Card Scraper Sharpening and Use – Ask Matt #16

Card scrapers are some of the most useful tools in woodworking but although they’re really easy to use, it’s notoriously hard to learn how to sharpen them.  I struggled with sharpening these for a long time until I made one modification to my sharpening technique and that was to apply very light pressure with the burnisher.

Products Used:
[Affiliate Links]
3pc Scraper Set:
Convex Profile Scrapers:
10″ Bastard File:
4000 Grit Waterstone:
8000 Grit Waterstone:
Sharpening Oil:


The final result of the sharpening process is to turn a sharp corner (left) into a hook (right).


The first step it to prep the edge of the scraper with a file.  This levels the surface and starts to form a nice crisp corner.


Next is polishing the face of the scraper.  I start with a 4000 grit stone.


On the same stone I’ll polish the edge of the scraper.  I like to do this freehand but you can also use a block of wood here as a guide.


I can next repeat the polishing steps on my 8000 grit stone




Now comes burnishing.  The first passes are with the burnisher held square to the face of the scraper. I use light pressure here.  Only the weight of my arms is pressing the burnisher down.  I do 4-5 passes.


Next to roll the hook, I tip the burnisher a bit and repeat the burnishing passes.  Again, only applying light pressure.


Now the scraper is ready to be used.  I sharp scraper will produce really nice wispy shavings.

Home Addition & Renovation

Cabinetry and open seating

Welcome back to our home renovation and remodel.  Today, I am hoping to have the island cabinetry built out, as well as getting the leg

Home Addition & Renovation

White Oak Kitchen Island Leg

Welcome back to the shop! I’m continuing on with the white oak island build. Last time I made the end panels for the cabinetry unit,

3 Responses

  1. Hi Matt,

    I enjoyed watching your video of how to sharpen card scrapers. Could you at some point show how to sharpen, shaped card scrapers, I have yet to see anyone explain how this is done.

    Thank you,

    1. Thank you John! I actually decided to split the curved and shaped scrapers out from this video for the interest of time. My next Ask Matt will be on the curved scrapers so look for that soon. Thanks again! Matt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.