How to Sharpen Scissors

how to sharpen scissors

From crafting, to DIY, to gardening – scissors get the job done. Unfortunately, with regular use, they can also get dull fast. They’re usually not very expensive, so it seems like an easy option to purchase a new pair when your old ones just don’t cut it anymore. But there’s a better way! By sharpening them at home, you can reduce waste and save money. You’re already used to sharpening your kitchen knives, so why not learn these scissor sharpening hacks?

Before we get started, remember that scissors are sharp, and even a dull blade can be dangerous. So be cautious and wear safety goggles and gloves when sharpening your scissors.

Sharpen scissors using a stone

Making your scissors sharper with a stone (also called bench stone) is the most popular method to get blades into shape again. You can get one online or at a hardware store, and they’ll help sharpen knives too. These two-sided stones (one coarse and one fine) also last a lifetime, so you’ll be making a good investment.

To sharpen your scissors using a stone, follow these steps:

  • Lay the stone on a towel or some old newspaper.
  • Wet the stone with some water.
  • Remove the screws that hold your scissor blades together. You’ll want to sharpen each edge separately, and it’ll be more accessible when taken apart.
  • Start with the coarse side, particularly if you haven’t sharpened your blades in a while.
  • Apply light pressure while drawing the blade across the stone with the bevelled edge flat against the stone.
  • Repeat for 10 to 20 strokes.
  • Finish by swiping the blades across the fine side of the stone (approximately five times).
  • Repeat with the second blade.

How can you tell if the blades are sharper? You can draw a line with a marker across the edge of the blade. When the marker disappears, you’ll know that you’ve sharpened all of it. Alternatively, try cutting some paper before and after the sharpening process to feel the difference.

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Sharpen scissors at home with sandpaper

Another option to learn how to sharpen your scissors is to use sandpaper. This method won’t work as well if the blades are very dull. But it will be a good option when scissors need just a little bit of sharpening. You’ll just need some medium grit sandpaper.

  • Fold the sandpaper a few times.
  • Cut into it with your scissors, keeping the cutting edge on the sandpaper. The sandpaper will act like little sharpening stones as you draw the blades through it.
  • Repeat as necessary.
  • When done, just wipe down the blades with some tissue or paper.

How to sharpen scissors with aluminium foil

Using aluminium foil to sharpen blades is another alternative, but much like the sandpaper option, it can only help in the case of mildly dull blades.

  • Fold a sheet of aluminium foil at least three times.
  • Then cut the foil into strips approximately ten times.
  • You can test whether scissors are sharper by cutting a piece of paper before and after sharpening.
  • Wipe down the blades to remove any residues. 

Other tips

When you don’t have aluminium foil, sandpaper or stones on hand, you can use other solid metallic objects to sharpen the blades against. For example, the shaft of a screwdriver can be a suitable alternative.

Always be careful to sharpen scissors in a direction away from your body to avoid injury!