Don’t Throw Away Those Dull Scissors! Use Sandpaper to Sharpen Them

Dulled scissors can be a real headache, making simple cutting tasks a frustrating experience. Whether you use scissors for crafting, sewing, cooking, or other household chores, having a pair of sharp scissors is essential for achieving clean and precise cuts. However, over time, even the best quality scissors will become dull with use, and you may find yourself struggling to cut through even the thinnest materials. Fortunately, there’s easy and quick way to sharpen dulled scissors at home. In this guide, we will explore the effective technique to sharpen scissors, how to sharpen dull scissors with sandpaper.

Why Use Sandpaper?


Before we get into the specifics of how to sharpen your scissors with sandpaper, let’s talk about why this method works. Sandpaper is an abrasive material that is designed to remove small amounts of material from a surface. When you use sandpaper to sharpen your scissors, you’re essentially sanding away the dull edges of the blades and creating a new, sharp edge. This method is effective because it doesn’t require any special tools or equipment, and it’s easy to do at home.


What Grit Sandpaper to Use?


When it comes to sharpening scissors with sandpaper, the grit of the sandpaper is important. The grit refers to the coarseness of the sandpaper, and it determines how much material it will remove from the blades. The lower the grit number, the coarser the sandpaper, and the more material it will remove. Here are the grits of sandpaper you can use for different types of scissors:

  1. 150 Grit Sandpaper

150 grit sandpaper is a coarse grit that is ideal for sharpening very dull or damaged scissors. This grit is designed to remove a lot of material quickly, so it’s perfect for sharpening blades that have nicks or chips. If your scissors are extremely dull and you can’t even cut paper with them, start with 150 grit sandpaper.

  1. 220 Grit Sandpaper

220 grit sandpaper is a medium grit sandpaper range that is suitable for sharpening scissors that are moderately dull. This grit will remove less material than 150 grit sandpaper, so it’s better for maintaining the sharpness of your scissors rather than fixing major damage. If your scissors are still able to cut paper but not as cleanly as they used to, start with 220 grit sandpaper.

  1. 320 Grit Sandpaper

320 grit sandpaper is a fine grit that is best for maintaining the sharpness of your scissors. This grit will remove very little material from the blades, so it’s perfect for touch-ups and regular maintenance. If your scissors are still sharp but you want to keep them that way, use 320 grit sandpaper.


How to Sharpen Scissors with Sandpaper

Now that you know what grit sandpaper to use for different types of scissors, let’s walk through the steps of how to sharpen scissors with sandpaper:

Step 1: Clean the Scissors

Before you start sharpening your scissors, make sure they are clean and free from any debris or dirt. You can use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe down the blades and remove any buildup.

Step 2: Choose the Right Grit Sandpaper

Select the right grit sandpaper for your scissors based on their condition. If your scissors are very dull or damaged, start with 150 grit sandpaper. If they are moderately dull, use 220 grit sandpaper. And if they are still sharp but need a touch-up, use 320 grit sandpaper.

Step 3: Cut the Sandpaper

Cut a piece of sandpaper that is long enough to wrap around the blades of your scissors. You can use scissors to cut the sandpaper if you’d like.

Step 4: Fold the Sandpaper

Fold the sandpaper in half so that the grit is on the outside, and then fold it in half again. You should now have a small strip of sandpaper that is four layers thick.

Step 5: Sharpen the Scissors

Hold the folded sandpaper with one hand, and hold the scissors with the other hand. Place the sandpaper on a flat surface and hold it in place with your fingers. Then, use the scissors to make several cuts into the sandpaper, starting at the base of the blades and working towards the tip. Make sure to apply gentle pressure and keep the blades at the same angle throughout the process.

After you have made several cuts into the sandpaper, flip the scissors over and repeat the process on the other blade. Continue this process for several minutes, making sure to keep the blades at the same angle and applying gentle pressure.

Step 6: Test the Scissors

Once you’ve sharpened both blades, test the scissors by cutting a piece of paper. If the scissors are still dull, repeat the process with a finer grit sandpaper until they are sharp enough.

Step 7: Clean the Scissors

After you’ve finished sharpening your scissors, use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe away any debris or dust. You can also apply a small amount of oil to the blades to help prevent rust and keep them in good condition.

sandpaper for scissor

Tips for Sharpening Dull Scissors with Sandpaper

Here are some tips to keep in mind when sharpening dull scissors with sandpaper:

  1. Use the Right Grit of Sandpaper

As mentioned earlier, it is important to use the right grit of sandpaper when sharpening scissors. A medium grit, such as 150 grit, is recommended for sharpening very dull scissors.

  1. Use a Flat Surface

When sharpening your scissors, make sure to use a flat surface, such as a tabletop or workbench. This will help ensure that the blades of the scissors are sharpened evenly.

  1. Keep the Blades at the Right Angle

It is important to keep the blades of the scissors at a consistent angle as you sharpen them. A good rule of thumb is to keep the blades at a 20-degree angle, but this may vary depending on the type of scissors you are sharpening.

  1. Be Patient

Sharpening dull scissors with sandpaper can take some time, especially if the blades are very dull. Take your time and be patient, and repeat the sharpening process as needed until the blades are sharp.

  1. Use Oil to Prevent Rust

After you have sharpened your scissors, it is a good idea to apply a light coating of oil to the blades to prevent rust. You can use a small amount of household oil or sewing machine oil for this purpose.



Sharpening your scissors with sandpaper is a simple and effective way to restore their sharpness at home. By choosing the right grit sandpaper  and following the steps outlined above, you can quickly and easily sharpen your scissors without the need for special tools or equipment. Whether you’re a crafter, sewer, or just need sharp scissors for everyday tasks, this method is a great way to keep your scissors in good condition and ensure that they cut cleanly and smoothly every time.