How to Easily Sharpen Scissors

Daven Hiskey 8
scissors beat paperToday I found how to easily sharpen scissors from home.

The two easiest methods, that still do a very good job, involve using sand paper or aluminum foil.  In both methods you literally just cut the material using full scissor strokes each time.  If you want to sharpen them more “professionally” and you have a grinder about, there is a video below showing how to do that as well.


With the sandpaper use a relatively fine 150 or 200 grit sandpaper, cut with the rough side down as illustrated in this video:


Aluminum Foil

With the aluminum foil, take a nice sized sheet of aluminum foil and fold it a few times to get it nice and thick.  Now cut thin strips of the aluminum foil with the scissors. Easy!

If you happen to have a bench grinder, you can also do a more “professional” style sharpening.  This takes a bit more practice, but isn’t at all hard to do once you get the hang of it, particularly if you are already pretty good using a grinder. Check out the video below for more detail:

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  1. Jonny February 6, 2010 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Do you happen to be a fellow Redditor? haha
    Nice article

    • Daven Hiskey
      Daven February 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      You know it. Check out my “about” page to the link to my reddit profile. :-)

  2. dc August 15, 2011 at 10:52 am - Reply

    WOW, do not do that if your scissors cost more than $5 because you will need to buy more soon.

  3. Andy December 5, 2011 at 9:22 am - Reply

    @dc. WOW what? Do not do which bit? The sandpaper, the foil or the grinder? Try being a bit more specific with your negativity.

  4. goat February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    it is ill-advised to sharpen any fine or small cutting tool, such as a knife or scissors, with a bench grinder. a grinder will put a “hollow” or concave grind on the blade. at the very least, this will make it harder to sharpen by normal means later. grinders are also difficult to control along a long, flat plane, with the level of precision that you want with scissors. also, a grinder will heat a blade and thus remove the natural temper created when the blade was forged. but if you have $5 scissors and don’t mind replacing them soon, go for it. i recommend learning a better method.

    • Daven Hiskey
      Daven February 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      @goat: while true in principle, I’ve taken classes from a master knife maker who swears by sharpening with grinders. It takes practice to do right, as you have to avoid heating the blade too much, among other potential complications, and you should use an extremely fine grit, assuming you’re not just starting from freshly hammered blade stock. In the latter case, you can start with a lower grit and work your way up to the extremely fine. In any event, he’s got 30 years of full time experience making and sharpening blades and has tried everything from professional level machine sharpeners to hand sharpening and, with practice, today he can get the blades sharp enough to comfortably shave with in a matter of seconds using a grinder.

  5. Susan June 1, 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Make them get rid of the Heafty Slider Bag ad on the 1&1 Website ad – or better yet, both – it’s impossible to hear the video with the 1&1 ad blasting over it.

  6. Lonnie Lefeavers November 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    AS A teen LONG AGO. I rembr gently and precisely grinding OUT – TO Points. I read this for memory jolt. Be careful to keep exact bevel and your done. Now if only textile jobs come back

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