CB21-091 - which scissors are best for cutting fabric

Which scissors are best for cutting fabric

Which scissors are best for cutting fabric?

Fabric cutters will want pinking shears, such as the P.LOTOR shears, which are perfect for cutting fabric. Pinking shears prevent fabric from shredding and are perfect for heavy fabrics like cotton and denim. You may also want embroidery scissors for thread picking or rotary cutters for easy fabric cutting.

Whether you’re an avid crafter or need to do a one-time project, finding the correct scissors for fabric is a must. If price isn’t an issue, shears are always the best investment to make every cutting task as simple as possible. 

Read this article to learn which type of scissors best fits your fabric and what you need to consider when purchasing some fabric scissors. 

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What types of scissors are available?

Pinking shears, embroidery scissors, all purpose scissors, and rotary cutters are all good for use with fabric. Pinking shears and rotary cutters make easy work of cutting fabric. All purpose scissors work, but pinking shears are still better for fabric. Embroidery scissors are best for cutting small threads.

Pinking Shears

Shears are the best investment you can make if you cut fabric regularly. They tend to be more expensive than other scissors, but they are worth their price. The best brand of pinking shear on the market is the P.LOTOR sewing pinking shears. 

Pinking shears have serrated edges that create the zig-zag pattern when you cut. If you didn’t know, this is what prevents fabrics from shredding and why they are best used for thicker materials. They are a standard tool used by most professional dressmakers around the world. 

Pinking shears are often used in place of a sewing machine. Of course, they are cheaper, but they are also much more precise than most sewing machines. The blade length ranges from 7-12 inches long, meaning they can be a little heavier than most scissors. 

Embroidery Scissors

These scissors are small and light, ideal for tasks that need to be extremely precise. Most professionals use these for thread picking as the blades are small enough to get under the thread and make little snips. 

These can be used on any fabric as long as it’s not too thick. The small blades won’t be able to cut through the thicker material. 

They can be used alongside a sewing machine to help you pick out a few accident stitches as and when you need to. 

Rotary Cutters

Technically these are not scissors but are used in place of scissors for fabric cutting. They consist of a rotating circle blade, like a pizza knife, which can be replaced when necessary. 

These can be used with any fabric and are particularly useful for thicker materials as you can use as much or as little pressure as you like. 

They are straightforward to use, as long as you have the proper protection underneath. You would lay the fabric down and push on it, as you would a pizza. They are often very sharp, so you need to take extra care when using them. 

All-purpose scissors

These are the handiest scissors to have. They can be used for every fabric for every situation. Because they have more prominent blades, they aren’t great for picking threads or doing minor nicks. 

Of course, as they can be used for every fabric, it does sometimes mean that they work better for one material than they do for another. Therefore, it’s important to note that while they can cut through thicker fabrics, if these are the most common fabrics you have, it’s probably best to invest in scissors that are made just for that. 

How do I choose fabric scissors?

Choose fabric scissors based on the fabric type, durability, handle style, and weight of the scissors. Frequent fabric cutters will want sturdy, light-weight scissors with a comfortable handle.

Fabric type (e.g. heavy or thin fabric)

This is probably the essential factor to consider when choosing what fabric scissors you need. You need sturdier cutters like rotary cutters or some shears for thicker fabrics like denim.

If you have thinner fabrics like cotton, you can use all-purpose scissors or embroidery scissors for small cutting pieces.

For fabrics that fray easily, such as cotton and thin denim, then pinking shears are the best option. They will prevent these fabrics from fraying and make your crafting much simpler and less stressful. 

Scissor durability

If you are a dressmaker or an avid crafter, you will find it best to invest in some durable scissors that will last you for a long time, especially if you will be using them daily. An investment into something like pinking shears would mean that you can use them all the time without having to worry about replacing them often. 

If you don’t often need fabric scissors and don’t want to make too much of an investment, then all-purpose scissors will suit you perfectly. To a certain degree, they are durable as long as you don’t overuse them on thick fabrics. This will make them blunt quite quickly. 

For simple sewing and picking threads, then embroidery scissors are the best choice. If you use a sewing machine or even hand sew and you just need to pick a few threads now and again, embroidery scissors are handy to carry around and are relatively cheap too. 

Comfort Grip Handle 

Different types of scissors have different handles on them, and this is quite important to deliberate on if you will be using the scissors regularly. Handles need to be comfortable to hold so they can cut all day long without any blisters or sore points.

The rotary cutters have quite a large handle, and this is because you need to have a good grip on them while using them. 

All-purpose scissors and embroidery scissors have a rounded handle, like a pair of kitchen scissors. These are generally comfortable for anyone to use all day long or now and again. 

Shears often have a rounded handle, but the bottom part of the handle is smaller. This is something to consider depending on your hand side and if they would be comfortable using regularly. 

Some handles have a softer inside than others. This is another factor to consider if you use them every day. For a long time, the inside of the handle, where your fingers go, should be more cushioned and not just plastic, which can cause blisters. 

Left or Right-handed

If you are left or right-handed is very important as the scissors need to be the correct way around; otherwise, it’s very uncomfortable to use. If you are left-handed, don’t worry, there are many scissors in all different forms that you can buy, just don’t settle for right-handed scissors. 

If you purchase right-handed scissors, be aware that this can leave you in a tough situation when using them. You will be trying to view your cutting line on the wrong side of your hand, which could lead to making some serious mistakes. 

Scissor Weight 

This factor is sometimes overlooked, but you need to consider it if you are a regular user of your fabric scissors. If you are a dressmaker and want to use your scissors every day, they need to be light and not hurt your hand after only a few minutes of using them.

Shears tend to be quite heavy, and that’s why most professionals use them alongside some all-purpose scissors to mix up the work. Using shears all day long can become quite painful due to their weight. 

All-purpose scissors are light, and so are the embroidery scissors. Both of these can be combined with the shears or rotary cutter. 

On the other hand, a heavy rotary cutter won’t hinder you as the extra weight would mean you don’t have to put so much strength into it as you do with light scissors. 

Summary: Which scissors are best for cutting fabric?

As you can see, pinking shears are the best for cutting fabric. You should also consider having a rotary cutter and embroidery scissors. All purpose scissors will work, but they’re not the best option available for cutting fabric.

Choose fabric scissors based on:

  1. Fabric type
  2. Durability
  3. Handle style
  4. Left or Right handed
  5. Weight

At the end of the day, you want something that cuts easy, lasts long, feels comfortable, and isn’t overly heavy.