The Secret Guide To How To Sharpen Pinking Shears

Fact Checked By:Aithley Balder

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Easy Ways You Can Turn How to Sharpen Pinking Shears

Pinking shears, or scissors with jagged edges, are just that. It is more difficult to sharpen these shears than it would be to sharpen standard shears due to the unusual shape of these shears. Though you may sharpen your pinking shears at home using a variety of techniques, it is always suggested that you get them professionally sharpened. Following these instructions will allow you to simply sharpen your pinking shears.

Shiny Again: How to Sharpen Pinking Shears

Pinking shears need experience and accuracy to sharpen. It may be done in a variety of ways. Detailed instructions for sharpening pinking scissors and shears are provided here.

how to sharpen pinking shears scissors

Using Technology: How to Sharpen Pinking Scissors

Making Use of a Sharpening Wheel

The use of a sharpening wheel is strenuous labor. You will need a few items in order to complete this task:

  • A clamp for aligning the blades.
  • A grinder is a machine that grinds.
  • A sharpening wheel is included.
  • A distinguishing mark.


  • First and foremost, remember that you don’t sharpen between the teeth of your pinking shears; rather, you sharpen along the edge of each tooth on the cutting surface. The majority of the sheers are between 0 and 5 degrees; however, some are even negative. You will need to do a “scratch test” in order to determine which one it is.
  • A scratch test is when you use a black marker to paint from the bottom of the teeth to the tip of the teeth. Setting the clamp to 0 degrees, clamp in the scissors and position it against the wheel, while using your hands to spin the wheel downwards. It is OK if the paint is scratched off completely to the tips if the clamps are at the proper angle; if not, adjust the clamps and repeat the test to ensure that they are at the proper angle. You may also utilize the clamps to create a negative angle, since some of the clamps enable you to go a bit farther negative than the default. Alternatively, don’t tighten the clamps all the way down and allow the shears to move so that you may manually hold it at the proper angular position.
  • Once the shears have been clamped in at the proper angle, switch on the grinder and, while keeping the shears against the wheel, pass them from the left of the blade to the tip of the blade. Make two or three passes across the paper to see whether the black ink has faded away. If they don’t, repeat the process a couple more times until they do. If you are dealing with a more negative blade and your clamps are not completely fastened, you may need to make minor adjustments to your shears to ensure proper operation.
  • Once you have finished with one blade, go to the next blade in the same manner.

Aluminum Foil (also known as aluminized aluminum foil)

Aluminum foils may also be used to sharpen scissors for a more professional appearance. It’s more of a temporary fix for the unexpected friction in your scissors than a long-term solution for the problem. It will free the blades that have been stuck together, allowing for easy cutting. All you need is a sheet of aluminum foil to complete this project. Tin foil may also be used for this purpose.


  • To begin, take some foil and make many little cuts in it with a thread snip, for example.
  • Make careful to cut from the tip to the bottom of the blade to ensure that you include all of the teeth.
  • If the foil is not robust enough, fold it a couple of times more times.
  • Test the shears on the cloth to ensure that the stiffness has been eliminated.

Sandpaper (also known as sandpaper paper)

This is also a fast repair, similar to the use of aluminum foil. This will need the use of fine-grain sandpaper.


  • Fold the sandpaper in half in the center to ensure that you have a grainy surface on both sides of the sandpaper.
  • Make a few cuts with complete scissor strokes to practice.
  • Cut a piece of cloth to test the shears’ performance.

Using Hand: How to Sharpen Pinking Shears

You may also use a whetstone to sharpen your pinking shears by hand if you want. It doesn’t provide a very high-quality finish, but it does the job.

What you will need for this approach is the following:

  • Whetstone is a stone that has been used for rubbing and polishing.
  • A screwdriver is required.
  • A paper towel that has been dampened
  • Not to mention your pinking shears, of course!


  • Prepare your stone first by soaking it in water for a couple of minutes until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the water.
  • Using a screwdriver, disassemble your shears from the handle. The sharpening process will be done one blade at a time.
  • The cutting face of the blade should be placed downwards on the coarse surface to be cut.
  • Pass the blade over the surface of the stone a few times at a slow pace. It is sufficient to make 15-20 passes. Water should be applied as required.
  • Finish sharpening on the finer surface by running the blade over it three to four times.
  • After you’ve finished, wipe off the blade with a paper towel.
  • Replace the blade with the other and repeat the operation.

