How Do You Sharpen A Sewing Snip?

Thread cutters, or sewing snips, are essential tools in day-to-day sewing. Using fabric shears for cutting threads doesn’t come in handy because of their whopping size. Thread clippers, however, help you trim off excess threads and achieve a cleaner look.

Want to know how do you sharpen a sewing snip? Well, it seems like you have some pretty good hands-on experience with sewing and embroidery. And the time has come for you to take care of this imperative tool in the best possible way!

When it comes to making delicate embroidery or tailoring a dress, thread clippers are just as important as the thread itself. Occasionally, this important sewing tool will lose its edge and become dull after some time. 

Today we are going to teach you the many ways of sharpening sewing scissors with a detailed, step-by-step guide. Keep reading!

How to Use Thread Snips Properly?

These days you will find automatic thread cutters that come with any modern sewing machine. However, you can’t carry a sewing machine everywhere and, on most days, it’s just you and the embroidery hoop all alone. 

Times like this call for a pair of razor-sharp sewing snips. Although, knowing how to use sewing snips properly will take your tailoring to new heights! 

Most thread cutters have about ¾ inches of blade. While they might or might not have the same design as fabric snips, both of the scissors help tailors and embroiderers greatly.

Now, you should always hold fabric cutters close to the point where the two blades connect.

Putting a steady grip on the two sides of the blades will allow you to control the blade travel. This way, you won’t leave hard-to-reach stubs and finish the job in one go!

Sharpening Thread Cutters at Home

Unless it’s a really thick elastic beading thread, sewing snips can practically cut through all types of threads, yarns, and embroidery floss without an issue. No wonder why it’s a staple product to professional tailors and dedicated hobbyists alike!

On the other hand, dull thread clippers cannot work through embroidery floss at all and leave frizzy ends on your delicate workpiece. 

Below we are going to tell you about three sewing snip sharpening techniques. They’ll require only one or two basic tools you can find in any regular household without spending an extra buck! 


If you’re facing troubles cutting single strand pearl cotton, chances are your thread cutters have become dull with use and need some sharpening done.

You are going to need a medium, 200-grit sandpaper or fine-grit sandpaper for the job. After folding the sandpaper in half, expose the rough surface on the outside. This way, the dull sewing snip blades will graze against the paper and become sharper. 

Cutting through medium grit sandpaper with the thread clippers will procure similar results.

In fact, the easiest way to sharpen thread cutters is to cut sandpaper repeatedly in long strokes! You may use steel wool or emery cloth instead of sandpaper. 

Mason Jar

This trick applies only to big thread clippers with handles. Simply place the open scissor blades around a mason jar.

You should hold the jar, so it doesn’t slip. Before you start, we can’t guarantee that the jar will make it out spot-free. So, it’s best if you use one you won’t need in the future. 

Now, pretend as if you’re cutting the jar and drive the blades to and fro in a repeated manner. After you’re done, use a wet paper towel and clean the clipper blades to reveal razor-sharp edges! 


Considering that you’ll be using regular-sized thread clippers anyways, using a screwdriver for sharpening thread cutters is probably the best course of action. And who doesn’t have a screwdriver, right?

The technique is quite similar to sharpening your thread cutters with a mason jar- a process we discussed in detail before. 

You may use a sewing pin instead of a screwdriver. It depends on how wide the clippers open up for fast and repeated cutting.

Remember to use a moderate amount of pressure for squeezing the blades tightly around the sewing pin for better results. 

Sharpening Stone 

If you have a pair of extremely dull tools, the other methods of sharpening thread cutters will not be so effective.

We recommend using a coarse sharpening stone for quickly honing the blades. First, you have to spray honing oil or water on the stone’s surface and place it on top of a towel.

After that, remove the screw from the sewing snips for disassembling their two blades. Use a thin, flat screwdriver for this purpose.

Now, grab the handle and sharpen both the inner side and cutting edge of the blade. Drag the blade across the sharpening stone and bring it towards you. Repeat it twenty times and then continue with the other blade.

How to Sharpen Thread Cutters with Foil Paper? 

There is one fool-proof way to sharpen thread cutters without rummaging in the attic and old toolboxes. You are going to need aluminum foil paper for it- preferably one that is 10 inches long. Keep folding the foil paper until it’s a thick strip. 

As you cut through the foil with dull thread cutters, the increased friction becomes surprisingly similar to sharpening your thread snips with a sharpening stone! 

Repeated motions will procure sharp, brand-new blades ready to cut tapestry yarn and felted wool all the same!

Final Words

Like any regular pair of scissors, your favorite sewing snips require occasional maintenance. And yet, many embroiderers dispose of their thread cutters the moment they get slow.

Luckily though, we provided you with not one but five different ways to sharpen a sewing snip! And let us know how much you liked our guide on how do you sharpen a sewing snip.

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