Scissor Sharpening

Several Ways of Sharpening Scissors

Whether you are a professional upholsterer, a craft fiend, or simply someone that cuts coupons a lot, you’ve likely noticed that the blades on your scissors could use a little sharpening. Scissors, just like knives, need some periodic attention to ensure that they will remain in good shape and peak performance. While this may not be a big deal to the average person, anyone that’s ever tried to cut wrapping paper with dull blades can bear witness of the importance of sharpening scissors every once in a while.

Here are several fairly easy ways for sharpening scissors at home and some help for keeping your blades sharper in the future. Be sure to be careful when handling the scissors or any other blades that you may sharpen in the future.

The Aluminum Foil Trick

This is the easiest way by far to improve the sharpness of your scissors, but you need to be aware of a few things. This method is primarily geared towards craft scissors and should be used before the blades are completely dull—think of it as scissor maintenance. In addition to this, if you craft a lot or use upholstery scissors, you should also clean them out after every project since tiny synthetic fibers can get stuck between the blades and expedite dullness.

To do this method, take a small sheet of aluminum foil, approximately one square foot, and fold it 3 or 4 times. Then, take the sheet and begin cutting it into several thin strips of foil. You should see vast improvement in the sharpness of your blades and the convenience of this method makes it quite popular in crafting crowds.

The Screwdriver Method

This method is also quite popular, especially with those that have heavy-duty scissors that need sharpening. In fact, many professional upholsterers use this method on a regular basis. To begin, find a screwdriver lying around that has a decent handle with a sturdy grip. Locate the spot directly below the handle, and place it in your scissors all the way to the pivot point. Get a good grip on both the screwdriver and scissors and begin “cutting” through the screwdriver. If you don’t have a screwdriver, you can substitute other hard cylindrical items for one. Glass beer bottles and pop bottles are a popular substitute.

You will soon notice a wire or burr forming on the blades of your scissors from trying to “cut” these objects. Be sure to remove it, either by actuating the scissors or by stropping them with a good quality leather strap.

Sharpening Stone

If you have higher quality scissors, or just insist on an immaculate blade edge, you may wish to forgo the previous methods, and instead utilize a whetstone. This method is fairly simple, but requires some care on your part, as well as the purchasing of a good quality whetstone. You may also choose to actually disassemble your scissors so that you can sharpen the entire length of the blade, though this is not necessary to see amazing results.

Once you’ve purchased your stone, find out what kind of lubrication you will require for it—oil or water. Once lubricated, place the stone on a flat and level surface with plenty of space for you to work.

Open your scissors if you’ve not completely disassembled them and match up the angle on the blade to the angle against the stone. You do not want to completely redefine the angle, just refresh it. Once you’ve found the proper angle, begin sliding the scissor blade lengthwise across the stone, starting with the tip of the blade and ending by the pivot point.

As with the previous method, check for burrs and remove them quickly.