Whither scissors?
February 8, 2018 6:41 PM   Subscribe

I have a very sturdy pair of 3.5 inch nail/cuticle scissors from Tambour Solingen. They are very old. They are very good. They're losing their sharpness, which would be bad enough. But the screw holding them together is also wearing out, so they no longer fit together well for easy cutting. I can find many places to get them sharpened. No one seems willing to replace the screw. Is that a thing that can be done? If not where can I find a similar pair online?

Why am I so attached to this pair? They are (or were) very sharp. They're small (3.5"). They end in points, not rounded nubs. They're straight rather than curved. I like that they're a standard scissor shape and not some stubby variant. But mostly it's because they've lasted around 30 years and that seems very solid.
posted by Comrade Doll to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is the screw itself worn out or is it that it fits loosely in the threads? A machinist or even a hobbyist with a tap and die might be able to cut new threads in the hole and replace the screw, but the screw would be a bit larger as a result. A larger screw might not fit in the recess made for it, though I suppose the size of the head could be reduced a bit on a lathe. Perhaps a pop rivet or something could work too.

This is the sort of thing if you lived near me I'd take as a personal challenge and tackle it, so it's entirely possible if you ask around you can find an equally nerdy person who might be willing to try. I'd find a machinist though.

I'd suspect the cost of getting it fixed would be far more than the cost of an equally good new pair of scissors, but if you're really attached to them it may be worth it.
posted by bondcliff at 6:56 PM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Any of these fit the bill? The company is still around, but you might need to look in German-language sites.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 8:42 PM on February 8, 2018

If the screw is worn out, I would buy cheap nail scissors and take out the screw and see if one of those might replace the original.

Good luck. I am attached to some very old things, too.
posted by Crystal Fox at 8:54 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

There's a nice video by Paul Sellers on how to sharpen and refurbish your scissors yourself, if you'd like to give it a go.
posted by biogeo at 9:55 PM on February 8, 2018

Find a sharpener who has the proper tool to adjust the pivot screw .
posted by hortense at 9:56 PM on February 8, 2018

On the same site hortense mentioned is a page of scissor parts including replacement screws.
posted by tronec at 10:46 PM on February 8, 2018

If the screw is still long enough to protrude slightly through the other side, someone who knows what they're doing with a small toolmaker's/machinist's ball-peen hammer could round off the end of the screw to stop it coming loose.
posted by scruss at 7:53 AM on February 9, 2018

Some scissor screws are peened over on the small end, like what scruss describes. They are not, in my experience peened over so much that they cannot be unscrewed and replaced, just enough to keep them from becoming really loose. I have always been able to tighten scissor screws, but if one did get stripped so it wouldn't tighten, I would try to remove it. The scissor steel is usually harder than screws, so it's unlikely the threads in the scissor would strip.

Here are some nail scissors that are "handcrafted by adult artisans in Solingen, Germany." Looks like they use a Torx-head screw.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:07 AM on February 9, 2018

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