Fabric Scissors vs Normal Scissors – All Differences Explained

Selecting the right scissors for your sewing projects is essential for ensuring precision and efficiency. This guide will explore the distinctions between fabric scissors and regular scissors, showcase different types of fabric scissors, discuss their prices, and explain the importance of using the appropriate scissors in sewing.

Key Takeaways

  • Fabric scissors and normal scissors differ significantly in design and purpose.
    • Fabric scissors have longer, sharper blades and larger handles for smooth, long cuts.
    • Normal scissors have shorter, thinner, and blunter blades with smaller handles.
  • Fabric scissors are typically made from tough carbon steel, which is durable and maintains sharpness longer.
    • Carbon steel allows for a finer edge and is easier to sharpen.
    • Normal scissors are often made from stainless steel, less rust-prone but not as durable or sharp.
  • Fabric scissors (or shears) are designed specifically for cutting fabric, with features that ensure clean cuts and ease of use.
    • They often have a handcrafted design, with precisely aligned blades and comfortable fit in the hand.
  • Normal scissors, designed for general-purpose use, struggle to create clean cuts in fabric due to their design limitations.
  • High-quality fabric shears can be purchased from manufacturers like Ernest Wright and LDH Scissors, which also offer sharpening and repair services.
How Fabric Scissors Differ From Regular Scissors

Understanding Fabric Scissors vs. All-Purpose Scissors

Fabric Scissors: Precision Cutting Tools

Fabric scissors are specially designed for cutting fabric. They have sharper, longer, and thicker blades than all-purpose scissors, enabling them to cut through various fabrics cleanly and effortlessly. The design differences in fabric scissors, such as the angle and sharpness of the blade, make them ideal for tasks requiring precision.

All-Purpose Scissors: The Versatile Choice

Conversely, all-purpose scissors are suited for general cutting tasks. They may not have the same blade sharpness or length as fabric scissors, making them less suitable for cutting fabrics but perfect for paper and other light materials.

Key Differences and Why They Matter

Sharper Blade Fabric Scissors

The sharper blades of fabric scissors are essential for cutting through textiles without fraying or damaging the material. This sharpness, combined with the blade’s length, allows smooth, long cuts necessary for sewing projects.

Shears vs. Scissors in Sewing

It is also important to understand the difference between scissors and shears. Shears typically have longer blades and are used for cutting straight lines or large pieces of fabric, while scissors are shorter and more suited for detailed work.

Choosing the Best Fabric Scissors

When selecting fabric scissors, consider the types available and their intended use. Dressmaker shears, embroidery scissors, and pinking shears are just a few examples of the specialized scissors available for different sewing tasks.

Considerations for Price and Quality

Fabric scissors prices vary widely based on quality, brand, and type. Investing in professional fabric scissors can improve your sewing, providing cleaner cuts and longer-lasting sharpness.

What Are the Different Types of Regular Scissors?

Shears, knives, hammers, and scissors are the most common household tools. Gardening, cutting, sharpening, and many other tasks require different types of tools with different types of strength and sharpness.

Several new features are being added to scissors, making them one of the most innovative tools on the market. The use of scissors determines the type of scissors. Scissors come in a variety of types, including:

  • Kitchen scissors—These stainless steel scissors come in various colors and shapes and are ideal for use in the kitchen. Featuring sharp blades and detachable sides, these kitchen shears are multi-functional. You can use the scissors to easily remove caps, scales, peels, cuts, and crack nuts. To ensure the user’s safety, the scissors are equipped with a non-slip grip that must be washed with hands.
  • Cutting scissors—Hair stylists, barbers, salon workers, and hair enthusiasts commonly use cutting scissors. Men, women, the elderly, children, and even babies can use scissors to cut their hair. Detachable fingers ensure that they are handled safely and provide long-lasting performance. You can also use them to groom your beard. Their safety and affordability make them a great choice.
  • Zigzag scissors—The handle is made of oval-shaped carbonized inner steel. These hand-forged shears have ergonomic designs and hand-forged blades. The blades have a zigzag edge and are designed for regular use. To prevent fabric edges from fraying quickly, they forge and cut zigzag patterns in fabrics.
  • Paper Cutting scissors – These scissors can be used to cut paper and all paper-based materials. These scissors usually have plastic handles and an 8-inch length. Stainless steel blades are famous for arts and crafts, office, and domestic purposes.

