If you don’t want to take your scissors to a sharpening service then you’ll want to buy the best scissor sharpener.
Personally, I do it both ways. I use scissors and knife sharpeners regularly at home in order to maintain all my cutting tools as sharp as when I bought them. This regular at-home sharpening mostly applies to all my knives and all my scissors. The list is long for both so I try no to sharpen all of them at once.
But I also take all my cutting tools to a sharpening service once a year just to make sure that a professional is also taking care of them. It comes in handy, especially for things like a meat grinder knife and plate or for some of my bigger garden tools that I don’t sharpen at home.
I know that my website is about sewing tools and sewing machines but scissors sharpeners work on all kinds of scissors, whether you’re using them for crafts, sewing, in the kitchen, at the office, for gardening, for grooming or for any other type of work or hobby.
Thus, my recommendations for the best scissor sharpener are products that work on the whole array of scissors that can exist in a household or business space.
I also wrote an article on the different types of sewing scissors. Check it out if you are interested to know if your work could benefit from another pair of sewing scissors. There are a lot of interesting types to read about.
Best Scissor Sharpener: Top 7 Favorites
The good news is that sharpeners are usually very affordable. We can find some for a price under $10 and most are sold for $20-$30. You’ll manage to find something even if you’re on a budget.
I will also probably recommend a few that are a bit more expensive for those who are truly passionate about the sharpening art. Nevertheless, you don’t have to go for the expensive picks to get some truly impressive scissor sharpeners. That’s awesome.
The bad news is that there are a lot of models to choose from. Narrowing down my recommendations to just a few products for the best scissor sharpener is going to be pretty difficult. Well, this is the kind of article that takes days for me to research and then to write everything down.
I hope I don’t offer too many choices and that you can find the best one for you very quickly.
1. Smith’s DRET Diamond Retractable Sharpener: Overall Best Scissor Sharpener
What better way to start my reviews than this Smith’s DRET? This is the kind of product that I love to talk about to everyone who wants to listen.
First of all, this diamond retractable sharpener is cheap, with a price around $10.
However, sooner or later you’ll have to buy a new one when the grit starts wearing off. That’s an important aspect to consider.
Secondly, it’s versatile. You can choose it as the best scissor sharpener for you but it can also work on knives of absolutely all kinds, on all types of scissors, on can openers, cuticle cutters, pizza cutters, knitting tools, needles, garden tools, fish hooks, and whatever else you want.
Even if you want to sharpen a very small pair of embroidery scissors, this thing will work.
Features & design
It looks like a pen. It’s tiny but incredibly useful.
Smith’s DRET is actually a writing pen size sharpener with a 5.25 inches length that uses an unbreakable diamond-coated steel rod. This thing only weighs 0.11 pounds.
The rod is coated with multiple layers of micron-sized, monocrystalline diamonds to make sharpening quick and easy.
Smith’s DRET has a tapered diamond coated rod that sharpens serrations. This is the pointy part of it.
Since the tapered diamond coated rod works for serrations it will also work for sharpening pinking shears (zigzag scissors). That’s another thing that I love about it.
On the opposite side, it also includes a half-round diamond coated rod that sharpens straight edges. This is the flat end and the one you’ll end using for most of your scissors.
The last part of this sharpening tool is the sharpening groove for fishing hooks and pointed tools. This is found on the back of the diamond rod.
It’s called a diamond retractable sharpener because the unit has an aluminum housing that protects it. That also allows it to be adjusted to various lengths.
Where to Buy?
2. Sharpal 104N Professional 5-in-1 Kitchen Chef Knife & Scissor Sharpener
It’s very popular and the price is quite affordable.
When it comes to a product that can sharpen a wide array of knives and scissors, this Sharpal 104N is a favorite for me.
5-in-1 sharpener for knives & scissors
It’s called a 5-in-1 because it has 5 grooves.
2 grooves are for standard knives – straight edge and serrated knives. First groove is for coarse sharpening and the second is for fine honing. That’s a perfect combo.
Since the second slot, the ceramic slot, can be used for sharpening serrated knives, it can also be used to sharpen pinking shears (zigzag scissors).
The groove in the middle is for scissors. It’s described as a patent pending specially designed tungsten carbide blade for sharpening scissors quickly and easily.
The other remaining 2 grooves are for Asian knives – Santoku & other Asian style knives of double-beveled edge.
Another interesting info we get about this versatile tool is that all sharpening abrasive materials pass 10,000 times field use tests.
There are instructions that come with the Sharpal 104N so make sure to read those because you’ll get to understand how to use this tool in no time.
Frankly, you couldn’t get a better price for a sharpener of this quality and that’s exactly what makes this Sharpal 104N a perfect candidate for the best scissor sharpener.
Where to Buy?
3. Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone
I’m entirely convinced that sharpening stones are not going to be a perfect choice as the best scissor sharpener for everyone.
Why do I say that?
