How do you sharpen scissors?

Are there some easy ways to sharpen scissors — and can you do it with stuff you have lying around the house?

Fortunately, yes! Here are a few different ways to get your snippers sharp.

tips on how to sharpen scissors

Scissor wizard

Got an old pair of scissors that just don’t seem to, well, cut the mustard anymore? Don’t pitch them in the trash, and don’t spend the entire cost of them having them sharpened either. Just DIY it. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite ways to rejuvinate a dull pair of scissors.

1. Get sandy to sharpen scissors

Grab a piece of 150 or 200 grit sandpaper and make a few long cuts through it with your scissors, with the rough side facing down. Make sure you’re using as much of the blades as possible when doing the cut, and repeat a couple times.

If you’re feeling fancy, after two or three cuts through the 150/200, move to a 400 grit paper to put a nice fine edge on the scissors.

2. Foiled again

sharpening stoneSince aluminum is no longer more valuable than gold, this is another cheap and easy sharpening method.

Take a large-ish sized piece of aluminum foil and fold it a couple times so it’s a bit thicker. Then cut the foil into little thin strips with the scissors. Again, like with the sandpaper, use long, full scissor-length cuts.

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3. Buy a little help to sharpen scissors

You don’t need to spend a lot to get equipment to help you sharpen your shears. For around ten bucks, you can get things like the Fiskars SewSharp Scissors Sharpener, Gingher Knife Edge Scissors Sharpening Stone, Smith’s JIFF-S 10-Second Knife and Scissors Sharpener, AccuSharp Shear Sharp Scissor Sharpener, or the Fiskars Desktop Scissors Sharpener.

4. Coke is it

Grab an old glass jar or bottle (glass Coke bottles work great) and take the scissors and try to cut the bottle in half repeatedly. The action of sliding the blades against the glass will help remove burrs and swage (or taper) the edge of the scissors, sharpening them up. (This works in a pinch, though I probably wouldn’t try this with a $40 pair of hairstylist’s shears.)

5. Grind me a pound

If you happen to have a bench grinder out in the garage or workshop, this offers you a fantastic way to sharpen scissors.

You’ll want to use a 150 to 200 grit grinding wheel for this. (Don’t forget your safety glasses and gloves either. I’m serious — you don’t want to lose your grip and end up on the evening news.)

Open the scissors and line up the beveled edge with the grinding wheel. Lightly press the blade of the scissor up against the wheel, starting at the pivot point, and draw the blade across, maintaining equal pressure. Repeat with the opposite blade. Clean up the scissors with a bit of sandpaper when you’re done.

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Sharing is caring

Do you have any tips on sharpening scissors in addition to the ones I’ve listed? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!

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