Apprentices > Useful Tools For People Learning To Make Quality Garments

Are these worth sharpening?


Henry Hall:
I'm not so sure. I was given these a week ago. They're not large shears, about 10" (including handles). It looks to me as if the lower blade has had a lot taken off it and you can see that there is a gap at the tips. The 'stopper' on the thumb ring is already quite short and when the handles meet - which is quite close already - the tips still don't meet.

They look OK and with some work they would probably make a decent pair of trimmers. You would see if you could close the handles down a bit more but if that is not possible you would need to shorten the blades until the ends overlap properly. As long as it is done properly they should last you a long time.

Some tailors don't want the tips to meet. The gap is on purpose. Sometimes when cutting to the tip the cloth can tear, and some tailors don't like that. When they don't close to the tips- don't have the problem. When using nicks to mark you want a clean cut and no errors to confuse.

Henry Hall:
I've never known the cloth to tear when the tips meet. The tips meeting on shears is fairly vital to their operation. Not having them meeting makes it far harder to gauge your cuts.

If the ends of a pair of shear blades are matched properly it is not a problem. The two tips should overlap by about 1mm so that the cut properly right at the end of the blades so that you can notch accurately and cut out square sections where necessary. Usually when you have a pair of shears that have been sharpened many times and the tips don't close properly, you can try and get a bit more travel by grinding a bit off the stop inside the handles and then you spot a bit off the tip ends to ensure they overlap correctly. You may have to slightly re-profile the two blades so that you don't have a square blunt end on the tips.


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