How to Sharpen Scissors

fixing scissors

There's almost nothing worse that grabbing a pair of scissors to cut that fat off the raw chicken legs and find that the scissors don't cut!

That's when I call my hubby, Andy, to come to my rescue.

Not only does he come to the rescue because he really LOVES the oven-grilled chicken, but he knows how unsafe dull tools can be.

However, it's not always dull blades that are the problem. Sometimes it's other things. If you know for sure that it's dull blades, then check out Andy's article on "Kitchen Scissors". He'll lead you step-by-step through his quick and easy instructions for sharpening scissors.

"Scissors don't cut even after sharpening!"

Sound familiar?

The likely culprit is that the blade edges don't glide over each other because thepivot-screw or rivet is loose.


RIVET hinged joint

scissors - rivet hinged joint
  • Place the scissor flat on a vise or hard surface
  • With a medium ball-pein hammer strike the rivet head lightly, testing the cutting action after each couple of hammer taps.
  • Repeat until desired cutting action takes place.
scissors and hammer
  • WARNINGIf you get aggravated and smack the rivet head too hard, the scissor will be unusable because the blades are now riveted together. The only recourse is to buy another scissor.
SCREW hinged joint
  • Using a vise, tighten one scissor blade in the jaws leaving access to the adjustment screw.
  • With a proper sized screwdriver, usually a flat blade, tighten the screw until it's seated for the proper cutting action.
  • WARNINGDon't do this in your hand even if think you're steady enough for that.Make sure that your flat blade screwdriver has a nice squared tip – if not, do that first on a grinder or with a file, then make the screw adjustment.

This tip works well for poultry shears and in the workshop also: tin snips, garden secretaries (snips), hedge trimmers, tree branch trimmers, etc.

BLADES are bent?

Check the blades for straightness; it could be that after trying to open the lid on a pickle jar, that one or both blades are bent.

  • Place each blade alternately into a vise, a short section at a time, and physically bend the blade back to proper straightness.
  • This works ok for thinner scissors but for the more rugged types a bit of physical persuasion may have to be used. A hand pliers or slip-joint pliers will help in this.
    especially with hardened steel scissors, they can snap! Stainless steel scissors can take a bit effort to bend but they usually do allow adjustment.Don't forget to sharpen the blades.


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