Your scissors are one of the most important tools that you will have in your paper crafting studio. You need them for cutting and shaping and you will probably use them for almost every paper crafting project that you do. So, how can you keep your scissors sharp and in good shape? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Buy Good Scissors in the First Place
When you are choosing your scissors in the first place, keep in mind that they will last longer if you invest in a better pair. Look for high quality scissors from a reputable arts and craft supplies shop that will be well made and will last for a long time. Good quality papercraft supplies really are an investment.
Keeping Them Sharp
After cutting the 375th piece of paper, your scissors might start to get a little bit dull and might not work as well as they used to. In order to get them back into shape and keep them sharp again you can sharpen them in a few easy ways.
One of the simplest ways is to use the scissors to cut through aluminium foil. This will not only sharpen them but it will also straighten the blades and clean them as well as removing small amounts of rough edges and rust. Tear off a piece of foil and fold it three or four times, then cut your foil into strips using scissor strokes. Then you can do the same with a piece of waxed paper afterwards in order to keep the blades lubricated.
Fine grit sandpaper can also be used. This can be a little harder on them, but it really works. Another solution is to run the blades of the scissors over the edges of a safety pin. You can use a reverse cutting motion and start with the pin at the tip of your scissors and then pull it back towards you. You can use a regular pin, but a safety pin is a little better because you won’t have to risk poking yourself.
There are also scissors sharpeners that you can buy online for a reasonable amount, which you can also use for sharpening knives and x-acto blades.
Cleaning and Oiling Them
It is important to keep your scissors clean, because when they start to get gummed up with glue, paint, wax and rust they will start to lose their functionality. When they are dirty and stiff they will not cut very precisely and they will make your hands sore.
You can keep your scissors in good working shape with just a soft cloth and a bottle of oil. First, use a dry and soft cloth to wipe down the scissors and remove any dirt or lint from the blades and around the pivot. You can keep opening and closing the scissors during this cleaning process in order to make sure that you are able to reach the areas in which dust and grime collect. Then, you can open up the scissors and place several drops of machine oil or scissor oil on the place between the two blades where the scissors pivot. After you apply the oil, you need to open and close the scissors to get the oil within the pivot.
At this point you might want to adjust the screw in the middle to make sure that the scissors are not coming loose. The scissors should be able to easily close and open without causing any discomfort to your hand, but they should never be loose enough to flop open if you just hold them by the handle. When you are cutting with them they should feel firm but smooth.
These are just a few tips for keeping your scissors in good shape, which is relevant for any crafter whether you are into paper crafting, sewing, quilting or mixed media. You should clean, sharpen and oil your scissors probably about once per month. However, if you are very busy crafter and you use them a lot you might want to do this more often. When you get used to using scissors that are well taken care of, you will be able to tell when the pivot needs oil.