How to sharpen scissors and other sewing tools

how to sharpen scissors

Hi Vicky here.  Sharpening scissors is a subject dear to my own heart. I am not the tidiest of people so over the years I have gained a few pairs of sewing scissors (whilst the original pair were lost somewhere in the sewing room!). Everyone knows that sewing scissors should only be used for fabric but I cannot guarantee my children have not borrowed them for paper….

The end result is three pairs of dull scissors, perfect for researching how to sharpen your sewing scissors. I tried three different methods of sharpening your sewing scissors yourself at home.  How would each of these methods work out?

How to sharpen scissors

1. Cutting through foil:

Fold several layers of foil. I folded the foil so I had six layers. Cut smoothly through the foil ensuring all the blade touches the foil with each cut. Repeat several times, check the sharpness of scissors and repeat if need be.

how to sharpen scissors

2. Cutting through sandpaper:

Fold your sandpaper in half, rough sides outwards so that as you cut the rough sides meet the blades.

how to sharpen scissors

3. Cutting through steel wool:

I used one of these pot cleaners and cut through it over and over. It was gentle enough to still sharpen but not actually cause damage and create a lot of very nasty sharp pieces of metal.  Take care if using something more harsh or metallic such as one of the older style original Brillo pads.

how to sharpen scissors

The results

I found them all equally effective, although the steel wool was decidedly messy in comparison to the other methods. Plus to my surprise, all three methods dealt with the odd notch caused by accidentally cutting into pins.

Sharpening other tools

So how about your rotary cutter? Cut through layers of foil (on your cutting mat!) several times over.  Same principle as with your sewing scissors – it worked for me and certainly gave me a little extra life in an otherwise dull blade.

how to sharpen scissors

And your pins and needles? Researching this post led me to Emery for pincushions.

how to sharpen scissors

Fill your handmade pin cushion with this powdered emery to sharpen your pins as you use them.

how to sharpen scissors

If you would like to see a step by step tutorial for the emery pincushion pop over to my blog.

How do you sharpen your sewing tools? Do you have a preferred method?


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I’m Vicky from vickymyerscreations. I learnt to sew through school, and was blessed as a child to have adults who nurtured my creativity. I love sewing, for others and for myself, and exploring other textile related crafts. See more on twitter, facebook and pinterest.

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