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Sharpening scissors?

The*Cincinnati*Kid

Well-Known Member
I recently found a pair of DORKO scissors in my mothers junk droor, and she said that my grandfather used to cut his hair with them. The cutting edges weren't in the best shape so I took them apart and sanded both sides with 400,600,800. I put them back together and they cut hair but not like they should, so my question to you fellas is how do I go about sharpening them on my coticule? Thanks in advance.

Regards
Louis.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
It isn't suitable a coticule for scissors my friend.A scissor cut well having micro teeth so a coticule is very fine to do it.Must be grinded by a wheel of 1000 grade.Must be kept the initial angle.The test is to cut perfectly a piece of pharmaceutical cotton.Personally i grid my wife's scissors by my Tormek grinder.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Scissors are normally only sharpened at the beveled side, never at the flat inner side. The quickest way to ruin scissors is to grind a bevel at the inside of the legs. Depending on the purpose, scissors have either a completely smooth inner side, or an slightly corrugated one. The latter is to help the scissors grab the materials it needs to cut. This is necessary, because scissors cut with shearing force; if the material slips, the scissor fails to cut. For the same reason, as Emmanuel already pointed out, scissors are seldomly honed to a refined, polished bevel,though it depends a bit on the purpose of the scissors.
For normal household task (cutting paper, string, fabric, tape, boxes, etc) I sharpen scissors, by hand, with the same simple small round file that I also use to sharpen my chainsaw chains. It's a fine type of file, they are sold at ecery store that carries chainsaws, they come in varying diameters, but for scissors it doesn't matter much.
If you can take the scissors apart, that would be helpful, but I usually don't. Put the legs, one at a time in a vice, and refresh the bevel with a few strokes of the file. It is important to keep a constant angle, that matches the angle already present. Guiding the file with both hands this is not difficult, certainly easier than sharpening a knife. That is basically all there is to it. If you have a finer slip stone, you can refine the bevel a bit, but for the purpose described that isn't necessary. The first cut after sharpening must be made into paper. Do not close the scissors, because it carries a few burrs and will cut into itself. Cutting into paper removes these burrs without harming the new edge too much. Do not attempt to strop the bevels, nor the inside.
If the scissor is meant to cut hair, you may want to put a more refined bevel on it, not because it won't cut with my coarser bevel, nut because it will cut lighter and will cause less fatigue to the hands. For 99% of appliances, scissors are not used for prolonged times and fatigue is not an issue. In that case, a coarse bevel is will certainly suffice.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

The*Cincinnati*Kid

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the help gentlemen. Bart if I am understanding you correct, I should put a coarse bevel on them (cut some hair) and then refine them if necessary, is this correct? Also would refining the edge the least bit with a BBW be ok, as I only own coti/bbw sharpening stones?

Thanks for the help,
Louis.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I don't think it would work well, to use a BBW or Coticule, unless you can disassemble the scissors and have a very steady hand for keeping the sharpening angle constant. The advantage of the method with the file is that it removes metal fast. It really takes 3 maybe 4 strokes, unless the scissors are really butchered. Even if your sharpening angle varies a bit, it won't give you much rounding. With the slow BBW, by the time you have refined the surface of the bevel, the edge likely has lost its crispness as well, due to small variations in your honing angle. A pair of scissors is no knife, and even less a razor. Crispness of the edges is far more important than the polish and smoothness of the bevel. It is possible to produce a pair of scissors with good "knife" sharpness on the edge, and it still won't cut well.

Emmanuel has a Tormek machine and so do I. It 's a piece of cake to sharpen a fine edge on a pair of scissors with a Tormek, and because it is designed to keep the angle constant, the scissors cut well. I must have sharpened 5 or 6 scissors in the last month. my friends all seem to think "he has a website about razor sharpening, scissors he must do with his eyes closed":D
Anyway, I didn't use the Tormek on any of those scissors, because it's faster with the file, and they cut equally well.

My bet is that you won't have to do any refining at all. As long as the flat insides are intact.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

mysteryrazor

Well-Known Member
Emmanuel, Karl Klenk knew about the serrated edge when he designed the Aviation Snips. A fellow I knew at TWA worked at Ballanca with him. At that time the Cleco had not been invented they were using small PK screws. They were using straight handled shears and drills and files to make holes in cowlings. Klenk said he wished he had a shear in his back pocket that would cut a round hole. They thought he was kidding. I cannot remember the fellows name but he showed me how to use lefts and rights. I did not realize it was easier sometimes to cut with the snips below the sheet. A left cuts right from the bottom.
 

torbenbp

Well-Known Member
Sorry but a Tormek wont do,you need this:
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It proberbly wont cost you more than ...10.000 USD or so perhaps even a little less ;)

Seriously,sciccors for cutting hair are very expensive,they would easily set you back 500-700 USD.
And they must be extremely sharp as some hairdressers use them to cut hair lenghtwise.

Most importantly,both parts of the sciccor must be honed equaly so that the cuttings edges meets very tightly. Like said before,if the edges doesnt meet tightly,the hair - or whatever- will get squeezed innbetween and thus not be serretaed/cut as intended.

Torbs
 
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