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  1. #11
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    I have found that I can restore a very good cutting edge with only 4 to 6 swipes with the extra fine DMT diamond hone on that flat inside surface. I never hone just the edge. Maybe, I've been gradually ruining our scissors every time I sharpen them??
    correct... although if you haven't noticed any problems by now you probably haven't done too much damage. Scissors work because each blade has a knife edge that move past each other. Two knives working on the same line equals a cut. If you mess with the inside edge you can make it so those knives do not meet properly and snugly. This is particularly true if some butcher decides to treat them like a knife blade and taper on both sides. Now.. since you have a good pair of trade shears they are probably screwed together rather than riveted so you are able to adjust the tension on the blades. Knowing you from the forums _you_ would do that even without thinking about it. You'd just do it. But in the future... it would be best to leave the inside alone. Scissors are an art to sharpen.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  2. #12
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    What Rev said.

  3. #13
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    correct... although if you haven't noticed any problems by now you probably haven't done too much damage. Scissors work because each blade has a knife edge that move past each other. Two knives working on the same line equals a cut. If you mess with the inside edge you can make it so those knives do not meet properly and snugly. This is particularly true if some butcher decides to treat them like a knife blade and taper on both sides. Now.. since you have a good pair of trade shears they are probably screwed together rather than riveted so you are able to adjust the tension on the blades. Knowing you from the forums _you_ would do that even without thinking about it. You'd just do it. But in the future... it would be best to leave the inside alone. Scissors are an art to sharpen.
    Rev - had some time to think about this some more and examine the situation.

    I think that either honing the outside edge or the flat of the inside surface is okay.

    Both are gradually grinding away the scissors so that they will have to be replaced at some future date in some future generation.

    What is not good is trying to grind the inside edge as you say - that changes the manner in which the scissors work - they are no longer 2 knives swiping past each other to cut the material.

    Here's my thoughts on grinding the outside edge or the flat inside surface:

    1. outside edge
      Usual method of sharpening employed by professional sharpeners. Doing this can be very difficult for most home DIYers simply because trying to get the hone at the correct angle and holding it there is next to impossible without a mechanical guidance apparatus. Consequently, sharpening via this method should best be left to the professionals.

      Also this method will sharpen out nicks in the blade by grinding the whole edge back past the nick. This of course shortens the life of the scissors even more than a normal sharpening.
    2. inside surface - using a hone on the flat inside surface (NOT the inside edge) is very easy for home DIYers to accomplish - just lay the flat hone, flat on the surface and keep it flat against the surface. Note: this assumes that you are using a flat hone and not a grinding wheel arrangement. I prefer my DMT hones - the Double Sided DiaFold® Sharpener, Fine and Extra Fine.

      This method will not work with nicks in the edge of the blade and so the first method would have to be used if that is a problem.

      You are correct in that this method should ideally be used only for scissors that use a screw for the pivot pin and that ideally the screw should be removed prior to sharpening and then the whole inside surface can be honed, including the area of the pivot and the scissors put back together adjusting the tension on the screw.

      However, I also use this method on the cheap (well relatively cheap) Fiskars scissors that we use for cutting threads and ripping seams - the small ones with about a 2" to 3" blade and extremely fine point. About half have the screw pivot and the rest have a rivet pivot. Given the choice between a professional sharpening that would cost more than replacing the scissors or just using this method, I opt to use this method even on the ones with a rivet pivot. At least I don't have to throw away the ones with a rivet pivot as often. I have been sharpening a few of them quite a few times.


    Both methods work by grinding away some metal and hence will eventually grind away the scissor blades. Don't really know which will grind away too much of the scissors first. But I prefer to use the extra fine side of the DMT hone and 4 to 6 swipes with the hone is sufficient most of the time to restore the edge. At that rate, the scissors will outlast either my wife or myself. Better that than having to replace the scissors or pay even more to have them professionally sharpened.

    As far as the original poster using that plastic sharpener from Fiskars - we have one or 2 of those and I have found them to be almost useless in restoring the sharp edge.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    Rev - had some time to think about this some more and examine the situation.

    I think that either honing the outside edge or the flat of the inside surface is okay.

    Both are gradually grinding away the scissors so that they will have to be replaced at some future date in some future generation.

    What is not good is trying to grind the inside edge as you say - that changes the manner in which the scissors work - they are no longer 2 knives swiping past each other to cut the material.

    Here's my thoughts on grinding the outside edge or the flat inside surface:

    1. outside edge
      Usual method of sharpening employed by professional sharpeners. Doing this can be very difficult for most home DIYers simply because trying to get the hone at the correct angle and holding it there is next to impossible without a mechanical guidance apparatus. Consequently, sharpening via this method should best be left to the professionals.

