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Thread: Puzzled about scissors...

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Puzzled about scissors...

    So I've always had a wonderful pair of Gingher scissors (8" sewing shears, sharp point), but somehow in re-doing my cutting area I've lost 'em. Don't know how something big and shiny like a pair of scissors can go missing, but, well, they did.

    And I miss them. They were like an extension of my own arm.

    So I went to JoAnns and bought a new pair of what I thought would be identical scissors. And. They're not. They are subtly different, and it's disturbing. The metal blades are slightly - very slightly - thicker, and they weigh just a fraction of an ounce more and somehow the difference is very noticeable to me. Plus the action is stiff, sticky, and requires more effort to use. And yes, I did "try out" several pairs in the store, looking for the ones that are easiest to operate. I've put some sewing machine oil on the screw area, but I can't loosen the screw to make them easier to use. And the oil didn't really make any difference.

    Has anyone else noticed a difference in scissors, when buying a replacement for an old favorite pair?

    Or is there just a better brand than Gingher these days? What's your favorite pair, and where & when did you buy them?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    If you've had your scissors for some time, it's not surprising the new "identical" pair is not. It seems like manufacturers are always changing things. I have a pair of Ginghers that spend most of their time in the box they came in. They were a gift from my sister years ago and I was always afraid to leave them out where my children, or worse--my husband, could find them and ruin them cutting cardboard. Sadly I never got in the habit of using them because they stayed in that box.

    But I know what it's like to have a "favorite." I had a little pair of dangerously pointed embroidery scissors that I've used for years when hand-sewing. I like to sit in the sunporch in the morning and stitch because all the natural light is great for my aging eyes! Well, we replaced the carpet in that room with ceramic tile this spring. The first time I dropped those scissors on the floor, they landed point first. Nothing I tried straightened that tip out. They just aren't the same. I've been through three other pairs since then and can't find one that feels right to my hand.

    Hope yours turn up!
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  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i've had the same scissors for 50ish years. i don't even know the brand. i still love them but mostly use my rotary cutter in quilting. and i use smaller fiskar-like scissors for my hand work. it's hard to replace 'an extension of your arm'
    Nancy in western NY
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  4. #4
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Well, I'm surprized that the old pair didn't show up 15 minutes after you brought the replacement pair into the house. that's what always happens to me! I was wondering if you had the old pair for a very long time and had them sharpened a lot if that didn't reduce the weight.
    I do know what you mean about an extension of your arm. I have an old KAI teal and purple rotary cutter from the 80s or 90s. I LOVE it, but there was a plastic thing-y where the center of the blade goes that finally wore out. I brought it to the last sewing expo and showed it to the KAI scissors people to see if I could get a replacement part or cutter and they just laughed...
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I can realate to even a slight change in a tool can throw you off. I have a knife I am equally fond of ... and the new ones are just slightly "off" from the one I have... its not the same .. and I want that same "user feel" .
    I hope your trusty sissors show up! As for anew pair I have heard wonderful things about Havel and even better about brand called KAI.

    Should you find your sissors.. maybe they can tell you where my first rotary cutter is .. its been in the "land of the lost" for about 18 years.
    Last edited by Lori S; 11-09-2012 at 06:04 AM.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I bought an expensive pair of Gingher scissors many years ago, online, and when they arrived I did not like them. We never bonded, and I think they are still in my sewing room somewhere. At the time I thought I was safe ordering Ginghers, especially since I had loved some others I had used. I think there are differences in manufacturing all the time -- both planned and just machining variations. Manufacture is probably moved periodically, not only from factory to factory, but nowadays from country to country.

    Based on my experience, I would advise returning the scissors. Maybe try a different brand (there are some really good competitors out there now), as it may be easier to learn to like a completely different scissors than trying to get used to a pair that isn't quite the same as the old pair.

