Sharpening Fly Tying Scissors

I tie a lot of flies, and my tying scissors get a lot of use. I have had two pairs of Anvil scissors for about 20 years, and they are beautiful to use. When I moved house I lost one pair so I bought another, only to find the original pair in my tying gear. One pair I had professionally sharpened, but did not touch the other two pairs.

Since getting my Spyderco Sharpmaker I have tried sharpening my tying scissors following their video instructions without much success. I am loathe to pay to get my scissors sharpened, because I have always thought I should be able to sharpen them myself.

Wanting to cut globug yarn for tadpoles I bought a pair of Anvil curved scissors and Dr Slick curved scissors. While the Dr Slick scissors had a much greater curve so looked better for shaping a tadpole they were not sharp enough, gripping the Globug yarn rather than cutting it.

The Anvil curved scissors worked fine, but I was annoyed that the Dr Slick’s did not cut properly. I was also keen to return two of my Anvil’s back to razor sharp, so spent some time looking around for advice on how to sharpen fly tying scissors.

Surprisingly there is not a huge amount of useful information. There were a few articles and one good video which advised holding the sharpener at 90 degrees to the edge, rather than the 12.5% the Sharpmaker is set at. The video is here:

These instructions have worked, although it required two attempts with the Dr Slick and the bluntest Anvil scissors. All my scissors now cut Globug yarn without gripping the yarn.