Looking after your scissors!

An essential tool in anyone's sewing basket is a sharp pair of scissors! Dull (or blunt) scissors are tiresome to use and can hurt your hand when used over time. I'm terrible at keeping mine sharp, mainly because I sew with PVC and I have two girls who use them while I'm not looking (to cut paper or open sunny boys!!!)

These are my Singer Kut-Nit C808's that were my grandmothers. I just love them

So here are some tips on looking after your scissors and keeping them sharp.
  1. The most obvious one is keeping them for exactly for what they are intended. Keep fabric scissors for fabric, craft scissors for paper etc, nail scissors for nails and general kitchen scissors for everything else! Using fabric scissors to cut paper will dull the blade or even nick the blade if the paper is too thick.
  2. Don't drop them! Apart from putting your toes in danger, it can break the tips, damage alignment or nick blades.
  3. Cut from the pivot point and not just the tip of the blades as they will become dull unevenly.
  4. Try not to let your scissors get wet. If they do, carefully wipe them with a damp cloth immediately.
  5. Avoid hitting pins with your scissors, this can nick the blades or put them out of alignment
  6. Wipe blades & area around pivot to avoid a build up of lint
  7. Keep blades closed when not in use

Getting your fabric scissors sharpened.

There are a few options you can try at home but I probably wouldn't try these on expensive scissors. They are really just temporary fixes to the cheaper brands.

  1. Cut scissors through glass paper/sand paper - a very fine graded one.
  2. Cut scissors through aluminium foil. You may need to fold the foil two or three times.
  3. Clean edge of blade with steel wool.

Getting scissors sharpened professionally is probably your best bet for making sure the life of your scissors is extended.

  1. Stores that sharpen knives will mostly sharpen scissors also.
  2. Large fabric retailers such as Spotlight offer a service where you drop your scissors off on a particular day and pick them up the following.
  3. My local butcher offers a similar service also.

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