Sharpening scissors with foil can be an effective and inexpensive way to keep your scissors in well-functioning condition. This method uses aluminum foil to sharpen or hone the blades of dull scissors so that you can keep them functioning as if they were fresh out of the box. Sharpening your scissors with foil is a simple and convenient solution and doesn’t require the purchase of additional tools or sending the scissors out to be sharpened professionally.

Preparing the Foil

To sharpen scissors with foil, it is important to choose the right grade of foil for the job. Most people opt for aluminum foil, but you could use other grades, such as heavy-duty aluminum foil or art supply types. When selecting a grade of foil to use for sharpening scissors, look for one that is no thinner than 0.12 millimeters and thicker than 0.17 millimeters; a higher number indicates a thicker sheet of aluminum. Anything not placed between these two numbers likely won’t be thick enough to properly sharpen your scissors — use too thin of a sheet and you won’t be able to achieve the desired effect of smoothened scissors blades in the long run.

Sharpening the Scissors

1. Make sure the area around you is clear of any children or pets. Keep them away in a different area while you are sharpening your scissors.

2. Wear protective gloves when handling any type of sharp objects and make sure to keep your hands away from the blades as much as possible.

3. Create an anchor point for the scissors by laying a thick towel on top of a flat surface, such as a table or countertop. Place the scissors blades on top of the towel with the points facing in opposite directions and press firmly down so that the foil doesn’t slip out from underneath.

4. Wrap aluminum foil securely around both sets of blades with several layers of it so that only about one inch extends past each end.
5. Gently squeeze and press both blades together, pulling and tugging at either side to sharpen the scissor blade edge at the same time your are folding over small portions of the aluminum foil with each pull until you eventually mobilize it into an even sheet around both blades.
6. Repeat this process for about 15-20 times until sharpness is met to your satisfaction, then remove all pieces of foil by unfolding them gently away from the edge of both blades before taking them off completely.

Maintaining Sharpness

Using foil to sharpen scissors is an effective way to help them cut better. As a general rule, it’s best to use this method only when the blades of the scissors become slightly dull with use. If they are already quite dull, then other forms of sharpening might be necessary. To sharpen your scissors with foil, take a piece of aluminum foil and crumple it up into a ball. Place the scissors, with the blades facing down above the crumpled aluminum foil ball. Push down and back on the blades, making sure not to cut through the aluminum foil. Make about 10-15 strokes for each blade in one direction. Then check if your scissors have been sharpened. If needed, repeat the same motions until you have achieved desired results from sharpening your scissors with aluminum foil.​

When to Use Other Methods

Yes, you can sharpen scissors with foil by folding the foil several times to create a flat surface and then running the scissors blades through it. However, this method may not create very sharp edges, so more effective alternatives include using a knife sharpening stone, a fine-grained sandpaper, or even a pencil sharpener. Knife sharpening stones are typically made from silicon carbide and come in various sizes and shapes depending on how much of an edge you want to get as well as the size of your scissors. Fine-grained sand paper can prove beneficial when quickly removing any small burrs or rough spots that are present on the blades. Lastly, pencil sharpeners work best for blunt tip kitchen scissors as it ensures that its conical shape is maintained.


Once you have sharpened your scissors with foil it is important to store and handle them safely. Firstly, ensure that the scissors are clean and dry before you put them away. The blades should be separated to prevent any damage or accidental nicks when they are not in use. Additionally, if possible store the scissors in a sheath or case as this prevents accidents involving people accidentally cutting themselves. Finally, when you take out your sharpened scissors to use, make sure to always handle them with caution and never point them at someone. Be mindful of keeping your fingers away from the blades while using them and always aim away from yourself and those around you when using the scissors.