Handy Trick for Scissors

I think I’ve received more positive comments about the scissor sharpening trick in The Perfect Edge than any other part of the book. My eighty-something-year-old Aunt Donna even called all excited that I had invoked her mother’s wisdom. She had complained about her dull scissors to the neighbor who had borrowed her copy of my book. He said, “It’s right there in your nephew’s book!” So now she’s finally reading it. I told there would be a quiz.

Looks awful -- works great!

From page 197:

Sharpen you scissors in three seconds with your burnisher! That’s right, unless they’ve been abused and are Very Dull, scissors can be restored by simply burnishing them. Couldn’t be simpler and almost sounds like one of those free-lunch ads for self-sharpening knives: just work your burnisher between the blades of the scissor as if you were trying to cut the burnisher in half. For me this was one of those little awakenings. When I was a kid my mother told me that her mother would sharpen scissors by “cutting” the neck of a milk bottle with them. That tidbit of old-country family lore rattled around in my head until I’d been making blades – and burnishers – for many years. I don’t know what made the lights of memory and recognition go on after some forty years but I tried a burnisher on a pair of scissors and have since made a number of people happy with this tip.

Try it on your gift-wrap scissors this holiday season.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

About Ron Hock

Owner of HOCK TOOLS (.com) and author of "The Perfect Edge, the Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers"
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6 Responses to Handy Trick for Scissors

  1. Jim Esten says:

    Gotta try that .. guessing that bit of folklore is rattling around the head somewhere. I’ve always done this by doing a series of snips on fine grit sandpaper but this sounds like a winner!

  2. I tried your trick and it works. I was a doubting Thomas before I did it but the proof was a sharper set of scissors. I even convinced my sister to do it (she’s a seamstress).

  3. Sandy Navas says:

    Ron (and a special hello to Linda, too) – I had to ENDURE a very interesting ‘TV info-mercial’ this afternoon – narrated by one of your followers – before he would show me YOUR MAGIC tip. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have several ‘decent’ pair of scissors that I was tempted to trash . . . and guess what? They can cut fabric again.

    I only said ENDURE – well, you know Al, sometimes he tends to be a bit verbose.


  4. craig says:

    the first time i saw this a frugal uncle used a (empty) beer bottle to sharpen my aunt’s good wiss shears.

    remarkable isn’t it?

  5. Pingback: A mundane task involving seven perfectly ordinary hand tools. - talkFestool

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