How to Sharpen Xacto Knife

Are you looking for a simple and cost-effective way to sharpen your Xacto knife blades? Sharpening the blades of Xacto knives is an essential part of their proper upkeep, as it helps them stay in good condition and perform optimally. 

How to Sharpen Xacto Knife

With just a few inexpensive tools and some patience, anyone can learn how to sharpen xacto knife — no special skills or training are required! In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps involved in sharpening your Xacto knife exactly right so that it works as well as possible for whichever project you’re tackling.

Can You Sharpen an Exacto Knife with Sandpaper?

Yes, you can use sandpaper to sharpen an Exacto Knife. You should start by selecting a piece of medium or coarse-grit sandpaper and laying it flat on a work surface. Then, draw the blade across the paper in short strokes at roughly a 20-degree angle. Make sure to move the knife in only one direction for a clean cut.

When the blade is sharp enough for your needs, move on to finer grit sandpaper to smooth out any serrations left behind from the coarser paper. Finally, use an oil-soaked cloth or honing oil to lubricate and protect the blade after it has been sharpened. With regular maintenance, you can keep an Exacto Knife blade sharp and ready to use for a long time.

It’s important to remember that sandpaper can be used only to hone the blade; it won’t help if your knife is already too dull. For severely dull blades, you should use a whetstone or diamond sharpener instead. Additionally, when using sandpaper to sharpen an Exacto Knife, make sure to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying particles.

Finally, avoid using a metal file or other abrasive materials that could damage the blade. With the proper tools and techniques, you can easily sharpen an Exacto Knife with sandpaper for long-term use.

7 Methods on How to Sharpen Xacto Knife

1. Use a Honing Stone

The first method you can use to sharpen your Xacto knife is to use a honing stone. Honing stones are made of different materials, such as diamond, ceramic, or Arkansas stone. To use a honing stone, wet the stone with water or oil and then hold the Xacto knife at a 20-degree angle against the stone. Use long, even strokes to sharpen the blade. Make sure to sharpen both sides of the blade. While you are sharpening, check the blade often for sharpness.

2. Use a Honing Rod

Another option for sharpening your Xacto knife is to use a honing rod. Honing rods are made of different materials, such as steel, ceramic, or diamond. It is best to use a honing rod that matches the material of your Xacto knife blade. Steel will work for carbon steel blades, and ceramic and diamond rods should be used for stainless steel blades.

 Use a Honing Rod

To use a honing rod, begin by holding the knife in one hand and the rod in the other. Gently draw the blade down the length of the hole while applying light pressure. Make sure to keep the angle consistent as you move down the rod. You should do about ten strokes on each side of the blade, alternating sides with each stroke. When finished, clean any metal shavings from the blade before use.

3. Use a Whetstone

Another option for sharpening your Xacto knife is to use a whetstone. Whetstones are made of abrasive materials, such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide. To use a whetstone, hold the knife at an angle of 15-20 degrees and move it across the surface of the stone in a circular motion. Start from the blunt end and move to the pointed end while maintaining a consistent angle throughout.

When sharpening a Xacto knife, it is important to sharpen both sides of the blade evenly and with the same motion. After completing a few strokes on each side, check your progress by cutting a piece of paper. If the edges are not sharp enough, repeat the process until you achieve the desired result. Finally, rinse and dry the Xacto knife when you are finished.

4. Use a Diamond Sharpener

Another option for sharpening your Xacto knife is to use a diamond sharpener. Diamond sharpeners are made of abrasive materials, such as diamond dust or cubic boron nitride. These materials can sharpen your blade very quickly and with great accuracy. To use the diamond sharpener, hold the blade against the surface of the sharpener and run it back and forth.

Be sure to pull the blade away from the surface of the sharpener in a sweeping motion, as this will help keep the blade from becoming blunt. Once you’ve sharpened both sides of the blade, test it to make sure that it is as sharp as you need it to be. If not, repeat the process until it is sharp enough. Keep in mind that over-sharpening can damage the blade and make it less effective.

5. Use Sandpaper

Another option for sharpening your Xacto knife is to use sandpaper. Sandpaper is made of abrasive materials, such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide. The key to using sandpaper is to start with a coarse grit, such as 80-grit, and work your way up to a finer grit, such as 400-grit or higher.

Use a circular motion to sharpen the blade, making sure to angle it slightly so that you can sharpen the entire blade. After you have finished sharpening, use a clean cloth to wipe away any debris or dust. Be sure to always wear safety glasses or goggles when sharpening any type of blade.

6. Use an Abrasive Cloth

An abrasive cloth is another way to sharpen your Xacto knife by hand without using any powered tools. Abrasive cloths are usually made from materials such as aluminum oxide or silicon carbide and can be used to quickly sharpen the edge of your knife with just a few strokes.

An Abrasive Cloth is 
Another Way to Sharpen

Simply hold the abrasive cloth against the side of the blade and stroke it away from the edge in a smooth, even motion until you’ve achieved the desired level of sharpness. Remember to always stroke in the same direction; never back and forth like you would with a traditional razor blade! Doing so will damage the blade beyond repair over time! 

7. Use an Electric Knife Sharpener

If you want the quickest, most foolproof method of sharpening your Xacto knife, then using an electric knife sharpener is probably your best bet! Electric sharpeners will do all the work for you – simply insert the blade into the appropriate slot (usually, there are different slots for different kinds/sizes of blades) and let the machine do its job! In just seconds, you’ll have a nice, sharp blade that’s ready to tackle any project that comes it’s way!

Things to Consider While Sharpening Xacto Knife

1. Select the Right Sharpening Tool.

An X-Acto knife should be sharpened with a whetstone, which is available at most hardware stores. For best results, use a whetstone with a grit of 1000 or finer.

2. Ensure You Have All the Necessary Supplies.

In addition to the whetstone, you will need sharpening oil or water and a towel. The oil or water lubricates the whetstone so that it can remove metal more efficiently while protecting the blade from damage.

You Will Need Sharpening Oil

3. Prepare Your Work Area.

Before you start sharpening your X-Acto knife, make sure your work area is clear and that you have access to a stable surface. Make sure the blade is pointed away from you at all times to avoid potential accidents.

4. Sharpen Your Knife in Smooth, Even Strokes.

Begin by rubbing the blade against the whetstone in a circular motion, starting at the tip of the knife and working towards the handle. Make sure to keep the blade flat against the surface of the whetstone and apply even pressure. Use light strokes with minimal force, being careful not to press too hard on the knife, or you could damage it.

5. Wipe off Excess Oil or Water & Test the Blade.

Once you are finished sharpening the blade, wipe off any excess oil or water with a cloth and test it on a piece of paper. If the blade is still dull, repeat steps four and five until the desired results are achieved. When you are done, rinse off your X-Acto knife before putting it away to avoid any unnecessary rusting.

You Are Finished Sharpening the Blade


Now that you know how to sharpen your Xacto knife, you can keep it in top condition and get the most use out of it. Be sure to follow these steps carefully to avoid any accidents. With a sharp Xacto knife, you’ll be able to tackle any craft project with ease. 

We hope this guide on how to sharpen xacto knife was helpful. Please share it with your friends on social media if you find it useful. And be sure to check back here soon for more informative guides like this one.

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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