Do electric scissors work better to cut multiple layers of fabric, thick materials, or for hand pain? Compare them to traditional shears in this post.

Are Electric Scissors Worth it for Sewing? A Review

Hey y’all, today I’m going to share my opinions about electric scissors with you. I remember my mom had a pair of electric scissors that would come out to cut fabric when I was growing up. They had a very distinct smell when in use and I did not like the noise of them. When I was old enough to use them myself, I didn’t like them after I tried them. I remember having trouble with the blades getting tangled in the fabric and jamming, and I remember jagged cut edges instead of smooth ones.

Electric scissors cutting fleece fabric

But lately I’ve been curious about how/if electric scissors have improved. Are newer models good enough to be worth it? So I bought myself some cordless electric scissors to see what I thought. You can see my thoughts in the video below or on YouTube here.

Woman using electric scissors to cut our a sewing pattern

What Are Electric Scissors?

Electric scissors use battery power to automate the action of the blades opening and closing and do that at a faster speed than human hands can sustain. Models on the market for fabric are cordless and run on rechargeable lithium ion batteries.

Black and Decker cordless electric scissors reviewed

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Best Cordless Power Scissors For Sewing?

There are many brands to choose from, many from companies I had never heard of. So when I went looking for a pair I ultimately decided to buy the Black & Decker model (affiliate link). I have owned a few Black & Decker power tools with mostly good results (though not all) so I felt more comfortable buying these than an unknown brand.

Please know that this post is a review specifically of the pair I purchased, and not meant to be an exhaustive rating of the best electric scissors out of trials of a bunch of them. But hey, if anyone wants to send me more sets of electric scissors to test in a trial like that, I’m open to the idea. I just don’t have the budget to do that on my own, plus I’m not sure what I’d do with the extras.

The pair I purchased came with two different types of blades as well as the charger cord. The O-blades are for fabric, paper, wrapping paper, and other lightweight materials. And the d blades are for tougher materials, like leather and cardboard.

Black & Decker Electric Shears in a box with included accessories

Compare Materials Cut By Cordless Scissors

In the video near the top of this post, I compared cutting silk charmeuse, quilting cotton, stretch cotton spandex, oilcloth (similar weight/feel to vinyl), velvet, fleece, and medium weight leather with the O blade. I switched to the D blade to cut very thick sole leather. You can in that video that these cut all of those materials. 

In my testing I was most concerned about the lightweight fabrics and the heavy-duty materials. I worried that the silk and similar would get stuck in the blades. And I wondered if the rechargeable battery would have enough power to get through the thick leather. 

I was impressed that they could even cut the sole leather, which my manual scissors can’t touch. And the silk was no problem either. Even 4 layers of fleece felt like butter with these scissors.

Electric shears to cutting thick pink fabric for sewing

Are Electric Scissors Worth It?

For me, the answer to if these scissors are worth it is yes. If I never use them for anything other than cutting leather, it’s worth it because before I had to get my jigsaw or a scroll saw and all the setup those require to cut sole leather. These are much higher on the convenience factor than those saws.

Are these worth it for average home sewers? I’m not sure. Unless you regularly cut multiples out of many layers of fleece or knits, I’m not sure that they’re better than regular dressmaking shears. They’re louder and require you to remember to recharge them. I will definitely reach for mine if I’m working with layers of fleece, but for other fabrics I’m not so sure. Maybe for when I cut out all the PJs for my kids and their cousins each year.

What about comfort, particularly if you have arthritis or other hand or wrist pain or mobility challenges? The jury is out on that for me. This particular pair requires you to continue to squeeze the handle to cut. For me that is more tiring than the intermittent squeezing I do with regular scissors. It’s possible that other models of electric scissors might have a button that doesn’t require continuous squeezing, but as I said above, this post is focused on this pair.

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