pinking shears sharpening? (US)

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I have tried to get my Wiss pinking shears sharpened locally. No good.
No one does it anymore around here anymore (Sacramento CA).
Boo Hoo

Does anyone have a contact for some place in the US where I can send my
pinking shears for sharpening?

liz young (in cloudy california)

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
i have no idea sore sure but i wonder if folding a few layers of kitchen
and cutting thru that repeatedly might help til you find someone.
or cutting thru really fine grade sandpaper perhsaps.
just a couple of thoughts.
someone else might have more info on either of these.
i googled and asked jeeves and the sandpaper bit was the only mention i
could find for diy sharpening.
fwiw. :)
san-fran at ihug dot co dot nz
nzlstar on yahoo msg'r
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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
These folks might be able to take care of your scissors.

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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
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I thought so too, but the saleslady at the sewing store (who has stopped
advising pinking shears as a purchase because of the sharpening issue)
said Gingher won't even sharpen their own shears anymore.
However, it is always worth checking!
Thanks, snigs

liz young in frosty, foggy, windy (go figure) california

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)

Elizabeth Young wrote:

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Catch-22, huh ?

Gingher also states that having their shears sharpened by anyone else
except them will void the warranty... !

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
The website says they sharpen only Ginghers, but evidently still do
sharpen their own brand. I tend to assume that information from the
company's website is more accurate than what any salesperson say.

Julia in MN

Elizabeth Young wrote:
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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
Hi Liz,  You might try a Fancy Cutlery Store at the Mall.  Maybe even
Williams Sonoma could help you find someone that does it.  They probably
send it out too.  Here in Texas there is a guy that comes to TSWLTH that
will sharpen anything.  Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Linda inTx

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
You might call the Stretch & Sew store in Stockton.  I gave him my scalloped
scissors to sharpen & he did a great job with them.  Their phone number is
209-957-1237 & Maxine's email address is  They pack up
tons of fabric on the weekends & have "trunk shows" quite frequently.  They
may even come to Sacramento area.

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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
Will do. I am planning on heading down to stockton for the ansel adams
show at the haggin mus. in the next month.

liz young in cold foggy california

Pauline wrote:
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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
jemsharpening had written this in response to

Pauline wrote:

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I have been sharpening for over 50 years and do pinkers all the time.
There are not a lot of folks that can sharpen pinkers. I get them from all
over the country. My Name is Tommy marshall
( web page I
charge $10.00 plys shipping which is $7.00
Have a great day


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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)

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It's pretty much impossible to sharpen pinking shears. It's not easy to
sharpen your own brand, where you can jig up to do one design over and
over, but to sharpen any old pair that comes in off the street is very
hard. Also, most pinking shears simply _can't_ be sharpened - they take
their adjustment from the pivot and so you need to dismantle them and
work on the pivots to get the set right again. If they're not
maunfactured to allow this, then it's really not practical.

On the bright side, scissors rarely need full sharpening anyway.
Generally a light honing is enough to make them cut again and as merely
honing them doesn't disturb their set, then this is an easy job. It's
entirely practical for DIY.

Get a small diamond hone on a plastic stick  (DMT make good ones). Use
this, wet, to polish the top edge of the blade - the edge that contacts,
but doesn't slide over, the other blade of the scissors (i.e. not the
face). Be careful to hold the hone at the right angle and to not wobble
it (thus making a rounded surface).  A few minutes work here will
generally rejuvenate most straight bladed scissors and a small hone will
even allow you to work on most pinking shears.  Even with a serrated
blade, honing the non-serrated blade is worthwhile.  So long as the
scissors aren't worn so badly that their set is affected, this is
usually enough to get them cutting again.

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
Andy Dingley wrote in part:
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Well, it looks like mine are made to be taken apart, and I do believe
that the adjustment is off, because if I jam the blades together as I
cut, most of the shear cuts.

Now, where did I put that oil....

liz young in cool california

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)

Elizabeth Young wrote:

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Oil attracts fine dust. I use alcohol base which dries to a fine white
powder that does not attract dust.

Case in point: Every pocketknife I sharpen has pocket lint in them. The
worse ones always have oil all along the inside. Now I have to clean
them before sharpening...

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
Andy Dingley wrote:

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Not true. The only pinkers, scissors, shears or other tyoe of cutlery
that cannot be sharpened (or at least hold a worhtwhile edge) are those
manufactured in cast steel, which has a granular property. You'll know
when you sharpen a cast pair as it breaks apart along the edge. Also,
under the pivot you can see the granular structure, which looks like sand.

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Again, this is only part of sharpening. What happens when you create the
burr and cut it off in the wrong direction upon first use ?

I receive SO MANY pairs that have been sharpened in this fashion. The
user does what you described above or uses tinfoil or sandpaper (OLD
WIVES TALE folks...). They use them a few times and they are often worse
for wear, at which point I get them and have to do more work to sharpen

btw, DMT (diamond machine technology) are made down the street from me.
While they make excellent products that surpass the imported type, I
wuld not recommend a casual user in the method you described above. I've
probably sharpened over 100,000 shears and I ALWYS use a precide angle
jig that I designed. No guesswork, no returns...

