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Dull Microplanes


Teri Everitt
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I was wondering if Microplane graters can be sharpened easily. We have 2 or 3 dull ones at work and it seems wasteful to just keep buying new ones as they get dull.

Can you sharpen them....and what tool would you use?

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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How long do microplanes usually last before getting dull?

The ones at my work get fairly heavy use. Eventually they get to the point where they won't take the zest off a lemon easily but they WILL take off chunks of your fingernails. We usually buy a new one every 9 to 10 months, which isn't bad but I hate the idea of throwing the old ones away if they can be sharpened.

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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I'm resigned to replacing mine every year or so -- as I just did last week -- but would also love to know if there's anyway to sharpen them.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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Yes. But Very, Very carefully.

Get a 400 or 500 grit black carbide sanding belt DO NOT USE SANDPAPER!

Like this.

Get some crocus cloth.

And like this.

Wear a blade-proof glove.

Work over a pad of newspaper or somewhere that can be cleaned easily.

Cut the sanding belt into pieces that you can hold easily.

If you don’t have a glove, find something to stick on the back of the piece as a pad, even a piece of bubble wrap will work.

Lay the piece flat on the grater and gently drag it against the cutting edges, just as if you were grating something. If the grater is curved, shape it to the curve.

Don't bear down hard enough to have the teeth catch in the cloth.

It will take 5 or 6 strokes to sharpen a moderately dull grater.

Rinse the grater.

Now spray a little water onto the crocus cloth. It will turn purple and get sort of gooey, like a paste.

Repeat the process with this, it will get a bit messy. However this will remove all the tiny burrs that the carbide cloth has pulled up.

Wash well with soapy water. Dry and test.

If you have a real steady hand and own a Dremel or similar electric rotary tool, you can use the soft carbide bits to individually sharpen each tooth but this is very time consuming. Since the price of the specialty microplanes has come down considerably, it is easier to just replace them.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 9 years later...
On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2006 at 4:32 PM, andiesenji said:

Yes. But Very, Very carefully.

Get a 400 or 500 grit black carbide sanding belt DO NOT USE SANDPAPER!

Like this.

Get some crocus cloth.

And like this.

Wear a blade-proof glove.

Work over a pad of newspaper or somewhere that can be cleaned easily.

Cut the sanding belt into pieces that you can hold easily.

& etc.

 

This is very useful information.  I may just give it a try as my Microplane is several years old and it might be nice to give it a little touch-up.

 ... Shel


 

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Microplanes are from $6.00 to $10.00

 

500 grit black carbide sanding belts are from $6.00 to $30.00

Assuming you already have cut resistant gloves.

 

Why waste time? Buy a new one! You can't sharpen it like new ones anyway.

 

dcarch

 

 

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14 hours ago, dcarch said:

Microplanes are from $6.00 to $10.00

 

500 grit black carbide sanding belts are from $6.00 to $30.00

Assuming you already have cut resistant gloves.

 

Why waste time? Buy a new one! You can't sharpen it like new ones anyway.

 

dcarch

 

 

That's what I said at the end of the post I made ten years ago.  I do have one rather expensive microplane, a box grater and I had a lot of sanding belts from when I used to do glass work so I do sharpen it.

But I just by a new one when the smaller ones get dull.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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