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Sharpening Scissors

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It is very frustrating to grab a pair of scissors only to find that they are too dull for the job. Taking them in for sharpening can be inconvenient and costly. This is a guide about sharpening scissors.


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By 11 found this helpful
July 1, 2011

I know I have about 3 dozen scissors running around here. To keep them sharp, I buy a box of 00 steel wool from my local hardware store and cut through it with the scissors. This allows your scissors to sharpen themselves, and it also beats paying $15.00 to have them sharpened.


By Gem from VA

Comment Was this helpful? 11

By 5 found this helpful
June 27, 2011

To sharpen scissors, simply cut through metal scrubbing pads and continue until your scissors are sharp. I have done this for years, and it works well for me.

By gem from VA

Comment Was this helpful? 5

By 3 found this helpful
July 27, 2011

I use a scissor sharpener that you can buy in any fabric store and even at Walmart. Mine is made by Fiskar. I keep this by my sewing machine and use it periodically to sharpen all my scissors. It is very inexpensive. I think mine was around $6, but maybe they are a bit higher now. You just insert your scissors and work your scissors like you are cutting. There are sharpeners inside that do a very good job. It is especially nice if you are a sewer. If you do this on a regular basis, it eliminates taking them to a fabric store to have them sharpened professionally.

By Elaine from Belle Plaine, IA

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By 0 found this helpful
July 28, 2006


I am old enough to remember when knife sharpeners used to come to the DOOR. Not anymore - but you can sort of sharpen your scissors by cutting through sandpaper until the edge is restored. Not ideal - but better than dull scissors and very thrifty.

By Pam from LA, CA

Steel Wool

You can sharpen scissors easily by cutting through a few pieces of steel wool.

By Robin from Washington, IA

SOS Pads

I also use my scissors to cut SOS pads. It saves not having to waste a whole SOS pad as well as sharpens my scissors.

By Tawnda

Aluminum Foil

I've found that the best way to sharpen my scissors is to cut aluminum foil a few times after cleaning the blades with alcohol!


By Michlee from Glen Morgan, WV

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October 10, 2011

I trimmed the edges of a plastic garbage bag and later noticed the scissors glided through the papers I was cutting more easily. Evidently, the petroleum in the making of the bag caused this. You can also cut a thin sheet of sandpaper with the scissors to sharpen them.

By Betty G. from Williamston, SC

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By 4 found this helpful
July 24, 2011

I sharpen my scissors with my knife steel. It clears any burrs and gives me a clean edge. I also make sure the screws are well tightened.

By Maile from Onalaska

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By 0 found this helpful
April 9, 2008

Need to sharpen your scissors? Take a 12 inch-14 inch strip of Heavy-duty Aluminum foil and fold to 8 layers. Now, just cut as many thin strips of foil as you can manage (25 is preferred). Your scissors are now sharp! If using standard weight aluminum foil, just fold to 16 layers and proceed.

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By 2 found this helpful
June 10, 2011

Before you throw away that used cardboard finger nail file, use it to sharpen scissors. Take your scissors and cut the file into tiny pieces.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 6, 2017

Sharpening scissors is one of my problems. Since I have a kindergartener and a grade 3 kiddo, projects are always under way in school. Of course, I have to assist them on their school projects. And because scissors are often needed, using them for a long time makes them dull.

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 1

July 10, 20170 found this helpful

Trying to sharpening scissors by cutting aluminum foil is not an effective method of sharpening scissors. This is a guide about sharpen scissors with aluminum foil.

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May 23, 20170 found this helpful

Sharpen your own scissors at home with only a ceramic mug. This is a guide about proper way to sharpen scissors.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 29, 2011

A few snips thru a folded in 4ths piece of foil sharpens up dull scissor blades in a "snap".

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
August 7, 2009

Is there a method to sharpen your own scissors?

By kimbo204 from Madison, WI


August 8, 20090 found this helpful

I use aluminum foil. Just cut the foil a few times and they should be good again!

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February 19, 20100 found this helpful

To expand on sneither's method; fold the foil about 4-layers thick and begin cutting as many slits as you can.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 23, 2010

I am looking for a good way to sharpen my scissors without going to a pro. I have tried the types that sharpen knives, but those work poorly. Thanks.

By Susan from Trinidad, CO


April 23, 20100 found this helpful

You might try googling the technique: sharpen your scissors yourself.

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

Cut through some sandpaper.

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

The best way to sharpen scissors is to save all of your used/discarded aluminum foil. Cut through the foil with dull scissors until the foil is in tiny pieces..Viola! Your scissors will be sharp! Good luck! Be sure to save one designated pair of scissors for paper Only, therefore the other pairs will not dull so quickly.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 5, 2012

How can you sharpen electric scissor blades?

By Mary

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 23, 20100 found this helpful

Does anyone have a good, cheap way that they have tried to sharpen sewing scissors. Mine have become very dull. I need your help.

Savings Assistant from Kennesaw, GA


Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

Try cutting aluminum foil with them. This works for scrapbooking punches. (09/22/2008)

By Marta

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

Try cutting through one of those dark green "scrubbie" pads. Cut through it a few (4 or 5) times, and scissors should be shiny and sharp again. (09/22/2008)

By ddtop

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

You can get your scissors professionally sharpened for a very good price. Just keep your eye out at Fabric stores like Joann Fabrics. They have a professional sharpener come in several times a year. They made my old scissors work like new. But, these days, with all the stuff that's made in China, I've found a "disposable" brand I like at Big Lots for only $2. So at this price, I buy new ones for sewing and cutting hair and save the old ones for wrapping packages and other dirty work around the house. Each time I buy a different color handle so I can keep track of which scissors are new and which ones are well used. (09/22/2008)

By Cyinda

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

I picked this up about 7 years ago from a tips program on TV. Sharpen scissors by cutting aluminum foil. It works. Have been doing this since I tried it. (09/23/2008)

By Jo Ann from Sarasota, FL

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

Cut through sandpaper. The more you cut, the sharper the scissors. (09/23/2008)

By bellanell

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

I cut SOS pads in half. It sharpens the scissors and saves me money since I don't use the SOS pads that often. (09/23/2008)

By Martha

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

I have had the same sewing scissors for over 10 years. When they start to get a little dull, I cut through a piece of sandpaper. Works like magic. (09/23/2008)

By hugmehugs

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply


In addition to providing professional sharpening service, this company offers a large variety of sewing scissors and shears at great prices. (09/24/2008)

By kkhull

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

I have used a regular knife sharper and run the blades of the open scissors through the wheel much the same as I would for a straight knife. I have had good results doing this with no added expense. (09/25/2008)

By Penny

Sharpening Sewing Scissors Cheaply

I have a pair of Weiss"inlaid" scissors and must keep them sharp for upholstery. I use an ordinary sharpening stone. The kind with the smooth side and the rougher side. They aren't very expensive, and you can sharpen just about anything with them.

Carefully take the shears apart. Use your thumb and forefinger to hold the blade to the stone and press the angled part of the blade directly flat with the stone. Use the rough surface first. Drip water from the tap on the stone if you'd like, but stay away from things like "3-1 Oil" or even WD40 because they will clog your stone.

Next, draw the blade against the stone as exactly as you can. To you or away from you. Just go in one direction. Just make sure you have the blade slant exactly up against the flat of your stone all the time. So, do the same thing on the "smooth" side, too. Just wipe off with a soft, dry cloth, and put your scissors back together.

Don't worry, if you can't take the scissors apart, you can open them all the way, and can draw the blades across like that.

Hope this helps. (11/23/2008)

By ExtremeFrugalist

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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