Does Cutting Aluminum Foil Really Sharpen Scissors?

Sharpening scissors can be one of those things that just slip through the cracks. You might not have realized just how dull your kitchen scissors have gotten, or maybe you realize that they require sharpening when you need them for a task that you cannot complete without their help.

If you have found that your scissors are not sharp anymore, you might be wondering if there is a way to sharpen them at home that is easy.

Many people are told that they can use aluminum foil to sharpen their scissors but have never tried doing so. If you are not sure how to sharpen your scissors, this is usually the first thing that you are told to do.

If you want to know if cutting aluminum foil will really sharpen scissors, read on for more information!

Fresh basil herb and scissors on cutting board

Will Cutting Aluminum Foil Actually Sharpen Your Scissors?

The answer to this is no. You might feel like your scissors are cutting better after you have cut through some sheets of aluminum foil, but this is not because the scissors have been sharpened.

The reason that you might feel that your scissors are working better is that the aluminum foil can remove the gunk that has built up on your scissors and it might also have smoothed out minute burrs on the cutting surface.

This process of cutting aluminum foil is a little like using a sharpening rod on a knife for finishing touches to a major overhaul of the blade. You are not affecting the sharpness of the cutting surfaces, but you might be smoothing out the blades of the scissors for better function.

This is not a process that you should undertake when you think that your scissors are dull, and it is not really recommended even for deburring them.

Cutting Aluminum Foil Can Actually Make Your Scissors Even Duller

The trouble with cutting anything that is a metal material with scissors is that you will likely make the scissors even duller.

This is because the aluminum is soft and pliable in this form and it can cause the scissor blades to rub against one another incorrectly as you try to cut through the foil.

The mismatch of the cutting surfaces as well as the friction of the metal sheets slipping through the blades can actually lead to further damage to the cutting surfaces of the scissors.

While you might feel like they are operating more smoothly at first after you have used the aluminum foil trick, by the next few uses you will notice that they are worse than before.

The other problem with assuming that aluminum foil will sharpen your scissors is that the foil is not abrasive and therefore cannot possibly provide this assistance.

You will find that you have actually reduced the usable lifespan of your scissors if you try to use aluminum foil for sharpening them too frequently.

Aluminum Foil Can Offer One Benefit

The only possible benefit of cutting aluminum foil with your scissors is that you can sometimes remove tough rust with this method.

You will need to sharpen your scissors after you are done cutting the aluminum foil, but this should be easy if the foil has removed the rust that you could not sand out.

Aluminum foil is actually a good stand-in for handwork to try and remove rust from scissor blades and this might be part of why some people think that it can also be used as a sharpening tool at the same time.

You should only run aluminum foil through the blades of your scissors a few times before you move on to other rust removal methods.

Aluminum foil is not an ideal material for scissors to interact with and you should be careful about overusing this trick, even for the removal of rust.

How Can I Sharpen My Scissors Properly?

The best method for sharpening your scissors is to take them apart and sharpen them with a proper sharpening too. Scissors need to have the right edges sharpened into each side of the cutting blades, so you might want to send them to a pro. 

Professional sharpeners will know how to take your scissors apart and they will get the right cutting edges back into the blades in a snap.

The other option that is open to you for sharpening your scissors when you don’t have time to send them to a pro, is to cut sandpaper with them. Make sure that you use a fine sandpaper and that you do not cut too many sheets at once if you are going to use this trick.

You might also want to wash your scissors off when you are done as the grit from the sandpaper can get stuck in the blades during cutting.

This sandpaper trick should really only be used in emergencies as it will definitely reduce the attractiveness of your scissors and it can lead to burning and other issues that might actually ruin your scissors over time.

You should never use this sandpaper method as your main means of sharpening your scissors or you will reduce their usable lifespan greatly.

Taking Care of Your Scissors Properly Will Make Them Last Longer

At the end of the day, proper sharpening processes should always be used for all of your scissors and you should avoid storing them wet or exposing them to liquids that might be damaging to their blades.

Being casual with your kitchen scissors can lead to damage over time that cannot be repaired and you might have to replace them rather than being able to sharpen them.

Make sure that you take the time to care for your kitchen scissors correctly so that you can avoid issues with their function.

Always remember that there are easy and correct ways to sharpen your scissors and have two sets of scissors on hand so that you are not without them in times of need.

Being able to use your backup pair of scissors will make it less likely that you will be tempted to use shortcuts to sharpen a dull pair of scissors.

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