What Are the Different Types of Fabric Scissors?

What Are the Different Types of Fabric Scissors?

Regular scissors and fabric scissors differ primarily in that they have longer blades and bent or angled shears, which keep the blades flat on the table.

Using them to cut out fabric ensures a clean cut of fibers that will last a long time and have no loose ends. With elastic or pivoting shears, it is possible to cut precisely right up to the tip of the blades. Dressmakers, fashion designers, and cloth makers use these machines to cut out fabrics and clothing materials.

Various fabric scissors are available for various purposes and feature specially designed elements to ensure a pleasant and comfortable cutting experience. This allows the user to produce high-quality garments and perform better. You can choose from a variety of fabric scissors on the market, including:

  • Embroidery Scissors—Curved-blade scissors usually have smaller sizes and curved blades. This method can cut the threads very close to the fabric, thus providing an effective and clean embroidery design for the user.
  • Double Curved Embroidery Scissors – What they sound like is precisely what they are. The handles are also curved, not just the blades. It is beneficial when it comes to embroidery machines. Using this method, you can clip a thread without removing the hoop from the machine.
  • Designer scissors – With fine edges and stainless steel blades, designer scissors are high-quality scissors. The blades are sharp, the finger rings are large, and the handles are plastic. The blades are usually 8 inches long and made with precision to achieve precise results. Designers and cloth makers use them to design clothes and garments in the fashion and clothing industries.
  • Snips – These scissors are similar to embroidery scissors in size, but their primary function is to snip threads. Usually, they are spring-loaded, meaning they stay open so that all they need to do is be closed to cut. Is there a reason why I don’t use these? It is common for the blades to be open most of the time. They feel like they are stabbing me. Most brands usually include a tiny cover. I don’t use them much and don’t love them, but so many other crafters swear by them, so I thought I’d share them. The blades don’t come together as nicely as a well-made pair of embroidery scissors, so I don’t find them to cut as nicely.
  • Dress Maker Shears – The ones you see in old advertisements with women making clothes are massive. Due to their angle to the handle, they are called shears because their blades rest flat on the cutting surface. By doing so, the fabric can be cut as flat as possible. This will help you make a cleaner, more accurate cut. The best pairs will clip down to the tips, and they are big and cut a lot of fabric at once. Many sewists swear that they never have to sharpen the older ones because they are made of all metal.
  • Heavy-Duty Shop Snips—This type of shear is useful for cutting thick materials without requiring the precision of tailor shears. Although the original purpose of these clippers was to clip rags (rag quilts are made by sewing the batting into the top and bottom pieces and sewing them together), I found them useful for so much more.
  • Applique—These are highly specialized scissors. Furthermore, they look slightly odd compared to the other scissors listed here. One of the blades has an extra piece of metal. These scissors cut the excess fabric away from a stitched-down applique without cutting the base fabric sewn onto base fabrics.
  • General Purpose—All houses have these. They’re the kind everyone uses everywhere. Because you use them frequently, you clunk around them in a junk drawer or display them alongside pens and pencils. One pair is always missing from each of these three pairs. Their handles allow you to put almost all of your fingers into them, and they’re usually about 7 – 8 inches long.
  • Small Fabric Scissors for More Intricate Cuts – It is a pair of scissors that are probably most useful when cutting out applique pieces before attaching or when doing curved work that can’t be done with a longer blade. There are a few I’m eyeing. Instead of pushing the fabric out, serrated blades draw it in so it can be cut cleanly.
  • Garment-Making Shears—Scissors designed for garment-making are usually heavy and have bent handles. This method allows the user to cut the fabric without lifting the scissors, and the pattern is straight, precise, and clean.
  • Tailor scissors—These are typically used to cut cardboard, fabric, photos, and paper with moderate thickness. In contrast to stainless steel, these blades are infused with titanium to remain sharp for longer periods. Adjustable brass and stainless steel blades promise smooth opening, closing and strength.
  • Pinking Shears – While cutting cloth, the serrated blades of these scissors provide the user with a zig-zag design. In this way, the fabric is kept from fraying. In addition to shearing off loose weave fabrics, pinking shears are also used to cut off fraying fabrics. A sewing room would not be complete without these zig-zag scissors, which are toothed with a zig-zag pattern. The handles are aligned, and the blades are 9 inches long, making them different from regular scissors. Sewing, craft, and dressmaking use them because they are sawtoothed and ultra-sharp.

