How to Sharpen Your Lineman's Pliers Wire Cutting Blades

Pliers and a wrench in a sink
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-150
What You'll Need
Grip vice
Emery board
Electric polish tool
File tool
Knife sharpener

You will not have to sharpen your lineman’s pliers often as these blades don’t usually wear out unless you really put them to work. Although it may be way easier to just go out and buy another set of lineman’s pliers, you can sharpen the blades you already have. Follow the instructions below to get your lineman’s pliers wire cutting blades sharp in no time.

Step 1 - Get the Pliers into Position

Put your pliers into the grip vice in an open position, so you will have access to the wire cutting blades. While you can do some of the methods below while holding the pliers in your hands, it’s not advisable because small metal splinters may cause injuries to your skin.

Step 2 - Use Emery Board, File Tool, or Knife Sharpener

Pick up an emery board on Amazon.

files with wooden handles

Depending on the wear condition of the lineman’s pliers—whether slight corrosion or rust on the blades or severe blade usage—pick out the most suitable tool from the ones mentioned above. For light rust or corrosion, an emery board should do the job. Just take the emery board and file on the blades.

If nicks are present, you will need to use a file tool or knife sharpener to flatten out the nicks. Follow with a file along the blades in a diagonal position. Cover the entire surface of the cutting blade to give it a uniform sharpening. When filing, retain the original angles and occasionally try to close the pliers jaws to make sure it will close tight and correctly. File from both sides of every blade to make sure no nicks are present.

Step 3 - Use the Electrical Polish Tool

If the above method seems to require too much manual work, you can use an electric polish tool to get the job done quickly and with less effort. One thing you will have to pay much attention to is not to get the edges very thin, because they will break when doing a hard cut. That will result in the two blades not closing properly and thus giving you a hard time when it will come to cutting small items.

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