How to Sharpen Scissors at Home – 6 Most Optimal Way

Last Updated on May 24, 2023

How to Sharpen Scissors at Home? Manicure, garden, stationery, tailor’s, and this is not the whole list of scissors that thousands of people use daily. Sharpening scissors during daily use occurs for at least three months. The master should be engaged in sharpening, but there are situations when you don’t want to spend time looking for a specialist because of one pair of scissors. Or the problem is urgent, and sharp scissors are needed immediately.

Sharpen Scissors at Home

There are various methods: some are surprised with their simplicity, while others require special equipment. Choose the most optimal way or try several if some manipulations were ineffective.

How to Know When It’s Time to Sharpen Scissors?

Jammed paper or cloth is the first sign of a scissor problem. It may be because of the untwisted mount connecting the two blades. The distance between the blades has become larger. 

Therefore, cutting thin fabric like silk will not work neatly: the extra space will compress and wrinkle the fabric. Before complaining about dull blades, first, you need to tighten the mount. It is easy to do, even without the help of a wizard.

Sharpen Scissor

The scissors are connected with a screw. A bolt goes in one side, and a nut holds it on the other. A screwdriver or pliers will help to tighten the scissor. It all depends on the features of the fastening.

  1. Open the scissors before tightening. Otherwise, the product can be overstretched, and you cannot open the scissors.
  2. You need to twist the tool smoothly. If you overdo it, the legs will start to walk poorly, causing discomfort.
  3. The screw is rotated by 0.5 mm, then closed the product and tried again if necessary.

A strong puff will ruin the scissors, and they will jam, and it will be impossible to repair such a defect.

Main Parts of Scissors

But first, let’s figure out what parts scissors consist of, what they are, the basic requirements for materials, and check the sharpness of scissors.

  • The outer surface of the knife. 
  • Blade chamfer.
  • The inner surface of the knife.
  • The outer surface of the hinged part.
  • Side face of the hinged part.
  • The inner surface of the hinge.
  • Rear face of the hinged part.

How to Tighten Scissors With Non-separable Fasteners

Here you have to make an effort and be as careful as possible. A non-separable mechanism is a rivet with a hat or a plug. 

Scissors need to be opened and put with a hat on durable metal. Fix the position of the scissors because we will have to hit them with a hammer. The scissor should not bounce. You need to beat carefully – the task is to press the latches and not to break the scissors into two parts.

Check what happened after the first hit and try again if necessary. A side effect of such exposure can be a heavy stroke of the legs. Grease or any oil will help to cope with this problem. If this does not help, then it’s time to move on to sharpening the blades.

In any application areas: everyday life, hairdressing, needlework – scissors must be sharp. Otherwise, they are useless. If you do not know how to sharpen a tool at home, take the advice of professional carpenters and hairdressers.

How to Sharpen Scissors at Home

How to Sharpen Scissors at Home

Only the master on special scissors sharpener for sewing scissors can sharpen scissors correctly. Since many do not have an electric machine, improvised means are suitable – an emery stone with fine grains. An emery stone is often used on the farm to sharpen knives; for many, it could be lying in the kitchen or the garage.

1. Abrasive Stone (Bar)

A tool for professional use: cutting fabric in production, cutting hair in a salon – it is better not to sharpen it yourself but to entrust a complex procedure to an experienced specialist from the workshop. Scissors for household needs, which are used at home, can be sharpened independently.

An electric grinder helps sharpen scissors and other cutting tools quickly and efficiently. If such a device is unavailable or you do not know how to use it, try to simulate the process. To do this, use a grindstone (bar or whetstone). 

How to Sharpen Scissors With an Abrasive Stone?

First, take care of safety – put on protective gloves on your hands, and on your face – a special mask to protect the respiratory tract from small particles. Then follow the sequence of work:

How to Sharpen Scissors at Home
  1. Choose a flat, hard surface to sharpen. It can be a table, bedside table, stool, or floor.
  2. Disassemble the scissors by removing the fastener (bolt, screw, or rivet).
  3. Prepare an emery stone with artificial abrasives: water or soapy water. Otherwise, the surface is quickly clogged with metal dust.
  4. Place a towel or piece of thick fabric under the bar. So you will fix the donkey in place.
  5. Start sharpening. Turn the stone with the rough side and make a smooth movement along the bar’s surface – from the screw to the tip of the blade. Repeat about 20-30 movements, then check the blade. If the scissors are not sharp enough, continue sharpening. Sharpen only one side of the blade.
  6. Repeat step 5 for the other half of the tool.
  7. Work the blades with the fine-grained side of the stone to eliminate burrs and complete grinding after rough sharpening.

In the end, assemble the scissors and return the mount to its place. Wipe the tool with a damp cloth or towel to remove any remaining micro articles on the blade. Many craftsmen recommend using Japanese water stones for work. With their help, you can sharpen any blade to razor sharpness.

