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Kai Scissors Guide: Professional and Serrated Scissors

Learn what makes professional fabric scissors professional and why serrated scissors may be the best scissors for sewing with this simple guide.

Updated November 29, 2018
Kai Scissors Guide Professional and Serrated Scissors

Any sewist worth her salt knows that if you want to do a good job on a project, you have to equip yourself with the right tools! That's why you should never go to cut a swath of fabric without the proper pair of scissors. However, it can be hard to tell what kinds of scissors are the best for the job. As you select your cutting tools, you may wonder what makes scissors professional and what's the purpose of serrated scissors. Learn all of this and more with this Kai Scissors Guide: Professional and Serrated Scissors, and you'll take the guesswork out of buying sewing tools.



From the blogger:

The Right Tool for the Job

In my years in the sewing industry, I have found that people tend to gravitate towards information that best helps them complete one particular task.  Here at KAI Scissors, it’s no different.  People are always asking me, “Which scissors should I buy?”  Unfortunately, there is not one scissor that a person should buy that can fill the One-Tool-For-All-Jobs Role. Still, people want to know, “Why should I buy your scissors and which one is best?”

Here at KAI Scissors, we offer over 100 different choices. Granted some of them are nail clippers and kitchen knives, but it still leaves a lot of sewing scissors to choose from. Why so many? Because there are a right and a wrong tool for every job.

With that, let’s dive into the major categories of scissors.

Professional vs. Regular

Why a professional designation? "Professional" really just means a finer, sharper, stronger edge. These scissors are geared toward people that want the best, easiest-to-use, longest lasting scissor available. So, why wouldn’t everyone want this? Mainly, price! A good professional scissor can run upwards of $100 whereas the beauty line can go even more stratospheric ($800+!).

What makes them professional? Really, it comes down to the metal the scissors are made from and the time and energy it takes to make them feel great. A good scissor is made from a dense, hardened steel. KAI makes their professional scissors out of a high carbon hardened stainless steel. The carbon in the steel allows the edge to form at a steeper and sharper angle. The steeper angle also equates to sharpness. In other words, a sharper blade = easier cuts.  Technically, any scissor can be sharpened at a steeper angle, but it will degrade very quickly without the carbon that professional KAI scissors have. Mind you, though, everything you cut degrades the blades on scissors. How long the edge will last depends on what you are cutting, how much, and how often.

"Regular scissors" is a subjective term. Regular scissors, in the KAI lineup, are still made from a hardened stainless steel and hold an edge well. However, they do not have the same level of high carbon as the professional version. The stainless steel still allows for a sharp and strong edge but at a more economical price. 

Serrated vs Non-Serrated

Serrated scissors are fairly recent phenomena. The word serrated is really a misnomer, as the blade does not look like a serrated knife. It’s really a “corrugation” on one of the blades. We also will call it a micro-serration. But why use a serrated scissor? Serration, or corrugation, adds grip to the cut. If you've ever had a slippery piece of satin or silk slide around in your scissors, you will appreciate serration. It really adds a level of control to your cut, especially cutting turns. You will really notice better, more controlled cuts on silks, satins, wool applique, cutting out appliques (especially with the fusible backing), and double gauze. 

What if you are just cutting cotton? The regular, non-serrated, blades will be smoother and less crunchy when you cut. You can use serrated scissors on cotton, but it’s not going to be advantageous. Here's one last myth about serrated scissors: they keep the edge of the fabric from unraveling. Contrary to popular belief, serrated scissors do nothing to the edge of the fabric. They are not a pinking shear. 

There you have it: a quick rundown of some main considerations when looking into expanding your scissor line-up."

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What do you look for in your sewing scissors and why? Let us know below in the comments!

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I never realized that there were so many different grades of scissors. I like one with a sharp point and that cuts smoothly.

nothing beats a good sharp pair of scissors!

I like my scissors to have a sharp point and fit comfortable in my hands.

I remember the importance of my mom's sewing scissors.no one touched those scissors without permission, and they were to be returned to their case. you just can't beat a good pair of sewing scissors.

I like a nice sharp scissors for crafting and for all general uses, one that is a good fit for my hand. It's also important to have one that can be used whether left handed or right.

I have to have sharp scissors with nice points and fits my hand well without making my hand sore.

I look for good sharp scissors. that fit my hand well

I need sharp scissors. I like them sharp enough that slide through the fabric. Also for cutting multiple layers. I do a lot of quilting and clothes. It can be tough on your hands with cheap ones. Ive always said You get what you pay for!!

I love serrated scissors! They go through multiple layers of fabric with ease. These are the only kind I use!

For sewing scissors, I look for a good fit in my hand as well as sharpness.

This is the first learning about serrated scissors. Eager to try it

I have not had opportunity to be picky about my sewing scissors. Many years ago, my dad bought a pair of the NEW orange scissors for each of us- and I still use them, though they are not as sharp now.

Sharp, clean cut!

I do A LOT of cutting of all sorts of materials, including wools, leathers, fur, etc. A good pair of sharp scissors is a must

Have to have a good pair of crafting scissors!

Nothing beats a excellent pair of scissors.

I like my sewing scissors to have sharp points and edges because I can not stand a pair of dull screens.

I need sharp scissors that stay sharp so I'm not always having to sharpen them. I am left handed so I need scissors that work for a lefty!

I need sharp scissors that will handle what I need to cut, and I need them inexpensive (very). Free would be good.

I look for sharpness and precision. I have larger hands and need the scissors to'fit' and be comfortable.

The quality of the cut!

I look for scissors that fit my hand and are very sharp.

I look for sharp blades and a comfortable handle in my sewing scissors

I use scissors every day while crocheting, sharper scissors would be a great for cutting yarn.

Sharpness and ease of doing what I need them for.

Sharpness, precision and really comfortable handles, especially because I have larger hands.

Sharp and able to cut very small detailed pieces as I make lots of doll clothes,

I look for sharp scissors that don't cost a mint. the only mint I have is in the box of tea in my cupboard.

My scissors have to be sharp! Have not tried serrated ones yet!

My sewing is limited to mending... so I look for small, sharp sewing scissors to snip thread.

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