How To Sharpen Scissors At Home

I absolutely hate dull scissors, or scissors with nicks or dings in the blade! I notice it especially around Christmas when I go to cut wrapping paper and it just rips the paper to shreds. Lame! But did you know, you can sharpen scissors at home with sandpaper?! Don’t put up with dull or nicked scissors anymore!

How to sharpen scissors at home: Sandpaper sharpens the blades as well as smooths out nicks and dings!

How To Sharpen Scissors With Sandpaper

All you need is your dull pair of scissors and a piece of sandpaper! The grit doesn’t matter too much, but the finer the grit, the smoother your scissor blades will be.

Just fold the sandpaper in half, rough sides out, and cut through it with your scissors ten to twenty times. The grit on the paper will sharpen the blades right away!

How to sharpen scissors at home: Sandpaper sharpens the blades as well as smooths out nicks and dings!

I’ve also heard you can sharpen scissors with foil, so I tried that as well. And it totally works, but the foil doesn’t smooth out the blades, it just sharpens them. If you’re rough on your scissors like I am (*cough *cough, I KNOW I’m supposed to use wire cutters to cut wire, but the scissors are just more handy!), the sandpaper is really the best way to sharpen scissors. Not only does it sharpen the edges of the blades, but it also smooths out any nicks and dings.

Could your scissors use some sharpening?
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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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  1. Mary says

    5 years ago

    Use sandpaper? What size grit do you use? There are course to very fine.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      The grit doesn’t matter too much, but the finer the grit, the smoother your scissor blades will be.

      Like anything else, you can start with a coarse grit and then move to a finer grit. If you have big dents and dings in your scissor blades, definitely start with a coarse grit. But if your scissors just need a little sharpening or honing, you can use any grit, whatever you happen to have on hand!

  2. Kat says

    6 years ago

    I tried this with cheap nail files since I didn’t have sandpaper on hand and it didn’t work. Nor did aluminum foil. My scissors are ruined and I am so sad about it

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      6 years ago

      Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that! Nail files don’t have the same type of grit that sandpaper does, plus they’re a lot smaller than a sheet of sandpaper. I haven’t ever heard of using aluminum foil to sharpen scissors but I’m sorry to hear that didn’t work either. I don’t know if the scissors are salvageable but you can always get a sheet of sandpaper at a local hardware store and try it!

  3. Paul says

    6 years ago

    I think the reason this works is the sandpaper takes material from the broad face of the scissors not the thin face that normal sharpening does. If this is so you may have trouble with the blades getting too far apart at sometime so use it sparingly. I also don’t think it will work on anything but scissors, probably any type. Just a few thoughts.

  4. Android-User-235542 says

    7 years ago

    I can’t believe I had 5 scissors at home — and ALL of them are totally DULL! I just bought another scissor but always wondered what I’m going to do with those 5 dull ones. Tried sharpening stone but it doesn’t seem to work as well as for knives. Will definitely try the grit method here!

  5. Laquita says

    7 years ago

    That is very interesting, and I do quite a bit of sewing and my scissors and nippers are getting dull, and kitchen ones needs help to. Thanks for the information.

  6. Janet G. says

    7 years ago

    Thanks for the tip! I wonder if this would work with craft paper punches?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      7 years ago

      I haven’t tried it, but the idea is the same, so it might!

  7. donna says

    7 years ago

    thank for the fine sand paper idea can not wait to try

  8. Alison says

    7 years ago

    Thank you for this tip, this is so useful to know.

  9. Melba Lacey says

    7 years ago

    Do you think this would work with rotary cutter blades?

      • Shirley E. says

        7 years ago

        There are tools for cleaning up the edge of rotary blades and smoothing them out. I have one. It seems to be a ring of fine material like sandpaper that you are supposed to rub the blade against. I just have to be careful not to get the wrong angle-that makes for less cutting! I’m not sure if cutting through sandpaper would do the same thing, but it’s worth a try.

  10. lori jones says

    8 years ago

    Thanks!!! i need to try this like two weeks ago!! hahaha

  11. Lori says

    8 years ago

    Does this work with pinking shears as well? (the zig-zag fabric scissors)?

  12. Eva Nerling says

    8 years ago

    No, I did not mean to use it wet. What we have in our stores is paper for wet use, and this is the finest sort, but I meant to use it dry.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      8 years ago

      Oh, sorry I misunderstood! Paper designed for wet use will definitely work dry, go for it!

  13. Eva Nerling says

    8 years ago

    What do you think about using sanding paper for wet polishing? It has the finest grain.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      8 years ago

      I would just be careful; sand paper (like any paper) can fall apart when it gets wet. They definitely make sand paper that is meant for wet or dry applications though, maybe look into that!

  14. Jane Ritz says

    8 years ago

    I’m going to buy sandpaper today! Thanks!!!!

  15. Dorothy says

    8 years ago

    Thanks for the tip. I took my scissors to the local farmer’s market and the guy who sharpens scissors. He wouldn’t touch my Left Hand ones. They are the ones I use on fabrics as they’re more comfortable. I’ll try this. Thanks

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      8 years ago

      Good luck! I use sandpaper to sharpen my sewing scissors and it works great for me, so hopefully it will for you too!

  16. shirley shaddox says

    8 years ago

    Thanks for the scissor sharpening tips, I machine embroidery and with appliques I need sharp scissors. This will help a lot.
    Thank you,
    Shirley
    From Arkansas

  17. Madeline says

    8 years ago

    Thanks for such a wonderful idea, I do machine embroidery and it is essential to have good scissors, at the moment I have 5 very dull pairs, I will certainly try your method.

  18. Linda says

    8 years ago

    will it work on pinking shears as I have 2 pairs and both are quite dull?

      • joanne stubbs says

        7 years ago

        didn’t know that you could sharpen pinking shears. I almost threw mine away.

  19. Susan says

    8 years ago

    Awesome! Thanks for the tip. I have a pair of Wescott (titanium) just like those and they are so dull they barely cut paper. Using Fiskar sharpener on them doesn’t work at all.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      8 years ago

      Yeah, I have a Fiskar sharpener too and sometimes it just doesn’t work! No idea why, but the sandpaper really does help!

  20. cucicucicoo says

    8 years ago

    I just gave this a try on my regular household scissors and it worked a charm, even rubbing off all sorts of gunk that was caked on them! I’d heard of the pin method before, but I never managed to get it to work well. Now I’ll go do this sandpaper method on my fabric scissors! Thanks so much! 🙂 Lisa

  21. Jenni says

    8 years ago

    Will try this advice about scissors today as I was about to buy new ones and have at least 4 pairs that are so blunt so hope it works for me as well. Tks

  22. Deebi27 says

    8 years ago

    This would be so much easier than having a friend do for me! And those nicks in my knife…gotta find some sand paper!!! Thanks!

  23. Msjbelle says

    8 years ago

    Thanks for this awesome tip. I had heard about the foil method and use it often. Next time my scissors get dull I will try this.

  24. Vanessa says

    8 years ago

    I have so many scissors I’m ready to scrap because they’re so dull. Definitely should try this first!

  25. Angela @ Angela Says says

    8 years ago

    Great tips, I’ve tried sharpening my scissors with foil and it worked fairly well but I’m interested to see if the sand paper works better

  26. Gwen says

    9 years ago

    I will have to try this! I’ve been using my fabric scissors on paper..yikes!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      9 years ago

      My brother used to do that all the time! He didn’t understand that fabric scissors were only for fabric; he’s pretty sure scissors are just scissors. 🙂 But it will totally work, just use a real fine grit sandpaper so they stay super smooth!

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