Thursday, 15 May 2014

Sharpening Pinking Shears?

Can Pinking Shears be Sharpened?

It's debated often by sewists; can the scissors with the jagged teeth be sharpened? Pinking shears are scissors that feature blades with triangular teeth. They are used for finishing seams and often to create a decorative edge in crafting. Although they are not necessary to have in your sewing bin, they are very handy to have around!

I have a pair of pinking shears that I recently received from my mother. They are probably as old as I am. It should come as no surprise that these babies are dull. I went to try them on a scrap of cotton sheet and it chewed the material right up. I didn't even get a single snip! So what can I do with these very useless, dull scissors? Can they be fixed? Or should they be replaced? I've scoured the internet and come up with a handful of solutions that you might find useful someday! I caution that you should only try some of these steps if you are certain that your scissors cannot be repaired by a professional.

Tips for Dealing with Dull Pinking Shears

  1. Take them to a Tool Sharpener
    - This sounds like a no-brainer, but apparently it's not as easy as all that. Some specialists will not even touch a pair of pinking shears because they consider them too difficult to sharpen. Now, I'm not sure why that is. Apparently they don't sharpen the individual teeth but across the line of them. From what I was reading in other sources it's easy to mess it up. In fact, many women have complained of sending their scissors to professional tool sharpeners only to receive a totaled, loose pair of pinking shears that can't even cut paper. The other negative is that tool sharpeners can charge you anywhere from $5 to $30 to sharpen your scissors. If you're going to send them to a specialist, get a quote first.
  2. Send them back to the company
    - If your scissors are under a warranty you could try to send them back to the company it came from. If you don't have a warranty, some say that a company will sharpen the scissors for you at small charge, but more often than not I've read that there is little to no customer support for these scissors. It makes sense. A company will make more money off of you if your old pair craps out and you have to purchase a new pair of scissors!
  3. Try the tinfoil
    - It's rumored that cutting through a few layers of tinfoil, or thick foil baking sheets, can help sharpen the teeth of the pinking shears. I've seen mixed results. Some people claim that it worked wonders for them, but it did not work for me. I tried repeatedly and my scissors still chew fabric to bits (but they cut tinfoil beautifully)!
  4. Sandpaper as the last resort
    - Now you shouldn't do this unless you know your scissors have bit the dust. Some recommend cutting sandpaper from tough to fine grit. I don't know if this has ever been successful for anybody. It must have worked for someone otherwise it wouldn't be floating around on the internet! But it could easily mangle your scissors, so I really caution only doing this when you know all other options are out.

Obviously if all of these options fail you have no choice but to replace your pinking shears. It's a hard decision for a lot of women because apparently there are ladies who still own scissors from before the 1960's! They look at their scissors like family heirlooms. Plus, when a pair is that old it truly says something about its quality. You can purchase pinking shears from Walmart for under $20 but they likely aren't the greatest quality. It's best to look at reviews and purchase a good pair. 

*** Something that you may want to consider is having your scissors tightened, if possible. My scissors feel sharp to the touch but won't cut through fabric. I noticed if I lean my thumb into them, putting pressure between the blades, it actually cuts. Unfortunately there is no way on my scissors to tighten them but if it is possible for yours, it's worth the shot!

If you ever find yourself with a dull pair of pinking shears I hope these tips might help you out.

Kind regards,







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