The set, as you say, is only ruined when the individual teeth have been
sharpener by a well-meaning "sharpener".

Trust me, I've done this for 20 years.

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
Elizabeth Young wrote:

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I sharpen any shears, Specializing in industrial and pinking.

Sorry, I am not local, as I live and work in Marlboro MA. I have the buk
of my work sent to me as a lot of people have trouble finding a cutler,

The one thing we can't sharpen is cast steel. The way to determine is to
file in a discreet area (behind pivot). If the file "skates" (doesn't
cut into steel), they are probably cast.

Your Wiss pinkers are excellent candidates for sharpening, PROVIDED,
that someone already has not tried to sharpen the individual teeth, used
sandpaper or tinfoil (STOP THAT !). You don't actually sharpen the
teeth. The manufacture of pinking shears make tight tolerances and if
you sharpen the teeth, you effectively ruin the shears so that they
never mesh properly.

Have been sharpening for 20 years professionally and I sharpen in excess
of 6000 shears per year for one customer alone and over 8000 knives last
year at my retail/walk-in location.

My website:

Hope this is not against group policy, but I also have probably the
largest collection of antique scissors/shears and related ephemera.
Selling a lot of it due to recent (down)turn of events, but am staying
with sharpening full-time. Here are some of my auctions (lots more coming):



Hi Folks,

if you're interested: *comQQhtZ-1

Most starting at .99c with no reserve.
Still looking at 500-1000 lots in the next month.

Rather than go into the why's, please read my "ME" profile on ebay: *com

Joe dba "Village Sharpener"
ebay ID: CookbookPublisher*com

ps: If you could forward info to any interested parties, I would
appreciate it. Talk to you soon.

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
Village Sharpener wrote:
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Ads are discouraged on the sewing groups generally, and the quilters
will eat you alive!  But I'll put in a plea for mercy at this point,
because you offer a really useful service.  I am really REALLY glad I
have professional sharpening man's back-up for telling folk that
wrecking yer best sheers on tinfoil and sandpaper is no way to 'sharpen'
them!  I cheat: buy cheap pinking sheers and replace them when I wreak
them.  As I only use them for occasional trimming, even a cheap pair has
lasted over 10 years, and I sew professionally!

Please post the ads to the marketplace group, and I'm sure folk will
look in there.  But remember NOT to advertise a sale here!  :)  You
might also like to pop an ad into the Treadle On flea market, as sewing
related stuff goes well there, and folk who like antique sewing machines
may also like antique scissors to cut their re-enaction garments out
with!  :)

Stay with us, keep your ad to a sigline URL, and keep offering sage
scissor advice!  :)

Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
Kate Dicey wrote:

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Thanks for the kind reminder. Sorry for the ad post.

I can tell you that you can SOMETIMES sharpen cast scissors. When Wiss
made their shears, they actually welded the hardened face onto the
frame. This way, after someone sharpened them, they could adjust the
hadles to size the tips. That means that sometimes after sharpening, the
tips would not align proper and most sharpeners and DIY's would grind
the tips to realign them. BAD ! Especially, when you consider that a
beautician can spend upwards of $800 for a pair of profesional shears.
That siad, sometimes the handles are cast and the blades are properly
harrdened/tempered, but then you have the catch-22 where you can't align
the tips for fear of cracking the cast frame !

Like your advice of nuying cheap ones, but I tend to go toward the
moderate range. Instead of buying one pair of $70 shears, buy 2 decent
$40 ones and that way when you send them out to be sharpened, you have
another pair !

I get TONS of scissors per year from airport seizures in Ssacramento and
  Boston's Logan airport. A lot of times I will sort thru them and take
the antiques for my collection and giving the rest to senior sewing
centers or schools. That's all going to change now that our illustrious
MA AG has allowed scissors back on board...

Another thing to remember is that most shears come with only a 10-25
degree angle, where Gingher is famous for having 2 (10 & 45 on
knife-edge). It's important that the scissor/shears match the material
you are cutting. I often sharpen at 35d for fleece and polar-tec. Boy
does that stuff eat up an edge !

Village Sharpener
Marlboro MA

Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
Kate Dicey wrote:

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Started doing re-enactments about 4 years ago. We participate in the
1750-1840 mountain man era. I started making my own clothes and have a
new found appreciation for you folks.

In keeping period, I had to measure (not twice, but 5 times !), cut and
hand sew with sinew to keep with the spirit of the times.

Man, this suit netter last a lifetime ! :)

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Re: pinking shears sharpening? (US)
I agree with Kate. We did have some questions about sharpening and where
to have it done, so I don't see a problem with briefly mentioning your
services along with a pointer to your website. In my opinion, that's not
in the same category as the ads that are not posted in response to some
question asked here. Lots of good info on your website, by the way.

Julia in MN
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