Kitchen Scissors

Sectional view of the cutting blade

Scissors are sharpened according to the angles shown below.

Honing is not recommended for kitchen scissors.

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.

General Guidelines
Type β Thumb β Fingers Notes Recommended
Tormek Jigs
General Scissors 120°

Japanese kitchen shears 125°
Wusthof kitchen shears 115°

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).

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.)

There is a recommendation by some that the Thumb Blade have some coarseness to it. This is so the meat doesn't slide out when being cut (e.g., when cutting chicken which has not been de-boned -- a YouTube video from America's Test Kitchen below demonstrates this).

The Shun Multi-Purpose Shears have notches in the thumb blade to address this, and a picture of the notches in their design is highlighted in the picture to the right.

More Information

Books & Papers

  • 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.

Videos & Presentations

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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