  7. #7
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    I have one gripe about scissors. I don't like the handles. You used to be able to buy grips that fit inside to make the openings smaller and less slippery if scissors were all metal. I have long double-jointed fingers and the scissors slide terribly. I've been using the Fiskars that squeeze so they stay put. Havel does use these inserts on the smaller scissors.

    I have one old pair of Gingher that I haven't been using just for this reason.

    The older scissors were better in some respects. I gave a family member a pair of Singers twenty years ago to cut his hair with. I didn't like them. Just out of curiosity I ran them through the Fiskars Sharpener and they cut fabric very well.
    So it must be the metal alloy or manufacture thereof they used long ago.

  8. #8
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    I know Fiskers are a cheap scissor but I have arthritis in my hands and I like the spring loaded ones. If I have to do much cutting they are my go to ones. Also I worked sewing factories for years and I have the metal thread snips that I use constantly. They are also spring loaded. I have two pair of them and a pair of plastic ones. But the plastic ones have thin blades and they dull easily. I also have some ginghers but hardly ever use them because my hands tire very easy.

  9. #9
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    You are not alone!! I just bought a new pair of 8" Ginghers at Joanne's. I've had Fiskars but both pair are getting old and either won't cut from the base or won't cut all the way to the tip. So I had a coupon and purchased the new pair of Ginghers. They are very stiff and it takes a lot of pressure to cut. I think I started a thread about this about 3=4 weeks ago. I haven't oil mine yet.

    Someone suggested on my thread that they like the spring loaded Ginghers but I haven't tried them.

    I just purchased a pair of Mundail at Hancock's and couldn't try them out before hand. When I got home, I opened them and they are HORRIBLE!! So back they are going! UGH It is so frustrating to not be able to find a great pair of scissors.

    BTW, I do have a pair of the spring loaded Fiskars which do a pretty good job and my son came over to install a shower curtain rod for me. I caught him cutting the plastic straps on the packaging with my Fiskars. I jerked them out of his hand and he kinda looked at me funny. HEHE I told him those were the only fabric scissors that cut halfway decent and he couldn't use them on the plastic!! Now I may make him bring me home a good pair from the hospital!!!!

  10. #10
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    They're different because they're not broke in yet. It takes a very long time to break in a new pair of scissors but there is a change from new to broke in that happens.

  11. #11
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    The Queen has spoken. Lol.

    I have never liked my Ginghers. The metal handle was too small and hard for my hands, and they're too heavy. I bought pair after pair of scissors until I finally tried the Kai booth at a quilt show, and now I'm hooked. I have 5 pairs in varying sizes and styles. I haven't been able to find the middle-sized one and I'm going through withdrawals!

  12. #12
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have my grandmother's black handle scissors. They were bad scissors back then and even worse now. But I love using them. LOL. Back then most sewers had one good pair of scissors and never thought to have more then one pair unless it was pinking shears. I have all brands of scissors in all sizes. I like Karen Buckley, Fanmore, Heritage, Kia, Dovo, Clover, the best. And I found the Fiskar office scissors are great for fabric too. I have Singer and Gingher. Believe it or not I use them all. I have them all over my sewing room. I use the $1.49 small black handle scissors from Walmart for thread snipping. They are sharp and if I lose a pair at a sewday or class no big deal. Fons and Porter scissors are Clover so if they are on sale I buy them. No one bothers to use my sewing room scissors because I have the same brands in the kitchen and desk drawers for household use.
    Got fabric?

  13. #13
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    I have my grandmother's Wiss scissors. I have no idea how old they are, Granny died 21 years ago at the age of 82 and she sewed all her adult life. They are wonderful scissors. I also have a 25+ year old pair of Fiskars that work well, but do not hold an edge as long as the Wiss.

    I used the Fiskars for synthetics, interfacing batting etc.

