Wire Jewelry Tip: Sharpening Wire Cutters

By on April 3, 2013
Print Friendly

by Rose Marion, Wire-Sculpture.com

Jewelry Resource for

April 3, 2013

Open Topic: Caring for your Cutters

Here’s a discussion topic: what do you do when your wire cutters start to become dull?

I talked to Megan, our warehouse manager, about what happens when her wire cutters wear out.

She just laughed. She’s been cutting wire with this exact pair of Xurons, 5 days a week, for 4 years, and they’ve still got a great flush cut!

Well-used but still going strong: Xuron Cutters

Tarnish may build up on the handles, but these blades are barely even nicked after 4 years of hard work!

Between this pair and just a couple other pairs, all the wire that’s flown through the Wire-Sculpture wire coilers has been cut by these Xurons.

That’s not to mean that other tools haven’t tried. When we had steel pattern wire, we had to use bolt cutters. (Now we have beautiful copper, nickel silver, and red brass patterns that can be cut with Xurons or Lindstrom Shears). And Megan and her crew have tried other cutters, like these little nippers, but they weren’t up to the task of cutting all the wire orders.

Just like a good pair of sewing scissors is only used on cloth, we’ve only used our Xuron cutters on wire: not to break beads, or cut through tape, and definitely never on memory wire!

So that’s our recommendation – start with good tools and use them only on your wire, and only as recommended (save the 10-gauge wire for heavy-duty cutters! – I say that because I know from experience…)

If your cutters have nicks, from large-gauge or steel wire, those probably can’t be fixed.

For cutters that aren’t nicked, just dull, I’ve heard of using whetstones, diamond paddles, cutting through aluminum foil and fine-grit sandpaper – but I’ve never tried those tips.

By the way – you can learn all about Lindstrom’s warranty and repair services here.

That being said, have you tried to sharpen your cutting tools yourself? How did it work? Have you ever sent them to be repaired? Or would you just replace your cutters when they wore out? Let us know in the comments!



Have a Wire Jewelry Idea you’d like to share? Click Here to submit your idea. You could be featured on our Blog!

Click to Receive Daily Tips by Email


  1. avatar

    Elizabeth Little

    April 3, 2013 at 6:30 am

    If my cutters get a little dull I use a fine file to sharpen the edges. Don’t use your cutters on a gauge that is to big for them and they last a long time.

  2. avatar

    Terri Bidwell

    April 3, 2013 at 6:47 am

    So far, so good… I haven’t had this problem yet. However, I have planned for it. I bought Craftsman’s cutters, from Sears, in a variety of sizes (for beading wire, memory wire, metal, etc.). Once I feel they are not working well enough, all I have to do is exchange them for a new pair for life! Of course, I couldn’t do this with all of my pliers, but for cutters, I thought this was the smartest and most economical thing to do. I also have a Lindstrom set that includes cutters and pliers just in case.

  3. avatar


    April 3, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I love my Xuron flush cutters also – have 2 pair, one for thinner gauges and one for heavier gauges.

  4. avatar


    April 3, 2013 at 7:43 am

    When I first started making jewelry I could not afford “good” cutters so I just replaced my old cutters with new, better grade cutters. I use the aluminum foil trick to sharpen my cutters and my scissors and it works very well. I have several different cutters now that are used for cutting different types of wire.

    By the way, I like this “Open Topic” type daily tip.


  5. avatar

    Eldon Austin

    April 3, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I buy my sets pliers from Canadian Tire here in Canada because I get a good price that I can afford and don’t mind doing a little rework if needed which is usually done with Diamond Needle Files. I have often reshaped pliers to suit my needs in this way. There are also Carbide Knife sharpeners that can be used as well for touch ups of the blades.

  6. avatar


    April 3, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I have sharpened cutters using a jewelers file. I was taught to file only the angled side of each blade until the knick is removed.
    Never file the flat side.
    Use a sweeping stroke that extends the full blade length. :)

  7. avatar

    Connie D

    April 3, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I have a set for breaking beads apart (cheap and replacable) My flush cutters are for wire only and so far, I have only had to replace the cheap ones one time over two years.

  8. avatar


    April 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

    THANKS ROSE!!!! This is great. Terri, I didn’t even know that Seats HAD cutters. Will look into that! Deb, I have two of the Xuron and these are the ones I was worrying about and I don’t cut things that they shouldn’t be used for, but obviously I haven’t done well by them.. sigh. Tammy, thanks to you too.. I could NEVER remember exactly how they were to be filed. :) I also had not heard about the Aluminum foil either. Will try this too. I have a bunch of cutters as I started out “cheaper” too and then got more expensive ones as time went by.
    I also recently bought some jeweler’s files so will try them along with my whet stone. Thanks for all the GREAT help!

  9. avatar


    April 3, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I am just encountering this problem for the first time. Thank you for this open daily tip!! And thank you everyone for your suggestions!!!!

  10. avatar


    April 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I have never sharpened any cutters (but I have put a nick in one pair, and they went into the “don’t use” bag), but I’m thinking it is about time. I have also heard about cutting steel wool with cutters to sharpen, but I think aluminum foil should be lots less messy.

  11. avatar

    Alice Ryan

    April 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I recall reading on another site of a way to use those irreparably nicked pliers. You can file the nick on both blades and use them for putting that little round cut onto earring posts. I think it’s a great idea & better than throwing them away or just sticking them somewhere until another idea comes along. I’d love to know if it works! And, Rose, I really like this open discussion forum, too. Thanks.

  12. avatar

    Marcia Hooten

    April 6, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Your reply from Alice Ryan came right on time. I was just wondering yesterday if it would ruin my pliers to put the little round cut on earring posts. Thank you all for the tips!

  13. avatar

    kay hara

    April 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I simply use a very fine grained Arkansas stone – it is fine enough to sharpen surgical instruments.