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Tips & Techniques > Sharpening Pinking Shears

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Posted by: Cambric Tea

About Cambric Tea starstarstar
Member since: 4/19/03
Reviews: 22 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 75 people
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Posted on: 3/23/06 12:55 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 32 people   
I purchased a pair of Fiskar Left-handed pinking shears six years ago when I took up sewing.

I have used them well and hard. When I wanted to cut something harder than fabric, like the excess of a zipper, I always reached for them before my worst scissors.

I realized last week that they finally were completely dulled, and wouldn't even cleanly cut interfacing anymore..

What to do? The last time I had my lefty haircutting scissors and Gingers sharpened they came back with waving, ruined blades and I had to have them replaced.

I didn't want to risk having to pay for sharpening as well as replacement, so I was considering just buying another pair of the same pinkers.

Luckily, I ran across this tip on the forums and it works:

*To sharpen pinking shears, cut through doubled aluminum foil.

I cut through trebled aluminum foil, five times (I saw nothing to lose, and honey they were D-U-L-L!) and I have my sharpy blades back!

Now mind you, my Fiskars weren't passed down the family line and they were cheap to start.
The look on the Britex lady's face told me they were only a step up from safety scissors, but they worked then and they work again. Yay!

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bfisher5560 said... (2/28/12 10:58 AM) Reply
Tried this on 2 pair and did not work. I am trying to pink edges of a dress lining. So that was the test. They already work ok on heavier fabric.
AbigailA said... (9/18/10 1:19 AM) Reply
I tried it on shears I bought on eBay. I was so mad they were dull, and I was ready to send them back, but it worked like a charm!
mushroomvillagers said... (8/19/07 0:39 AM) Reply
Just tried this as well and it actually made my shears duller. Anyone else have ideas? I really don't want to have to buy another pair.
ryansmumAria said... (8/13/07 11:25 AM) Reply
I was so excited about this tip but unfortunately it didn't work one little bit.
Patglenn said... (9/28/06 8:51 PM) Reply
I'm another one for whom the aluminum foil didn't work. As SewVeryTall said, they cut the foil beatuifully, but didn't do anything for the fabric.
Clynne said... (5/9/06 8:37 AM) Reply
Thanks for this tip. I walked in yesterday as my husband was cutting a credit card with my pinkers!
Karla Kizer said... (4/12/06 8:16 PM) Reply
I'm with Gigi: I don't use the old Fiskars (racy sounding name, don't you think?) often enough to warrant buying a new pair, but I'm not above giving this old pair a little life support. Thank you!
GorgeousFabrics said... (4/12/06 3:02 PM) Reply
I tried it on aancient and dreadfully dull pair of pinking shears that I inherited from MIL. It worked pretty well! They are not going to replace my newer shears yet, but at least they no longer tear the fabric. Thanks for the tip! -Ann
tisha said... (4/12/06 8:44 AM) Reply
Cambric Tea said... (3/30/06 11:46 AM) Reply
AuntyQLace, Sorry it didn't work, but I hope it didn't hurt! Yes this method did work for me, and if you google, "Sharpen Pinking Shears Aluminum Foil" there are a lot of people for whom it did work. BUT I'm glad that you commented that it didn't work for you. (And SewVeryTall as well!) It is most helpful to get all sides. :D
AuntyqLace said... (3/29/06 6:16 PM) Reply
I wish this tip had worked for my pinkers, like it must have for so many others :(
casken said... (3/28/06 1:57 AM) Reply
Thank you!
SewVeryTall said... (3/25/06 4:51 AM) Reply
Well, I waited to comment until after I actually tried this out...didn't work. I cut double foil, tried fabric...then triple foil, tried fabric...then 6 layers of foil even...lots and lots of cuts. I must say, they cut the foil beautifully, lol. I should add, this was my old pair, not my good Wiss from dear grandmother that are over 50 years old and still extremely sharp.
kathi s said... (3/24/06 11:33 PM) Reply
I have a pair passed on from DMinL- I was ready to throw them out because they won't even cut cardboard. I'll experient on those and then try it on my own if it works.
twistedangel said... (3/24/06 5:02 PM) Reply
Good tip. I have "passed down the family line" Wiss pinking shears. Don't use 'em much 'cuz I'm afraid of "dullifying" them. It's good to know that they can be sharpened.
Susiec said... (3/24/06 12:52 PM) Reply
My mom just told me this morning that her pinking shears need sharpened. I just joined a few minutes ago and already learned something valuable. Thanks
Donna H said... (3/24/06 11:05 AM) Reply
Great tip, thank you!
FloraNature said... (3/24/06 6:54 AM) Reply
Many thanks for sharing this tip. I have heard of it before, but couldn't see how it would work. Now, where did I leave my pinking shears!
vasallese said... (3/24/06 1:54 AM) Reply
Thanks. I have been afraid to send the pinking shears out for sharpening, cause i wasn't sure they could be sharpened. Since I'm reading this so late, I will try this in AM. They are Fiskars, & probably 25 years old.. I'll test it on them before I do the old Wiss I inherited from my aunt.
MaryBeth said... (3/24/06 0:49 AM) Reply
Slick as a button on a shirt!
SewTwin said... (3/24/06 0:44 AM) Reply
I really needed this tip.I have a pair of Ginghers my DH bought me when I started sewing many ? years ago.They are not bad, just dull.This is my tip to try tonight!
amadoofus said... (3/24/06 0:24 AM) Reply
Thank you, because my pinking sheers NEED it!
Mufffet said... (3/24/06 0:03 AM) Reply
This is really great. My very old Wiss pinking shears were ruined when I had them sharpened. I will try this. I won't send pinking shears out to be sharpened again. Thanks a lot for passing this on!
Cambric Tea said... (3/24/06 0:02 AM) Reply
Don't do this with your dressmaker shears, whit! Just your pinking shears. Something about the pinked blade going through the foil really does work, you can kind of hear and feel the friction working.
whit said... (3/23/06 11:07 PM) Reply
I was just talking with one of the guys at the office about this today. Why is it you can take a pair of scissors that cut material and mess 'em up cutting paper. OK, OK, I don't do it often. Well . . . not THAT often. 'sides, they're my scissors. I'd never do it with my wife's scissors or there'd be howlin' from the doghouse. Anyway . . . you can fix 'em with aluminum foil. Go figure!
Gigi Louis said... (3/23/06 7:14 PM) Reply
Hey, I have two pair of Fiskar's pinkers - I like 'em! Frankly, I don't use pinking shears often enough to warrant buying a more expensive brand. Luckily, I have a great local sharpener so even the 30 year old pair still works great.
Mirza said... (3/23/06 5:35 PM) Reply
Thanks for this tip!
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