Sewing Scissors

Scissors are sharpened according to the angles shown below.

Unless the scissors need to have a really honed edge, honing is not recommended for scissors. Stop after the sharpening step (but with a high grit level - 1,000 or so).

Some scissors have differing angles for the Thumb Blade (shown in red on the picture below) vs. the Fingers Blade (shown in blue on the picture below). In those cases, separate angles are shown in the table below.

The picture to the right shows a sectional view of the cutting blade.

General Guidelines
Type Thumb Fingers Notes
General Scissors 120°
Clayton 7 inch 110°
DaVinci - 2 1/2 inch blade 120°
Delica - 3 1/2 inch blade desk scissors 130°
Embroidery scissors 115 - 120°
Fabric shears, 7 inch and longer 125 - 130°
Fiskars dressmaker 120°
Gingher 'Knife Edge' dressmaker 115°
Gingher snips resharpened 125°
Gingher thread snips 105°
Industrial shears, 7 inch and longer 125 - 130°
Italian pinking shears 105°
Kleencut 110°
Pinking shears 90 - 95°
Tailor shears, 7 inch and longer 125 - 130°
Wiss dressmaker 115°
Wiss pinking shears, old style 105°
Wiss thread nippers 100°

Notes & Comments

  • When sharpening scissors, use the vertical position with the grindstone rotating towards the blade. This keeps the SVX-150 properly aligned to the grindstone. (If you use the horizontal position, the grindstone will pull the scissors away from the jig.)

    However, if you are sharpening left-handed scissors and they cannot be disassembled into the two pieces, you will need to sharpen from the horizontal position as the piece not being sharpened would interfere with the process otherwise (it would hit the Tormek machine).

  • Steve Bottorff has been kind enough to let me present information that he has gathered from many years of expert sharpening experience. His web site ( contains additional information that could be useful, including instructional videos and manuals.
    • One of his great documents is Scissor Sharpening, and this page really offers great instructions for the sharpener.

  • Use of diamond wheels is not recommended. The sharpness of the angle for sharpening can damage the wheel. (And the SG grindstone works quite well.)

Good videos showing use of the Tormek SVX-150 Scissors Jig:

Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 2. Axe & scissors sharpening

Sebastien and Wolfgang from Tormek will go through sharpening of axes and scissors.

Jeff Farris - Scissor Sharpening with Tormek
Steve Bottorff - Sharpening Scissors on the Tormek Wet Grinder
Tormek Scissors Jig SVX-150
Tormek AngleMaster WM-200

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About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at