      Also this method will sharpen out nicks in the blade by grinding the whole edge back past the nick. This of course shortens the life of the scissors even more than a normal sharpening.
    2. inside surface - using a hone on the flat inside surface (NOT the inside edge) is very easy for home DIYers to accomplish - just lay the flat hone, flat on the surface and keep it flat against the surface. Note: this assumes that you are using a flat hone and not a grinding wheel arrangement. I prefer my DMT hones - the Double Sided DiaFold® Sharpener, Fine and Extra Fine.

      This method will not work with nicks in the edge of the blade and so the first method would have to be used if that is a problem.

      You are correct in that this method should ideally be used only for scissors that use a screw for the pivot pin and that ideally the screw should be removed prior to sharpening and then the whole inside surface can be honed, including the area of the pivot and the scissors put back together adjusting the tension on the screw.

      However, I also use this method on the cheap (well relatively cheap) Fiskars scissors that we use for cutting threads and ripping seams - the small ones with about a 2" to 3" blade and extremely fine point. About half have the screw pivot and the rest have a rivet pivot. Given the choice between a professional sharpening that would cost more than replacing the scissors or just using this method, I opt to use this method even on the ones with a rivet pivot. At least I don't have to throw away the ones with a rivet pivot as often. I have been sharpening a few of them quite a few times.


    Both methods work by grinding away some metal and hence will eventually grind away the scissor blades. Don't really know which will grind away too much of the scissors first. But I prefer to use the extra fine side of the DMT hone and 4 to 6 swipes with the hone is sufficient most of the time to restore the edge. At that rate, the scissors will outlast either my wife or myself. Better that than having to replace the scissors or pay even more to have them professionally sharpened.

    As far as the original poster using that plastic sharpener from Fiskars - we have one or 2 of those and I have found them to be almost useless in restoring the sharp edge.

    I believe that when you use a very fine hone on the flat, on the inside edge, what you are really doing is a rather aggressive stropping. That is to say, instead of actually removing any material and creating a burr, you are actually bending and refining the burr which was created when using a coarser abrasive on the outside edge. This can work, and obviously does for you. The chances of removing enough material to do harm are pretty low.

    Scissors do not work like two knife blades swiping past each other. They work like two shear blades swiping past each other. This may seem like a fine point but it is critical to an understanding of the way to sharpen the blades. I've seen $10,000 steel shear blades ruined because they were not sharpened properly.

    In order to tell if your sharpening system is effective, you can use a simple technique that I have used successfully for years. Just take a sharpie marker and paint the edges of the scissors. Whatever sharpening technique that you use will leave it's mark in the ink, telling you whether or not you are at the correct angle. The sharpie marker is easily removed afterwards.


    Just my $0.02

  5. #15
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Scissors do not work like two knife blades swiping past each other. They work like two shear blades swiping past each other. This may seem like a fine point but it is critical to an understanding of the way to sharpen the blades
    I knew that. I used the wrong term. Thanks for the clarification.

    TeeDee stropping the blade is one thing and yes the "damage" is mitigated. The problem I have is what one person sees as stropping another person might refer to as grinding. I would have no problem using a leather strop on my blades but then I am "of a certain age" where I remember my dad stropping a razor. Being mindful that not all readers have the same experience or reference points I err on the side of strict adherence to best practice as I understand them. You're right... cheap scissors I don't bother with proper care because they are just plain too easy to replace when they get bad. Give them to the kids for their construction paper school reports.
    I grew up and my kids grew up knowing "these" scissors you can use. "Those" scissors it is worth your backside to touch.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  6. #16
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    I believe that when you use a very fine hone on the flat, on the inside edge, what you are really doing is a rather aggressive stropping. That is to say, instead of actually removing any material and creating a burr, you are actually bending and refining the burr which was created when using a coarser abrasive on the outside edge. This can work, and obviously does for you. The chances of removing enough material to do harm are pretty low.
    Again - I am NOT honing/stropping/grinding the "inside edge" - I am honing/stropping/grinding the whole inside flat surface. The distinction is important. By doing the whole surface I keep the matching surfaces in contact as you point out in the next paragraph and I do not alter the angle of the edge which is also important.

    As to whether I am working only on the burr - I seriously doubt that - any burr that would have been present would have long ago been removed.

