How to sharpen your floor stripper blades
Is there anything more frustrating than a floor stripper that doesn’t strip as expected? What’s a contractor to do, right?
Well, there is something you can do, and it all starts with those floor scraper blades. Learning how to extend the life and sharpen your floor stripper blades saves time and money.
Using dull stripper blades can double your workload, as a blunt blade more than likely glides across the floor rather than pulling it up. When that happens, you have to make additional runs with the flooring stripper to scrape it all up.
And here’s the thing – sharpen your floor stripper blades isn’t that hard. In fact, do it right, and it won’t take more than two minutes or so. Standard blades can be sharpened using a hard stone rock or sandpaper discs.
Sure, you can use carbide tipped blades, which have a longer life than regular steel blades. But while they perform better, when they go blunt, you’ll need to get a special carbide silica stone to sharpen them.
It’s all in how you do it
While this goes without saying, we’re going to say it anyway. Pick the right blade from the start, and you’ll save yourself some time. Blade selection depends on the type of flooring you’re scraping and other factors.
For example, shorter blades (1-inch models, for example) are designed for materials where the bond between the flooring and the concrete is extremely strong (vinyl composition tile VCT and adhesive).
The reason: Shorter blades have more pressure per square inch and can break through strong bonds more effectively. Longer blades dull faster because of the pressure put on the blade’s edge.
So, how can you tell when your blade is getting dull? For most, if you find yourself changing the angle of the stripper machine, it might be time to sharpen or replace the blade.
Angling your blade can increase its effectiveness in the short-term, but you really run the risk of damaging the concrete beneath the floor or breaking the blade.
Another way to damage your scraper blade is by removing the flooring in the wrong direction. Because floor joints seem to run in two directions, when the blade hits the joints head on, it can go blunt or break.
Tip: Operate your floor stripper from corner to corner, which will help avoid the joints and extend the life of your stripper blades.