How To Sharpen Sewing Scissors?

A sewing scissor has to be sharp for it to work well. The process of sharpening is almost similar to that of other objects. However, many people do not understand how to do it.

A slight mistake may cause damages to this sewing cutting tool. Many people would rather outsource the service instead of doing it. In this article, I am going to highlight all the aspects that you need to know about sharpening it.

I shall touch on the various methods of doing it. There will be up to 5 methods in this article. Please read on for more information.

What are the most common ways of sharpening the sewing scissor?

Aluminum foil.

Many people would prefer to use aluminum foil for this process. The procedure involves folding the foil to make it thick enough. Cut through the folded aluminum foil several times until the scissor becomes sharp. This method, however, is not the best because it does not produce the best results. In some cases, it makes the scissor duller.

When doing this, make sure that both blades are in contact with the aluminum foil. It will make both blades to be sharp.

However, this method is not excellent when dealing with old sewing scissors. The impact will damage the blade more rather than sharpening it.

Sharpening stone.

It is sometimes known as a grindstone or a whetstone. This method has been in use since time immemorial. It has two sides, one of which is very rough and the other is fine. To achieve the best results, you sharpen the blades by beginning the coarse/rough side. You will then have to smoothen it by grinding on the soft side.

Apply some little water or oil on the stone. It will cause the stone to have a good grip in readiness for the scissor. Make the strokes up and down, frequently changing the blades. 10 to 20 strokes are enough, but much depends on the dullness of the blade.

Make sure that you sharpen the blade. Use a marker to indicate the end of the blade. It will help you do the work with ease and with precision. Sharpen until the marked part disappears. Move the scissor up and down against the scissor, keeping an eye on the blade. When the marked part is gone, then it will be time to discontinue the process.

Check for burrs on the blade and remove them by laying the inner edge on the stone. Move it lightly against the stone to remove it.

Flip the stone and wet the surface. Hone the blade’s cutting edge by drawing the beveled part across the soft side of the stone. It will be super-sharp. Sharpen it by between 10 and 20 strokes.

When you finish with one blade, you will need to repeat the same process for the next one. The result will be a super-sharp sewing blade. Be careful not to harm yourself in the sharpening process.

Slicing sandpaper.

This method works well for scissors that are still pretty new and working. The procedure involves folding sandpaper into two, having the rough side facing outwards. Now cut the sandpaper using the dull scissor several times.

As the edges of the scissor interact with the abrasive side of the sandpaper, it gets sharp. Cut the sandpaper into narrow strips and make full stroke cuts so that the entire edge will be exposed.

The sandpaper has tiny abrasive particles that act as sharpening tools during this process. When you finish, wipe off these grits from the blades of the scissor. To know whether your scissor has become sharp, you will need to test it.

Cut through a waste paper and observe the sharpness. If it is not yet satisfactory, you will need to repeat the process. Since this procedure is mostly for working blades, then it should not take long for it to get sharp.

Always be careful when dealing with sharp objects. They can harm the user. The abrasive grits, though tiny as they may be, can also cause serious injuries. Always sharpen the scissor in a place where you do not use often.

Rotary tool.

It is a handheld tool that sharpens every tool. The tool is especially good for sharpening the sewing scissors. It features abrasive stones that are excellent for the job. Since it is electrical, you will need to secure the scissor firmly.

When ready, place an aluminum foil grinding stone on the rotary tool. Tighten the collet nut. Hold the tool firmly using your hand and turn on the motor. Grind slowly against the scissor. Since the process is electrical, keep an eye on the scissor so that you do not overdo it.

Keep the grinding stone moving, for if you stop even for a second, you will excavate a hollow spot on the blade. It will be the beginning of destroying the scissor.

Slightly, move the rotating stone across the beveled edge from top to bottom, for between ten to twelve strokes. It is to remove burrs on the flat side of the blade.

Repeat the process until the scissor becomes sharp. In this process, you will have to take great care of the scissor and not the person. A slight mistake in the process will damage the blade.

A sharpening file.

Though this is not a common method, it can still work well, just like the other methods. It does not involve putting on the foil or grinding on the stone, rather, by moving the file along the edge of the blade. This method is similar to that of the sharpening stone. It is only that in this method, the scissor is stationary while the file is moving up and down.

Use the file to make ten to twenty strokes. Do this for the next blade and repeat the process. Remove the burrs from, and the scissor will be sharp.

You have to exercise some caution since it may harm you in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Does cutting aluminum foil really sharpen scissors?

Yes. When you cut aluminum, it sharpens the scissor. However, you have to do it several to achieve the desired results. This method is ideal for newer scissors that are still functional. It does not work well for old scissors that were no longer functional. The procedure is as explained above in the article.

Can I use a knife sharpener to sharpen scissors?

Yes. You can use a knife sharpener to sharpen the scissors. The process is not much different, as you have to make the strike through the blade several times. 10 to 20 times is better. Keep on checking the sharpness of the blade. Finally, remove the burrs by moving the sharpener gently over the edges of the blade.

Knife sharpener works in similar ways to other sharpeners, and hence it should not be a complicated process.

How do I know if my scissors are sharp?

Use the scissor to cut on a piece of paper, and you will know whether it is sharp or not. If you do not have a piece of paper, you can test it on any other fabric, such as cloth, and you will be able to know.

You will also be able to ascertain if it is sharp if it is still functioning well at the time of work.

How do I keep my scissor sharp for long?

Hard material will make it blunt within a short period. Avoid that practice. Maintain its cleanliness, and do not let it get rust.

You will also be able to ascertain if it is sharp if it is still functioning well at the time of work.


There are several ways with which you can sharpen your sewing scissors. No matter the method that you deploy, the outcome is the same. Remember to take care when dealing with sharp objects as they may harm the user. Stay safe!

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