Does Cutting Sandpaper Really Sharpen Scissors?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 04/27/21 •  5 min read

Scissors tend to get dull quite fast especially when used for slicing hard materials.

Can you remember the last time you sharpened your scissors?

For most people, it is probably never as people rarely sharpen these cutting tools.

However, this is not advisable as sharp scissors make quick and clean cuts without using much effort.

While there are several ways of sharpening scissors, does cutting sandpaper really sharpen scissors?

Unknown to most people, cutting fine-grit sandpaper with your scissors can sharpen these cutting tools.

Since sandpaper grinds surfaces, cutting it with shears grinds the cutting edges thereby making the scissors sharp.

Use only fine-grit sandpaper as coarse-grit sandpaper will make the shears dull and blunt.

Related: Knife sharpener types you should know about

How do you do it?

Using sandpaper to sharpen your pair of shears or shears is a straightforward task.

This self-explanatory activity requires you to have a 150-200 grit sheet of sandpaper.

If you want smoother cutting edges, you can opt for a finer grit.

Ideally, the finer the grit, the smoother the scissor edges become.

When you want to sharpen the shears with sandpaper, the first thing you should do is fold the sheet of paper with the side with the fine grit facing outwards.

Hold the pair of scissors in your hands and cut through the sheet of paper.

The sandpaper will constantly graze against both cutting edges thereby grinding the edges.

Make as many repetitive cuts as you wish.

With every cut, you will realize that your pair of scissors will become sharper.

After you are done cutting through the sandpaper, wipe down the edges using a moist paper towel to remove any particles of the grinding paper that may have collected on the cutting edges.

This sharpening option for scissors using sandpaper is also useful in smoothening indents and nicks on the cutting edges.

It is necessary to note that this option is only ideal and efficient for shears that are not excessively dull.

Other options

Using a sharpening stone

Sharpening stones used for grinding knives and other cutting utensils in the kitchen are also an ideal choice for reinforcing the cutting edges of your scissors.

These stones feature two grinding sides; the fine and coarse side.

If your scissors are excessively dull, then you should start grinding with the coarse side then use the fine side to polish and finish the edges.

However, if your shears only require a light grinding touch, you should only use the fine side.

Grind the shears gently over the stone while maintaining an elevated acute angle.

Push and pull the blade over the stone until the edge is satisfactory sharp.

For easy and effortless grinding, it is recommendable to disassemble the shears first.

After you are done sharpening the scissors, you may notice rough metal burrs along the edges.

You can easily remove these burrs by opening and closing the shears a few times.

Using a sewing pin

A sewing pin is yet another efficient option that you can use for sharpening your scissors.

In this method, you need to hold the shears in your dominant hand.

Then, in the non-dominant hand, hold the sewing pin firmly.

Squeeze the shears closed while sliding the pin in between the cutting edges.

This will replicate the same scenario as if you were cutting fabric or paper with the shears.

Ensure that you apply light pressure so that you do not end up denting the cutting edge.

Repeat this sharpening process until the cutting edges acquire a smooth and clean finish.

However, you should use a sewing pin only if the shears are fairly sharp.

For extremely dull shears, you may need to use a detailed grinding option such as an electric sharpener.

A bonus tip

You can also use a glass mason jar for reinforcing the cutting edge of your pair of scissors.

The only catch with this option is that the method will most likely damage the jar’s surface.

Open your shears to their widest point and then position the edges around the sides of the glass jar.

Then cut the jar with the shears just like you would when cutting a piece of cloth.

Ensure that you only exert minimal pressure so that you do not break the jar.

After a few opening and closing cycles, check to see if the edges are sufficiently sharp.

If yes, then use a damp cloth to wipe the edges.

If not, repeat the sharpening procedure until the razors are sufficiently sharp.


Sharpening your scissors does not necessarily need to be a complex and daunting task.

This is because there are several DIY options that you can use to restore the sharpness of your shears.

Whichever option you settle for, it is crucial to exercise care so that you do not end up injuring your fingers.

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.