All About Different Sewing Scissors

The best sewing scissors

I’m sure everyone’s opinion differs on what is the best sewing scissors. I like a lot of different types of scissors for cutting different things like fabric and threads. For cutting patterns out, I love my Heritage scissors or my Gingher scissors. These have more substantial, long cutting blades and are more substantially weighted scissors. For snipping embroidery threads, I like to use the tweezer type curved thread snips.  

It will depend on how much you want to spend on sewing scissors. If you are just first starting, you may not want to invest $30 for a pair of really lovely Gingher dressmaking scissors. Or you might want to go for a cheaper pair of Fiskers that will work just fine for you.  

The difference between fabric scissors and regular scissors

Fabric scissors are usually more expensive than a basic essential pair of ordinary scissors. Fabric scissors, you have to go to a particular store to buy or find online. A regular office supply store will not sell fabric scissors. Regular sewing scissor blades are not as thick as fabric scissor blades. In short, fabric scissors are usually a more massive duty type of scissors. Fabric scissors will hold up better over time if taken care of than regular scissors.  

Does cutting paper dull fabric scissors?

If you use your sewing scissors to cut paper, it will dull your scissors much faster than just cutting fabric. If you have kids or even a spouse that might use your good sewing scissors for cutting paper, then hide them. Hiding them will keep your sewing scissors nice and sharp for a long time. Have a set that you use for paper pattern cutting and another pair for cutting fabric.  

I will cut out my pattern pieces on the cut lines with a good pair of paper cutting scissors. By cutting the pattern out before I cut the fabric, I am doing double the work. But it will save my dressmaking scissors and keep them sharper for a more extended time.  

The different types of scissors?

Dressmaking shears – Are for cutting all kinds of fabrics from your basic sheers to the thick fleece or even burlap. These dressmaking shears usually have bent handles so that the scissors can be flat against the surface. Your fabric is lying on this surface, and you can cut without raising the fabric that far off the surface.  

Embroidery scissors – These scissors are suitable for cutting threads. The blades on embroidery scissors are usually shorter, and a lot of the times curved. By cutting the thread so close allows you to cut the thread against the fabric, so no loose thread shows.  

Thread snips – are my favorite type of embroidery scissors. I use them to cut threads that my embroidery machine doesn’t cut on designs I have created. I love how they spring back open and allow for a lot of cutting and very little hand fatigue.  

Pinking shears – These shears cut fabric in a sawtooth-like pattern that keeps the material from unraveling and fraying with wear and washing.  

What are zig-zag scissors used for in sewing?

Zig-zag scissors are also called pinking shears. These scissors were popular back in the day for sewing. But using these scissors, it will keep fabric that easy frays or unravels from fraying and falling apart on the edges.  

Why pinking shears stop fraying

Pinking shears will stop fraying because it cuts the fibers of the woven fabric to where it won’t unravel. I own a pair of pinking shears, but honestly, I rarely ever use them. I can probably count on one hand how many times I have used my pinking shears in the past. I don’t use them because I want the inside of my garment to look professionally made and not homemade.  

The advantage of bent handled shears

You can use bent handled scissors for cutting patterns out. It’s best to use them when cutting fabric that is lying flat on a surface while cutting. It is much easier to see what you are cutting and be comfortable holding the scissors while you cut the fabric.  

Can I use my sewing scissors to cut hair?

I must admit that I have used a pair of my sewing scissors to cut hair. When I couldn’t find my hair cutting scissors, I went for my sewing scissors in a pinch. They will do the job, but I would not recommend you to use them every time you need to cut hair. Spend the money for hair cutting scissors if you are going to cut hair and keep your sewing scissors for fabrics.  

How do I sharpen my sewing scissors?

You can buy a honing stone to sharpen your scissors. Another way you can sharpen your scissors is to take them to someone who sharpens knives, mower blades, etc. You can check out your local fabric store to see if they offer scissor sharpening. Also, check out your local Co-Op to see if they offer to sharpen.  

Paying to have your scissors to be sharpened might not be the best thing for you to do. If they are a cheap pair, then I would recycle them and buy a new one. Always check pricing before deciding to pay for scissor sharpening.  

What is the difference between left-handed vs. right-handed scissors?

The difference between left-handed and right-handed scissors is the curve of the handle. Also, the orientation of the top and bottom blades of the scissors differs from the right to left-handed scissors. If you are left-handed and try to use right-handed scissors, you will have a hard time cutting.  

Right-handed scissors top blade is on the right side when you hold the scissors in your hands. The bottom blade of the scissors will be on the left side. Left-handed scissors will have the top blade on the left side when holding the scissors.  

Sewing Scissors and Shears

All the photos in this article are all of the scissors that I own. I didn’t realize how many pairs that I have until I was starting pulling them all out and taking pictures of them. I would say you can never have too many pairs of scissors!