Simply because they’re maybe not as easy to use as it would be using a tool like the Sharpal 104N. Those kinds of sharpeners with very good grooves are a lot easier to use by a large majority of users.
Sharpening stones need a bit of research before you actually learn to use one the right way. However, once you go through the whole learning process, you’ll have on your hands a perfect sharpener tool.
As a user review for this Sharp Pebble Sharpening Stone mentions, it takes some learning curve to learn the angles and dangles.
Once you do, you can sharpen pretty much everything: knives, scissors, chisels, blades, straight razors, barber clippers, etc.
Last but not least, stones are not exactly the cheapest option.
The Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone is twice more expensive than the Sharpal 104N. That’s a considerable price difference.
The limitation of sharpening stones is related to serrated knives or other shears with serrated blades. The Sharpal 104N works for serrated cutting tools, too.
This Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone has a proprietary composition of aluminum oxide along with sharpening compounds.
This composition is supposed to provide users with a superior cutting performance.
Sharp Pebble certainly succeeds in delivering top quality for considerably affordable prices. That’s what makes their products so incredibly popular.
We get a handcrafted bamboo base for holding the stone. A rubber base holds the stone inside the non-slip bamboo base. This setup is great for our safety.
Easy to use
I’m not saying that there’s not a learning curve when it comes to using sharpening stones for the first time.
However, the documentation delivered with this stone will guide you on your journey of using a stone with the right technique.
Those knife sharpening angle guides, instruction manual and detailed ebook with tips & tricks, mean that even beginners can master it.
Since it’s called a whetstone, water is used for sharpening.
The fact that we only need water means that there’s no need to spend more money on expensive sharpening/honing oils. It’s another top feature for this Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone.
Where to Buy?
4. Sharpal 156N Diamond Whetstone Sharpener
The difference between the two types of stones is the material they’re made from.
As we saw above, that stone was made from aluminum oxide along with sharpening compounds.
This diamond whetstone from Sharpal is made by electroplating industrial monocrystalline diamonds onto a steel base of 0.33 inch thickness.
The manufacturer also promises that we can get up to 5 times faster sharpening than with an oil stone or water stone.
That’s certainly an incentive to pick the Sharpal 156N Diamond Whetstone as the best scissor sharpener.
One side is coarse 325 grit (45 micron) for quick edge setting.
The other side is extra fine 1200 grit (9 micron) for honing.
No water, oil needed
Despite what the name suggests, there’s no need for water or oil when you sharpen your knives or scissors.
It also includes a storage box with a non-slip rubber pad that can be used as a stone base.
Moreover, it also includes a sharpening angle guide with 4 universal angles: 14, 17, 20, and 25 degrees.
Make sure to also read the instruction manual, especially if this is your first diamond stone.
The price is pretty much in the same range, it costs around $40. That’s what you should be expecting to pay for a very good whetstone for sharpening a variety of tools in your house.
More importantly, users who have used this stone to sharpen their scissors absolutely love it and appreciate how quickly it goes.
Where to Buy?
5. AccuSharp Knife, Garden Tool and Scissor Sharpener
If none of the above really appeal to what you’re looking for as the best scissor sharpener, then I have this one from AccuSharp that looks completely different than any other sharpener in this article.
You get the chance to buy 3 of these for a very good price. Per piece, you will end up paying about $10. That’s a good deal.
You can use one for your scissors, one for your knives and the other for garden tools or whatever other blades you want to sharpen.
Easy to use
I will completely admit that I love how easy it is to use this AccuSharp.
It has a handle, acting as a finger guard.
Attached to it there’s a diamond-honed tungsten carbide sharpener. It’s one of the hardest known materials, which is great to know.
You just have to run the diamond-honed tungsten carbide sharpener over the blade. As I’ve mentioned, there’s basically no learning curve, it’s very easy to use.
I would say that this AccuSharp is one of the best sharpeners for everyone, even for those who have absolutely no experience with such a thing. That’s what I like most about them.
Furthermore, thanks to its unique design, the sharpening blades can be reversed to double their lifespan.
It’s also mentioned that most users report an average of 5 to 10 years between blade replacements.
The manufacturer also lets us know that most blades are sharpened in about 10 seconds.
Where to Buy?
6. Fiskars Scissor Sharpener
This looks like a toy or like something that you might throw away thinking that it’s some weird plastic thing. Well, once you know that it’s actually a useful thing, you’ll become interested in it.
This Fiskars Scissor Sharpener is far from perfect and far from being my favorite.
However, I saw that it’s pretty popular and I wanted to possibly warn you against buying it.
It costs about $6, it’s definitely the cheapest on this list, so I can see the appeal.
If you want something cheap that a large majority of users seem to really like, then you should give it a try and forget about what I say.
What I absolutely don’t like about it is that it doesn’t come with proper instructions. Some buyers can’t figure out how to use it. If you decide to get this one, I found a YouTube video that shows how to use it. The person in the video also talks about some important cons.
