Ok folks, this is a departure from the traditional methods of lapping, mainly because of use of an item that some might cry out as outrageous. But hang in with me and you will soon find out why it works. These are all taken from personal experience with CPU/HSF lapping in the past 2 year or so. I have lapped over 20+ CPUs/HSFs in various methods and I believe this is the best lapping method.

Tools of the trade:

1. Shaving cream ==Yes I know, it's unusual but I'll explain more later.
2. Alcohol 70%+ ==The one in the Staples Screen Cleaner is alcohol; I needed a spraying bottle so had to use that Staples one.
3. Sand Paper == I'll explain what sizes to use later. Some might be surprised by the 80 grit, but I will again explain it later.
4. Scissors, Tape, Paper towel/Tissue == Common items needed when lapping.
5. A flat glass/table == Note that I will not be using a glass here, but I highly recommend you do use a glass, this is very true if you are lapping a HSF with high grit sand paper and/or want the highest possible flat surface.

My subject HSF will be the OCZ Vanquisher.

STEP 1: Deciding What You Want:
First decide on how flat you want to go. Second, decide if you want to reduce the thickness of the HSF base. For me I decided on reducing the hight of the HSF AND flatting the base. Some might ask why I wanted to reduce the hight of the HSF. The reason is by looking at how DHT (aka Direct Heat Pipe Touch) work you can see that the heat pipes are directly touching the CPU, enabling better heat transfer. By lowering the hight/thickness of the HSF (from the base, not the top). Note that you can NOT reduce the base thickness of some HSF due to design. But in the case of the OCZ Vanquisher I am able to reduce the base thickness. You will NOT be able to do so in HSFs like the XIGMATEK S1283.

After you decide on what you need/want to do you can move on to the next step.

STEP 2: Choosing the Sand Paper:

Ok after deciding what to do from the above step you can decide on what sand paper to use.

1. If you are reducing the base hight of the HSF, you will need sand paper from 150 grit and higher. If you want to reduce the base hight a LOT start at 80 grit. I do not recommend you go below 80 grit, as it removes too much material.

2. If you only want to flatten/smooth the base start at 200 grit or higher. For HSFs with a already good base start at 400 grit.

STEP 3: Starting to Lapp:

Now we begin to start lapping :). Tape down the sand paper on a glass or a table. I used the table here, but I highly recommend you use a glass surface.


Now I guess I will have to explain why you needed the saving cream. There are a few reasons I choose shaving cream:

1. It won't wrinkle up the sand paper. If you have lapped before and have used water you will notice that after a while the sand paper starts to curl. This will not happen with shaving cream.

2. It is also less messy than using water. The shaving cream won't get every where if you are careful. You can just dampen some paper towel on the saving cream to clean sand paper.

3. I find that using shaving cream requires less pressure to be applied to the HSF compared to water.

4. Shaving cream also expands the life of the sand paper. Compared to water I was able to use the sand paper 2.5x as long.

The most effective method I found out was to use a little shaving cream on the sand paper and use more on the HSF than on the sand paper.

STEP 5: Finishing up

After you are satisfied with the HSF lapping. You MUST use Alcohol to COMPLETELY clean all traces of shaving cream on the HSF. Use cotton to clean up the bases.


My lapping pics:

80 grit:

150 grit:

220 grit:

400 grit:

600 grit:

(Note the black Aluminium piece that was attached; this was the first thing I did the instant I got this HSF (January 2007). The temps dropped by 2C, this was before the lapping and entire the testing phase)


(Note: Go with the SpeedFan temps, as those temps were calibrated according to CompuTronix's C2D Temp guide; CoreTemp should only be used to verify Load, VID, and CPU Speed/type. Ambient temp both days was 75F= ~24C )

Load temps before lapping:

Load Temps after lapping:

Result: Temps dropped by 5C on Core 0 and 2C on Core 1. Not bad. :D.


Jan 1, 2007
nice. but i prefer sand it dry and alot of pressure. since will make it lap faster and get the same result. but of course at higher grit i will slow down and do it at 4 direction 4 like 2 mins. i wish i can find some 1000Grit.


Jan 1, 2007
i rub it vigoursly and very fast uptp 400Grit. after that i fine lap on dry sandpaper.because i tape the top and bottum of my sandpaper.so it doesnt curl as you said if i put water on it. plus its clearer to see what being filed off if its dry or with water. if shaving cream you will need to file quite a bit off the heatsink to be able to see it.


Jun 8, 2007
Don't mind iluvgillgill, Shadow. He needs the work out. :lol:

Anyways, I say whatever ways works, works. There's just some that works better for others. I mean if I was a chick, I wouldn't run to the store and buy shaving cream...


Jan 1, 2007
i heard a interesting story. a friend of mine want to add extra cooling to his PC. as a test he use a hair blower to blow on the mobo to cool the overall system. he know if he press the cold air buttom on the blower it will blow out cool air. and i guess all of you knows if you didnt press the cold buttom what will happen. right?

So now lets play.........................what happen next?!


Jan 1, 2007
He cooked the mobo, when he touch the ram heatspreader he burn his hand!!!LOL

i cant stop laughing and mentioning it everytime i see him. i will be like my mum needs to borrow your hair blower to do some cooking!LOL

he RMA it and said it overheated by itself.and he got a exchange! then i know there is people dummer then him!lol


Feb 23, 2008
I was told that clip of the cpu blowing up was fake. The other video's pretty good though. It makes me want to get a cheap laptop just to kill it.