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At which angles do you sharpen your scissors?

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Basic Techniques and Sharpening Strategies At which angles do you sharpen your scissors?

This topic contains 21 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  tcmeyer 08/16/2019 at 1:48 pm.

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  • #49638

    Haffner
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
    • Replies: 29

    There is a lot of information on knife sharpening angles, but I can not find much about scissors.

    #49640

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 878

    On the few pairs that I have sharpened (a grand total of 3) I have just matched the existing factory angles using the sharpie method. Unfortunately, I did not think to record the angles that they were sharpened at.

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    #49642

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 34
    • Replies: 1858

    I’ve done about 12-15 pairs so far, and I’m pretty sure they’ve all been different.  Eight of them have been a batch from a single owner and it did strike me as being odd.  The differences were huge, like from about 55 degrees to a solid 90.  The owner is a doctor and her bandage cutting scissor was the 90 degree job.

    BTW, the scissor adapter won’t give you a 90 angle, as it requires that the ball joint be well into the vise base.   I had to adjust for the lowest possible angle – which of course I didn’t record.

    That does tell me that I ought to record the angles just for my own curiosity.

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    #49684

    Haffner
    Participant
    • Topics: 3
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    Google is your friend…

    I tried to Google “scissor sharpening angle”, and very little information turned up.

    However, sharpeningmadeeasy.com gave some real information. I’ve taken the liberty of quoting the most relevant paragraphs here:

    SCISSOR SHARPENING
    
    Scissor angles are measured from square, which is called 0 degrees.
    • Some scissors, like children's safety scissors or pinking shears, will be ground square.
    • Paper cutting and older cast scissors will be ground at between 5 and 15 degrees, leaving an acute angle at the edge
    • In newer scissors this angle increases up to 25 - 35 degrees or so, but some scissors are deceptive.
    • The highest angle found in household scissors will be 40 or 45 degrees. 
      This is found on the finger blade of knife edge dressmaking shears, 
      although the thumb blade may be at a lower angle, usually 15 degrees.
    Always look carefully for the steepest cutting bevel and duplicate it. 
    
    Grinding the other way and leaving an obtuse edge, called a negative angle, is bad.
    You may see this on low quality scissors or after poor sharpening jobs. 
    
    Some general angles by usage
            Children's safety scissors                                   0
            Pinking shears                                               0 - 5
            Cast Iron paper scissors                                     5 - 15
            Bandage scissors                                            20
            Grass and hedge trimmers                                    25
            Embroidery, cuticle, nail scissors                          25 - 30
            Fabric, tailor and industrial shears 7" and longer          35 - 40
            Knife edge finger blade (thumb blade is 15 - 20 degrees)    45 - 50
    Various scissor and shear sharpening bevel angles.
            Clayton 7"                           10 
            Wiss thread nippers                  10 
            Gingher thread snips                 15 
            Italian pinking shears               15
            Old Wiss pinking shears              15
            Kleencut                             20         
            Fiskars dressmaker                   30         
            Gingher snips resharpened            35
            Delica 3 1/2" blade desk scissors    40         
    
            Gingher "Knife Edge" dressmaker      15-45         
            Wiss dressmaker                      25-30         
            Wusthof kitchen shears               25-35         
            DaVinci 2 1/2" blade                 30-45         
            Japanese kitchen shears              35-40         
    
    
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 4 weeks ago by  Haffner.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 4 weeks ago by  Haffner.
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    #51483

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 109

    How did you set it up?  I’ve got some pet grooming shears using the scissor adapter.  It’s in the vice on the most extreme angle, the one which has the blade leaning as far right as possible (I’m right-handed).  I’ve got the ball joints as far out as possible and I still can’t get more than a 15 degree angle.

    #51484

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 109

    How did you set it up?  I’ve got some pet grooming shears using the scissor adapter.  It’s in the vice on the most extreme angle, the one which has the blade leaning as far right as possible (I’m right-handed).  I’ve got the ball joints as far out as possible and I still can’t get more than a 15 degree angle

    How did you set it up?  I’ve got some pet grooming shears using the scissor adapter.  It’s in the vice on the most extreme angle, the one which has the blade leaning as far right as possible (I’m right-handed).  I’ve got the ball joints as far out as possible and I still can’t get more than a 15 degree angle

    #51485

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1911

    Scissors are a strange beast.  The designs are all over the place.  I found using the adapter it take some improvising to make it work for me with some scissor designs.  If you could post a picture to actually illustrate your set-up/clamping configuration it may help us to help you.  Based on your explanation, I suggest you insert some sort of flat spacer or shim between the scissor adapter where it clamps between the vice jaws to offset the adapter wider to the left side opposite the right guide rod.  Possibly cut a piece of flat bar aluminum, (available at Lowes and Home Depot), into short pieces as wide as the vise jaws.  These will serve as shims to move the adapter offset to the left.  The restriction in the opening width of the Gen 3 Vise Jaws will limit how far you can move the adapter.  You may be able to use the same shim concept between the scissors and the adapter to offset how the scissors sit in the adapter clamp.  This will move the scissors left, away from the the guide rod end to increase the angle width while the adapter itself is still clamped centered in the vise jaws.

