Types of Scissors for Sewing

Are you wondering why there are so many scissors of various sizes and sharps at your local craft or sewing store? Do you ask yourself which ones you really need and which ones you can live without?  Is buying an expensive pair a good choice or is having lots of cheaper ones a better option?

I have made a list of my most-loved scissors that were part of my sewing journey for many, many years.  Here are the seven types of scissors that every sewist must-have.  I’ve tried to order them in order of relative importance to the sewing task.

We re-posted a contributor article recently that talked about how to sharpen scissors.  The topic sparked a lot of comments and even controversy so I thought it would be useful to write a bit more about sewing scissors and how you can use them.

Dressmaker Shears

Purchase dressmaker shears if you are planning to buy only one pair of scissors for sewing. You can use these for cutting different kinds of fabric with ease and would surely satisfy your sewing needs.  Keep them sharp and look after them and they will look after you.  Having dull scissors will give you only frustrations.

You should generally try to buy the best (generally that means most expensive sadly) dressmaker shears that you can afford.  These are going to be your main tool in this sewing journey.  Often, the better they are, the heavier they are going to be.  You can read more about whether you should go for budget or quality sewing scissors here.

You will find that you will likely become very protective of your best sewing scissors.  And no, you really, really shouldn’t cut paper with them!

Small Sharp Scissors

When you are fond of quilting, I recommend these OLFA scissors. These can also be used for trimming threads and cutting your favorite appliqués because of their super sharp edges. Someone gave me these scissors as a birthday present and been using it for several years. And guess what?  These little beauties have stayed super sharp for years now.

Paper Scissors

These are scissors intended to be used for paper only and they are a “must-have” in your collection. They are best to use in cutting paper sewing patterns, paper interfacing, and much more. Having these have obviously saved my most-loved dressmaker shears from becoming dull. To distinguish them, I bought paper scissors in different colors so I can identify them quickly and will not mix with my other kinds of scissors.

These are the ones you can sometimes let your loved ones use so they don’t feel too left out..

Small Embroidery Scissors

These type of scissors is made for embroidery, but you will find they are useful when you are hand stitching and can be considered as great thread clippers. With their perfect size, you can always take them with you on the go.

Pinking Shears

When working with laminate fabrics or oilcloth, my best choice is pinking shears. Using pinking shears will keep the fabric in your sewing project from fraying. Thus, it is best to have them when you don’t have a serger available or can’t find a way to finish your seams.

Lightweight Shears

These lightweight shears are one of my favorites aside from my dressmaker shears because of its lighter weight. I consider using these when my hands are sore from sewing so I can still continue with my project with ease. These are easier to carry and can be a great option when you are sewing away from your home.

Spring Mounted Shears

Here’s a solution for those sewists whose hands become fatigued easily or for those who have arthritis… the spring mounted shears.  They are easy to open and close because of their default position (which is “open”) and spring action. I love having this type of scissors, especially when doing a big project.

How about you?  Do you have a favorite pair of sewing scissors?  Let me know in the comments section!

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