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Thread: Scissors

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Scissors

    I've often heard that if you cut paper with your fabric scissors that the scissors are ruined.

    Ruined for good? You can sharpen scissors, right? That should "fix" them, no?

    I'm assuming this doesn't apply to the serrated edge scissors, or what Gingher calls their "Knife Edge" scissors. - the sharpening part anyway. So are they ruined then? Or can they be sharpened professionally again?

    Do any of you sharpen at home? What sort of "stone" or sharpener do you use?

    Also, for any of you who have Gingher Scissors.... uh... do they look like this? These ones have bounced off the floor a couple of times, but I didn't think it was hard enough to bend them...

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    This is just part of the left handed or right handed bend, isn't it?

    I'm a little ashamed to say I didn't look that carefully at them until after they'd bounced a few times.

  2. #2
    sap
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    my father taught me how to sharpen scissors many years ago. I haven't bought a new pair of sewing scissors in 40 yrs. paper scissors, they got broken. I use whet stones n files to sharpen them. you just have to make sure to maintain the bevel on the blade.
    I've taken scissors that were so dull they wouldn't cut paper and when I was finished the were cutting cloth.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Quilting Grandma's Avatar
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    My dad taught me the same way. Also how to sharpen knives. Oh my goodness, that was 60 years ago. Time flies. I in turn taught my kids.
    Happy Quilting Grandma of 15, 3 Greats

  4. #4
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    I had read on another board years ago that the 'don't cut paper with cloth cotting scissors' was a total myth. This was supposedly by a professional sharpener. I have very fine serated scissors that have only been used on cloth. I have dirt cheap scissors that I use on thread, cloth, paper and I'd still probably lose a digit or two if I slipped using them!

  5. #5
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    The only pair I treat with TLC are my Nogent scissors. I keep Ginghers and Clover in the kitchen, desk, and craft supplies for everyone to use. No looking for the good scissors anymore. Nothing is more frustrating then having a cheap pair of scissors to open a package or cut a clothes tag out. I have lots of different brands and they are used for paper or fabric, whatever I pick up first. I think if I used the same pair of scissors they would go dull fast but having an assortment the same pair is seldom used twice in a row or even more then two or three times a year.
    I love my life!

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Gingher sells a sharpening stone. I use that on all my scissors and it works great.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cactus Stitchin's Avatar
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    Actually - if you do cut paper with the fabric scissors it nicks the blade and it does not come out when they are sharpened. I have a pair that I caught my husband using on paper because they were "the only ones he could find". He accused me of being overly dramatic when I protested but they haven't cut fabric worth a dang since then. I have had them sharpened professionally, twice, and the nick is still there and the scissors will not cut fabric at that spot. My husband tried to use them as well to "prove me wrong" but he had to agree they didn't cut worth a dang. Next day he brought home a new pair of Gingher's for me.

  8. #8
    Super Member weasier22's Avatar
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    My Dad had a sharpening wheel out by his workshop and that's where he would sharpen my Mom's scissors. I now have those scissors. They bring back many good memories. And yes, my Mom would always remind us not to use her scissors on paper. So I have passed that tradition on to my daughter!
    Live, Laugh, Love & Quilt!
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  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    You can send Gingher scissors to them for professional sharpening at a decent price: http://www.gingher.com/pages/repair-and-maintenance/4/
    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.
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  10. #10
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    When they have back to school sales I pick up a few of the adult type universal hand sale scissors for "every day" use. My good scissors stay in my sewing bag. ( I am a lefty so no one but me uses them) Sharpening the scissors are just part of the difference in the better scissors. The adjustment bolt and nut assembly can also get messed up when used on things like price tags and thicker paper.

  11. #11
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I only use my 40 year old Ghingers for fabric cutting. Haven't sharpened them for 30 years. Cuts like butter! Why take a chance on cutting paper with them. I buy cheap Fiskars for paper cutting. I have a rotary cutter designated specifically used for cutting paper or cardbard. Comes in handy.

    sandy
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  12. #12
    Junior Member Carrie in PA's Avatar
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    Years ago i had one of those old fashioned avocado green "dial-a-matic" sharpeners. I miss that silly little thing very much, it just vanished one day. Right now i use a fiskars sharpener and it works ok on my fabric scissors that somehow always make it in with the paper cutting scissors. I've been watching thrift stores to find another one of those sharpeners but for now i ordered a new pair of scissors that i have warned the family several times will be fabric only.

    It is not a myth about using scissors for one purpose and not mixing them up. When i was a kid i used my moms fancy hair cutting scissors for a craft project and the hell she went through getting them sharpened (expensive) left quite an impression on me. I've also noticed that i can't use general purpose scissors to clip coupons after my daughter has used them to cut construction paper so now we have several pairs of scissors around the house meant for specific tasks.
    "A creative mess is better than tidy idleness"

  13. #13
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    I buy cheap scissors by the multi-pack and scatter them all around the house, so there are scissors EVERYWHERE in my house. NO reason for my DH to ever touch any of my sewing scissors! I do believe paper will dull scissors so I am strict about keeping fabric scissors separate from "every day" scissors. I believe it because my snips won't snip threads anymore now that I've used them to trim paper!

