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How to sharpen blunt scissors

Keep your household items clean with our tips on how to sharpen your scissors.


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a person using scissors to make candles
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Quick steps to sharpen scissors:

  1. Cut through sandpaper until the blade is sharp.

  2. Sharpen on a screwdriver by sliding it across the blade.

  3. Use a sharpening stone soaked in machine oil for a razor-sharp edge.

Blunt scissors are a pain to use and can lead to some very dodgy cutting. Luckily, there are plenty of solutions for how to sharpen scissors and we’ve got all the tips and tricks below. But remember, before you try any scissor sharpening techniques make sure you take all necessary safety precautions - such as wearing gloves and never pulling the blade towards you.

If you opt to sharpen scissors with stone, soak yours in machine oil when you first get it and keep it in a closed container when you’re not using it.

How to sharpen blunt scissors with sandpaper

Sandpaper can work wonders on blunt scissors, transforming them until they’re as good as new.

  1. Fold the sandpaper in half so both rough sides are facing outwards.

  2. Cut through the sandpaper with full strokes - beginning at the base of the blade and going the whole way up.

  3.  The sandpaper will slowly sharpen the blade. 

  4. Wipe the blade down with a damp paper towel to clean off any grit. 

How to sharpen blunt scissors with a screwdriver

A regular screwdriver works wonders if you’re wondering ‘how can I sharpen my scissors?’.

  1. Open your scissors wide around the screwdriver before closing them as though you were cutting. 

  2. Run the scissors across the screwdriver from the base of the blade to the edge.

  3. Switch to the other blade once the first is done. 

  4. If you don’t have a screwdriver, use an old glass container that you don’t mind ruining.

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How to sharpen scissors with stone

If you want to know how to sharpen your scissors for a razor-sharp edge, a sharpening stone is the best option. You can usually find them at hardware stores, and they come with one flat side and one that’s coarse. To use yours, follow these steps:

  • Place the stone on a damp cloth to keep it stable. Oil it with machine oil.

  • Hold one blade against the rough side of the stone, keeping it at a slight angle.

  • Slide the blade, moving it away from yourself and starting from the tip and ending at the base.

  • Repeat a few times until the blade is sharp, before repeating on the second blade.

Knowing how to sharpen scissors is essential to keeping yours in good condition, so remember these tips! You should also learn to keep scissors rust free with our top tips for stainless steel.

Originally published