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How To Sharpen Scissors


How To Sharpen Scissors

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How To Sharpen Scissors

How To Sharpen Scissors

How to Sharpen Scissors: A Comprehensive Guide

Scissors are an indispensable tool in daily life, used for various tasks ranging from cutting paper and fabric to trimming hair and fingernails. However, with prolonged use, scissors can become dull, making it difficult or impossible to cut cleanly. Sharpening scissors is essential to restore their cutting ability and extend their lifespan. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to sharpen scissors using different methods.

Methods for Sharpening Scissors

There are several methods available to sharpen scissors. The choice of method depends on the type of scissors, the extent of dullness, and the available tools.

1. Using a Whetstone:

A whetstone is a traditional method of sharpening scissors. It is a rectangular or circular stone made of abrasive material, such as silicon carbide or ceramic.


  1. Apply a few drops of oil to the whetstone.
  2. Hold the scissors with the blades open at about a 50-60 degree angle to the stone.
  3. Slide the blades back and forth along the stone, maintaining a consistent angle.
  4. Alternate sharpening each blade by repeating the process on the other side.
  5. Continue sharpening until the desired sharpness is achieved.

2. Using a Sharpening Rod:

A sharpening rod is a cylindrical rod made of ceramic or metal with a grooved surface. It is commonly used to sharpen knives but can also be used on scissors.


  1. Hold the scissors with the blades open and slightly apart.
  2. Insert the rod into the slot between the blades.
  3. Pull the scissors towards you while applying light downward pressure.
  4. Repeat the process several times, alternating between both blades.
  5. Continue sharpening until the blades are keen.

3. Using a Scissor Sharpener:

Scissor sharpeners are specialized tools designed specifically for sharpening scissors. They come in various types, including manual, electric, and battery-operated.


  1. Follow the instructions provided with the scissor sharpener.
  2. Typically, scissor sharpeners have slots for both the lower and upper blades.
  3. Insert the blades into the slots and apply pressure according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  4. Sharpen both blades by repeating the process.

4. Using Aluminum Foil:

This is a quick and easy method for slightly dull scissors.


  1. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil and fold it several times.
  2. Cut into the foil multiple times using the scissors.
  3. The abrasive surface of the foil will help sharpen the blades.

Tips for Sharpening Scissors

  • Always wipe off the scissors with a clean cloth before and after sharpening.
  • Use light to moderate pressure when sharpening to avoid damaging the blades.
  • Sharpen both blades evenly to maintain balance.
  • Do not over-sharpen the scissors, as this can weaken the blades.
  • Store scissors in a protected location to avoid accidental dulling.

Troubleshooting Common Sharpening Issues

  • Scissors are still dull: The blades may be excessively dull or damaged. Consider using a more abrasive sharpener or replacing the scissors.
  • Scissors are cutting unevenly: One of the blades may be sharpened more than the other. Re-sharpen both blades evenly.
  • Scissors are cutting at a strange angle: The blades may not be aligned properly. Use a scissor sharpener that guides the blades to ensure proper alignment.


Q: How often should I sharpen my scissors?
A: The frequency of sharpening depends on the type of scissors and usage. Generally, it is recommended to sharpen scissors every 2-3 months with regular use.

Q: Can I use a knife sharpener to sharpen scissors?
A: No, knife sharpeners are not suitable for sharpening scissors. Using a knife sharpener can damage the delicate blades of scissors.

Q: Is it possible to over-sharpen scissors?
A: Yes, over-sharpening can weaken the blades and reduce their lifespan. Sharpen scissors only until they are keen, not excessively sharp.

Q: What safety precautions should I take when sharpening scissors?
A: Always wear eye protection and handle the scissors with care. Keep the blades away from your body and ensure the scissors are securely held.

Q: Can all types of scissors be sharpened?
A: Not all types of scissors can be sharpened. For instance, some decorative scissors or specialty shears may not be suitable for sharpening. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

By following these steps and tips, you can effectively sharpen scissors and maintain their cutting ability for extended periods. If you have any doubts or encounter difficulties, do not hesitate to consult a professional sharpener. Proper care and maintenance of your scissors will ensure their longevity and optimal performance for years to come.