  14. #14
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    I can sharpen knives and my wood chisels just fine. Scissors-not so much. I did find out that our local sewing store takes scissors in for sharpening. They were very reasonable too., about $3.50 a pair. They have a week turnaround so I'll be making a couple trips to get mine cleaned up.
    Apparently hair cutting scissors are sharpened with a rounded bevel and it's recommended to only have them professionally sharpened. I would ask at a barber shop or salon where they get theirs sharpened.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  15. #15
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    I won't allow a piece of paper to touch my fabric scissors. I have a set of Fiskar's ergonomic scissors and absolutely love them. They stay in my craft closet out of the sight of the rest of the family so there is no chance of them being used for anything other than fabric.

  16. #16
    Super Member notmorecraft's Avatar
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    I learned dressmaking as a child as I had aunts that were tailoress, and I was taught to keep a pair of scissors for paper pattern cutting and separate scissors for cloth. I have always adhered to this to the extent that the scissors I leave out, , which my hubby and sons use for anything and everything are the ones I use for paper and my 'good' scissors are not easy to find, unless you know where to look. Lol.

  17. #17
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I guess I'm lucky, it's usually just my MegaPro screwdriver that I have to guard in my studio. DH is pretty good about my scissors. He asks which ones he can use.

    K, so if I'm reading this right, in many cases, I should be able to sharpen the scissors and take care of any issues, unless the blade is nicked.

    Cactus Stitchin, is there any chance your hubby nicked the blade by cutting near or through a staple or something? Paper seems like it should give before metal does...

    Candace, I've been eyeballing that stone too, especially because it deals with the knife edge scissors too. I think I will order it on my next order from my supplier.

    Jan in VA, It's reasonable to send scissors to them if you're in the US. For me it's $30, which is more than I paid for the scissors (got them on clearance from the supplier for $16). If I had a more expensive pair, it might be different. Thanks for the info though. They're actually not dull, and I haven't cut paper with them. I have 3 pair of scissors that came with machines that I thought could use sharpening because I don't know their histories.

    Auntie V, adjustment bolt?

    Carrie in PA, if I ever see one, I'll keep you in mind. I tried to find a pic of one on Google, but no luck, do you have a photo?

    Rodney, thanks! I will ask around. I know there used to be shops in the malls called "House of Knifes" - their spelling, not mine! But I wonder sometimes if my scissors are worth the craftsmen, rather than the minimum wage teens I see in most shops these days.

    notmorecraft - Actually, that brings up another question - what about the tissue paper in patterns? Should I have a second set for those? When I pin the pattern to the fabric, invariably I cut the tissue paper too, surely that shouldn't dull the blades...? I've also found that "girly colored" things also don't get touched. My next set of scissors (and screwdriver!) will likely be pink or purple!

  18. #18
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    Various clays, and/or calcium carbonate, are a component of many papers, including cardboard. They are there to make the paper stiff, to adjust the absorption of inks, to keep the paper hard when it is wet (wet strength), and as a filler (Clays are less expensive than wood fiber in many cases, depending upon the quality of the paper.) These minerals are abrasive and dull the scissor blades. (copied from the site below)

    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc...1/gen01215.htm

  19. #19
    Super Member Jo M's Avatar
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    My feelings exactly!
    Jo

  20. #20
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    Apparently hair cutting scissors are sharpened with a rounded bevel and it's recommended to only have them professionally sharpened. I would ask at a barber shop or salon where they get theirs sharpened.
    Rodney
    Never knew that. I have several pairs of very good quality shears for dog grooming, and I regularly get them sharpened when I'm at a dog show. I know these are NOT sharpened with a rounded bevel. (most) Dog hair is coarser than (most) human hair ... suppose that's why.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  21. #21
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    When i was looking for how-to info on scissor sharpening I ran across that bit. It could be wrong. Oh-wait! Everything on the internet is true.
    I hope I'm not passing on bad info.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  22. #22
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    My scissors are MY scissors and not to be used by anyone. I have several pairs for different things and I use my Fiskar's for fabric. I have had them for years and never been sharpened. With rotary cutting my scissor use is minimal but having a pair for everything is the way to go. Sharpening by a professional is expensive so I take good care to not have to go there.
    Debra

  23. #23
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    I heard or read somewhere to sharpen scissor cut aluminum foil...anyone else ever hear that....

  24. #24
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I always use good equipment for everything. I believe that people have more accidents when they are dealing with dull or inadequate tools. If it is a good pair of scissors, one does not have to tug or hack at anything in frustration ad thus avoid slipping accidents. However, I do have coloured bands on them to denote usage. I generally take them to the Scissorman for maintenance.

  25. #25
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    I have scissors in every room just to keep hubs and kids from "borrowing" mine. They know that that is absolutely forbidden!

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