Does Cutting Aluminum Foil Really Sharpen Scissors?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 04/24/21 •  5 min read

When it comes to kitchen cutlery, sharpening is usually a straightforward task.

Usually, all you’ll have to do is get a sharpener, whether you’re using a tabletop sharpener, whetstone, or even an electric one, then start getting to work on the blade.

While this is true for most kitchen knives, sharpening scissors and kitchen shears is a very different game.

You can use a wide variety of objects to sharpen your shears, but one of the most popular tips is using aluminum foil.

But does cutting aluminum foil really sharpen scissors?

Yes, it does. There are tiny particles in the foil that can really sharpen both of the blades on the scissors.

The technique will work great if your scissors need a quick touch-up, but for a very dull pair, you will need to use more specific tools.

If you’ve been trying to figure out all the ways you can sharpen your pair of kitchen shears, you’ve come to the right place as we’ll be looking at a couple of different ways you can do this with objects you might already have in your household.

Read on to learn more.

Related: Knife sharpener types you should know about

How To Sharpen Scissors With Aluminum Foil

While this may seem like a complicated task, it’s actually very simple and will only take a couple of minutes of your time.

To do this, all you need are your scissors and a sheet of aluminum foil.

To start, fold the foil a couple of times so that you create multiple layers and flatten it so it’s nice and even.

From there, all you have to do is cut into the fold repeatedly until the blades are sharpened to your standards.

Make sure to flip the blades to make sure that you’re evenly sharpening both of them.

The number of times you have to do this varies depending on the dullness of the blade and how sharp you want the scissors, so make sure to test it out by cutting paper after cutting the foil to see if it’s sharp enough for your standards.

If you don’t have sandpaper on hand, you can do the same thing with steel wool.

Other Ways To Sharpen Scissors

There are a couple of other household objects you can use to sharpen your shears, and we’ll take a quick look at them in this section.


This is another one of the most popular methods that people use to sharpen scissors.

Ideally, you would want to use medium-grit sandpaper.

This works well if you’re looking to do a quick tune-up and if your scissors aren’t too dull yet.

Simply cut through the sandpaper a couple of times, then flip the shears over, then cut it a couple of more times.

Once finished, test the blades to see if they’re sharp enough, and if they aren’t, simply do it again until you achieve the desired edge.

Using A Screwdriver

This is another convenient method that will only take a couple of minutes.

For this, you’ll be using the shaft of the screwdriver.

Open the scissors and then close it down on the shaft as if you’re cutting, then smoothly move the blades down from the top, up to the tip of the screwdriver.

This will help burnish out the cutting edge.

Repeat this a couple of times, and make sure to do it on both blades, and afterward, they should cut very neatly and precisely.

You can also use glass or a mason jar that you don’t mind damaging to do this by opening the shears around the glass and “cutting” the side of the jar repeatedly.

Make sure you run the entire length of the blades against the glass.

Using A Sharpener

Lastly, if you really want things to be quick and simple, you might want to buy a knife sharpener.

Yes, these tools can also be used for scissors, but they might be even better for you to buy when specifically designed for kitchen shears.

Each sharpener is used in a different way, so make sure to read the instructions properly before using it.

What Angle Should You Sharpen Scissors?

Ideally, you would need to sharpen the blades to an angle between 40 and 45 degrees on the finger blade edge, but you can sharpen it further to an angle of 15 degrees for the sharper thumb blade.


And that’s all you’ll need to know about sharpening scissors.

As you can probably tell, it’s a simple task, but not everyone might have the tools to accomplish it readily available.

Luckily, you can do this with a whole range of household objects, from sandpaper, to foil, to screwdrivers, and even glasses and jars that you don’t mind damaging!

So now that you’ve learned about all these methods, it’s time to figure out the right one for you and get to sharpening!

And before you know it, your trusty kitchen shears will be sharp as ever!

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.