20 Quicklist: Popular Types Of Scissors For Sewing

Types Of Scissors For Sewing

Last Updated on December 14, 2023 by Wahid

As you begin sewing, there are various tools you will need. However, let’s talk about the major kinds of sewing scissors that we can use for our sewing projects.

Despite the fact that both amateurs & professionals use sewing scissors, not everyone will need to use them all. Ultimately, it all depends on the type of project you decide to undertake.

In this article, we will discuss types of scissors for sewing to help you select the right scissors. Every sewer should know that using the right sewing scissors is crucial to dressmaking. An improperly cut fabric never looks the same when made up; thus, making the best choice is essential.

What Are Sewing Scissors Actually?

  • Sewing Scissors are specialized cutting instruments designed specifically for trimming, cutting, and shaping fabrics in the process of sewing. 
  • They are distinct from regular scissors due to their sharper blades, ergonomic design, and specific functionalities tailored to handle various fabric types and sewing techniques efficiently. 
  • Sewing Scissors often made from high-quality stainless steel for durability, rust resistance, and clean cutting. 
  • They feature ergonomic handles to provide comfort and control, reducing hand fatigue during extended use. 
  • Sewing scissors are an indispensable tool for anyone engaged in sewing, from amateurs to professionals. 
  • Always remember, investing in a good pair of sewing scissors and caring for them properly is as crucial as selecting the right fabric and sewing machine for your projects.

Scissors Vs Shears: Comparison Table

Actually, most of people are confused about Scissors vs Shears. Here’s a comparison chart highlighting the qualities, differences, and similarities between scissors and shears.

ScissorsShears
Definition:Hand-operated cutting tool with 2 pivoted bladesLarger cutting tool with longer blades and 1 or 2 handles
Size:Smaller and more compactLarger and longer
Blade Design:Symmetrical blades with equal-sized finger holesAsymmetrical blades with one larger finger hole and one handle
Blade Angles:Blades meet at a sharp angle for fine cutting tasksBlades meet at a wider angle for more robust cutting
Cutting Action:Typically used for precise cutting, trimming, and snippingPrimarily used for cutting fabric, paper, or light materials
Versatility:Suitable for various applications, from crafts to cookingPrimarily used in sewing, tailoring, and upholstery
Handles:Usually finger holes for both fingersOne or two handles for gripping
Specialty Variants:Hair cutting scissors, embroidery scissors, kitchen shearsPinking shears, fabric shears, tailor’s shears
Usage Examples:Cutting paper, cardboard, thread, or small itemsCutting fabric, textiles, upholstery, or thicker materials
Maintenance:Blades may need occasional sharpeningBlades may require regular sharpening and oiling
Price Range:Affordable and widely availableCan be more expensive than scissors

However, it’s important to note that the terms “scissors” and “shears” are sometimes used interchangeably, and the specific definitions and characteristics can vary based on regional and industry preferences. Therefore, this chart provides a general overview of the qualities and distinctions between scissors and shears.

Guide To 20 Types Of Scissors/ Shares & Their Uses

Sewing scissors are available in many variations and can be capable of performing different sewing jobs. I have compiled a list of the best sewing scissors for your latest fabric project. There are several types of sewing scissors that are commonly used:

Applique Scissors 

Applique scissors are specifically designed to cut away fabric once it has been appliqued. These scissors attach an extra metal piece to one of the blades. With these scissors, you can trim away excess fabric right next to the stitch line.

Buttonhole Scissors

Buttonhole scissors are used for cutting out machine-stitched buttonholes. Adjustable screws are used in their manufacture. Adjusting the buttonhole scissor enables accurate measurement of each buttonhole. 

Initially, you should practice cutting buttonholes on scrap material. Because buttonholes cannot be easily repaired if they go wrong, it’s hard to fix them.

Thin Shears 

Thin shears have quite pointed fronts, thereby making their overall body shape quite slim. The shears are ideal for those who prefer to sew with lightweight instruments or prefer to use sharp, pointed blades.

This scissor isn’t very long and is commonly used for fabric cutting, thread cutting, and sharpening buttonholes. If you are an intermediate sewer, this should be in your kit.

Bent Handle Scissors 

For sewers, a bent-handle scissor is the best choice. The sewers in the beginning phase are learning something new every day, and sometimes that can feel irritated and frustrate them. Probably because the scissors they are using are not flexible and the handle is difficult to hold.

