Sharpening Fabric Shears

Sharpening fabric shears is one of the many jobs I have hear at Kim’s Upholstery. It’s also one of the easiest! We have about 6 sets of shears that range in size from 9 to 12 inches by manufacturers such as Mundial,  Clauss and Wiss.Fabric Shears During the process of upholstering furniture it is not uncommon to cut through a staple or some other hard object found on the furniture. Some times the upholstery weight  fabric itself is enough to quickly dull the blades. Once that happens the shears need to be sharpened.

In 2007 we used to use a local sharpening company to sharpen all of our fabric  shears at $4 per set. Too many times I was told I would have to wait a week to get the shears back, not to mention that I had to drive 12 miles to drop them off and then 12 miles back a week later to pick them up. I started buying more fabric shears to make up for the down time of waiting for sharpening.  One day I was talking to my sewing machine service man and I asked him if he also sharpened shears. He said that he did but that he could show me how to keep them sharp myself simply by using a sharpening stone. After a two minute lesson I decided to purchase a sharpening stone for myself and give it a try. Success! Yes!

Eight years later I am still sharpening my own shears at home with the same stone.IMG_0260I’m sure I’ve saved lots of money but most importantly I saved myself from lots of down time. Let me tell you how you can start sharpening your own fabric shears.

First off you will need a sharpening stone. The one I have I bought from a wood working supply company. It is a combination stone with a coarse side and a fine side. I think I paid under $20 for it. The stone measures 2″x6″x3/4″ thick. To sharpen my shears I first mount the shears in a vice between 2 pieces of wood. Make them snug but not to tight.
Sharpening shears with a sharpening stoneTake your stone and hold it at an angle that matches the angle on the blade then  lightly draw the stone across the blade towards the high side and the pointed end of the blade at the same time.  After 2 0r 3 passes with the coarse side of the stone switch to the fine side and make 2 or 3 more passes keeping the same angle. This should create a nice sharp edge on your blade. Next put the second blade in the vice and repeat the process. With a little practice you will be comfortable sharpening all of your fabric shears saving you money and down time. If what I have tried to explain to you here seems a bit comfusing watch this YouTube video by Paul Sellers.   Sharpening Scissors  It is excellent.

Sharpening stones like the one I use are available on Amazon.  Look for the Bora 501057 Fine/Coarse Combination Sharpening Stone, Aluminum Oxide. If I ever break or wear out my stone I will try the Diamond Whetstones or maybe a Japanese sharpening stone. It really is as easy as it looks.