If you have been into your local fabric shop lately, you will know there is a mind-boggling array of sewing scissors and cutting tools to choose from. Here I will give you a quick guide to selecting the best sewing scissors and cutting tools in sewing for your projects.
Cutting Tools in Sewing & Best Sewing Scissors
1. Fabric shears
These will be one of your most used and important sewing tools. The best sewing scissors are specially designed to cut fabric. Your fabric scissors (also called shears) should be sharp enough to cut through several layers of fabric at the one time. Make sure you choose a pair with comfortable handles for your fingers! And most importantly don’t use them for anything but fabric or they will dull quickly. When I first started sewing, my Mum always taught me that the sewing scissors stayed in the sewing room and only cut fabric. Of course, my sister and I often snuck them out since we knew they were the sharpest scissors in the house!
2. All purpose (cheap) scissors
I always have a few cheap pairs of scissors from local discount stores in my cupboard to cut paper patterns. Downloadable sewing patterns in particular which are printed on regular printer paper can dull your expensive fabric shears.
3. Thread snippers
These are one of my must have tools. I always have a pair next to my machine when sewing to quickly snip threads. With no handles, they quickly snip by pressing the blades together. Just watch your fingers!
4. Embroidery scissors
Ever notice those vintage heron shaped little scissors your Grandma had? These are embroidery scissors. Small with thin blades, they are designed to snip away stray threads close to the fabric. Modern pairs may look a little plainer but still do a great job of snipping threads.
5. Rotary cutters
Many sewers swear by their rotary cutters but I tend to avoid them after a couple of nasty accidents years ago. (Notice I said a couple – I didn’t learn the first time!) So if you are less clumsy than me, rotary cutters can be a great way to quickly and accurately cut straight and even curved lines. Look for ones with safety features to protect your fingers. You will need a cutting mat underneath so you don’t mark your table.
6. Pinking shears
I love my pinking shears. As well as looking pretty they stop the edges of fabric from fraying and are great for trimming curved seams. Make sure you test them adequately before buying, as cheap pairs often don’t cut very well and burr the edges of the fabric. Keep them away from paper as they can be hard to sharpen and generally quite pricey to start with.
7. OPTIONAL – Left handed scissors
My mother is left handed and often struggles to use my fabric shears over long periods. If you are left handed consider investing in a specialty pair of scissors designed to make your life more comfortable.
What are the brands of the best sewing scissors?
Some of the most reputable scissor brands of scissors and cutter that I have used are Mundial, Fiskars and Gingher. If you are on a budget then spend most of it on your main sewing scissors or rotary cutter and get cheaper brands for the other tools.
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Do you have any special scissors in your sewing kit or recommendations for cutting tools in sewing that you can’t do without? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments.