December 9

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Best Scissor Sharpeners

By Marie

December 9, 2020


We all know that terrible, thick, almost chewing feeling of trying to cut through fabric with blunted scissors. It makes us reminisce about the days when our scissors, fresh out of the box, could zip through cottons, silks, and linens. 

Luckily, blunt scissors aren’t the end of the world. It doesn’t even mean the end of your scissors. Scissor sharpeners can bring your scissors back from the brink of bluntness in the blink of an eye. 

Not all scissors are created equal, however. There are a lot of sharpeners on the market but you’ll want to find one that takes good care of your shears. After all, quality fabric scissors aren’t cheap. 

We’ve pulled together some of the best scissor sharpeners out there to help you out. We’ve considered a lot of different factors including ease of use, materials, and design. We’ve also poured over lots of customer reviews to pick the most loved products. 

Want to be a cut above? Here’s our top pick:

Wamery Knife Sharpener 4-Stage Kitchen Knife and Scissor Sharpeners

  • Diamond abrasives. 
  • Easy to use. 
  • Sharpens quickly and effectively. 
  • Looks amazing. 
  • Non-slip base and handle. 
  • Can sharpen knives and scissors. 
  • Uses cutting action to sharpen both blades simultaneously.

Top 5 Best Scissor Sharpeners

OUR TOP PICK

Wamery Knife Sharpener 4-Stage Kitchen Knife and Scissor Sharpeners - Easy to Use Manual Knife Sharpening Scissors Tool Restore Knives & Shears Quickly with Ergonomic Handle & Anti-Slip Safe Pads

This sharpener uses diamond abrasives to give you razor sharp scissors. It’s a substantial bit of kit that can cope with all your scissors and knives. 

The design is sturdy and has a non-slip base and handle for safety. It won’t move around as you sharpen the knives which is always great to see. There isn’t a hand guard but the handle is quite a distance from the sharpening surfaces. 

There are 3 stages of knife sharpening; coarse, fine, and ceramic. These allow you to sharpen, refine, and polish your blades. A lot of users are adamant that you only need a few passes to get your blades super sharp. 

Another great thing about this sharpener is the design. It has a great ergonomic design and a pastel blue color that will match any craft room or kitchen. It’s slightly larger than other sharpeners but you can keep it on the unit with the cottagey overall look. 

Pros 

  • Uses diamond abrasives. 
  • Excellent sharpening capabilities. 
  • Easy to use. 
  • Can sharpen scissors and knives. 
  • Great overall look. 
  • Non-slip base and handle.

Cons 

  • Struggles with super large knives.

EDITORS CHOICE

Smith's 50185 Jiffy-Pro Handheld Sharpener

This handheld sharpener has a carbine ceramic whetstone that makes mincemeat of your dull scissors. The whetstone sharpens blades quickly and has excellent durability. 

As well as the cutting action scissor slot, it has two slots for sharpening and refining knife blades. The scissor slot is in the  larger handle of the unit so you have to hold the smaller handle to use the slot. It’s not ideal but it does the job. 

What we love about this sharpener is the fact that it works for left and right-handed scissors. Better yet, it labels which way to use the tool for left-handed scissors. You never need to guess and accidentally ruin your scissors. 

This is a great portable knife sharpener. If you need to travel with your crafting kit then this sharpener is ideal for you. It can clip onto your backpack or fit into a small pocket. It can also slip into a drawer when not in use. 

Another thing we love about this sharpener is it’s price. We love that you can get this sharpener for under 10 dollars! I mean, who doesn’t? 

Pros 

  • Carbine ceramic whetstone. 
  • Sharpens both blades simultaneously. 
  • Suitable for left and right-handed scissors. 
  • Extremely portable. 
  • Great low price.

Cons 

  • Poor handle design for scissor sharpening.

BEST VALUE

Mueller Original Premium Knife Sharpener, Heavy Duty 4-Stage Diamond Really Works for Ceramic and Steel Knives, Scissors. Easily Restores Dull to Sharp

This looks cool, as cool as knife sharpeners can look. We love the color scheme and the fact that it works as well as it looks. 

It uses diamond covered abrasives to quickly and effectively get rid of dull edges. It also refines and reshapes the edge to give the blade better cutting angles. It creates a wonderfully even sharp edge so you won’t have dull tips. 

The base has a non-slip rubber coating making it safe and sturdy on the worksurface. The large rubber handle also gives you an excellent grip as you sharpen.

We like the placement of the handle. It is far enough away from the sharpening surface to protect your fingers. 

