Scissor Sharpening is Important!

by Beth Cooper

Let’s talk about our sewing scissors. We want them to be sharp, right? But they do get dull over time, so let’s talk about scissor sharpening. Sharpening scissors might seem like a minor detail, but the benefits it brings to your sewing and quilting projects are nothing short of remarkable. Let’s delve into the advantages of keeping your scissors sharp and explore how often it’s recommended to have them sharpened.

The Edge of Efficiency: Benefits of Sharp Scissors

  1. Clean and Precise Cuts: When your scissors are sharp, they effortlessly glide through fabric, leaving behind crisp and clean cuts. This is particularly important in sewing and quilting, as precise cuts ensure accurate seam allowances, perfectly aligned patterns, and a professional-looking final product.
  2. Less Strain on Hands and Wrist: Dull scissors force you to exert more force to cut through fabric, leading to increased strain on your hands and wrists. Regularly sharpened scissors require less effort, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries and allowing you to work on your projects for longer periods without discomfort.
  3. Accurate Notches and Snips: Sewing often involves making notches and snips in fabric to mark reference points or to create smooth curves. With sharp scissors, you can make these notches and snips with precision and confidence, avoiding any unintended fraying or tearing.
  4. Extended Scissor Lifespan: Properly sharpened scissors tend to last longer than neglected ones. When you maintain the sharpness of your scissors, you can use them for years, saving money on frequent scissor replacements.
  5. Improved Overall Sewing Experience: Crafting is all about the joy of creation, and using sharp scissors enhances that experience. The frustration of dealing with dull scissors is replaced by the satisfaction of seamless cutting, making your sewing and quilting journey more enjoyable.
Need a new pair of scissors? These Kai Dressmaker’s Shears are amazing! They are so sharp. They come in both right or left-handed. Find both pairs here.

Frequency of Scissor Sharpening

While the benefits of sharp scissors are undeniable, the question remains: how often should you have them sharpened? The frequency of sharpening depends on a few factors, such as how frequently you use the scissors, the types of fabric you cut, and your cutting techniques.

As a general guideline, it is recommended to have your sewing and quilting scissors sharpened at least once a year, even if they are not showing any signs of dullness. Regular maintenance ensures that your scissors maintain their optimal performance and guarantees you’re always ready to embark on your next sewing project with precision.

However, there are some indicators that your scissors might need sharpening more often:

  1. Blunt Cuts: If you notice that your scissors are not cutting as smoothly as they used to and you’re experiencing fabric snags or uneven edges, it’s a sign that they need sharpening.
  2. Visible Nicks or Dents: Accidentally dropping your scissors or cutting through hard materials like pins or paper can cause nicks or dents in the blades. If you see any imperfections on the scissor edges, it’s time to have them sharpened.
  3. Increased Effort: If you find yourself exerting more force than usual to cut through fabric, it’s a clear indication that your scissors have lost their sharpness.
  4. Uneven Cuts: When your scissors are dull, you may notice that the fabric edges are frayed or that you’re struggling to cut straight lines.
  5. Dull Sound: Sharp scissors should produce a satisfying, clean-cutting sound. If you hear a dull thud when cutting, it’s time for a sharpening session.

Where to Have Scissors Sharpened

Check with your local quilt shop and ask who sharpens scissors in the area. Lots of quilt shops offer drop off/pick up options there for your scissors – all you have to do is drop them off at the quilt shop and the sharpening service will pick them up, sharpen them, and drop them back off.

You can also just google sharpening services in your area. Also, many times there are scissor sharpeners at quilt shows. If you’re attending an upcoming show, check the vendor list to find out if there will be a sharpening service there.

Annie’s Scissor Holster is a great way to protect your scissors, plus keep them corralled so they don’t grow legs and walk away. This thing adheres to your sewing machine or desk and holds two pairs of scissors. You can find it on Missouri Star or click here!

Take Care of Your Scissors to Enjoy Them for Years!

To maintain the longevity and performance of your scissors, it’s also crucial to handle them with care. Avoid cutting through materials that are too hard for their intended use, and always store them properly in a scissor case or holder to prevent damage to the blades.

Remember to keep an eye out for signs of dullness and aim to have your scissors sharpened at least once a year. With sharp scissors by your side, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any sewing or quilting project that comes your way!

Want to read more quilting tips and tricks? Click here!

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Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
7 months ago

I had a pair of scissors “sharpened” years ago and they were ruined. Since then I am very shy about letting anyone touch my scissors. How do I find a trustworthy sharpener?

Linda
Linda
7 months ago

So true! My sewing scissors were first used by my Grandmother!

Valerie
Valerie
7 months ago

Thanks Beth! I do have a pair or two that need sharpening. I will have to check my area for a shop. I wonder if MSQC will have one during their Birthday Bash??

Marina Romano
Marina Romano
7 months ago

I send my Kai scissors directly to Kai for sharpening. I don’t trust anyone else to sharpen my beloved scissors

Cre8
Cre8
7 months ago

And don’t let anyone use your cloth scissors for paper!! Paper is basically wood and plant fiber which is why it dulls scissors so quickly. I love to have sharp scissors and to glide through fabric rather than chopping.

Carolyn
Carolyn
7 months ago

Quite often your local hardware store – like Ace – will have a sharpening service. Usually a one day turnaround.

J Duprey
J Duprey
7 months ago

Well I have a suggestion to keep your scissors sharper, longer. You need to keep them from be used to cut paper or anything else. And the easiest way to keep them safe from other hands, is to store them in your underwear drawer. While my daughters were at home I kept them in my underwear drawer and couldn’t believe how much longer they stayed sharp. Now that they are on their own I can keep them and my rotary cutters in a box that seals well with some flannel to keep them from humid conditions. All the grandchildren are 13 to 29 years old. So they won’t get to my cutters either.

Vonda Eggleston
Vonda Eggleston
6 months ago
  • I keep my good fabric scissors and my rotary cutters in a locked box on the top shelf in my sewing room. I started doing that years ago when my grandkids were very young. Didn’t want those little hands getting into things that could hurt themselves. And I have kept it up all these years. Now we have great grandkids to protect. I keep the key hidden where they can’t get it. This protects the little one’s and my scissors.
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