How to Sharpen Dull Garden Scissors


Dull scissors can be a pain to cut with, but dull garden scissors can be a hazard to your plants. When garden scissors start to lose sharpness, they may pull or rip the stems of the plants, causing wounds that open the interior of the plant up to disease. By keeping your garden scissors sharp, you can make small cuts while pruning, creating the ideal atmosphere for plant health. Both manual and self-powered scissor sharpeners can be purchased from most general retail stores, or you can sharpen garden scissors with some common household items instead.

Step 1

Pull a piece of aluminum foil roughly 4 to 6 inches wide from a roll. Fold the foil in half so that you have a piece that is double the standard thickness. If using sandpaper, fold the sandpaper in half so that the grain of the paper faces outward on either side.

Step 2

Cut through the double-layer of aluminum foil or folded sandpaper with the garden scissors that need to be sharpened. Continue to make cuts until the garden scissors cut without effort, indicating they have regained their sharpness.

Step 3

Wipe the garden scissors off with a dry cloth. This removes any metal or sand pieces left on the scissors.

Step 4

Try cutting a drinking straw with the garden scissors to determine if the scissors are sharp enough. Don't just use paper. The straw has a similar thickness to stems, giving you a good idea of whether or not the scissors are ready.

Step 5

Make more cuts in the aluminum foil or sandpaper if the garden scissors are not yet sharp enough. Use the rag to wipe away any debris when you are finished making cuts.

Step 6

Attempt to cut the straw again. When the garden scissors cut easily through the straw, they are ready to use on your plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum foil or extra-fine sandpaper
  • Dry cloth
  • Drinking straw


  • Sharpen Your Scissors
Keywords: sharpen garden scissors, sharpen scissors, dull garden scissors

About this Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.