The scissor sharpening slot is slightly wider to accommodate the shape and size of the blades. It works in the same way as a knife sharpener.

You drag the blade from base to tip. You can sharpen both left and right-handed scissors by turning the unit around. 

For your knives, or refining your scissors, you have 3 grades of whetstones. The coarser grades can refine the blades while the finer blades are excellent for getting rid of material on duller blades. 

Pros 

  • Multiple sharpening slots. 
  • Uses diamond abrasives. 
  • Easy to use handle. 
  • Non-slip surface. 
  • Sharpens quickly and effectively.

Cons 

  • Have to do each blade one at a time. 
  • No guard on the handle.

RUNNER UP

Fiskars Desktop Universal Scissors Sharpener (198620)

This is a wonderful desktop sharpener. It’s nice and small and is also really lightweight. You can keep it on your desk for frequent maintenance or slip it away for storage. 

This is a cutting action sharpener so it sharpens both blades at the same time. The abrasive surfaces are self adjusting to get the correct angle. 

It works for left and right-handed scissors but it isn’t labelled. You’ll need to work out the correct side. It’s a bit annoying but not a deal breaker. Especially when you consider the great quality of this sharpener overall. 

There are some reports of scissors not fitting correctly in the gaps. This does seem to be a minority issue rather than a universal problem. Curved scissors definitely won’t fit but you should be able to sharpen most straight scissors. 

There are a lot of reviews who are happy to expound the excellency of these knife sharpeners. It seems to be particularly popular with sewers. They can’t all be wrong! 

Pros 

  • Small and lightweight. 
  • Excellent sharpening ability. 
  • Sharpens both blades at the same time. 
  • Self adjusting abrasive surfaces. 
  • Easy to use. 
  • Guard around the handle.

Cons

  • Not labeled left and right.
  • No non-slip base. 

RUNNER UP

Knife Sharpener Electric 3-in-1 Tool - Sharpening Machine for Knives, Scissors, Screwdrivers - 2 Stage Multi-Angle Sharpen Kitchen Appliance Kit (Black)

This electric sharpener won’t break the bank but it will get your scissors back to perfect sharpness. It has a host of features that we just love and hopefully you will too! 

First things first, this is a fairly small machine. It won’t take up a whole drawer or shelf which is great. Despite it’s small size, it has a lot of sharpening prowess. 

Not only will it sharpen your fabric scissors, but it can also take care of knives and screwdrivers. There are four different slots for knife sharpening ranging from very coarse to very fine. 

The scissors slot is on the side of the machine. You sharpen the scissors blade by blade rather than with a cutting action. This isn’t a big deal as the electric action of the sharpener gets your blades sharpened quickly anyway. 

The unit has rubber feet on the base to help it stay in place. The instructions do say to hold the sharpener when using. This is a bit concerning as there isn’t really a safe place to hold the machine.

There are no guards or handles to keep your hands away from the blade as you sharpen. 

The machine needs to cool down after every 3 minutes of use. To be honest, you won’t need it that long to sharpen a pair of scissors but if you’re planning on sharpening a whole set then you’ll need to take breaks. 

Pros

  • Quick and effective sharpening. 
  • Multiple sharpening slots. 
  • Rubber, non-slip feet. 
  • Easy to use. 

Cons 

  • No hand guard or handle.
  • Needs to cool down between uses. 

Best Scissor Sharpeners Buying Guide

We’re going to break things down for you in this section.

The idea is that you’ll have all the information you need to find the right scissor sharpener for your needs. 

Type

There are a couple of different design types available. Some of them can multitask as knife sharpeners, others are specifically designed for use with scissors.

Here’s a breakdown of the more common kinds of scissor sharpeners. 

  • Flat sharpeners - These look a little bit like nail files. They have an abrasive surface on one side which you drag the scissor blade across. They tend to be quite cheap but you do need to use the proper technique. 
  • Cutting action sharpeners - These sharpeners are really nifty. Essentially you open the scissors, place the blades in the hole, and then ‘cut’ against the abrasive surface. When using the sharpeners you need to move the scissors in and out as you cut. The scissors should be nearly shut as the tips connect with the sharpening surface and open as the bottom end of the blade is closer to the sharpener. 
  • Knife block sharpeners - These tend to look like blocks with a few slits running along the surface. Inside the slit is the abrasive surface. To use, you insert one blade at a time and pull the knife through from the base to the tip. The different slits are for different levels of sharpening. They will usually run on a scale from coarse to fine.
  • Electric sharpeners - If you’ve got a bit of cash to splash get yourself an electric sharpener. They do everything for you including pulling the blade through. They also tend to be quite intuitive but adjusting for the shape of the blade. 

