Anyone who works with fabric knows that scissors and shears are not created equal, which means it’s a requirement to have the best set for whatever you’re doing.
How do you know if your sewing scissors are going to make the cut? Get to know the different types and you’ll come to recognize which ones are going to be worth your while.
Scissors and Shears – Tools in Your Sewing Toolkit
Believe it or not, there is a difference between shears and scissors, but both are necessary tools you should have available to you.
Fabric scissors have a shorter blade, typically 6” or less. Handles on scissors are also the same size on both sides.
Shears have longer blades, usually 7” or more. Handles on shears have different sized sides where one is made for a thumb hold while the other is made for fingers. Shears are also usually bent at the handle.
Why is the Cost Worth It?
The short of it is that high quality scissors and shears will last forever as long as you take care of them and only use them for their intended purpose.
What that means is that making the investment up front will be worth it in the end when you think about how long you’ll have both the scissors and shears.
To give you a sense of direction of where to look, the best ones out there are Fiskars, Kai, and Gingher.
Fiskars Scissors and Shears
Fiskars has a lot to choose from in both departments, along with a range of other nifty sewing tools. Prices also range from extremely inexpensive to the higher quality and more expensive versions.
Do yourself a favor and choose the higher-quality models because those are built to last.
Some Fiskars scissors also come with their propriety Softgrip which makes the handles much easier to hold and give you better control.
Their sharpest blade is on the RazorEdge line of scissors and shears. If you can only have one pair, one of these is the one to have because they will give you the best performance.
If you happen to have arthritic hands, one of the best scissors for you to use will be from the Easy Action line. They are made to be easy on the hands with a spring-action open and close design meant to reduce strain on your hands.
Gingher Scissors and Shears
If you have been in the sewing world much at all, you’ve probably heard of Ginger scissors and shears. There’s a reason for the reputation – they have exceptional performance.
You won’t find the same variety in Gingher scissors that you’ll find in Fiskars, but there is an explanation for that. Gingher focuses on products that are for embroidery, quilting, as well as sewing.
Gingher scissors are recognizable by their characteristic silver handles. The different models are available in multiple lengths. Gingher also produces a lightweight line of scissors that have plastic handles.
As per Gingher’s website, they also offer sharpening and repair for all Gingher products which can be expected to take 3-4 weeks.
Additional products include smaller scissors and thread cutters that are both useful for smaller tasks.
Kai Scissors and Shears
Designed primarily for quilting and sewing, Kai scissors are incredibly strong. Their Japanese manufacturers made these scissors to hold up to just about any fabric as they are made of a specialized metal alloy – vanadium and stainless steel.
You have two lines to choose from here – the 5000 and 7000 series. The 5000 series includes scissors and shears. The handles are worth noting because they are made to be ergonomically correct.
In the 7000 series, you will find scissors and shears made for the professional sewer that expects to make an investment that will last a lifetime. This line is much more expensive than Fiskars or Gingher, but well worth the money.
According to their website, these scissors will cut through fabrics as lightweight as silk or as thick as multi-layers of fleece.
Making the Best Cut
The bottom line is that you need to have the right scissors or shears for the job and at the best quality that is affordable for you.
If you need more guidance, go to a fabric store and buy them there. You’ll also be able to talk to people that use them on a regular basis, so you’ll be able to get real world feedback.
One last thing – if you can try before you buy, do it. See if you can test out a pair on a piece of scrap fabric before you make your choice.