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What are Craft Scissors?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
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Craft scissors are scissors which have been developed for use in arts and crafts. There are several different styles of craft scissors, ranging from pinking shears, which create a wavy edge in cut objects, to children's craft scissors, with blunt blades which are designed to reduce injury. Many craft stores sell an assortment of craft scissors, and it is also possible to order them through specialty suppliers. Having a pair of utility craft scissors around the house can be extremely useful, as these scissors tend to be very versatile.

One common type of craft scissors is fabric scissors, which have a flattened loop with one blunt pointed blade and one sharp-pointed blade. The flattened loop facilitates cutting large swatches of fabric on a flat surface, while the differing blades are designed to make it easy to cut fabric without snagging, with the dull blade running under the fabric while the sharp blade snips down from above.

Craft scissors for children classically have sheathes over their blades, along with blunted tips and relatively dull blades so that the children cannot hurt themselves. It is also possible to find large craft shears for big cutting projects, and small craft scissors which are designed for detail work. Sewing and embroidery scissors, for example, are often small with very small blades so that precise snipping can be done without worrying about accidentally cutting the fabric. There are also some very esoteric types of craft scissors, like scissors for knitters which are designed to be safe for use on airplanes, with a small sheathed blade which usually passes muster at airport security.

Craft stores often have several types of scissors on offer, and staff can make recommendations to customers who are not sure about which kind of craft scissors to get. Many will also allow customers to test out scissors before purchase so that they can see how the scissors feel.

A pair of craft scissors can be used for cutting fabric, paper, and a variety of other materials. Most craft scissors will require periodic sharpening, which can be done at home with a whetstone, or by a professional. When selecting craft scissors, it is a good idea to find scissors with blades which can be successfully resharpened if necessary, as this will prolong the life of the scissors. People should also take care to purchase scissors which are engineered for their dominant hands, or to buy ambidextrous scissors which can be used by right and left handed individuals.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Musical Expert researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By honeybees — On Sep 27, 2011

I bought a whole package of different Fiskar craft pinking shears. They only ended up being about a dollar a pair and thought they would work great for my kids when there were looking for some fun and easy crafts to make.

These are meant to be used on paper and would not work on fabric. There are several different designs that include scallop, curvy and jagged shapes.

This makes them great for scrap book crafts and trimming around pieces of paper that you want to have a finished look.

Because they weren't very expensive, I let my kids use them when they are working on crafts. This way I don't have to worry about them being used on the wrong material.

By LisaLou — On Sep 26, 2011

When it comes to using scissors for crafts, I always try to keep my craft scissors with my craft supplies so they don't get used for other household purposes.

It seems like scissors and pens magically disappear if they are left sitting around somewhere.

One thing I have found out the hard way, is if I use an expensive pair of pinking shears on paper, they will never cut fabric very good after that.

I try to make sure that my expensive pinking shears are only used on fabric so they will be sharp enough to cut through the material.

There is nothing more frustrating than a pair of scissors that won't cut through your fabric.

By manykitties2 — On Sep 25, 2011

@Sara007 - You're not alone with finding the kids paper craft scissors to be a pain. The ones I bought for my daughter couldn't cut anything either.

I think that if you do go over the safety rules of scissors with your kids, and work with them you'll be OK.

I bought a craft scissors set online and it came with a few pairs of scissors, some that were more dull than regular scissors, but not as useless as kids scissors. I ended up giving that one to my daughter and it works fine on construction paper. I would suggest just going to a craft store and trying out some more scissors.

By Sara007 — On Sep 24, 2011

I recently purchased a couple of pairs of paper craft scissors for my kids craft corner, and have to say they are really terrible. They can barely cut anything, and they actually get snagged on construction paper.

While I like the idea of craft paper scissors that aren't dangerous, I think the maker of the scissors I have went to the extreme. The scissors are practically useless. Has anyone else had a similar problem with kids craft scissors?

I am thinking that I am going to have to buy some new sharper arts and crafts scissors and just monitor my kids really closely. Plus, I could go over safety rules with them as well.

By ceilingcat — On Sep 24, 2011

@KaBoom - Those little fold up scissors sure are convenient. I don't use mine much though.

My favorite craft scissors are the kind that cut paper in a pattern. I do a lot of scrap booking, so it's great for that. I have a pair with wavy edges, a pair with zigzag edges, and a pair that cuts in kind of a square pattern. They are great for cutting decorative edges into paper.

By KaBoom — On Sep 23, 2011

My favorite type of craft scissors are the embroidery scissors that fold up. I mostly use them for knitting, and they are so convenient to just throw in my bag! They barely take up any space.

Also, there is not chance of them poking through the back and cutting anyone. The way they are folded, the blades are protected. I think this also stops them from getting dull as fast, because the blades aren't constantly rubbing on stuff.

By ysmina — On Sep 22, 2011

Craft scissors are nice but the one problem with them is that it's not really possible to sharpen them, so they end up having a shorter life than regular scissors do.

I have a really great pinking scissors for fabric that doesn't work well anymore because it needs to be sharpened. I actually know a place that sharpens scissors, cooking knives and so forth, but they can't sharpen pinking scissors since it's not straight.

So I'm going to have to get a new one. It's a shame that I can't use the one I have longer as it really worked well when it was sharp. I guess it is the one down side to using craft scissors.

By turquoise — On Sep 21, 2011

Craft scissors are so fun for kids and I like how the kids craft scissors come in miniature sizes that are perfect for their hands. They are safer than regular adult scissors and that does make me feel better when my son is using them.

I actually didn't know much about them until my son came home from kindergarten one day, showing me the things he made and kept asking for craft scissors for home.

It's so easy to find them too, I got them from a store that sells stationary. There were three or four different kinds there. I'm sure craft stores have more choices.

By serenesurface — On Sep 21, 2011

I love doing different craft projects at home and I use pinking shears all the time for them. I have two, one for paper and another for fabric. I use the paper one to make albums. Making albums is a lot of fun, I buy all the materials on wholesale and decorate as I want.

I usually use fabric pinking shears for kids costumes. Halloween is coming up and I'll be making some Halloween costumes again this year with them.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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