Those scissors in your office or kitchen drawer may be the most dependable tool you keep around for everyday tasks. They are used for cutting paper, cardboard, fabric, string, price tags, plastic packaging, and the list goes on.
But over time and with regular use, all scissors will eventually lose the sharp edges they had when you first bought them.
Since scissors are generally inexpensive, you might think about going out and purchasing a new pair if your dull ones are making it difficult for you to cut. But if you know how to sharpen scissors, you can sharpen your scissors at home which only require a few common household items and a little bit of practice.
Learn more about sharing scissors in the paragraphs that follow.
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How Frequently Should You Sharpen Scissors?
There is no set schedule for sharpening. It all comes down to how frequently you cut things with scissors and what you’re cutting. More frequently than someone who only cuts things like herbs, someone who frequently cuts sturdy materials will likely need to sharpen their scissors.
How To Sharpen Scissors?
Option 1: Use A Sharpening Stone
The simplest, most convenient method of sharpening scissors is with a sharpening stone, also known as a bench stone or whetstone. The stone typically has two sides, one with a 400-grit surface and the other with a 1,000-grit surface. Sharpening should always start on the stone’s coarse side.
Start by soaking the stone’s surface in either honing oil or just plain water. Next, place the scissor blade’s inner surface flat against the stone. Draw the blade across the entire length of the stone, from the base to the tip, using light downward pressure. 10 to 20 strokes should usually be enough, depending on how dull the blade is.
Next, trace a black line with a permanent marker along the cutting edge of the blade. When the entire edge has been sharpened, the line will serve as a visual cue. When the blade is placed on the stone, make sure the beveled cutting edge is flat against the surface.
Draw the blade across the stone five or six times while maintaining this angle. Verify that you are holding the blade at the correct angle by pausing and looking at the black ink line. Sharpen the blade further until the black ink line disappears and the entire edge is shiny, which shows that the blade is sharp.
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Examine the inner edge of the blades for burrs following sharpening. By placing the inner edge of the blade flat on the stone and drawing it very lightly across the surface, the burrs can be removed.
Now turn the stone over, wet the surface, and draw the blade’s beveled edge across the fine-grit side of the stone to sharpen the cutting edge to a razor’s edge. Once more, 10 to 20 strokes are adequate.
To sharpen and refine the other scissor blade, repeat the previous instructions.
Option 2: Use A Rotary Tool
A handheld rotary tool, also known as a Dremel tool, is a remarkably adaptable electric tool that can be equipped with a variety of accessories, including rotary abrasive stones that are perfect for sharpening scissors.
Beginning with the beveled cutting edge facing up, tightly clamp the scissor blade into a vise. After that, insert a grinding stone made of aluminum oxide into the rotary tool and tighten the collet nut. Turn on the motor and place the grinding stone very lightly against the beveled edge while maintaining firm control of the tool with two hands.
Now, and this is crucial, hold the stone at an angle that matches the beveled edge, and keep it moving at all times. Even a brief pause will cause the blade to develop a hollow spot.
Pass the rotating stone from base to tip of the beveled edge eight to ten times while applying very little pressure. Grind them off with the stone if you notice any burrs on the flat side of the blade.
Option 3: Slice Sandpaper
For very dull or damaged scissors, the two sharpening techniques mentioned above are necessary. If your scissors are still cutting, but they are cutting unevenly, try the following tip: Take a sheet of 150-grit aluminum oxide sandpaper and fold it in half so the abrasive surfaces are facing out. The sandpaper should now be cut into thin strips using scissors. To fully expose the blades’ cutting edge to the sandpaper, make sure to cut with a full stroke.
The abrasive particles on the sandpaper’s surface will function as tiny sharpening stones, simultaneously honing the cutting edges of both blades. To get rid of any gritty abrasives, clean the blades with a cloth or paper towel. By repeatedly cutting through some scrap paper, you can check the scissors. Replicate the process if necessary.
Option 4: Cut Aluminum Foil
When using aluminum foil, this method is comparable to cutting sandpaper. Once more, this will hone slightly dull scissors, but it won’t sharpen scissors with very dull or damaged blades. Start by tearing off a piece of foil that is about 12 inches long. The foil sheet should then be folded several times until it has at least six layers.
Now, using full-stroke cuts, cut the foil packet into 10 or 12 strips with the scissors. By cutting some scrap paper, check the scissors’ cutting edge. Once the scissors are cutting foil quickly and cleanly, if necessary, cut a few more strips.
In order to get rid of any stray aluminum particles, clean the blades last.
Also Read: How to Sharpen Lathe Tools?
When Should You Sharpen Your Scissors?
When cutting starts to take more effort than usual, according to Viking Culinary’s Jeff Malkasian, it’s time to sharpen your kitchen shears.
It’s probably time to consider sharpening if you have to exert more effort to cut through a piece of meat or vegetable. Another definition of effort is having to apply more pressure in order to close or cut with the scissors.
The scissors need to be sharpened if they cannot cut the paper with precision. Start the test at the scissors’ widest opening and continue until they are completely closed. Every portion of the blade of well-tuned scissors should produce a flawless cut.
When To Replace Your Old Scissors?
If you’re debating buying new scissors, keep in mind that sharpening them might be the answer.
Sharpening and upkeep should be sufficient for good kitchen shears. It is simple to disassemble many types of kitchen shears for cleaning and sharpening. While both can be sharpened, those styles are a little easier to maintain than shear blades that are permanently attached to one another.
Mor points out that while kitchen scissors can be sharpened, it is advised that you replace the poultry shears if you own both types of scissors.
How To Maintain Your Scissor Blades?
You probably have honing steel if you own a knife set, and it’s probably not just for your knives.
To prevent rust, you should also hand-wash your shears and thoroughly dry them. If you put your kitchen scissors in the dishwasher, there’s a chance they’ll bump into other flatware and nick at the edge.
In addition to soap and water, a solvent like alcohol or Goo Gone can be used to clean your kitchen shears.
The blades may bind and separate as a result of adhesion from cutting tape and adhesion from cutting boxes. Clean blades cut more effectively, and proper maintenance can help prevent a more involved and time-consuming sharpening process.