The Best Scissors, Seam Ripper and Thread Snips

Scissors, a seam ripper, and thread snips are three of the basic sewing and craftwork tools you will need to make cool stuff (or even non-cool stuff…).

Sewing requires a few basic tools such as thread, needles, threader, thimble, pins, pin cushion, scissors, a seam ripper, thread snips, a tape measure, a clear ruler. If you have some of these items already, you are ahead of the game! If you don’t have any of them, they are fairly easy to get.  

You are only as good as your tools

I grew up in a family that made things, repaired things, created things. Something I always heard was “You are only as good as your tools.” It means exactly that. Get the best tools you can afford, and they will last a very long time (in many cases a lifetime and more – more on that soon). When I was in school I would ask my instructors which types/brands/styles of tools they preferred, and why. When I interned and apprenticed, I paid attention to the tools my mentors were using, again, types/brands/styles. I learned through exposure and practice, and testing.

Here are my thoughts on the best scissors, seam rippers and thread snips:

The Best Scissors:

I’ve written a whole blog about choosing the best scissors, so I won’t cover all of that here. What I will say is that you need a pair of scissors DEDICATED to fabric. That means this pair is not used for anything else. Not paper. Not plastic. Not leather.        Just. Fabric.

Why? Because other materials will dull the blades, sometimes even creating a small nick or tiny groove in one or both blades, and that will render the scissors inoperable for slicing into your fabric. Ideally you will own several pairs of scissors – for fabric, for paper, and for general uses. Best brands for fabric – Kai, Gingher, Mundial.

Online Sources for Scissors:

The Best Seam Ripper:

This is one of the most useful tools in your toolbox. Yes, it is basically for picking out stitches from a seam. Or removing a button or snap. It can be used to poke a tiny hole in stiff fabric for any reason at all… Look for a seam ripper that has a slim ripper point. The slimmer the better. The sharper the better. There are many rippers out there that are thick, clumsy and dull. Do your homework and comparison shop! Here are a few of my faves:

Online Sources for Seam Ripper:

The Best Thread Snips:

Some people say these are essential for sewing. Others aren’t convinced. I used to be in the latter category, just using my regular dressmaker’s shears for snipping threads. But a few years ago I was persuaded to try snips, and I’ve never gone back. They are just so darn convenient! As with scissors and seam rippers, you want snips that are streamlined, and sharp. Thick, dull snips are of no use to anyone.

Online Sources for Thread Snips:

Take a look at our Other blog posts on the best tools:

Needles and Threads

Four Types of Scissors for Sewing That You Should Have

Best Pins and Pin Cushions

Best Measuring Tapes and Rulers 


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