Fabric Scissors vs Regular Scissors FAQs

What are the key differences between fabric scissors and normal scissors?

The main differences lie in blade sharpness, material, and design. Fabric scissors have sharper blades with a steeper angle, made from tough carbon steel for durability and better sharpening. They feature longer blades and larger handles for smooth, long cuts, whereas normal scissors have shorter, thinner blades made from stainless steel. They are designed for general purposes with compact handles for versatility.

Why are fabric scissors often made from carbon steel, and how does this affect their performance?

Carbon steel is a super tough metal that allows the scissors to be sharpened to a finer edge and makes them easier to sharpen. This material ensures durable use with sharp blades for a long time, making fabric scissors more suitable for cutting through various fabrics cleanly and precisely, unlike general-purpose scissors made from stainless steel.

Can you use normal scissors to cut fabric, and what are the implications?

While you can technically use normal scissors to cut fabric, they are not designed for this purpose and will likely struggle to create a clean cut. Normal scissors have shorter, thinner, and blunter blades, which can lead to frayed edges and uneven cuts in fabric, making your sewing project less precise and professional-looking.

What makes handcrafted fabric shears superior to machine-made general-purpose scissors for cutting fabric?

Handcrafted fabric shears are designed with specific features for cutting fabric, such as the angle of the blades, the hardness of the metal, and the alignment of the blades for perfect cutting precision. These factors, combined with a comfortable fit in the hand, make handcrafted shears more enjoyable and efficient for fabric cutting, unlike machine-made general-purpose scissors, which lack these specialized design elements.

How should you care for and maintain fabric scissors to ensure their longevity and performance?

To maintain fabric scissors, it’s important to clean them regularly, keep them dry to prevent rust, and sharpen them as needed to maintain a sharp edge. Using them exclusively for fabric will prevent the blades from becoming dull prematurely. Additionally, investing in high-quality, handmade shears and utilizing professional sharpening and repair services can significantly extend the lifespan and performance of fabric scissors.

Are there specific types of fabric scissors for different sewing tasks, and how do you choose the right one?

Yes, there are different types of fabric scissors designed for specific tasks, such as shears for cutting long, straight lines or specialized scissors for intricate cuts and embroidery. Choosing the right type depends on your specific sewing needs. Factors to consider include the type of fabric you’re working with, the precision required for your project, and ergonomic features for comfort during extended use. Consulting with professionals or taking quizzes offered by manufacturers like LDH Scissors can help you make an informed decision.


Choosing the right scissors for your sewing projects is not just about convenience; it’s about preserving the quality of your materials and ensuring the precision of your work. Whether you opt for fabric scissors vs all-purpose scissors, the key is to select tools that match the specific needs of your project. From fabric scissors types to their prices, and from shears vs scissors sewing to the sharper blade fabric scissors, each aspect plays a crucial role in achieving the desired outcome in your sewing endeavors.

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