With its unique design, this scissor is ideal for everyone. The thumb handle on this scissor is bent, while the remaining fingers have straight handles. The sewer always finds cutting easier & more possible with a flexible scissor.

Thread Clipper 

Sewing thread clippers are another type of small scissors. When you work with thread, you will need a thread clipper so that you can cut it quickly and easily.

Additionally, this scissor comes in handy when you rip out the stitches. Make sure you cut them neatly and professionally without damaging the fabric or leaving traces behind.

Dressmaker Shears & Scissors 

These dressmaker shears and scissors are known for their large size. The blades of the shears are angled to rest comfortably against the fabric. Fortunately, several layers of fabric can be cut simultaneously with their large blades.

Small Scissor For More Intricate Cuts

Actually, small scissors are probably the pair you’ll want to use when cutting out the applique before attaching them. Furthermore, it is perfect for curved tasks that longer blades cannot handle. Having serrated blades allows the fabric to be cleanly cut rather than pushed out, resulting in crappy cuts. My collection includes a whole. My list is getting longer as the holidays approach.

Tailor Shears 

Basically, tailor shears are pretty much similar to dressmaker shears, but more sturdy, designed for cutting multiple layers of textiles simultaneously. The majority of dressmakers were women, while tailors were generally men. Do you ever think it will end? Unfortunately, I don’t own any of these. There have been great reviews about these versions, I think they’re fantastic.

Pinking Shears 

Wondering how zig-zag edges are cut on fabric? Using pinking shears is the solution. Again, most of these scissors come with a bent handle, thus the name shears. You have to be careful with these shears. Fabric edges are cut with them to prevent fraying naturally. There was no serger or coverstitch machine before this was invented. When you examine your shirt, you’ll likely see some looped stitches going over the fabric edge on the seam. This modern method prevents threads from unraveling (or raveling, funnily enough, both are the same). When I want to sew quickly, I don’t want to take out my serger, instead, I use pinking shears. I have the classic orange Fiskars with orange handles.

Electronic Shears 

The blades of electronic scissors are more powerful, allowing them to cut multiple layers of fabric simultaneously. As a result of modern technology, most mechanical devices can now be made electronically. There are a variety of sewing instruments that can be converted into electronic gadgets, including scissors. Because they require less pressure, they are perfect gifts for people with arthritis.

Embroidery Scissors 

An embroidery scissor is a small, sharp, pointed pair of scissors. These scissors are suitable for embroidery, cutting threads, and making small snips. Curved embroidery scissors can help avoid accidental contact with sharp edges.

Heavy Duty Shears 

Heavy-duty shears work perfectly for projects that involve thick fabrics. The ability to cut multiple layers of items, such as homemade quilts, is yet another benefit of heavy-duty shears.

Left Handed Scissors 

Scissors with left-handed blades and handles are built differently than scissors with right-handed blades & handles. By reversing the blades, you can view the cutting line more clearly and make a better cut while lefthanded.

For left-handed individuals, left-handed scissors make a huge difference. However, left-handed scissors are better than right-handed scissors.

Paper Scissors 

A pair of paper scissors can be useful for cutting paper, patterns, and other materials that are not made of fabric. Keeping paper scissors only for paper is a good idea to ensure your fine fabric scissors are protected.

Rotary Cutter 

Using rotary cutters is a great way to cut along the dotted line, resulting in a straight and well-cut edge. Nonetheless, always remember to use a cutting mat with the rotary cutter. Rotating mats with self-healing properties are the most effective.

When using a rotary cutter, it is helpful to use a thick plastic or perspex ruler.

Ensure you do your research & try out a few multiple cutter brands before settling on one. Curved handles fit comfortably in your hand, allowing you to cut most fabrics neatly using a drag-down motion. 

Depending on the blade size, you will work on different types of projects. 28mm blades are ideal for smaller tasks, while 45mm blades can be used for a variety of cutting tasks.

Always follow safety rules when using rotary cutters. When the cutter is in use, the blade is covered by a sheath guard

Whenever the blade is not being used, keep it away from small children. For your safety, move far away from the blade when you’re cutting. Maintain a sharp blade to prevent slipping. In addition, be careful not to bump into pins. If so, the cutter may lose its direction, resulting in a blunted blade.

