what is a carbide scraper

What is a Carbide Scraper? (A Detailed Guide)

In Tools by Jamie P.

I myself being a person who makes YouTube videos, I also like to watch a lot of YouTube videos. A while ago I found a furniture refinisher who does an amazing job restoring damaged wooden furniture. Since I refinish projects in a similar manner I thought I’d watch some videos and see what I could learn. I noticed he was using this scraping tool that was just shaving away the old finish, I was quite intrigued. Apparently, it is called a carbide scraper, so I did some research, what is a carbide scraper?

A carbide scraper is a hand tool designed to scrape various surfaces such as wood, concrete, and metal. It quickly removes paint, rust, glue, epoxy, varnish, and much more with its durable carbide-tipped blade. A carbide steel blade will last and perform much better than an ordinary steel scraper blade. 

After some research on various products I purchased the most popular option I found online, it is called the Bahco Premium Ergonomic Carbide Scraper, and I have to say I love this thing. When I refinish furniture it can take some time to remove a small amount of old finish or paint, but now I can grab this carbide scraper and skim over the surface and it smoothly removes what I want. Anyway, let me answer some common questions about this tool and really go into details about it, because there really isn’t enough out there!

What is a Carbide Scraper Used For?

  • stripping furniture
  • scrape old paint off buildings, windows, etc
  • scrape away glue or similar stuck on materials
  • scrape metal surfaces

A carbide scraper is most commonly used for scraping paint from wooden surfaces, however, that is not what it is limited to. Since carbide scrapers have a much stronger and more durable blade they can be used to scrape multiple surfaces such as wood, concrete, steel, and pretty much anything you want to scrape.

Personally, I have only used my carbide scraper to remove paint and varnish from my wooden furniture projects, and let me tell you it smoothly removes the finish. The tool is becoming more popular in the woodworking space, and it can be compared to the commonly used card scraper or a cabinet scraper. The efficiency of the carbide scraper is what really makes it worth it, within seconds you can scrape away the old finish to a piece of furniture. It only removes in strips, but with a little bit of work you can have a full finish removed without the need for harsh chemical paint stripping products.

If you are looking at a carbide scraper for scraping old paint or materials off of something, this tool is also a great choice for you. When I was working for a construction company I once had to scrape a full (one-side) exterior of an old building, all I was given was a junk paint scraper that couldn’t even scratch the surface. I swear it was a 10-year-old scraper, worthless. I spent hours scraping for little amounts of old paint to fall off. At this point, I had no idea what a carbide scraper was. If I had a carbide scraper that day I could have scraped so much old paint off and it would have been so much easier.

A carbide blade will certainly do good work to scrape most surfaces, if you have something like paint, glue, finish, varnish, epoxy, gum, grime, or whatever layered over something I am sure a carbide scraper has a much better chance to remove it than most other methods.

Are Carbide Scrapers Good?

When comparing to any other paint scraper the carbide scraper will perform better. The carbide blade will scrape faster and more effectively, furthermore, the carbide will actually last longer than other scrapers because of how hard the type of steel is. When looking at the Mohs hardness scale, tungsten carbide ranks 9 out of 10 on the scale, 10 being a diamond and of course, being the hardest on the scale. When a scraper has a carbide tip you know it is designed to last. So, are carbide scrapers any good? No… they are great!

What is the Best Carbide Scraper?

There are a few different options when it comes down to buying a carbide scraper, some are bigger than others, some have better grips, and others have different types of blades. Finding the best carbide scraper for you depends on what you are looking for, are you stripping furniture? Scraping old paint off a house? Or do you have other plans?

After researching and personally using the product, I can confidently say that the best carbide scraper on the market is the Bahco Premium Ergonomic Carbide Scraper. It is available in 3 blade sizes, 1 inch, 2-inch, and 2.5-inch.

The 2.5-inch blade option has the extra ball handle on top, like shown in the photo above. The 1 and 2-inch options are lighter weight and do not have that extra grip. I have the 2 inch Bahco Carbide Scraper, it is extremely lightweight and simple to use. I think I would now choose the 2.5-inch blade with the handle for better control.

Sometimes when I am scraping with one hand I lose control and dig the edge of my blade deep into the wood. This is annoying and causes me to need to fix these issues, if I had that extra 2nd hand grip I would likely never do this and have way more control.

The 1-inch option is pretty cool, but not really something I think I would need. This size blade is designed for tighter areas such as windows and moldings, however, I think in certain furniture projects when things get tight I could definitely use a small blade to get precise shavings. It comes with a handy holster to attach to your belt, great to have when up on scaffolding and you are in need of a small scraper to clean something up.

What About Bahco Replacement Blades?

You’re in luck, each of the 3 options do have replacement blades available. The 2 and 2.5-inch scrapers can use both 2 and 2.5-inch blades as replacements, meaning if you wanted the handle with the grip you can use a smaller 2-inch blade, and vice-versa.

The 1-inch blade has many different shape replacement blades you can purchase. It comes with a triangle blade, but you also can buy the round blade, pear blade, and drop blade. The round blade is self-explanatory, the pear blade is rounded but shaped like a pear, while the drop blade is sharp and pointed. See the photo above to see the different blade shapes.

My Final Thoughts?

All in all, if you are searching for a paint scraper or a scraper of any kind, I recommend grabbing a carbide one. Like I mentioned numerous times, these carbide blades will last a long time and they perform so well. If you are a handy person, always up to some type of project like me, then having one of these on hand is not a bad idea.

These carbide scrapers are affordable, take up little to no space, and work better than other options on the market! Why not give one a try, right?

Good luck with your next project and feel free to reach out to me by email (furnitureflippa@gmail.com) if you have any questions, seriously, Id love to help!