Materials

The material we are interested in is the sharpening stone, also called a whetstone. 

There have been many different kinds of materials used to sharpen blades over the centuries. In our time, there is a scarcity of the natural stones that have been traditionally used. As such, many sharpening blocks now use man-made materials. 

Below is a list of the common materials used for scissor sharpening. 

  • Ceramic - This is a manmade material that is a highly effective sharpening tool. One of the best things about ceramic sharpeners is the fact that the grain is highly accurate and regular. When you buy a ceramic sharpener it will tell you the grit value and you know you can trust it. The same can’t be said for natural materials. 
  • Carbide - Known as an oil stone, silicon carbide is a very fast sharpening stone. It is called an oil stone because it needs a coating of oil as a lubricant. Some ceramic whetstones are made from silicon carbide and retain the speed of the carbide. 
  • Diamond - Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material. It can sharpen any blade effectively and quickly. Diamond coated whetstones are durable and don’t need a lubricating coat. Diamond sharpeners do tend to be slightly more expensive because they contain, well diamonds. 

Safety Features

Sharp scissors are dangerous. If you didn’t already know this, then you probably shouldn’t be using them!

Sharpening a pair of scissors can lead to cuts and gashes if you don’t do it correctly. Some sharpeners have built-in features that help to prevent accidents from occurring. 

Where possible, you should look for a sharpener that has one or more of the following: 

  • Non-slip base - The last thing you want is for the whole sharpener to go skidding along the counter. It could lead to the scissors cutting or gouging whatever is beneath them. Look for a sharpener that has a rubber, non-slip base to keep it in place. 
  • Guards - These are especially important on handheld sharpeners. The guard will take the form of a bit of plastic or metal that stands between the sharpening area and your hand. If you do slip up, the guard will take the brunt of the blade and leave your hand untouched. When looking at guards, you want them to be strong, fairly large, and in a useful position.
  • Handles - counter top sharpeners will usually have a handle that you hold to keep the unit in place as you pull the blade through. You want the handle to be a good few inches from the sharpening stone and protected by a guard. Ideally, these handles will have rubber or grooves to give you more traction when holding them. Again, the key thing here is that the sharpener doesn’t slip while you’re sharpening the scissors. 

Warning

Some blades should not be sharpened. Serrated blades are really tricky to sharpen. This is because you essentially have lots of little blade surfaces on your knife. 

You need a specific sharpener for serrated blades. It looks like a thin file and needs to be used between each serration. 

The other kind of blade you need to be mindful of is ceramic knives. Obviously, a ceramic sharpener won’t be able to sharpen a ceramic knife. You need something harder. The only thing harder than ceramic in terms of sharpeners is diamond. 

If you have ceramic knives you need to use a diamond knife sharpener. Most sharpeners will highlight the fact that they are suitable for use with ceramic knives. 

If you use a carbine or ceramic sharpener on a ceramic blade, you’ll just be dulling the blade. It is literally, a complete waste of time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does cutting aluminum foil sharpen scissors?

Yes and no. Cutting through aluminum foil will help to hone a slightly dull pair of scissors but it can’t bring your scissors back from complete dullness. 

The results will be fairly minimal no matter how much foil you cut. This is because the foil just isn’t strong enough to take a lot of material off the blades of your scissors. 

In nearly all cases, you’re better off using a sharpener. 

Do sharpeners work for left-handed scissors? 

Most sharpeners tend to work for both left and right-handed scissors. Blocks or flat sharpeners don’t have a handedness so they can be used for any scissors. 

Knife block sharpeners may need turning around depending on the configuration of the whetstone. The issue really, is with cutting action sharpeners.

Most of them allow you to sharpen left-handed scissors by placing the blades in from the back of the unit rather than the front. Often, the sides are marked as left or right handed. 

While most sharpeners can cope with left-handed scissors, it isn’t true of all. Do check reviews and product listings carefully if you’re a lefty. 

Can you replace the whetstone?

In some cases, yes. Usually, more expensive sharpeners allow you to open up the unit and replace a whetstone that has become ineffective over time. 

The major issue is finding a replacement part. If the manufacturer doesn’t sell replacement whetstones, you need to be very careful when buying a replacement. It may not fit correctly. 

You need to consider not just the size of the replacement But also the shape and angle of the replacement whet stone. 

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