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How do you finish scissors sharpening?

Started by Sharpco, November 14, 2017, 10:17:27 AM

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Darrell C

Quote from: Serhij on October 25, 2018, 05:16:03 AM
I heard that one of the methods sharpening scissors and to whet them with foil
Good grief, that has got to be a spoof, you want to build a burr  not grind the wall off the face. I had to laugh.


Scissors can go from simple to complex to just crazy.  Simple blades are the typical disposable ones and usually anything under $15.  It varies, but we get on average $7 to sharpen the average "dressmakers" shears.  Since we "service" technical shears (read that as high dollar beautician/stylist/barber shears/thinners etc), we charge as high as $20 on a 3 to 4 month basis.  That 3 or 4 months of cutting is approximately equivalent to a lifetime for household instruments.  So how long does a sharpening last.  It depends on what you are cutting, and the quality of the manufacture of both the shear AND the material the shear is made of.  Some shears are so technical, they vary the angle of the edge from the tip to the throat about 10 or more degrees.  But even dressmaker shears can be "technical". Some makers will use a different angle on each of the blades.  Some "technical" brands and models will succumb to the yo ho who sets his TAS (Twice as Sharp) to 45 degrees for EVERYTHING.  Most shears will cut that way, well maybe not as designed, but they will cut, kinda, maybe.

So, firstly, do not use a bench grinder running at 3450 rpm to ruin a good pair of shears.  I try never to use any vertical wheel grinder for shears, not even the Tormek, because even with the best sharpening job, they put a hollow grind on the blade.  The hollow grind doesn't last as long, but then again if you have a Tormek and the jig, you can always sharpen when needed. Secondly, you need a jig system to do a good job, there just isn't any way way to hold the exact angle necessary without years, maybe decades of experience (I've seen Japanese team members at the factory do it, I drink too much coffee for that routine).

On quality shears, the relationship of the ride and the line (or the whole blade if not inside hollow ground) must be established or often re-established.  It is not that this area is unimportant on inexpensive shears, its just that nobody seems to care except good sharpeners who are going to charge more than the shears cost to "service" them.  Also, you can't service them if you can't take them apart completely and subsequently put them back together again (not a reflection on someone trying to sharpen them, more a denigration of the company that is too cheap to use screws).

Of course the final element is testing.  First on rabbit fur (no, we're not having poor helpless bunnies skinned just to test scissors for sewing and clippers, they are a by-product of the rabbit meat market, that we get from France), next we cut a double of Viva paper towels, in all cases they must cut all the way to the tip cleanly and not grab, especially at the tips.  Next comes the Kleenex, then a single ply of kleenex, then we wet a single ply and all of these must pass.  Then we try human hair extensions which must cut without pushing.  Kind of the final failure point.

A TAS or a Tormek will do the job, you just might have to sharpen more.  Good steel and good manufacture will go a long way to making a fairly long lasting shear for home use.  However, for something a seamstress or seamster or tailor will use every day repeatedly, 6 months to a year is more the norm.  For a cutter (I don't know if those folks still use hand shears anymore), I would imagine that 3 to 4 months would be about normal, maybe less.

I love those big shears the cutters use, don't see much of them anymore.

I spent 10 years sharpening and knifemaking, and just do it now to keep busy (retired).  Ask any questions about the business, I like the technical side.
My blog about home and appliances


I have sharpened more sissors for my wife than I could honestly count, I just finished 4 pair on my T8, I do all edges at 250 grit than 1000 she sews a ton and this method on my T8 works perfectly


Quote from: Badassblades on July 23, 2019, 10:35:20 PM
I have sharpened more sissors for my wife than I could honestly count, I just finished 4 pair on my T8, I do all edges at 250 grit than 1000 she sews a ton and this method on my T8 works perfectly

That is what I do also.
Rich Colvin - a reference guide for sharpening

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.