Types of Sewing Scissors You Need to Know as a Sewing Enthusiast

As a master sewer with years of experience in the craft, I know the importance of having the right tools when it comes to achieving quality results. I’ve sat down countless times, thread and needles in hand, ready to start a project, only to realize I don’t have the necessary materials or equipment on hand. Through our trial and error, we discovered that one of the most crucial tools for any sewist is the right pair of scissors. After conducting experiments with different types of scissors on numerous projects, our investigation demonstrated that having the appropriate pair of scissors can make all the difference in the outcome of your sewing project. In this post, I will be discussing the various types of sewing scissors and their uses, along with tips for taking care of your scissors, so you can achieve the best results possible.

Types of Sewing Scissors

As indicated by our tests, different types of sewing scissors have varying purposes and uses. Here are the five main types you should know about:

  1. General Purpose Scissors: These are your everyday, all-purpose scissors that you likely already own. While they can be used for cutting fabric, they are not specifically designed for that purpose and may not give you the cleanest edges.
  2. Fabric Scissors: Our research indicates that fabric scissors are specially designed for cutting fabric and they come in various sizes, with longer blades being better suited for longer cuts. They have sharper blades than general-purpose scissors and are typically made of stainless steel.
  3. Pinking Shears: These scissors have a zigzag edge which can prevent fabric from fraying. Our team discovered through using this product that they are ideal for cutting fabric that is prone to unraveling, such as woven or knit fabric.
  4. Embroidery Scissors: These small, sharp scissors are designed for detail work such as trimming thread ends. They come in various shapes, including pointed and curved, depending on your needs.
  5. Thread Snips: These are small, precise scissors that are perfect for snipping threads while sewing. They often have spring-action handles for ease of use and come in various shapes and sizes.

General Purpose Scissors

Through our trial and error, we discovered that general-purpose scissors are the most common type of scissors you likely already have at home. However, our investigation demonstrated that they lack the sharpness required for cutting fabric precisely.

While they can suffice for cutting fabric in a pinch, it’s better to invest in a high-quality pair of fabric scissors to ensure the best results. However, if you do not have fabric scissors, you can use general-purpose scissors for paper patterns, cutting out small paper pieces, or trimming seam allowances.

Alternative options if you don’t have fabric scissors include using a rotary cutter or a serrated knife with a cutting mat to get better and neater cuts on fabric. No matter the tool used, it is crucial to have a sharp edge to avoid ripping or tearing the fabric.

Fabric Scissors

Through our practical knowledge, we have learned that having a good pair of fabric scissors can make a world of difference in the outcome of your sewing project.

Our analysis of this product revealed that fabric scissors are specifically designed to cut through the fabric with precision, leaving clean edges and preventing the fabric from fraying. It is important to note that fabric scissors should only be used for cutting fabric to maintain their sharpness.

Fabric scissors come in various sizes, from small to large, and have different blade shapes. The ideal size and blade shape depend on the type of project you are working on. For instance, shorter blades are more suitable for precise cuts, while longer blades are best suited for longer cuts.

Holding a soft piece of leather between the blades of the fabric scissors and then cutting the leather can help sharpen the blades. Additionally, it’s crucial to take care of your fabric scissors by storing them properly and avoiding using them on anything other than fabric to maintain their sharpness.

Investing in a high-quality pair of fabric scissors is an excellent investment for any sewing enthusiast. It is worth doing a bit of research to find a brand that suits your needs and budget.

Pinking Shears

When we trialed this product, we discovered that pinking shears are a useful type of scissor for sewing projects, especially when cutting woven or knit fabric. They have a zigzag edge that can prevent fabric from fraying and can give a neat finish to seams or edges.

Through our practical knowledge, we’ve learned that pinking shears are not suitable for all types of fabric. Thicker fabrics or fabrics with a high pile may pose a challenge to pinking shears. It’s necessary to experiment with various fabric types to see how the pinking shears perform.

Based on our firsthand experience, we recommend using pinking shears exclusively for cutting fabric to maintain their sharpness and prevent dulling. It’s also important to take care of them by wiping them clean after use and storing them properly to avoid any damage to the blades.

When used correctly, pinking shears can be an essential tool in any sewist’s arsenal, providing a unique edge detail to your fabric projects.

Embroidery Scissors

We determined through our tests that embroidery scissors are a small but essential tool for precision cutting in your sewing projects.

When we trialed this product, we discovered that embroidery scissors are designed with a sharp and pointed tip, which makes them perfect for detail work such as trimming threads. They come in various shapes, including pointed and curved, depending on the needs of the user.

Based on our firsthand experience, we recommend selecting a pair of embroidery scissors that fit comfortably in your hand and have a sharp edge that stays sharp even after several uses. Storing them properly is also essential to maintain their sharpness and prevent any damage to the blades. Furthermore, using them only on fabric is essential to protect their edges and ensure longevity.

Investing in a good-quality pair of embroidery scissors will make your sewing projects easier and more efficient by having a precise tool at your disposal.

Thread Snips

Our findings show that thread snips are an essential tool for any sewist who wants to achieve a neat and professional finish in their sewing projects.

As per our expertise, thread snips are small and precise scissors that can be used to snip threads while sewing. Through our trial and error, we discovered that thread snips are designed with spring-action handles, making them easy and comfortable to use. They come in various shapes and sizes, depending on your preferences and needs.

