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.
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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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