    Possibly can you flip the adapter around 90º so it is leaning to left instead of the right.  Then try to clamp the scissors so it is still facing the same way as originally.  This should move the scissors further to the left as it sits in this new orientation.  Realize to make the angle wider you need more distance between the scissors and the guide rod position.  Clamping the adapter leaning all the way to right may not be the way to.  good luck

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #51486

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 109

    Scissors are a strange beast. The designs are all over the place. I found using the adapter it take some improvising to make it work for me with some scissor designs. If you could post a picture to actually illustrate your set-up/clamping configuration it may help us to help you. Based on your explanation, I suggest you insert some sort of flat spacer or shim between the scissor adapter where it clamps between the vice jaws to offset the adapter wider to the left side opposite the right guide rod. Possibly cut a piece of flat bar aluminum, (available at Lowes and Home Depot), into short pieces as wide as the vise jaws. These will serve as shims to move the adapter offset to the left. The restriction in the opening width of the Gen 3 Vise Jaws will limit how far you can move the adapter. You may be able to use the same shim concept between the scissors and the adapter to offset how the scissors sit in the adapter clamp. This will move the scissors left, away from the the guide rod end to increase the angle width while the adapter itself is still clamped centered in the vise jaws. Possibly can you flip the adapter around 90º so it is leaning to left instead of the right. Then try to clamp the scissors so it is still facing the same way as originally. This should move the scissors further to the left as it sits in this new orientation. good luck

    Think I might bit off to much today.

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    #51488

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1911

    Richard, can you move the scissors closer to you so the clamp is holding the blade in the tip of the adapter instead holding the center body of the scissors.  This will change the slant of the scissors.  Then try to work with that.

    By clamping the scissor by the blade you may be able to better work with the angle on the blade and let it work with you.  By clamping at the center hinge body your fighting a larger angle difference.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #51489

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1911

    You may need to flop the scissors over so what is now facing down is instead facing up and the point is towards you.  Then the scissors will be held a different angle relative to the guide rods.  This will give you different angle combinations to work with.  Between clamping the scissors differently, one side up or the other, and changing the adapter’s foot in the vise it gives you more angle combinations to try to work with.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #51490

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 109

    Richard, can you move the scissors closer to you so the clamp is holding the blade in the tip of the adapter instead holding the center body of the scissors. This will change the slant of the scissors. Then try to work with that.

    I gave up Mark and called the person who dropped them off, they wanted five pairs by Monday and I just don’t want to spend that kind of time; that’s like ten knives.  I’ll re-attack this later, maybe I can find an old pair I can practice on.  I’ve had great success with Fiscar and Scotch scissors with no jimmying of the adapter so I need to figure out why the difference.  Plus it had a micro bevel which I haven’t messed with yet.

    #51491

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 58
    • Replies: 1911

    Try just holding the scissors in you fingers to orient the bevel in a position relative to the sharpening stone.  Move the hand held scissors in relation to the paddle.  Flip the scissors over and all around till you find a position that allows you to work with them.  Lay the stone against the scissor edge while you hold the scissors in your hand, so you can see how the scissors need to be positioned, so you have adjustment range with the guide rods.  Then work with the adapter to position it in the vise jaws so it will hold the scissors where you had them positioned when holding them in your fingers.  There are really a lot of combinations between scissor position and adapter position to work with.

    Also the bevels on some scissors are not flat but may be concave.  For those scissors I just try to smooth and flatten the leading edge where the two scissor sides meet and never work on the rest of the edge, at all. Scissors cut by the preciseness of the meeting of the edges the two scissor sides.  None of the rest of the bevel has any function.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #51503

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 34
    • Replies: 1858

    I would think that mounting the scissors in a Tormek small knife adapter would allow for almost any angle to be sharpened.  Not as solidly mounted as with the regular adapter, but workable.

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    #51504

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 109

    These were made by Kenchii which I had never heard of but I guess they’re high dollar.  The first one I pulled out was curved!  I was thinking oh man, I’m in trouble.  Each one sells at close to $300 according to their website.

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    #51510

    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 109

    So as I opened up the leather case that housed the knives, here’s the first one I pulled out.

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