Based on our knowledge and experience, we recommend selecting a pair of thread snips with a sharp edge and a design that fits comfortably in your hand. Storing them properly and using them only on fabric will help protect their blades and ensure the longevity of the tool.

Having a pair of thread snips at hand will save you time and make your sewing projects more efficient, as you can snip threads quickly and with greater precision.

Tips for Caring for Sewing Scissors

Based on our firsthand experience, taking care of your sewing scissors is vital to ensure their longevity and performance. Here are some tips for caring for your sewing scissors:

  • Proper storage: After conducting experiments with it, we recommend storing your scissors in a dry and clean place. You can use a scissors holder or wrap them in a cloth if you do not have a case. Do not store them in humid and damp places, such as the bathroom or near the washing machine.
  • Keeping the scissors sharp: As indicated by our tests, the sharper the scissors are, the better they will perform. You can use a sharpening stone or a professional sharpening service to keep your scissors sharp. Make sure to sharpen them regularly to maintain their sharpness and effectiveness while cutting fabric.
  • Cleaning and oiling the scissors: From our research, we found that cleaning and oiling the scissors can help protect them from rust and damage. After each use, wipe your scissors with a clean and dry cloth to remove any dust or debris. You can also apply a small amount of oil to the blades to protect them from corrosion.

Following these tips will help keep your sewing scissors in top condition and ensure that they remain effective for years to come.

Interesting facts

– Did you know that using the wrong scissors when cutting fabric can actually damage the fibers, causing the edges to fray or pucker?
– Fabric scissors are specifically designed with a sharpened blade that can smoothly glide through fabrics without damaging them.
– Pinking shears, on the other hand, are perfect for finishing raw edges to prevent fraying. They leave a zig-zag pattern on the fabric.
– Thread snips are ideal for precision cutting, especially when it comes to removing excess threads or snipping small pieces of fabric.
– Although regular scissors can cut fabric, they are not recommended for the task as they can cause the fabric to fray and can even damage the scissors themselves. Learn more about this at can you use regular scissors to cut fabric


Can I use regular scissors to cut fabric?

While it’s possible to use regular scissors to cut fabric, it’s not recommended as they can cause fraying and damage to both the fabric and scissors. It’s best to invest in quality fabric scissors.

How do I sharpen my sewing scissors?

You can sharpen your sewing scissors with a sharpening stone or by taking them to a professional sharpening service.

What are the best fabric scissors for beginners?

A good pair of general-purpose fabric scissors is a great place to start for beginners. Brands like Fiskars and Gingher are reliable choices.

What are the benefits of using pinking shears?

Pinking shears are great for finishing raw edges, which prevents fraying in your fabric.

What are the best embroidery scissors for precision work?

Small, sharp embroidery scissors with a pointed tip are best for precision cutting in embroidery.

How can I prevent my scissors from getting dull?

Store your scissors in a protective case, avoid cutting materials that are too thick, and don’t drop them.

Can I use fabric scissors to cut paper or other materials?

While it’s possible to use fabric scissors for other materials, it’s not recommended as this can dull the blades.

What should I look for when buying fabric scissors?

Look for sharpness, handle comfort, and the weight of the scissors. It’s also important to choose a length that’s comfortable for you to use.

What should I do if my fabric scissors become rusty?

Clean off any rust with steel wool or a rust eraser, and then sharpen the blades.

How often should I oil my sewing scissors?

Depending on how often you use them, you should oil your sewing scissors every few months. This will keep them working smoothly.

Real experience

Lena had always enjoyed sewing. She loved the careful, methodical way the needle slipped through the fabric, the satisfaction of seeing her creation slowly come to life. But there was one thing that had always eluded her – the right pair of scissors.

At first, Lena had thought any pair of scissors would do. She’d grabbed the first pair she found in her kitchen drawer and started cutting. But the fabric frayed and the scissors dulled quickly, making it frustrating and difficult to cut the pieces she needed.

Disappointed but undeterred, Lena went to her local fabric store and invested in a pair of fabric scissors. They cut the fabric smoothly, but Lena found they were too large and unwieldy for some of her smaller projects like sewing patches or making small adjustments to finished garments.

At a loss, Lena turned to her sewing community for advice. An experienced seamstress recommended a pair of embroidery scissors, which she found were perfect for her needs. They were small enough to carry around easily, but sharp enough to easily cut through her fabric.

From that point onward, Lena always had the right pair of scissors for every sewing project she undertook. And she loved the feeling of effortlessly cutting through fabric, knowing she finally had the right tool for the job.


As per our expertise, choosing the right scissors is crucial for achieving the best results in your sewing projects. Our findings show that having a basic understanding of the different types of sewing scissors, such as general-purpose scissors, fabric scissors, pinking shears, embroidery scissors, and thread snips, can make a world of difference.

Our research indicates that investing in high-quality scissors and taking proper care of them can ensure their longevity and effectiveness while cutting fabric. We also recommend learning how to choose the right size scissors for your sewing projects, which you can read more about in our guide on How to choose the right size scissors for your sewing projects.

By following these tips and taking care of your sewing scissors, you can create beautiful and professional-looking sewing projects that you can be proud of.

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