This method of sharpening scissors and knives is widely used, but it will not provide a flawless finish, and you may wind up with an uneven surface on the blade as a result. It is not an ideal approach for sharpening pinking shears since it is time-consuming.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is it worthwhile to invest in pinking shears?

Pinking shears are the scissors that have the almost magical ability to avoid fraying on raw hems by cutting cloth in a zigzag pattern. This is accomplished by cutting the fabric with the shears. They are also helpful when you need to minimize the fabric bulk on seam allowances, and they produce a beautiful pattern that may give flavor to the borders of sewing crafts or even paper creations. They are handy in both of these situations because of their versatility.

Is It Necessary to Sharpen Your Zig-Zag Shears Occasionally?

Pinking shears have an ingenious manner of determining whether or not they need to be sharpened. When sharpening shears, you may always look for lap lines to see whether they need to be sharpened. On the cutting surface, there is a shining metal layer at the bottom, followed by the lap line, and then another layer of metal with a dark tint on top of it. If this is not visible, the shears will not function correctly, and you will be alerted that it is time to get them sharpened.

Good pinking shears from a well-known brand should easily last you for a number of years with little maintenance. Sharpening, on the other hand, becomes an absolute need after that. It is preferable to sharpen your shears once a year rather than more often. Depending on the quality of your shears, you may find yourself needing to sharpen them in the middle.

What is the origin of the name pinking shears?

Pinking shears are scissors with notched blades that are used to cut a zigzag edge on a piece of fabric to keep it from fraying. They are available in a variety of sizes. A meaning of the verb pink that originally meant to cut holes and slits in cloth or leather for ornamental reasons, in order to reveal the layer underneath, gives rise to this word, as does the phrase “to pink.”

Pinking shears last how long?

Pinking may linger for a long time, particularly if the clothing is not washed. When used on doll clothing, for example, they may last for more than 20 years without fraying. Pinking shears should not be used on knit jerseys or sweater knits. It might result in a snag or a run.

Can I use foil to sharpen pinking shears?

When your pinking shears decide they don’t want to cooperate with you in the midst of a job, a simple repair is to cut through some aluminum foil (or sandpaper!). This is not a substitute for having your pinking shears professionally sharpened, but it is a quick fix. In addition, dull pinking shears are hopeless for this remedy to revive them.

What are pinking shears used for?

When cutting woven fabric, pinking shears are the tool of choice. Unfinished fabric edges have a greater tendency to fray, which results in the weave getting undone and the threads becoming more readily detached. The sawtooth design does not prevent the thread from fraying, but it does restrict the length of the thread that has frayed, which helps damage to be kept to a minimum.

Why don’t pinking shears fray?

Pinking shears are used to cut the bias of the cloth you are working with. The only thing you need to do is cut along your fabric lengthwise or across in a straight line. The little triangles that the pinking shears make will be cut on the bias, which will reduce the amount of fraying that occurs on your cloth.

Is it possible to oil pinking shears?

For smooth operation, pinking shears, like most other types of shears and scissors, need an occasional drop of oil to be applied in the region of the hinge. Keep the oil away from the blades to prevent any damage to the cloth, and be sure to remove any excess oil before using the machine. For the cleanest and most precise cut, make sure there is no lint on the blades.

Recommendations for safety

It may seem that knowing how to sharpen pinking scissors and shears is simple and something that can be done at home. This is not the case. However, before sharpening your pinking shears, keep the following points in mind:

  • Maintain a safe distance between the sharpening wheel’s surface and your clothing, hair, and hand when using it.
  • If safety gloves are required, use them.

Pinking shears are a kind of scissors that is particularly delicate. Even if you are familiar with the process of sharpening pinking shears, it is preferable to leave it to the specialists. Given their zig-zag edges, they are unable to be sharpened in the conventional manner. Simple processes such as using tin foil or sandpaper to smooth the edges of the shears might cause harm to the shears by rounding off the edges. In such case, send them to a repair shop to get them sharpened as soon as you are able. Additionally, to ensure a long-lasting pair of scissors, maintain them oiled and cleaned on a regular basis.

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Aithley Balder

Hello there, my name is Aithley Balder from Texas. I am a cookware, sewing, toilet, technology enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 4 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page.

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