2. Cutting Sandpaper With Scissors

The procedure will not take much time and effort, but you will need special 150-200 grain paper. You can use coarse-grained, but it is better to prefer fine grains. A sheet of paper must be folded in half, grain out. Next, take the sewing scissors and cut the paper. You need to cut 15-20 strips.

In addition to paper, you can use a standard dishwashing sponge if it has steel fiber. Also suitable are metal wool or other abrasive things that can cut scissors.

Instead of sandpaper, you can use aluminum foil. You need a thick layer. The effect will depend on the number of layers. The more strips you manage to cut, the higher the likelihood that the scissors will work properly.

How to Sharpen Scissors With Sandpaper?

Do the following:

  • Take medium abrasive sandpaper (grain size 150-200 microns).
  • Fold the sheet in half with the rubbed side up.
  • Cut about 10-20 strips, using the entire length of the edges.

The procedure takes only a few minutes. With the same result, you can cut metal wool or a steel fiber kitchen sponge.

3. Cutting Glass Jars or Bottle with Scissors

It is inconvenient to sharpen small scissors with a stone. For their sharpening, glass is often used, more precisely, glass containers (jars, bottles). How to sharpen scissors with glass? Instructions for the phased implementation of sharpening:

How to Sharpen Scissors at Home
  1. Take a glass container, and put it on the table.
  2. Hold the jar with one hand, and take the scissors with the other.
  3. Open the scissors and, placing the neck of the dish between the blades, make cutting movements.
  4. Repeat the cutting motion until the scissors’ edges are smooth and the required level of sharpness is achieved.

To perform the manipulation, use a container that is not a pity: scratches may form during the sharpening process.

4. Sharpen Scissors With a Needle

How to Sharpen Scissors With a Needle? The method is very similar to glass manipulation:

How to Sharpen Scissors at Home
  1. Take a large thick needle or sewing pin.
  2. Place the needle between the blades of the open scissors.
  3. Make several movements that simulate the cutting process.

How to Sharpen Nail Scissors? 

How to Sharpen Scissors at Home

Nail scissors have rounded cutting edges, which makes sharpening difficult. The tool’s small size leaves a minimum of options for sharpening blades. The most acceptable way is to cut a sewing needle or the neck of a glass bottle.

5. Cutting Aluminum Foil with Scissor

Another option for sharpening scissors is cutting foil. How to sharpen scissors with aluminum foil? Does cutting foil sharpen scissors? Here are the steps of the procedure are simple:

  • Take a sheet of foil 20-25 cm long, and fold it like an accordion in several layers. The more layers, the stronger the sharpening effect.
  • Cut the resulting thick strip with scissors along the entire length of the edges.
  • After sharpening scissors with any of the proposed options, it is necessary to check their sharpness. 

6. Cutting Metal Sponge with Scissors

When processing blades with a sponge, metal chips fly, so you need to sharpen scissors over a trash can or basin with high sides, the sponge is cut with a working edge, trying to use the entire blade – to the required sharpness.

How to Make Sure Scissors Are Sharpened Properly? 

Try to cut the material by taking a piece of cotton wool, fluffing it, and smoothly squeezing the scissor levers. If the scissors cut the cotton wool easily and effortlessly, they are sharpened correctly.

Scissors are an essential thing in the house. If the tool does not cut well, try sharpening it with improvised means. For the scissors not to become dull and serve for a long time, it is necessary to properly care for them and use them strictly for their intended purpose.

Life Hacks on How to Keep Scissors Sharp

Everything is based on how you use the scissor. If you abide by the norms, you won’t need to sharpen for several years.

  1. Stationery scissors are not suitable for sewing. With such a tool, you often have to cut metal elements. It is better to have specialized products designed specifically for tailors.
  2. After use, scissors must be disinfected, especially for manicure products. It is strongly not recommended to use boiling, as this will lead to the formation of rust and rapid blunting. The best way is to buy a good antiseptic.
  3. Also, to improve work, once every 3 months, it is necessary to lubricate with ordinary or special sewing machine oil.

Prevention for Sharpening Scissors

To make scissors lose their sharpness more slowly, follow these recommendations:

  • Thoroughly and timely clean the instrument from skin particles and nail care products.
  • Lubricate scissors at friction points. Ordinary machine oil will do.
  • Use nail scissors exclusively for nail care. Do not cut fabric, paper, or other objects with them.
  • Store your scissors in a moisture-proof case. It will be best if you always place the tool horizontally.

If the scissors are dull, it is better to abandon the idea of ​​​​sharpening and purchase new ones. Even with high-quality sharpening, they again quickly lose their sharpness. 

Manufacturers use special high-precision grinding equipment. At home and even at a professional workshop, it is impossible to achieve the original sharpness and properly restore the cutting edge, so it is recommended to buy new scissors to avoid cuts and damage to your nails. 


You must understand that these methods do not guarantee 100% sharpening; only a good craftsman using specialized equipment can correctly sharpen scissors. The presented six or more ways will help extend the product’s life for some time but not solve the problem fully.

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