I understand that it’s a cheap product but, if you pay a couple of dollars more, you can buy the Smith’s DRET Diamond Retractable Sharpener, which is an amazing product, in my opinion.
Where to Buy?
7. Chef’s Choice 500 Scissorpro
It’s a very expensive choice, the most expensive in this article, with a price around $100 or maybe even more. I mean, generally, we don’t spend that kind of money on a single pair of excellent scissors.
The other thing that makes it so-so is the fact that it has a significant number of negative reviews.
It has a lot of very positive ones, where people mention that we won’t need to suffer dull scissors ever again or that it works well, with lots of power and other such high praises but there are a few negative ones, too.
The complaints revolve around the fact that it’s pretty poorly built. The machine doesn’t allow for different angles or it won’t sharpen the top of the blades or it might even ruin our shears. These are all things to consider.
The manufacturer describes it as being the perfect tool for household, sewing, kitchen, and crafts scissors. It’s safe for quality shears.
We also need to pay attention to the fact that it’s not intended for barber shear, pinking or scallop-edge shears.
It can sharpen both conventional and knife-edge scissors, both right- or left-handed models.
It also has precision guides for easy, foolproof results. And there’s no need to disassemble our scissors, which is true for all the other products that I reviewed in this article.
All in all, it’s a nice choice and I can admit that it can work great but it certainly wouldn’t be my first choice. I guess I wanted to use the Chef’s Choice 500 Scissorpro more as an example that expensive products are not always the best.
Where to Buy?
What is the best way to sharpen scissors?
Since we’re here to find the best scissor sharpener, I think you already know my answer to the question what is the best way to sharpen scissors.
However, if you’re not confident in using a sharpener, I recommend going to a sharpening service. If the price is a good deal for you, then you can let others do the work for you.
In order to figure out which would be the best option for you, I also recommend watching this video. It’s a guide on how to sharpen scissors like a pro.
If you get the visual of how the whole process goes, you might have an easier time figuring out if that’s something you want to do at home or not.
It’s totally fine if you decide on a sharpening service for your situation and forego the notion of buying a sharpener. You can take all your cutting tools once a year to a service and that’s perfect.
The art of sharpening tools is kind of lost in many places around the world. That’s why we tend to look for tools like the best scissor sharpener or knife sharpeners. But it can also be a pleasure watching a dedicated professional take care of them and restore them to fantastic sharpness. I enjoy both methods equally.
Can I use a knife sharpener on scissors?
If we’re talking about the classic knife sharpener that is a very big steel rod then the answer is yes, you can use this kind to sharpen scissors, too. You can check out this article that also includes a video on how to use it.
Moreover, you can buy a tool that works both as a knife and scissor sharpener because it has the needed grooves for both.
Two other tools that work as highly versatile sharpeners for all kinds of tools are a diamond plate and a sharpening stone. If you already have one of those you can definitely sharpen your scissors on it, too.
The good news about using a diamond plate or a sharpening stone as an all-purpose sharpening tool is that you don’t have to take your pair of scissors apart. I don’t see the need for that extra step that might also intimidate some people who don’t like taking things apart.
Personally, I’m always afraid that I won’t be able to put anything back together after taking it apart. Due to that, it took me a while until I managed to clean and oil my sewing machine all alone. I had a very patient grandmother to teach me all about that.
All in all, in general, you can definitely use a knife sharpener on scissors, unless it’s the kind that features grinding grooves and your blades don’t fit inside the grinding grooves. That can certainly happen.
Does cutting aluminum foil really sharpen scissors?
Repeatedly cutting into aluminum fail can eliminate nicks and very small dents from the blades. The same can be achieved when you’re cutting into sandpaper several times.
It’s a good thing to do mainly for general maintenance but I wouldn’t recommend it for turning dull blades into very sharp ones because it doesn’t work for that.
This method of cutting into aluminum foil or sandpaper won’t sharpen dull scissors or damaged blades. Those cases absolutely require a good sharpener.
If you want to give the aluminum foil method a try, fold over the foil a few times and flatten it. The entire length needs to rub across the foil. The same goes for when you’re cutting into sandpaper.
How to use a sharpening stone for scissors
Usually, a sharpening stone comes with a few instructions. Even if you don’t get any instructions, there are a lot of YouTube guides on using a sharpening stone.
Each stone has 2 sides: rough side and smooth side.
You should take into consideration that you should soak it in machine oil overnight. Moreover, keep it in a sealed container between uses and gently oiled before using it.
In order to sharpen scissors on a stone, press the sharp edge of the blade against the stone. Keep the blade flat to the stone, holding the scissors at an angle.
Slide the sharp edge of the blade (the razor) away from you, while moving the blade from tip to end to touch the whole length. You only need to repeat the movement a few times until it’s razor sharp again.
Move on to the second blade and repeat the process.
I love recommending a sharpening stone as the best scissor sharpener because they’re cheaper than diamond stones but just as efficient, they’re one of my favorites.