Instructions for Sharpening Scissors

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It's annoying to reach for a pair of scissors and find that they are just not sharp enough to do the job. Besides the inconvenience of not being able to complete your task, you stand the risk of being injured by their dull blades. If a scissor is not sharp enough to cut through the required material, they can slip and cause injuries to your hands. For this reason, sharpening scissor blades is recommended and can be done easily at home or by a professional. Instead of just throwing away your old scissors and replacing them with a new pair, you may want to give one of the techniques below a try.

Things You'll Need

  • Dull pair of scissors
  • Sandpaper
  • Sharpening stone
  • Knife sharpener
  • Steel wool
  • Aluminum foil
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Work gloves
  • Soft cloth
  • Sharpening professional
  • Purchase fine grit sandpaper from your local hardware store and fold a piece in half so that the rough side faces out. Cut through the sandpaper several times with your scissors until the blades become sharpened. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary until the blades become sharpened.

  • Run the blades of your scissors over a knife sharpener to acquire clean, sharp edges. This tool can usually be purchased from your local kitchen supply store, or is sometimes sold along with a set of knives. For best results, continue the process several times switching from blade to blade until your scissors become razor sharp.

  • Visit your neighborhood chef supply store and purchase a sharpening stone. Once wet, the stone releases oils that are on the stone's surface, making is easier to slide the blades of your scissors over the top. Rubbing all sides of your scissor blades over the top of the stone will produce sharp edges that will redeem your tired old blades. Wipe the blades clean with a soft cloth following the sharpening procedure.

  • Try using steel wool to sharpen the dull blades on your scissors. Cutting through an SOS pad, or piece of steel wool several times can sharpen your scissors and can be done as often as necessary. Rinse your scissors afterwards and dry well to prevent rusting.

  • Clean the blades with a soft cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol, and then try cutting through a piece of aluminum foil several times. The alcohol will prepare the blades by removing any buildup or residues, and the aluminum foil can sharpen the blades as you cut through it.

  • Sharpen your scissors professionally using a local service or by mail order. There are several online companies that will sharpen your scissor blades quickly, and conveniently. Sending them off in protective packaging to a professional will ensure that they arrive in good condition, and upon completion of the sharpening the company will mail them back to you in pristine condition, ready to cut another day

Tips & Warnings

  • Wearing work gloves while sharpening your scissors is recommended and will help to prevent any cuts or abrasions to your skin.
  • Always be careful when using dull scissors; they may not be in good enough shape to cut the materials that you would like, but they can still be sharp enough to cut you.
  • Any of these sharpening methods can work successfully, just make sure you use caution during the sharpening process.
  • If you find that you have been cut by the blades of your scissors, treat the wound quickly. Clean the area with antibacterial soap and water, apply an antibacterial ointment, and cover with a sterile bandage. If you find that your wound has become sore or infected, seek medical advice.
  • Photo Credit Jonae Fredericks
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