Ambidextrous Scissors

The ambidextrous scissor lets you use it for both left-handed and right-handed people. Two blades are symmetrical and bonded together, so both hands can use them. Ambidextrous scissors are great for a lot of tasks, such as; cutting paper, cutting fabric, cutting hair, cutting tape.

Decorative Scissors

The decorative scissor is specifically designed for cutting paper. The decorative scissors are available in all shapes & sizes, so you can make different effects. Creating a professional-looking result is one benefit. Additionally, they make cutting intricate designs easier.

Decorated scissors are usually more expensive than regular scissors. Additionally, decorative scissors aren’t as sharp as regular scissors, so they’re a little harder to use.

Double Curved Embroidery Scissors 

Double curved embroidery scissors are exactly what it sounds like. Not only are the blades curved, but also the handles. Machine embroidery can benefit greatly from this. Clipping threads is possible without removing the hoop. Glorified Snip is the best I’ve ever used.

Thread Snips 

These handy thread snip cutters are ideal for trimming threads after you’ve stitched your seam twice using a double backstitch. Just a quick snip using thread snips, and all the unsightly threads are gone. A spring-based tool, it is useful. Taking them up, holding them, and snipping them close is all it takes.

General Purpose 

General purpose scissors are found in every house. Everyone uses those for everything. Those that clutter up junk drawers or are displayed with pens & pencils are frequently used items. There are 3 such pairs, and 1 is always missing. There are usually 7 to 8 inches of handle length and most have handles that are within reach of most fingers. Fiskars are all the big ones we have, usually with orange or pink handles. Another assortment of scissors is available.

Different Kinds Of Scissors For Different Fabrics Types

Type Of ScissorsBest For Cutting
Dressmaker’s Shears:Almost all fabrics, even heavier materials such as canvas and denim 
Embroidery Scissors:A delicate combination of fabrics, threads, & embroidery
Pinking Shears:For fabrics that are woven, to prevent fraying
Appliqué Scissors:Appliqué work, without cutting the fabric close to the seams
Tailor’s Shears:Textiles of heavy weight, such as wool, leather, & upholstery materials
Thread Snips or Clippers:For cutting threads & trimming seams
Rotary Cutter:Cuts in straight lines on most fabrics, particularly multiple layers
Serrated Scissors:Best for slippery fabrics including silk, satin, and chiffon

Types Of Scissors That Are Not Suitable For Sewing

Several types of scissors are not ideal for sewing, and using them can damage fabrics, lead to imprecise cuts, or make the sewing process more difficult. Here’s a list of scissors that are not suitable for sewing:

1. Kitchen Scissors:

  • Usage: Primarily used for cutting food items.
  • Why Not Suitable: They aren’t precise and can have residues of food particles that can stain or damage the fabric.

2. Craft Scissors:

  • Usage: Used for various craftwork, like cutting paper or cardboard.
  • Why Not Suitable: Often not sharp enough for fabric, leading to frayed edges and imprecise cuts.

3. Garden Shears:

  • Usage: Designed for trimming plants and branches.
  • Why Not Suitable: Too bulky and not designed for the delicacy needed in cutting fabric.

4. Children’s Scissors:

  • Usage: Designed for safety and use by children.
  • Why Not Suitable: Not sharp enough and lack the precision needed for cutting fabrics.

5. Hair Cutting Scissors:

  • Usage: Specifically designed for cutting hair.
  • Why Not Suitable: The design is specialized for hair and may not provide a clean cut on fabrics.

6. Utility Scissors:

  • Usage: General household use for cutting a variety of materials.
  • Why Not Suitable: They can be too dull or imprecise for the finesse required in sewing projects.

7. Electric Scissors:

  • Usage: Used for quickly cutting through various materials.
  • Why Not Suitable: Can be too aggressive and lack precision, leading to damaged fabrics.

Suggestions For Sewing Scissors:

To ensure the best results in your sewing projects, opt for scissors specifically designed for sewing, such as:

  • Dressmaker’s Shears: Feature a bent handle to allow the fabric to lie flat while cutting. Ideal for precise, long, and straight cuts.
  • Embroidery Scissors: Small with pointed tips, perfect for snipping threads and making intricate cuts.
  • Pinking Shears: Designed with a serrated edge to create a zig-zag cut, helping prevent fabric from fraying.