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    Scissors do not work like two knife blades swiping past each other. They work like two shear blades swiping past each other. This may seem like a fine point but it is critical to an understanding of the way to sharpen the blades. I've seen $10,000 steel shear blades ruined because they were not sharpened properly.
    Yes you are correct - that is the mental image I got from Rev's post also, and when I posted about the 2 knives I was searching for the correct words to describe the action which you have so eloquently described - thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    In order to tell if your sharpening system is effective, you can use a simple technique that I have used successfully for years. Just take a sharpie marker and paint the edges of the scissors. Whatever sharpening technique that you use will leave it's mark in the ink, telling you whether or not you are at the correct angle. The sharpie marker is easily removed afterwards.
    Yes I have used the Sharpie technique on knives for quite a while now - It is great for understanding just what you are doing when working on knives -- and scissors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    ....
    TeeDee stropping the blade is one thing and yes the "damage" is mitigated. The problem I have is what one person sees as stropping another person might refer to as grinding. I would have no problem using a leather strop on my blades but then I am "of a certain age" where I remember my dad stropping a razor. Being mindful that not all readers have the same experience or reference points I err on the side of strict adherence to best practice as I understand them. You're right... cheap scissors I don't bother with proper care because they are just plain too easy to replace when they get bad. Give them to the kids for their construction paper school reports.
    I grew up and my kids grew up knowing "these" scissors you can use. "Those" scissors it is worth your backside to touch.
    Well I don't know if it is called stropping or honing or grinding. I'm also of a "certain age" such that when I think of stropping, I think of using a flexible material such as a leather strop, although I understand that cardboard can very effective also.

    And yes "stropping" as I understand the term is used for de-burring an edge. I very much doubt that what I am doing is de-burring the edge.

    When I first started trying to sharpen our scissors, I went with the conventional wisdom of never touching the inside edge - that wisdom is still true if you mean working the edge "only" and is true no matter which side you are working on. I noticed that I would get a burr on the inside edge that was removed by the simple expedient of closing the scissors. I could feel the two blades working against each other and removing the burr.

    When I first started using my current technique, I started with a "medium" hone, moving to a fine and finally to the extra fine. I now re-hone often enough that I simply need the extra fine.

    I personally think that what I am doing is re-forming the edge from the other side of the edge from what a professional does. The cutting edge has 2 sides. The professional works on the edge by grinding/honing the outside surface, I work on the edge by honing the entire inside flat surface. Both of are honing/grinding away surface metal to bring the edge back.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    A
    I personally think that what I am doing is re-forming the edge from the other side of the edge from what a professional does. The cutting edge has 2 sides. The professional works on the edge by grinding/honing the outside surface, I work on the edge by honing the entire inside flat surface. Both of are honing/grinding away surface metal to bring the edge back.
    I understand the distinction that you are making. However.. particularly in the case of a riveted pivot, there will come a time, eventually, when you remove enough material from the inside surface that the pivot point is thicker than the blade area. In the case of a screw I suppose one could correct this by removing material by what ever means and bring the inside plane back into alignment. Just as using conventional wisdom _eventually_ you will reduce the height of the blade. The difference being the inside surface would remain in proper contact by not touching the side area. Removing the burrs by closing the scissor blades does not alter the alignment of the shear edges. Removing the thickness of the blade from the inside does, however microscopic the change is. That is the distinction.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  8. #18
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    I understand the distinction that you are making. However.. particularly in the case of a riveted pivot, there will come a time, eventually, when you remove enough material from the inside surface that the pivot point is thicker than the blade area. In the case of a screw I suppose one could correct this by removing material by what ever means and bring the inside plane back into alignment. Just as using conventional wisdom _eventually_ you will reduce the height of the blade. The difference being the inside surface would remain in proper contact by not touching the side area. Removing the burrs by closing the scissor blades does not alter the alignment of the shear edges. Removing the thickness of the blade from the inside does, however microscopic the change is. That is the distinction.
    True, Very true. That is why for the scissors with the rivet pivot, I will eventually have to discard the scissors.

    However, for the scissors with the screw pivot, I don't have this problem. By simply removing the screw, honing the flat surface including the pivot area I avoid the problem.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

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  9. #19
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    TeeDee... it is an unconventional technique and one which _I_ would not recommend which combined with $5 can buy you a special coffee at Starbucks. The only thing that I would watch with the screw pivot is this. The blade actually two bevels to the edge. One is forged into the rough blank. The other is ground onto the blank as the cutting edge. By honing the inside flat surface you will.. in time.. eventually remove that ground bevel which serves as the cutting edge. In order for the shears to work properly you will probably have to have that edge reground periodically. Admittedly you will likely only have to the do that a few times over the life time of the scissors. But it a something to observe.

    I suspect we have ground this discussion about a fine as we can. All of this on my part is prompted by the fact that we are going to be moving before the end of the year, I hope. At that time we will be sending our machines to the doctor and our shears to same sewing center to be sharpened so I have been giving some extra thought to the perils of entrusting our Gingher, Wiss and Case babies to a potential butcher. But as the shop sells these very high quality items we have a level of trust they know how to do the job right.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  10. #20
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post

    I suspect we have ground this discussion about a fine as we can.
    You are a very bad man.

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