Cutting fabric should be the easiest part of your crafting process, but it can be difficult with dull scissors. Sharp scissors are essential for sewing projects but you don’t have to go and buy a new pair when the old ones lose their edge — regular maintenance and sharpening can help you get more out of each pair. With our tips, you can learn different ways to sharpen your sewing scissors at home using everyday household items, saving you time and money in the long run.
5 Methods for Sharpening Scissors
Get the best results by using high-quality, fine-grit sandpaper between #180 and #220 to sharpen your scissors. Fold the sandpaper in half so both sides are gritted, then cut through the paper with all edges of your blunt scissors. Make 12 cuts and then test your scissors on fabric fat quarters to see if they’re sharp enough. If not, keep sandpapering until you get the desired level of sharpness for working through fabric seamlessly.
Steel Wool Soap Pad
If you’ve got some steel wool soap pads lying around, they can be used for more than just cleaning crusty pots and pans. You can also use them to sharpen your scissors! Whether you’re starting with a new pad or reusing an old one, this method is easy – just take your dull scissors and make a couple of cuts in the pad. Give the blades a rinse afterward, then give them a test run on some scrap fabric to see if sharpness has been reached. If not, go ahead and give them another round of sharpening!
This may not be the most creative method, but you can use a knife sharpener to sharpen your scissors. If you’re feeling bold, take them apart with a screwdriver and sharpen each blade individually. Place the inner side of one blade against the sharpener and drag it across 10 times. Then do the same for the other half, put them back together, and give them a test run on your quilting materials. If they don’t seem sharp enough, repeat the process until you get the desired result.
A bench stone or whetstone usually features a coarse and fine grit surface. Start by running the inside of each blade against the coarse grit, and make sure to use honing oil or tap water to lubricate the movement. Put your pressure on the beveled edge of the blade – you shouldn’t need more than twenty strokes. Once you’re done with the coarse grit side, move on to the finer one to finish off. The fine side polishes away any imperfections that weren’t smoothed out by the thicker one, ensuring you get a thorough job done.
Needles and Pins
Place your scissors so both blades are in contact with the sewing pin. Start gently and press down on the blades, so the pin moves from where the blades meet to their ends. Increase the pressure slightly and keep moving your blades across the pin in a cutting motion. Keep going until you think they’re sharp enough. Wipe them off with a wet cloth and test them out to see if you’re happy with the results. If not, repeat but make sure your needles and pins can handle it.