Kitchen scissor and lettuce on white cutting board

How to Sharpen Kitchen Shears Easily and Effectively

Want to know how to sharpen kitchen shears? Is the process the same as with that of regular scissors? You might be surprised that it really is, but in order to properly sharpen them, you should first know what caused them to be dull in the first place.

We are all familiar with the annoying feeling of having your shears fail on you, especially when you are in a rush and you just cannot find a way to cut whatever it is that you want to cut successfully. The ending? We reach for regular scissors.

Unfortunately, there are really a handful of reasons why kitchen shears tend to dull easily. Of course, we are going to discuss those reasons in this article as well as the different steps on how to properly sharpen kitchen shears.

Are you ready to have all your shears be at their best? Then keep on reading!

The Relationship of Kitchen Shears and Dullness

Think of the relationship of kitchen shears and dullness as a lovesick affair. They both know that they are not good for each other, but they still cannot get enough off of one another. As romantic as it sounds, this is actually the reason why your kitchen shears are always acting out.

It is expected for your kitchen shears to become a bit dull even after a week of occasionally using it. Does it have something to do with the material or make of the blade? Not necessarily, but that might affect that as well.

More often than not, these blades are made of stainless steel. May they be high-quality or not, this material is very strong and sturdy. However, the truth of the matter is, it is the perfect material to experience bluntness.

So, does the bluntness just come on its own? Through consistent use and absolutely no maintenance, that is possible. However, there are several factors that cause this. Let us discuss them briefly.

Factors that Lead to Blade Dullness

Here are some of the major factors that contribute to the fast dulling of your kitchen shears. These factors will help you determine which process to do when sharpening your kitchen shears.

  • Moisture

Kitchen shears are consistently exposed to moisture—may it be due to cleaning it or leaving it out in the open, or even while using it. This cannot be prevented because they have a lot of purposes, and often times, they are the tools of choice when working on something.

The moisture that is left on the blades will surely wear down the coating of the blades. This, in turn, will eventually turn the blades dull.

  • Oils and Other Liquids

We are talking about the oils from the cooked meat that you recently cut, as well as the juices of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. This will coat the blade, and even though you are cleaning it regularly, they will still remain, and the buildup of those will help it become dull.

At the same time, there are certain chemicals that you use on the dishwasher that also affect the sharpness of the blade.

  • Bones

Surprising, right? But the truth is, when you are using a kitchen shear to get the meat out, you sometimes hit the bone, right? Also, you might even be cutting the bone itself. You might be thinking that this is helping the blade because it is scratching against something hard as well.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. The unevenness of the surface and inconsistency of the cut will turn the blade dull, and in some cases, might even break the blade.

  • Improper Storage

As we have mentioned before, even if you are cleaning your shears on the regular, oil buildup is inevitable. If you partner this with wrong storage, such as always leaving it out in the open without using a knife block or a case, the air will just do its job and make your blade dull. Much worse, it will pave the way for rusting and corrosion.

How to Sharpen Kitchen Shears

Now that you know some of the major factors that contribute to dullness, let us now go over the things that you can do to take back the glory that was once your kitchen shears.

  • Use Sand Paper

First off, you should get a sandpaper sheet that has about a 150 to 200 grit. If you want your shears to have smoother edges, then you can use a grit that is lower.

Next, fold it in half while making sure that the rough side is facing outside. This is done so that the sandpaper will hit both of the blades. Next step is to cut through the sandpaper using a fluid cutting motion.

Cut through it 10 to 20 times, and you will notice that your blades will become sharper with every cut. If it does not work at first, just keep on cutting. You can also switch to a higher grit. Lastly, wipe your shears clean.

  • Use Aluminum Foil

Take out an aluminum foil and get at least eight to 10 inches of it. You should then fold it lengthwise while making sure that you have thick layers at the ends.

Just like before, cut through the foil at least 10 to 20 times. Make sure to use a fluid cutting motion and keep on cutting strips until your cuts get smoother and smoother. Afterward, wipe your blade.

  • Use a Sharpening Stone

A sharpening stone can be bought at any kitchen supply store. If you do not have one, you can use the underside of a ceramic plate or mug. For this one, you should take apart the blades of your kitchen shears first.

Then, take one blade with the cutting side facing the sharpening stone. Slowly grind it against the stone using firm but gentle strokes. Make sure that your fingers are out of the way.

Do not forget to do the same on the underside of the blade as it will remain dull if only one is sharpened. Do the same with the other blade, and finally, wipe down the blades and set up your kitchen shears again.

Final Words

Those are the three easiest ways on how to sharpen kitchen shears. As you have read, dullness is inevitable, but it can still be averted with proper care and maintenance of your kitchen shears.

But, again, for optimum performance, it is best to sharpen them at least once every two weeks. Constant sharpening can also prolong the life of your kitchen shears.

About the Author Knife Guru

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