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

Relevant Guides

  • Sharpening a Card Scraper

    Sharpening a Card Scraper

    Sharpening Draw file along the 2 long edges by pushing the file away from you, small steel spirals should appear from the edges as a result of the filing. Place each long edge against the diamond sharpening plate keeping it vertically aligned and push and pull it 10 times making your way through all the…

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  • Using a Card Scraper

    Using a Card Scraper

    When using a card scraper, wrap three fingers around each side and push your thumbs into the opposite side of the scraper to bend the plate. To begin working the wood, lean the scraper forward and press and push through the base of the scraper plate. The more you bend the card and the more…

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  • Buying a Card Scraper

    Buying a Card Scraper

    Paul recommends a Veritas scraper as the steel takes a good edge, hardness is just right and not too brittle and they flex well. They come in a set of 4 rectangular scrapers (listed as Veritas Super-Hard Milled Scrapers) which contains scrapers of different thicknesses and sizes so will suit a wider range of options…

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  1. 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.

    1. 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. 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!!

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