I love shiny things. Maybe this is why I ended up with more pairs of scissors than I can actually use. I love how their metal sparkles whenever sunlight coming in from the window hits them at the right angle. I enjoy picking them up every so often, the smooth, cold metal touching my skin. I get a kick out of the faintly metallic scent I can smell on my hands after I handle one of them. And even though I use rotary cutters almost exclusively these days, I cannot stop myself from adding a new pair to my collection whenever a particularly beautiful one comes my way.
Rotary cutters have really changed my life, but there are specialized jobs they cannot do. They are awkward when cutting into tight corners, and you cannot use them to trim or clip into allowances (well, you can, but I don’t recommend). The list below provides a description of each of my scissors and what they are good for.
Fiskars Premier Forged 8” Scissors
When I am not slicing with my rotary cutters, this is my go-to pair. They are beautiful, well-built, and hefty without being heavy. They work much better than rotary cutters if I am cutting multiple layers or heavy fabrics.
Fiskars Multi Purpose Straight Scissors 8″
Originally bought as fabric scissors, I did not like how flimsy they feel. I made them my paper pattern cutting scissors, and they work great for this purpose.
Fiskars Pinking Shears Scissors
I have never used them for their intended purpose—finishing seams so that they don’t unravel when washed. I use my pinking shears to reduce bulk in seams, to clip curves, and to grade seams. The results are must more even and faster than with regular scissors.
Fiskars Short Cut Thread Snips 4.5″
Cannot say I love these thread snips. It could be human error, or maybe these are not the best ones. I sometimes have to snip the thread multiple times to cut it. I have used a different brand before (cannot remember it, but they were all metal), and those were amazing.
Gingher Classic 4″ Embroidery Scissors
I don’t do embroidery, so why buy embroidery scissors? First, because they are adorable! Second, because they can get to tight spaces like a champ. When I have to clip into a corner (like the one from the Simplicity 1941 placket, for example), this little guy is the perfect choice.
Gingher Knife Edge Applique Scissors 6″ (Duckbill)
I had read a lot about the duckbill scissors and how amazing they are, so I was underwhelmed when they did not perform to my expectations. I got it mainly to grade seams, but honestly, regular or pinking shears do a much better job.
Gingher Serrated Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears 8″
I bought these to be used with slippery fabrics, but that was before I started using rotary cutters. They work really well, so if you are a scissors person, I recommend getting yourself a pair. They really help when cutting light rayon, silk, satin, and chiffon. They come with a nice protective sheath for proper storage.
Guggenhein IX Professional Tailor Shears 9″
I got these because of a Facebook promotion. I paid $22.49 with shipping included (I checked on Amazon, and they are $80!). They are beautiful—black handle, dark blades, golden screw—but I have not used them at all since I got them.
Titanium Softgrip Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter (45 and 60 mm)
Rotary cutters have become my go-to slicing method. They make cutting so much easier and faster. I don’t have to pin fabric (I use cheap flat washers that I got at my local hardware store), and cutting is so much more precise because fabric lays flat. I still rely on scissors when the fabric is too thick or when it comes to tight corners, but for everything else, rotary cutters are great.
If you are interested in making the switch from scissors to rotary cutters, you will have to invest in a cutting mat. You also have to consider that because they must be replaced regularly, they are more expensive to maintain than a pair of scissors. When the blades go dull, they must be disposed of carefully. I have also heard of some nasty accidents involving rotary cutters, but luckily I have never experienced one.
A cutting device is essential in sewing. It does not matter if you are Team Scissors or Team Rotary Cutter as long as you have something to sharp to work with.