I imagine the answer to this post title is subjective - or not. One can argue the sewing machine is most important; however, a good tailor (or seamstress) can sew without the machine. Hand sewing with a good needle takes substantiallly longer, but it is possible. Without the shears or scissors though, what would you sew together? I don't think I'd be interested in using a knife to cut fabric - that would be more like ripping it.
A couple of points before I continue with the various types of scissors and their importance. First, it's common knowledge in this household Sher's scissors are a DO NOT TOUCH. My husband has a few tools inside the house that are okay to use for any purpose (mostly); just as I have old scissors around for use on paper, twine, photos, ribbons, etc. Even trade, right?
Second, I try (sometimes I don't have them handy) to use the right tools for the job at hand. Snips for threads, my large heavy duty shears for the heavier fabrics (denims, leather, etc.), dressmaker shears for cutting fabric, etc.
Last, I take great care of my cutting tools. They are wiped frequently, blades checked for knicks and sharpness and when needed, they are professionally repaired and sharpened.
Shears vs. Scissors and Other Trivia
There is a difference between shears and scissors. I'm not talking about electric shears (razors). Shears are generally more more than 6" in length and have finger holes different in size. Scissors are usually less than 6" in length and have a squared off blade edge with same size finger holes.
An interesting item to note is shears have a screw that holds the blades together and scissors have a nut or rivet. The screw allows the scissors to be separated for sharpening and balanced when needed. Oh yes, they do need balancing (alignment) now and then. If you've dropped your shears several times, you will feel the blades wobbling and a bit loose while cutting.
Did you know Pinks can be sharpened? It's a long process but it is done by professional sharpening services.
Kids safety scissors are perfect for trimming close to seams without nicking the fabric above the seam.
Worn out shears and scissors are prize for cutting wire ribbon, plastic tags, zipper teeth, etc.
Yes, there are Left Hand shears and scissors. I am accustomed to using both comfortably (As a Lefty in a Right Hand world, I had to adapt.).
Use the Right Tool for the Job
Shown below are the tools for cutting I use daily and a short description of their use. Until I put this post together, I didn't realize I own more than ten pair; nine are used daily!
Quick Care Tips
Your shears and scissors are a vital tool to sewing. Protection and prevention of wear and tear of your cutting tools is not only recommended, but imperative. Below are a few care tips:
* Wipe your shears and scissors with a soft cloth, similar to what you would use for eye glasses.
* Never cut through sequins, beads or other hard surfaces. This will cause nicks in the blades, in turn creating runs or ruining the fabric.
* Try to avoid dropping the shears. Don't panic if you drop them, but try to make this infrequent.
* Do not store with tips up or pointed down. Always store them flat on the front or back and in the case if one is available.
* Avoid moisture!
* Watch for pins when cutting.
* Check daily for nicks, dullness, scratches and alignment.
* Avoid home style sharpening tools. Take your quality shears and scissors for professional repair.
That about wraps it up for this post. Are there other care tips or trivia you know about your sewing shears or scissors? Share them with us below in the comments :)
Whatever your favorite or most important sewing tool is, I wish you success and inspiration in sewing and all you do - today and always!