However, with the right scissors for your sewing projects, you’ll experience better cutting precision, ease of use, and an overall more enjoyable and efficient sewing process. You should regularly clean, sharpen, and properly store your sewing scissors to maintain their effectiveness and longevity. Finally, avoid using them on materials other than fabric to keep them sharp and precise.

Precaution & Attention When Cutting Fabric With Scissors

The right precautions should be taken when cutting fabric with scissors to achieve precision, maintain fabric quality, and ensure personal safety. Here are some detailed recommendations when using best types of scissors for sewing:

Before Cutting

1. Select The Right Scissors:

  • Focus: Choose scissors that are sharp, clean, and appropriate for the fabric type and thickness.
  • Action: Regularly sharpen and clean scissors to maintain their performance.

2. Prepare The Fabric:

  • Focus: The fabric should be clean, ironed, and free of wrinkles.
  • Action: Consider pre-washing and always iron the fabric before cutting.

While Cutting

3. Follow The Grain Line:

  • Focus: Always cut the fabric following the grain line to maintain the structure and drape.
  • Action: Understand the fabric’s weave and stretch direction.

4. Pattern Adherence:

  • Focus: Pay close attention to patterns and measurements.
  • Action: Use fabric markers or chalk to draw cutting lines clearly.

5. Hand Positioning:

  • Focus: Keep your hands positioned safely away from the cutting path.
  • Action: Use fabric weights or pins to stabilize the fabric.

Safety Precautions

6. Concentration Is Key:

  • Focus: Stay focused to avoid slips or errors.
  • Action: Avoid distractions, and if you’re tired, take a break.

7. Avoid Rushing:

  • Focus: Hasty cutting can lead to mistakes and injuries.
  • Action: Take your time to ensure precision and safety.

8. Safety First:

  • Focus: Always prioritize safety to prevent injuries.
  • Action: Store scissors properly when not in use and handle them with care.

Additional Precautions

9. Lighting:

  • Focus: Proper lighting is crucial for precision.
  • Action: Ensure your workspace is well-lit to clearly see your cutting lines and fabric textures.

10. Workspace:

  • Focus: A clean and organized workspace enhances efficiency and safety.
  • Action: Keep the area free of clutter, and have all necessary tools within reach.

11. Test Cuts:

  • Focus: Avoid ruining valuable fabric.
  • Action: Make test cuts on scrap pieces to ensure scissors performance and fabric handling.

However, by following these precautions diligently and focusing on each step of the process, you’ll ensure that every cut is clean, precise, and safe. It will not only improve the quality of your sewing projects but also make the sewing experience more enjoyable and efficient.

Sewing Scissors: How To Maintain Them 

Finally, you have decided that top-of-the-range scissors are your best sewing investment. After you buy these high quality expensive scissors for your own use, it is important to maintain them properly. Sewing scissors should be used only to cut fabric. That’s the first golden rule.

Scissors Maintenance Tips 

  • Keep the blades clean by wiping them with water & dish soap. 
  • The stubborn dirt and residue can be removed with acetone, white vinegar, or nail polish remover.
  • The blades of scissors should be oiled every few months to keep them moving smoothly. 
  • You can use multipurpose oil to clean out the area on the scissors containing the screw. 
  • Thus, your next project will be much better if you remove all the oil. You can test for residue by cutting out some fabric scraps.

Sharpening Sewing Scissors

  • When your scissors are unable to cut silk or another soft fabric, the blades may need to be sharpened. 
  • Ideally, have your scissors sharpened by a professional. 
  • A home scissor sharpener is available for purchase online, but professional sharpening is always better.

Storage Of Sewing Scissors 

  • Make sure your scissors are stored safely by placing them upright in a container or in their original packaging. 
  • Alternatively, you can keep them in a pouch. 
  • Ensure that children cannot access them.

How To Choose The Right Sewing Scissors: Buyers Guide

You will notice a big difference in your sewing experience if you use quality sewing scissors. Today, it’s popular to have several top-notch scissors for any task you need.  The following factors should be considered when choosing sewing scissors:

Scissors Brand

Having decided what type of scissors you need, consider quality brands. If you take good care of them, they will last you for a lifetime. A specialist sewing shop will know the top brands. The following are some of the most well-known sewing scissor brands:

  • Fiskars
  • Gingher
  • Mundial
  • Singer

It is crucial that you choose blades that are really sharp. Besides the handles and grip comfort, the cutting action is also important. Take the model for a test drive and check out the grip comfortability. Spring grips may take some getting used to. 

