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How to Sharpen a Vegetable/Fruit Peeler Without Any Tools

Quick peeler sharpening, step 1 — bend the blade-holding end outwards so the blade falls out:
Taking blade out of peeler
Quick peeler sharpening, step 2 — turn the blade and place it back by bending the blade-holding arch again:
Sharpening the peeler's blade by turning it around

Conditions

You can sharpen your favourite peeler with no special tools if:

  • your peeler has a symmetrical (ambidextrous) blade; and
  • you did not use your peeler ambidextrously, i. e. the peeler has usually been held in the same hand, left or right; and
  • in the case of Australian peeler the peeler should either have an arch over its blade, or be made of flexible material; a Y-peeler should be flexible (they always have an arch).

Tips:

  • Mark the dull side of the blade if you are not sure you can easily tell the difference once it is taken out.
  • You may consider wearing gloves to protect your hands from accidental cuts and scratches.
  • You may need some assistance to place the blade back. I managed to hold the peeler’s handle against my chest, bend the blade-holding arch with one hand and place the blade in with another. But, of course, everybody has different hands and peelers.

More Information

The point is that if your potato peeler has a symmetric blade and you are only using one side of it, the other side stays sharp, provided that it didn’t become rusty due to lack of care or bad quality of the peeler. Therefore, to get a sharp peeler, you just need to start using the other side of the blade. No, you don’t need to become left-handed if you are a right-hander or vice-versa, nor you need to exchange peelers with an opposite-handed friend (though, it’s an option). No special sharpening tools are needed either. You just need to turn the blade around.

Australian fruit veg peeler with arch over blade
An “Australian” peeler with an arch over the blade. This peeler is made of strong and a bit flexible plastic, which makes it bendable and suitable for quick sharpening
Australian fruit veg peeler with no arch over blade
This “Australian” peeler is made of hard plastic and has no arch. Perhaps you have stronger hands, but I wasn’t able to bend it

Conclusion

It is more practical to buy the peelers that have an arch and/or are made of flexible materials: they are easier to use because peels go through the arch much easier, and they will last twice as long because you can turn the blade and make it sharp-like-new again. However, make sure that the flexible material is strong enough so the blade doesn’t fall out when you are peeling your fruits and vegetables. In my case, the black peeler was more expensive than the white one, but it has much better grip and gouger, it is easier to use, and it turned out to be easy to sharpen when it became dull, which made it half-price.

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