Everyone knows not to use your good fabric scissors on paper, right?
Today I thought I’d go beyond that very basic info with some extra detail on how I manage all my scissors – including my fabric scissors. This is going to answer a few questions that I get all the time.
Do you use expensive scissors?
Nope. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of high quality tools. I KNOW that quality scissors are better than cheap ones. But I also know that I am terrible at things like. . . bringing scissors in to get them professionally sharpened.
Good quality scissors that are painfully dull because I don’t know how to sharpen them myself and I can’t seem to coordinate my life well enough to get them professionally sharpened are worse than cheap scissors.
I can get a decent pair of Fiskars sewing shears at any big box fabric or craft store for under $20 – and then replace them every year. More on that replacement in a bit. . .
Which scissors do you use for cutting fabric and paper together – like with fusible adhesive or freezer paper?
Ah – that brings me to The Great Scissor Rotation.
I keep three pairs of big scissors in my fabric room. (This is only about the big scissors (shears, if you want to get technical) – I also have spring-loaded snips at the sewing machine and an assortment of tiny scissors for precision work.)
My newest pair of scissors is for fabric only.
When I bring in a new pair, the old fabric scissors become the scissors I use for fabric fused to paper.
(Update! I’ve discovered some specialty scissors that I REALLY love for cutting applique pieces, so now I use these for that purpose exclusively, and I leave this step out of my rotation)
The old fabric-fused-to-paper scissors become my paper scissors.
My old paper scissors move into the kitchen for snipping herbs, cutting waffles into dipping strips, cutting open packaging, etc.
And my old kitchen scissors move into the toolbox for real heavy duty work.
The scissors that were in the toolbox are usually totally destroyed by this time and they finally go in the trash.
I buy a new pair of scissors about once a year. While that may seem wasteful at $20 a pair when I could buy a quality pair that will last a lifetime for just under $100 – every pair of scissors I bring in gets used for about five years. Not bad at all! And I never need to coordinate bringing them in to be sharpened. 🙂
I mentioned above that this rotation only applies to basic shears. I do have some other specialty scissors that I love and am very particular about.
- These are my favorite scissors for cutting applique pieces.
- These are the best scissors for making rag quilts.
By the way – because I know someone is going to ask. I do sharpen my kitchen knives – but sharpening scissors is a different matter, one that I’ve been told repeatedly is best left to professionals. The angle of the sharpening is very different and you need to get both blades to work together. It’s more complicated and beyond my rudimentary knife-sharpening skills.