The Card Scraper Guide

The card scraper is a plate of sheet steel which is sharpened along the full length of the long edges and relies on careful precision throughout the sharpening process. The card scraper performs much the same tasks as the #80 scraper (cabinet scraper) and both blade types are made from plate steel, however their blades are sharpened differently. The card scraper has a burr on each corner of both the long edges. This burr creates the shavings which curl upwards from beneath the hook of the cutting edge. The slicing cuts reduce the tearout often associated with hand planing. Using the card scraper results in a finish surface that often eliminates the need for heavy sandpaper use, it creates a smooth surface on awkward grain in a way that you cannot achieve with any other tool. The card scraper also allows you to focus on one small area, taking off very small amounts of material without having to remove material from the surrounding areas to even it out. This is especially useful when removing minor defects or surface marks.

The card scraper can be reshaped to suit a hollow or spoon bowl, this doesn’t take long is perfect for shaping. This is known as a ‘curved’ or ‘round’ scraper, to see how to make a rounded card scraper, click here.


The two-thumb method is often used on narrower boards as your knuckles have room either side of the board but on larger pieces the heel-of-the-hand method may well work better. The scraper is used to create a smooth finish on a wood surface. Due to the flexibility of the card scraper, it can be used on curves and edges whereas the #80 scraper cannot be used in the same way due to the blade holder.


Two-thumb Method- Where both thumbs press on the card plate bending it away from you to allow you to control the depth and angle of scrape

Heel-of-the-hand Method- This is where you use the heel of one hand to bend the card scraper whilst using the other hand to support the scraping action

Burr- The refined, turned cutting edge on a scraper blade


  1. Jay Gill on 15 June 2018 at 3:16 pm

    It would be nice if you could provide a list of the current average price of tools (new and old) say from e-bay. I know there are plenty of assumptions that would need to be made but… it would give the readers an idea.

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 18 June 2018 at 10:40 am

      Hi Jay,

      Thank you for your comment.

      An average price for the tools is given in the buying guides, they can be found here:

      The prices of the tools we have purchased new are checked on a regular basis to ensure they’re up to date. As the price of tools on eBay can change daily, the prices of tools we purchased second hand are from at the time of purchase.

      I hope this helps!

      Kind Regards,

  2. Carlos M. Zaccaro on 31 July 2018 at 4:36 pm

    A piece of broken glass would do the same job and does not need to be resharpened!!! you just throw it away and get a new one!!! jajaja!!
    Thank you Paul and Team for making all this knowledge available to us!!

  3. Raymond Johnston on 8 January 2021 at 11:22 pm

    I was having the hardest time getting an edge on my card scraper. I literally set my phone on my workbench and followed Paul step by step and sure enough I got beautiful shavings. Thanks Paul!

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