Why do my blades get hot so fast?

“Why do my blades get hot so fast now?” is the most asked question that I hear. I will cover some of the reasons for blades heating up and how to prevent it.

If the air temperature is hot the blades will get hot quicker. If you run the clippers on the second speed continuously the blades will heat up very quickly.

The new superfast clippers will operate well using the first speed and the second should only be used for matted hair but expect the blades to get hotter during this process.

The biggest reason for hot blades is the clippers are faster now. Most clippers were about 2000 spm (strokes per minute), and now they are 4000 plus spm.

This is like going from a moped to a high performance car with the added speed you get more heat. What is the best way to keep two metal parts from heating up?


Keeping your blades clean and lubricated will increase the life of your blades and clipper.

To help illustrate this point, rub your hands together slowly. You will start to feel a little warmth, but not anything unbearable. Now rub your hands together faster. The heat is more intense and is generated quicker. After a minute or so they start to feel sticky. Now if you put some lotion on and do this again your hands stay much cooler and are easier to rub together

If you use COOLUBE the spray lubricates the metal and the blade guide (plastic part on top of the blade). Also if not lubricated the blade will seem to cut slower from the increased friction.

A dry blade guide will make the blade run slower and will cause the clipper to overheat.

If you use any other lubricating spray it will cause a residue to build up on the blade which will make it sticky and will cause it to overheat. When you re-spray it, this loosens up the sticky stuff so the blade speeds up again. An example of this is when you spray a hot pan with cooking spray. When the cooking spray hits the hot pan it sizzles, then gets brown and sticky. The spray now has a crusty appearance and does not coat the pan as it should. When blades have dirt/gunk in them, this will cause the two cutting surfaces not to meet.

If the blades are continually run in this condition the gunk bakes on the blades. A lot of blades are not really dull when a sharpener gets them, but are in need of a good cleaning. The sharpening process removes all the gunk and gives you two new clean surfaces that will mate correctly with less friction. Dirty blades get hotter faster, which can remove the “temper” of the blade. Temper is the hardness of the blade and its ability to hold an edge.

As a blade gets hot, it can quit working, but will usually start working again once it cools off. The reason for this is when metal heats up it expands, which creates more friction. The clipper can't move the blade as fast so it seems to be dull. How many times have you handed a blade to the sharpening person and they test it and it works?

The easiest way to help with the blade heat problem is to have more than one of the same number blade and rotate them out when they get warm. Some people put them on a piece of tile, in a window or under a fan to let them cool while they continue to work. The customers I have that do this increase the time between sharpening dramatically. Some people say it wastes time to keep switching out blades, but when you look at how much slower and harder you have to work with hot blades it is actually faster.

Anytime two pieces of metal rub together need to be lubricated. Think of the blade as a mini engine. If you don't keep the engine oiled it will seize up and be costly to replace or repair. By keeping your equipment well lubricated and clean, will greatly decrease your maintenance cost and amount of sharpening you should need.