I have a pair of J. A. Henckels kitchen shears that look exactly like this:

enter image description here

The joints are covered with a blue cap on both sides.

I sharpened them recently, but they still don't cut well, and I realized it was because they weren't tight enough.

I tested it by holding it upright, opening one side at a 90 degree angle, and then dropping it to see if the blades would catch, something like what is described here: https://www.darkstag.com/scissor-shear-tension/

So I removed the blue cap on each side of the joint, and it looks as such:

enter image description here

enter image description here

What kind of joint is holding the blades together? It does not seem to be a screw, but I am unsure. In the 3rd image (the reverse side of the scissor), there appears to be a washer (pointed at by the green arrow) in the joint.

I tried hammering the pivot together, but it only seems to slightly reduce the gap between the blades. Should I use more force, or is there another way that the tightening should be done?

  • Have they ever cut better than they do now? My point is shears are made for specific purposes. Your shears are multi-purpose kitchen shears which are typically designed for utilitarian use in the kitchen. i.e. Cutting raw poultry, etc. rather than precision cutting. The website link you posted is for adjusting hair cutting shears which are expensive, high precision instruments. Although sharpening is a great idea, the shears you have were obviously not meant to be tightened and you may ruin them by trying.
    – HoneyDo
    Jan 12, 2022 at 3:59
  • @HoneyDo thanks for your comment; yes, they used to be quite good for cutting all sorts of things, from paper to chicken. They no longer cut well anymore - I was trying to cut a plastic bag today and it just sort of folded between the blades.
    – XYkik
    Jan 12, 2022 at 4:09
  • 1
    J. A. Henckels are, I believe, supposed to be a pretty high quality brand. Consider contacting them to see if there is any sort of warranty on the scissors. They may repair or replace them in a desire to retain their reputation.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 12, 2022 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


Looks like a pretty normal rivet-and-washer (or rivet-and-burr) joint.

Careful work with with an anvil (or anvil-substitute, such as a sledgehammer head) and a ball-peen hammer (moderately small) will tighten it up. Support one side on the anvil, and tap the other with the ball-peen hammer (or, I suppose, some other sort of hammer, but the ball-peen is better than a flat one for the purpose.)

Repetition rather than great force is the generally safer approach, since there's no easy way to loosen it if you give it a big whack and they become too tight to close. Each tap slightly deforms the metal, and many repeated taps will move metal in ways that one huge bang won't.

  • got it, thanks! I'll try it out and see how it goes.
    – XYkik
    Jan 12, 2022 at 4:12

I had an "inny" which the rivet/burr were inside scissor (had plastic handle) so I used 2 dimes (on 1 side) which just fit in hole and tried to tighten with hammer and nail punch. Failed! So I did the same set up with 4 dimes (on 2 sides) and put it in a vise. I used a pipe on the vise handle for leverage. Two dimes were slightly bent but it Worked!!! I can't believe it. Thanks!

  • I'm not sure I'm following here. What's an "inny"? How does that differ from the OPs scissors, or does it? Please take the tour to see how things work a little differently here than at standard discussion boards, then edit to clarify your answer.
    – FreeMan
    May 16, 2022 at 14:59

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