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Thread: Scissors? from a Newbie

  1. #1
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Scissors? from a Newbie

    I need your opinions on scissors. I use a rotary cutter most of the time but there are other times when scissors are needed. I bought a pair at JoAnn's when I first started collecting the supplies I needed but they are not very sharp and don't seem to do what I want to do when I use them. I'm thinking of buying a better pair but which ones? Do any of you have a favorite?

  2. #2
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    There are many many choices!! You can spend upwards of a few hundred dollars on various types of scissors, or you can spend $20 for a pair that may do the job.

    Bring some scrap fabric to the store with you to cut up!!!

    First .. make sure they are comfortable to your hand and well balanced. Some folks prefer a light weight scissor, some prefer a heavier scissor ... try them both and see what you are most comfortable with.

    Next ... how do they cut? Was it comfortable, easy, is it a nice clean edge? Suggest when you do test cuts you bring the fabric to a table just like you would cut at home - don't try to hold the fabric in the air and cut while still standing in front of the scissor display. It's not a good test of hwo you'll be using the product.

    Last ... is the price right for you??

    Finally ... once you have a pair of fabic scissors DO NOT use them for anything else!!! NO PAPER!! Don't even think about snipping just that one little price tag plastic thingey!! Don't cut hair with them either. Fabric only. If you use them properly, keep them dry, oil them (sewing machine oil is great) once every now and then, and keep them clean ... you may not have to sharpen them too often and they should last you a very long time.

    Oh. Two brands that are pretty well respected are Fiskars and Kai. Don't disregard others though, buy what your hand likes best. The most expensive scissors that feel like crap in your hand are not worth it.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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  3. #3
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    If you don't want to spend too much, Fiskars are usually decent . . . but it's a good idea to write "FABRIC ONLY!" on them.
    Neesie


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    I have finally learned that the most expensive product isn't always 'the best' - or not the best for what I want/need.

    By the same reasoning, the least expensive product isn't always 'the worst.'

    Also, if you are able to test the scissor before purchasing it, make sure that the scissor cuts well even to the tip. Some seem to 'catch' on the very end

    Kind of hard to test, though, when the product is packaged in that hard plastic.

  5. #5
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Excellent instructions from DogHouseMom. That being said, I like Ginghers lightweight scissors from JoAnn's. If you are right handed, then Gingher's dressmaker ones would be fine. I've had my lightweight black plastic handled ones for at least 20 years and they are still sharp. Until recently, I was a dedicated apparel sewer, so they have had heavy use.

    Fiskars just don't hold an edge for me. I save those for fleece - do not cut fleece with your good scissors.

  6. #6
    Member colleenzchaos's Avatar
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    If I was allowed only one pair of scissors it would be my Gingher's. If you take care of them, they will last more than your lifetime. Taking care of them means never EVER cut anything but fabric with them. My family knew to never touch mine. You can buy cheaper ones but you could be replacing them. If you are tempted, I suggest watch for a good JoAnn's coupon. Then threaten everyone within an inch of thier lives if they touch them.
    Colleen

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    But it will become what you make it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleenzchaos View Post
    If I was allowed only one pair of scissors it would be my Gingher's. If you take care of them, they will last more than your lifetime. Taking care of them means never EVER cut anything but fabric with them. My family knew to never touch mine. You can buy cheaper ones but you could be replacing them. If you are tempted, I suggest watch for a good JoAnn's coupon. Then threaten everyone within an inch of thier lives if they touch them.
    Or better yet, make them replace them!!

  8. #8
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    I'm a Gingher Girl myself. I have 2 pair of dressmaker shears, 2 embroidery scissors, 3 thread snips, and a pinking shears. You can always send them to Gingher (for the price of shipping) and they will sharpen and service them, but I've never needed to do this. Watch for sales at JoAnns.

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Personally I think Fiskars are just barely above dollar store scissors. I let my hubby use them for whatever he wants to use them for. You can get Ginghers at JoAnn's with a 50% off coupon. That makes them more affordable. If you take care of them they'll last the rest of your life. The other type of scissor I use most is the micro serrated edge scissors. I have two sizes of the Elan brand but I don't think they're real easy to find. I have lots and lots of other scissors but the Ginghers and Elans are the ones I use the most.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    .......Fiskars just don't hold an edge for me. I save those for fleece - do not cut fleece with your good scissors.
    I did not know this. Thanks for the tip.

    All my sewing room scissors are old Ginghers, with the exception of a pair of ancient WISS pinking shears, and some Fiskars micro-tip titanium scissors. I keep one Fiskars next to my sewing machine, and one by my cutting table and ironing board to pull up and snip random threads. I really like their "spring-assist" design.
    Last edited by MattieMae; 09-24-2012 at 10:39 AM.

  11. #11
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    If you want to invest in a pair that lasts then Gingher or Fiskars are good brands. You can look for coupons for Joann or Michaels and get them. I just have a few pairs of thread snips that I use most often. I had my son pick them up for me in the fishing aisle at Cabella or Basspro? I forget which one but they are made for cutting fishing line for fly casting and they cut thread well and were inexpensive.

