Sharpening a Polymer Clay Blade

tissue and polymer clay blades

Blades. You need at least one of these.

These long blades are the BEST tool for a variety of tasks.

  • Slide behind your clay to release it from the work surface
  • Scrape up bits
  • Cut the edges of sheets
  • Open packages
  • Cut chunks off a clay block
  • Remove trapped air bubbles in clay

You can also use this blade for slicing canes and shaving raised bits for doing the Mica Shift technique. For those last two processes, you’ll need a pretty sharp blade. So, naturally, new makers often want to know how to sharpen the blade.⁠

Sandpaper, a knife sharpener, or a whetstone can be used, but you’ll never regain that super sharp edge.

You see, “tissue blades” are super, super sharp blades that clayers borrowed from scientific supplies. They’re used to cut chunks of tissue for histology labs (A histopathology laboratory involves examining tissues and ultimately detecting diseases).

And they’re so sharp they WILL cut you, too.⁠ Instead of attempting to sharpen a polymer clay blade (and being frustrated when it dulls), try a different strategy.⁠

Allow your long blade to get dull. (Mine are 20 years old scraper blades and are as dull as a butter knife). You can’t get cut that way and it’s still plenty sharp for general claying tasks.

I use these blades EVERY single day. They are my #1 tool!

You can view a list of other tools and materials I use in my own personal studio here.

But I also have a couple super, super sharp tissue blades for slicing canes, doing mica shift and mokume gane (there’s a bonus tutorial for mica shift in my Sanding and Buffing eBook).

I use them ONLY for those tasks (carefully) and immediately put the blade away when I’m done. That way it stays sharp longer and I don’t risk cutting myself. It is a tissue-slicing blade, after all!⁠

So get yourself a variety of blades for your various claying tasks. This 3-blade pack on Amazon is a great way to start or add to your existing collection.

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