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Sharpening Pinking Shears

Started by stevebot, June 19, 2015, 09:21:04 PM

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1. NEVER touch the inside area. It is lapped to meet the other blade and any metal removed will cause a gap between the blades.  Examine the inside area, you will see a color change at the where the lapping ends.  You cannot sharpen below it or the shear is ruined.

2. Sharpen the bevel like regular scissors.

3. Maintain the original angle, a few degrees positive, NEVER NEGATIVE.

4. Grind until the tips are needle sharp and have no glints of light.

5. Cut off the burr on a paper towel.

6. Test on blouse silk or a plastic grocery bag.

7. Adjust the tension only as a last resort.  Try a 1/4 turn in either direction to see if it improves the cut.  The tension mechanism is to keep the blades parallel and does not work like it does on regular shears.

8. Another last resort is to lap the blades again.  Tormek compound worked on one pair for me.  Valve grinding compound should be faster, but I have not tried it.

Remember, 20 to 25% of new pinking shears do not cut well out of the box.  Always ask the customer if they cut well when new, and warn them your chances of that is slight.
Steve Bottorff; author, teacher and consultant on knife and scissor sharpening.


Steve, I am glad to see you put in that last non-numbered paragraph. That agrees with the  Foley Belsaw (Twice As Sharp) video training I obtained several years ago.


Dumb question (not that I am ever going to attempt to sharpen this type of scissor)....

Is the reason for the line, similar to Japanese swords, where they are effectively a different metal at the tip (tempering different in parts of a Japanese sword)?
Favorite line, from a post here:
Quote from: Rob on February 24, 2013, 06:11:44 PM

Yeah you know Tormek have reached sharpening nirvana when you get a prosthetic hand as part of the standard package :/)


   The line, which is actually an area or band, is caused by the lapping process. See the top photo in the following link.

   The dark area, which they are referring to, is the lap line.


Yes, the lap line is the same metal with a different surface finish, caused by the lapping process. Whether it is dark over light or the reverse depends on he lightening angle.
Steve Bottorff; author, teacher and consultant on knife and scissor sharpening.