  12. #12
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Ginghers, beyond doubt. Send your Gingher scissors off to Ginghers in NC for sharpening, when/if they need it, for about $5, and they will return them post haste in great shape. Much better than having ones scissors sharpened at the local sewing store. I've done mine about 3 times in the last 20 years' great experience each time.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have Ginghers for household use and they are very good and stay sharp. The ones DH uses still cuts as good as the ones in my sewing room. And they aren't expensive, under $20 at Amazon. The two scissors I use the most are the new batting scissors and Karen Buckley scissors. I have several baskets full of all brands of scissors in every size. Mondial is a good brand, Singer all metal scissors are good. Fanmore, Titatium are good but I have melted more of those by my iron. LOL. I like the Fiskars sold as office scissors. They are better then the ones sold in the notion aisle in my opinion. Clover makes nice scissor, Fons and Porter is a Clover brand. Also I found the $1.49 small dark gray handle scissors at Walmart are perfect by my machine and ironing table. My embroidery scissors are a whole different breed. Only Dovo brand for those.
    Got fabric?

  14. #14
    Super Member PenniF's Avatar
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    I'd also add - whichever brand you chose - invest in a good pair of embroidery sissors....the ones with the angled head. They are great for clipping of all those threads really close to your work. Love mine.
    For myself....I wish i could find a pair of "mini" pinking shears - the regular ones are all so "heavy" that with my hand problems it is so painful to use them. Anyone ever seen minis ???

  15. #15
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    Excellent instructions from DogHouseMom. That being said, I like Ginghers lightweight scissors from JoAnn's. If you are right handed, then Gingher's dressmaker ones would be fine. I've had my lightweight black plastic handled ones for at least 20 years and they are still sharp. Until recently, I was a dedicated apparel sewer, so they have had heavy use.

    Fiskars just don't hold an edge for me. I save those for fleece - do not cut fleece with your good scissors.
    Ditto to Gingher!
    I have been using my Gingher dressmaker sheers since the 60's. I use less expensive scissors for applique as I use Stem A Seam fusible.

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    If you can find Kai scissors, we use them to do heavy duty cutting at our charity group. It is the only one where my hand does not get tired and they have cut for a year without an issue. Originally they were put out by Fons and Porter and ours had a red plastic handle. You might get them online. I actually like them better than my Ginghers.

    Recently Connecting Threads was clearancing them and you might even get them straight from Kai. Or I also found the Fons and Porter ones on Ebay.

  17. #17
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I bought a bunch of different Kai scissors from the Kai website. I love them! I've recently seen Kai at quilt shows as well.

  18. #18
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post

    Fiskars just don't hold an edge for me. I save those for fleece - do not cut fleece with your good scissors.
    I do like my pink Mondial scissors, too.

    The fleece: When I worked at JoAnn's we found that the tight knit of the polyester all but ate the edge off the Fiskars which was corporate's preferred brand for us to use. I marked several pair with a ribbon with fleece printed on it on instructed my staff to use only those for fleece and related fabrics. That took care of the problem with scissors too dull to cut the quilting fabrics. When my Fiskars at home were missing recently, I bought dollar store scissors rather than touch my Ginghers or Mondials to fleece.

    The other reason I don't care for Fiskars is the thick blade makes exact cutting more difficult, but that may be an apparel thing.

    Replace them: Definitely! My husband and young son used my dressmaker Ginghers in the tackle box while I was at the Mayo Clinic. Have you ever seen a pair of metal scissors soaked in brine? My husband looked like this guy when he found out the replacement price.

  19. #19
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    I was raised Ginghers by my mom who made everybody's dresses, gowns and wedding gowns, Halloween costumes, etc. Sadly I couldn't inherit hers because she was left handed, so they went to someone else. I bought mine at Michael's with a coupon after getting tired of cheaper ones. Some Fiskars are good for some things. I have a little set of three sizes I got at JoAnn's a while back in a cute little case. They are good for smaller uses.
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  20. #20
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    Ginghers are my favorite....I have every style and size they make, and wouldn't give them up for any other that I can think of, including Kai (I have a pair of these and don't really like them...).
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
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  21. #21
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    All I can say is.....Gingher!!! I love my Gingher scissors and woe to any man in my house (i.e., my dear wonderful husband) who tries to use them for anything but fabric!! He has learned the hard way not to just step into my sewing room and grab those scissors when he needs to cut those plastic zip ties off something in his gun room... tsk, tsk.....
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  22. #22
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Gingher's don't fit my hand or work as well for me. I need the spring type of Fiskars to do my work. They are lightweight and I only have to squeeze, not pull. Much easier for me to use.

    ali
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  23. #23
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Gingher's are pricey, but well worth the money IMHO, I have fiskar's and ginghers and I like ginghers more. You can find them reasonably on ebay or when they go on sale at joanns or use a coupon. I have never paid full price for my ginghers and they are my go to scissor, cut like butter.

  24. #24
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat View Post
    Gingher's don't fit my hand or work as well for me. I need the spring type of Fiskars to do my work. They are lightweight and I only have to squeeze, not pull. Much easier for me to use.

    ali
    They have lightweight gingher's that are awesome, my aunt lent me hers and never got them back

  25. #25
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    My Ginghers are probably 35 years old! I can't remember the last time they were sharpened....30 years ago??? I only cut fabric with them. Period
    Sandy
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