How to Sharpen a Seam Ripper Using a Bead Reamer

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With extended use over time, a seam ripper blade can dull to the point that it becomes useless. If you have a sentimental attachment to your seam ripper or don’t want to buy a new one, learn how to sharpen your seam ripper using a bead reamer tool. Nicki LaFoille shows you how!

What is a Bead Reamer and Where to Find It

A bead reamer is a jewelry-making tool found at hobby stores in the jewelry section. Bead reamers come in different shapes and sizes, but to use it to sharpen a seam ripper, choose the long, thin variety. The conical shape of this tool and its roughened surface, similar to a file or sandpaper, will allow it to scrape against the edge of the seam ripper blade to sharpen it.

How to Sharpen the Seam Ripper Blade

Nicki demonstrates how to align the bead reamer against the seam ripper blade. Try to replicate the angle of the seam ripper blade with the angle you place the bead reamer against the blade. Be careful not to use too wide of an angle, as this will further dull the seam ripper blade. Using too narrow of an angle will not effectively sharpen the seam ripper.

Sharpening Technique

Using a firm upward motion, push the bead reamer along the seam ripper blade, then pull it away. Repeat this motion several times on each side of the blade, then test the seam ripper on some thread. If necessary, repeat several more times on each side of the blade.

Additional Tips and Resources

For tips on using a seam ripper effectively, watch the video “How to Use a Seam Ripper.” For tips on other sewing room tools, including quickly sharpening scissors and rotary cutter blades, check out “Top Sewing Tools.”

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