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Old 10-07-2011, 06:31 PM   #1
ajchien
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Default Sharpening tin snips

I've got a pair of vintage tin snips that dont cut nearly as well as I'd like them to. How do you guys go about sharpening them?
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

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I've got a pair of vintage tin snips that dont cut nearly as well as I'd like them to. How do you guys go about sharpening them?
Get an old Coca Cola bottle. Use the tin snips to try to "cut" the nick off of it. It sounds goofy but it works.

It also works on SWMBFAO's scissors.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

Drawfiling is how there were intended to be sharpened.

That is, you clamp them in a vise, and pull a file across it edge-ways. I think if you do a "search" on the net, you might find a pic or two.

Its how I was taught.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

If used correctly you should never have to sharpen snips. More than likely they just need to be adjusted. PM me if youd like to know the proper way to adjust them
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

The larger pattern snip style aren't too bad to sharpen and adjust. Once you do that it's amazing how dull they really were.

I wish there was a way to sharpen (and have them work properly) offset snips tho. Or is there a way that I've missed?
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

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I wish there was a way to sharpen (and have them work properly) offset snips tho. Or is there a way that I've missed?
I have a pair of Wiss aviation snips that I bought at Boeing Surplus 30 years ago. They obviously were resharpened numerous times because there is so little metal left. The metal removed was at the faces that slide together as they operate, not the "top" of the jaws. The finish of the resurfaced area looks like a cup wheel was used for the process. It would take a special fixture to hold the jaws for this, and the tool would have to be completely disassembled.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

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If used correctly you should never have to sharpen snips. More than likely they just need to be adjusted. PM me if youd like to know the proper way to adjust them
could you give me some info. It's hard to imagine something that cuts will never get dull.

but I don't really know much
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

I work with tin snips on a daily basis and I find more often than not it's the adjustment of the blades (how close the blades are to each other) that lead to poor cuts. What I usually do is adjust them and then tack the nut to the bolt to keep them from coming loose again, I find that once they've been readjusted they seem to come loose quite easily. Not that this has anything to do with fixing your old snips, but whenever I buy a pair of new snips I always take along a piece of metal to test them out, you'd be surprised at how many pairs are not right from the factory.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

On a slightly related note, I've got a vintage pair of Wiss with a broken spring... Is this something that is warrantied?
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

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The larger pattern snip style aren't too bad to sharpen and adjust. Once you do that it's amazing how dull they really were.

I wish there was a way to sharpen (and have them work properly) offset snips tho. Or is there a way that I've missed?
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:44 AM   #11
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

Could someone post the correct way to adjust them?
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

The way I usually adjust my aviation snips is just by testing them on a piece of metal. You should be able to cut very thin pieces off the edge without it binding or folding over the metal, trial and error I guess. Maybe there might be a better way but this always works for me. Pattern snips I usually just try and get them close with out binding.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

The way to adjust them is to close them and latch em shut. Then tighten the bolt between the blades. After its tight enough to where they dont open, open the latch and SLOWLY loosen the bolt until they pop open. At that point the blades are as close as possible without catching and will cut the best.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

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Originally Posted by Fordman7795 View Post
The way to adjust them is to close them and latch em shut.
Sounds like your talking about aviation snips then, right?
I pictured the bigger ones from the OP, ones more like Scissors but with short blades?

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Originally Posted by Fordman7795 View Post
The way to adjust them is to close them and latch em shut. Then tighten the bolt between the blades. After its tight enough to where they dont open, open the latch and SLOWLY loosen the bolt until they pop open. At that point the blades are as close as possible without catching and will cut the best.
Good to know though, I will have to try that.

Last edited by mrbreezeet1; 10-08-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

An old machinist taught me to hit the cutting surfaces with an India stone from time to time. They do tend to get some asperities on the blades with time, and knocking them off will improve performance.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

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Sounds like your talking about aviation snips then, right?
I pictured the bigger ones from the OP, ones more like Scissors but with short blades?
I figured the OP was talking aviation tin snips, as the scissors type tools I normally call shears. For shears, the Craftsman shears I have have full replacable blades that bolt in. For my Wiss V10 shears like these:

http://www.hardwareandtools.com/Apex...s-6898423.html

I just send them out to my local scissors and knife shop to get sharpened.

I am interested in this thread as i have a 15 yo pair of Craftsman aviation snip that have a few slight gouges/dings in the blade edge likely from the previous owners misuse that i would love to figure out how to get out and get he blade edge smooth again.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

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I am interested in this thread as i have a 15 yo pair of Craftsman aviation snip that have a few slight gouges/dings in the blade edge likely from the previous owners misuse that i would love to figure out how to get out and get he blade edge smooth again.
I bet you could carefully file them with a fine single cut mill file.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

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Originally Posted by AZ_Catskinner View Post
An old machinist taught me to hit the cutting surfaces with an India stone from time to time. They do tend to get some asperities on the blades with time, and knocking them off will improve performance.
Bingo! this works very well with a coarse india stone
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: Sharpening tin snips

Sorry for the confusion, the snips/shears I am talking about look like this (not mine, just copied from eBay)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/P-C-1322-12-...5#ht_500wt_823
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