Scissors Metal Type

Be sure to verify the blades’ metals and their additives, as they will affect the scissors’ performance and durability.

The most common type of scissors is steel. Nickel or chrome plating on carbon steel prevents rusting. Sewing scissors’ blades are made with stainless steel and additive vanadium. Added coatings and alloys may help keep specialized scissors sharp.

Left Or Right-Handed Scissors 

Selecting scissors for either side of your body, left or right, will greatly improve your cutting quality. If you’re not sure what dominance your scissors have, look at them while you cut. 

If you look down on a right-handed scissors, you’ll see the blade operating when you look at them from the bottom. A left-handed person using a right-handed scissors feels very uncomfortable, & vice versa.

Scissors Weight

Sewing scissors is a very personal choice. Since scissors are handheld tools, weight is an important consideration. The lightweight scissors will be ideal for smaller hands and those with arthritis or injuries to the hands. 

It is impossible to apply one size to all. To get the most out of your sewing scissors, choose a good brand & make one that meets your needs. People prefer heavier scissors due to their stability and durability. There are different types of fabric that require different types of scissors.

Scissors Handle Size 

Another personal choice is the size of the scissors’ handle. With large scissors, the handles will be larger. It should be shaped so that it is comfortable to cut with your fingers and thumb. This is where ergonomics scissors comes into play since top brands have designed their products to complement scissors’ blades and hands.

Blade Types- Pinked, Straight, Wavy

It’s getting more interesting with sewing scissors with curved or wavy blades along with traditional straight ones.

The blade of a pinking shear is zig-zag shaped, so it cuts the fabric in a pattern for a quick, neat edge. Pinking shears have saw-toothed blades. The jagged edge makes them great for decorating fabric edges or just tidying them up.

A dressmaker’s scissor blade measures 7-10 “, with beveled cutting sides for a razor-sharp edge. Generally, decorative scissors can cut a variety of edge patterns. The curved edges make them great crafting tools.

Budget 

Much like most hobbies & crafts, the right sewing tools are an investment. It’ll make you happier and more productive to invest in the best types of scissors for sewing you can buy. If you have good scissors, they’ll last longer, & cutting won’t be so painful. You won’t have to sharpen them as much, so you’ll save money over time.

FAQs

What is another name for sewing scissors?

Shears are called that because the handle is angled, so the blade is flat against the work surface. In this way, the fabric stays as flat as possible during cutting. This process will help you cut more accurately and easier. It’s good if your fabric scissors (also called shears) can cut through multiple layers of fabric at once. They’ll have to be big or medium-sized.

Which scissors are used for garments?

For sewing and crafting, here are 4 scissors you’ll need.
>
Dressmaker’s Shears.
> Pinking Shears.
>
Tailor’s Scissors.
>
Small Embroidery Scissors.

What scissors do professional tailors use?

> A 12″ side bent tailor’s shears are the perfect option for an amateur who wants to upgrade to a professional tool.
> Because the scissors are balanced well, they’re surprisingly easy to maneuver for such a heavy tool.
> They’ll last generations and keep their sharpness.

What are the best small sewing scissors?

Top 10 Sewing Scissors:
1. Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Scissors.
2. Thread snips.
3. Spring loaded scissors for rag quilts.
4. Kai 8” Pinking Shears.
5. Double Curved Machine Embroidery Scissors.
6. Pretty Vintage Embroidery Scissors.
7. Classic Gingher 8” Shears.
8. Kai Pink Handled Scissors.
9. Handi Quilter Batting Scissors.
10. Guggenhein 9” Dressmaker Shears.

What are ribbon scissors?

The Ribbon Stitch Scissors are perfect for cutting the string or removing sutures. It has a big finger ring handle and thin curved blades. Additionally, they have a finger ring ribbon handle for easy grip.

Summarization

In dressmaking, scissors are essential. Every sewing tool kit should have a pair of sewing scissors since sewers love different kinds of scissors. If you want precision or a pair of scissors that can handle tougher materials, there are scissors that you can use.

After reading my valuable article you know now which types of scissors for sewing do you use or not. After you’re happy about the scissor performance, go ahead and buy. Make sure you get high-quality scissors instead of cheap ones.

What’s your favorite sewing scissors? Tell us in the comments. I’d love to hear about your sewing favorites.

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