How to check cutter blade tension January 22 2016

Hello to all of you hard working professional Groomers out there. It's your smokey neighbourhood sharpener again. Are you all tired of the smoke? It's been like living beside a campfire for the last few days in the Calgary area , and it would sure be nice to be able to see the horizon again.

Oh well, things will get better soon, there's no point getting tense about it. It's a good practise to try to avoid tension, but in the sharpening world tension is very important (whew-that was a bit of a long winded segue :-)). 

Last time I talked about shear closure tension, and cutter blade tension is equally important. In fact, a perfectly sharpened blade will not cut at all if the spring is not applying enough tension to the cutter blade. 

Cutter Blade Tension Check

I use a small kitchen scale, and press the cutter blade into the blade as indicated in the picture. I aim for 3-4 lbs of pressure. Too little pressure and the blade won't cut properly, and too much pressure and the blade will heat up during use. It takes a bit of practice to get a feel for the proper pressure, but it should take some effort to move the cutter blade on your blades. A poorly functioning blade can simply be a matter of inadequate spring tension. I'll talk about adjusting spring tension next time.

Spring tension is just one of the factors that contribute to the effectiveness of your blades. In fact, the difference between a blade that works perfectly, and one that doesn't work at all can be somewhat mystifying at times. There are a variety of factors that must be perfect, and I will admit to spending a heck of a lot of time on a single blade trying to "unlock the mystery". 

Anyway, all for now. I have a bunch of blades that need sharpening, and hopefully I have no tension related tension...Andy.