    I also bought two pair of scissors at Staples for paper and other projects. They are incredibly sharp and were about $15.00 for both.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  14. #14
    Senior Member batikmystique's Avatar
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    Ginghers are definitely amazing scissors, but as you know are pricey. I have owned the size that you mentioned for some years, but I find that the weight becomes an issue as I'm noticing more stiffness in my hands as of late. I discovered Kai scissors about a year ago when I purchased a small pair for cutting out appliqué pieces, but soon purchased a larger pair...they are wonderful and every bit as good and reliable as my Ginghers. Give them a try!
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  15. #15
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    I think that they have changed also. I like the light and soft feel and fiskars used to be great, but now that they are made overseas they are terrible. They catch in the middle. I haven't bought ginghers because I don't like the feel of the metal. I finally found a pair at a quilt show that were only 12 dollars. The company said the catch is in the sharpening. Must be right because these are a dream. www.famorecuttlery.com. I bought the titanium dress shear and my aunt bought the pointier ones and she says she loves hers also. I was really surprised how reasonalbly priced they were.

  16. #16
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I have a few pair of Gingher"s and they are heavy and hard to open and close. I have read where everyone loves theirs and wondered why I didn't like mine. They cost quite a bit, but I don't use them. I have other brands that I like so much better. They are lighter and cut so much easier. My Gingher's remind me of an old crappy sewing machine that doesn't work very well.
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  17. #17
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I'm another who loves Kai scissors.

  18. #18
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    When I was doing a lot of Hawaiian quilting 20 years ago I always used Gingher scissors and they were the "old" ones. I also had my Mom's small Ginghers for clipping threads. I have to agree that the new ones seem to be different and not comfortable to use as the older Ginghers
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    Thirty-five years ago I received a pair of Singer shears with a serrated blade. They were wonderful. There was nothing they couldn't cut through. Well, three years they finally became dull and I have been unable to find anyone who can sharpen them. So my children bought a pair of Ginghers two years ago for me. They are already dull.

  20. #20
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner747 View Post
    Thirty-five years ago I received a pair of Singer shears with a serrated blade.
    Try the Kai scissors. They have micro-serrated blades that grip the fabric as you cut.

  21. #21
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    I love my Fiskars with the spring handles, they felt strange when I first started using them, but can't use any other kind of scissors for more than 5 minutes, because of problems with my wrist. Unfortunately, they "redesigned" them to be more "ergomically" correct of which I have a pair and which I have given to my granddaughter. Give me the original designed ones any time. I'm glad that I bought a couple pair before the "redesign".

  22. #22
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    I think this is a stupid question....but....what do you use dressmaker sized scissors for so often that they need replaced or sharpened? I use rotary cutters for 99% of my cutting. I have 5 cutters (3 different sizes for fabric only, one for paper, and one with a wavy blade installed). Even in garment construction I use the smallest blade cutter for cutting out patterns. I just can't think of anything I use my 8" scissors for anymore. I know I grab them occasionally to cut a hunk out a piece of yardage but I am just as apt to grab my cutter for that task too. I use my embroidery scissors, snips, applique scissors and other small ones but I just don't seem to use the long ones much in the last 30 years.

  23. #23
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Lightweight ginghers are awesome for arthritis, my aunt let me borrow a pair and she never got them back, but I do like the regular ones. I use my fiskars for batting, not a big fiskars fan but love my gingher embroidery scissors and dress shears. Mine aren't hard to use so maybe you just got a dud.
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  24. #24
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Amazon has great prices on Gingher scissors. They aren't expensive anymore. They are double the price in fabric shops though. Walmart use to sell them years ago along with Mundials. Mundials seem to be the same quality as Gingher to me.
    Judy is right, I rarely use the big scissors anymore. I doubt I ever buy another pair of 8" scissors. I use my batting scissors more then the regular scissors. I love my batting scissors!
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 11-09-2012 at 10:07 AM.
    Got fabric?

  25. #25
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    I, too, am curious as to what types of sewing you are doing that all this scissor use is going on. I have 1 pair of large upholstery scissors that belonged to my mom, which I use for cutting batting in our longarm business. And several sizes of Ginghers that rarely get used as they were from my dress making days.
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