand Plane” book and I’m thoroughly enjoying “the read”. I am particularly intrigued by the section of the book on scrapers. That brings me to this question. I apologize if it’s been hashed and re-hashed here. I did a search and found lots of articles on techniques and some reviews, however, I need a bit more.

What brands of scrapers are you using and why? Basically, I’m conducting research so I don’t go out and waste money on something that is cheap or low quality. I don’t mind paying for quality but I really don’t like paying for ‘a name’.

Also, what is the minimum amount of equipment required for sharpening/honing scrapers?

Thanks in advance,

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

22 replies so far

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 3864 days

#1 posted 04-16-2009 02:37 PM

Hard to go wrong here, almost any flat piece of thin metal can be used as a scraper. After using LN, lynx, etc…they are all about the same with the harder steels holding an edge a little longer. You’ll need a file and sandpaper at a minimum along with a burnisher but you could use a a screwdriver. There are some great articles and videos at the fine woodworking site…

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3899 days

#2 posted 04-16-2009 02:43 PM

Matt – I buy whatever scrapers Woodcraft has on their shelf, and have been satisfied. I’m sure some of the top-name scrapers hold an edge a little longer or something, but unless you use them all the time, I’m not sure that matters too much.

Blake has a video about using and sharpening a scraper, and he just uses a metal file for sharpening. I use sandpaper on a granite block. I guess you could consider either one of those methods pretty close to “minimum”!

-- -- --

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3847 days

#3 posted 04-16-2009 02:50 PM

Matt, Here is a video posted by Todd Clippinger that details his technique for sharpening and using a card scraper.
His technique is pretty straight forward and requires only a scraper and a file.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4243 days

#4 posted 04-16-2009 02:55 PM

I would highly recommend this set from Lee Valley:,310

It’s got everything you need and good sharpening instructions.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3418 days

#5 posted 04-16-2009 05:07 PM

There is no other simpler tool like the card scraper with the great work it makes.
Making a good scraper requires the same technology like making a plane Iron or a chisel, so choosing a good one is the same like choosing a good chisel set, in fact, the best chisel~plane iron makers make the best CArd Scrapers.
I use Two Cherries (German made) and a Pfeil Burnisher (Swiss made).
My basic equipment is: Stones to give an initial lapping, a good burnisher esential in the work progress and a vise to hold the scraper for burnishing.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3643 days

#6 posted 04-16-2009 06:59 PM

I have a set of cheap scrapers and a swiss made scraper that even came in it’s own little case. I see negligible difference between them. The more expensive scraper takes longer to get an edge on but cuts no better than the cheaper one. I have a round burnisher that came with my chisel set but think a square surface is easier to use. Other than a flat mill file I don’t use anything else.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3673 days

#7 posted 04-16-2009 08:32 PM

I use the bacho brand that Rockler carries, works well for me. some people seem to just use a file to get the scraper to working condition – and that will do fine if you’re trying to scrap some paint off some piece… but to get it fine tuned it should really be treated just like every other plane/chisel/blade. and should be properly lapped, and burnished… file → stone/sandpaper → burnisher.

for about $5 a scraper, you can’t really go wrong, go experiment.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3385 days

#8 posted 04-16-2009 08:39 PM

mine came from woodcraft, under 10 bucks.. but you can not go wronge with anything from lee valley, ever

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 3579 days

#9 posted 04-17-2009 06:29 AM

I have the Two Cherries scraper and burnisher.
One of the best values… saves me a ton of sand paper.
I would get a scraper set so you can do the curves too.

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3427 days

#10 posted 04-17-2009 08:05 PM

The only difference I’ve found is in the LN ones, especially the thick one, it’s a little harder to use than my Bahco or no name models. Buy one or two (different thicknesses) $5 scrapers and practice with them, once you get it you’ll wonder why you’ve never used them before.

Good Luck.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View Scott 's profile


103 posts in 3384 days

#11 posted 04-17-2009 09:11 PM

I have a Lynx set and they work real well. I also work in the steel industry and have gotten my hands on some high carbon steel used to make metal strapping and although it doesn’t seem to hold an edge as long I can cut whatever shapes I need out of it.

-- Scott, South Carolina

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3949 days

#12 posted 04-17-2009 11:06 PM

Hey Matt, I had some very old hand saws that I cut up into hand scrapers I think I got 8 or 10 out of one saw then took a block of wood and cut a grove in it and fit wedges on either side then one wider one on the opposite side to give it a slight bow. I’m not a major tool maker or anything and its not pretty but I have to say it really works like a champ.
By the way I finished the web site. At least now its been up and its usable with no bugs.

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4152 days

#13 posted 04-17-2009 11:14 PM

I’ve been using card scrapers for more than 40 years.
In the past, I’ve made my own from old saw blades, especially Japanese style saws.
A local metal shop shears the blades for me, then I true dress, hone and burr the edges myself.

Lately, I’ve been buying them from Lee Valley.

Card scrapers – don’t leave home without them.

-- 温故知新

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3385 days

#14 posted 04-17-2009 11:31 PM

sandhill.. just a fyi, you can change your signature to your complete url, it will work as a link

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3949 days

#15 posted 04-18-2009 01:35 AM

I have my URL at the end of my signature or is that not what you are talking about?

—Just another day in paradise. I need more tools

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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