Should I Use Pinking Shears On My Project? (Explained)

Finding the right tool for your specific project will make a difference between success and failure, whether you are quilting, sewing, or even crocheting.

One of the most confusing parts about crafting is figuring out what kind of scissors to use.

So, if you’re wondering if pinking shears are the way to go for you keep reading!

Here’s Why You Should Use Pinking Shears on your Project:

Pinking shears have a very specific function for crafting. This is especially true if you are planning on mainly crafting with fabric materials like silk, cotton, or even fleece. Pinking shears have many functions, but the main one is the way they protect the fabric you are cutting.

So, should you use pinking shears? Here is everything we learned to help you be successful in your net project!

What Are Pinking Shears?

Pinking shears are very different from regular scissors used for sewing and crafting because of the blades.

Instead of smooth sharpened blades, pinking shears have serrated edges resembling sawtooth blades. This creates a zigzag-type pattern instead of a perfectly straight cut.

These shears were invented to replace the outdated way to protect fabric, which was done with the sawblade iron and mallet. Now instead of hammering the fabric to get that zigzag cut, all you have to do is let the specialized pinking shear blades do all the work.

The shape of pinking shear blades is meant to be used on a specific type of woven cloth.

When you try to cut this cloth with regular scissors, the cloth can easily fray or rip, which can be disastrous for your overall project. The edges of this type of cloth are considered raw and untouched, which makes them more likely to fray than others.

However, pinking shears are not only great for cutting fabric but also allow you to be more creative with your projects. The special blades also make pretty cool patterns in the fabric you are cutting, so some crafters like to use them for decorative fabrics.

Using pinking shears on other materials like paper may damage the blades slowly over time.

Are Pinking Shears Sharper Than Regular Scissors?

Pinking shears are not necessarily as sharp as other crafting scissors.

However, they are sharper than standard scissors found in schools or even buried in the back of your desk drawer. When it comes to other cracking scissors-like stainless steel or titanium-plated scissors, pinking shears are not as sharp.

Just because they are not as sharp doesn’t mean that they don’t have a perfect function. You also have to note the type of blades.

Regular crafting scissors are the straight blade, and while they are sharp enough o cut through materials like paper and cardstock, when it comes to fabric, they are not sharp enough to cut without fraying.

The age-old saying among people who love to craft and sew is that there is a tool for everything. So, while pinking shears may not be as overall sharp as other scissors, that doesn’t mean that won’t be the right tool for your project.

This is especially true if you are working with fabric and dressmaking!

Do Pinking Shears Prevent Fraying Fabric?

One of the main functions of pinking shears, if not the number one, is to prevent the fabric you are cutting from fraying off at the edges.

However, an important thing to know is that pinking shears will not completely prevent fraying. This is especially true if you work with more loosely woven fabric like cotton.

Because the fibers are wound together so loosely, you can still expect a little bit of fraying when cutting through, even with pinking shears.

While pinking shears can’t 100% prevent fraying, they reduce fraying and cut down the chances of ruining your fabric overall.

At the same time, regular scissors-like stainless steel will almost guarantee that the fabric will fray.

However, if you worry about pinking shears not doing all of the work when it comes to fraying, other methods you can use in tandem with pinking shears will increase your chances of keeping your fabric safe.

Methods like using your serging function on your sewing machine and cutting the fabric with pinking shears will give you the best overall outcome!

Do Tailors Use Pinking Shears?

Sometimes the best thing to do when figuring out if a crafting tool is worth it is to take a peek into what the experts are doing.

When it comes to sewing and dressmaking, there is no better advice to take than the advice of a professional tailor.

Tailors use pinking shears while working on their projects. However, they have all lived and learned to find the best process for them.

If you ask any tailor or dressmaker how to keep their fabric from pulling and fraying, they will tell you that it combines many different techniques and tools.

So, while pinking shears are an absolute must-have for your crafting kit, the experts know that it takes a little more than just a special pair of shears to protect their fabric.

Along with the shears and special settings on their sewing machines, tailors use adhesive-type bonding techniques to ensure that no matter how loose to fabric is woven, it won’t fray.

Bonding agents like special sewing glue or even take strips meant to protect the edges can make all the difference in getting the best result.

Can You Make Patterns With Pinking Shears?

While the main function of pinking shears is to reduce the chances of the fabric fraying, the fun doesn’t stop there!

The number of functions that people have discovered with pinking shears is remarkable. One of my personal favorite uses of pinking shears is to cut patterns. However, there are two different types of pattern cutting that we are talking about.

Traditionally, when you say that you are cutting out patterns for sewing, you talk about the shapes of certain parts of a garment that you will eventually sew together to make a full piece.

Yes, you can use pinking shears to cut out patterns, but because of the zigzag shape that these shears leave on edge, you want to make sure you are giving yourself at least a 1 t0 2 inch allowance you have enough room to hem that crazy edge.

The other meaning of cutting out a pattern is much more decorative than functional. I love using my pinking shears to cut decorative edges in fabrics.

While the edge has a function, it is also undeniably cool to look at. Using pinking shears to cut out crafting objects like fabric flowers or even decorative details that will be attached to a garment is a great way to give your design a little flair.

I love how the zigzag edge adds an interesting element to any design.

When it comes to finding new ways to make your tools elevate your dressmaking game, pinking shears certainly fit the bill.

How Much Do Pinking Shears Cost?

Pinking shears come in a wide range of prices.

The most basic pair you can find will only run you around $20, while more professional styles and brands can run up to $250!

Unless you are jumping into a professional tailor or dressmaking business, I don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a great pair of pinking shears, especially when you consider that you may have to replace your shears each year they dull.

Depending, of course, on how much you use them. So, what should you be spending on pinking shears?

Here are some of my personal favorites that are great for any project and won’t break the bank!

1. Fiskars 8 Inch Softgrip Pinking Shears:

First of all, Fiskars is one of my favorite brands for finding high-quality yet budget-friendly shears for your project, so I recommend the Fiskars 8 inch Softgrip Pinking Shears.

Along with the brand recognition and the price point, these shears have many perks that help make them the best.

These shears offer the standard zigzag pattern that you can expect from pinking shears that will help prevent the fabric from fraying and unraveling.

I love the extended lower blade that comes with these pinking shears. It offers stability while you cut, but it also helps lift the blades so that each cut can be crisp.

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These sheers are high-quality stainless steel, keeping them from rusting over time. Lastly, the soft-grip handle makes them perfect for anyone who has hand issues like arthritis.

Best of all, coming in at just under $30 makes them very affordable for any crafter.

2. Gingher 7.4 Inch Pinking Shears

Another top brand and a personal favorite are the Gingher 7.4 Inch Pinking Shears.

These scissors are made from a double-plated chrome with a nickel finish to protect the blades from rusting. The classic sawtooth blades help to reduce the chance of fabric fraying, while the wide thumb loops make them comfortable to hold onto.

One of my favorite features of these shears is the dull point blade. Some pinking shears have a pointed tip, while others have a square tip.

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I prefer square-shaped tips because they are safer to use and won’t pierce the fabric while cutting. One thing that you can expect with Gingher is precision.

You can stay true to your pattern even with a sawtooth blade while cutting it out. Customers love the high-quality of these shears, while some found that they dull and tarnish quickly.

You pay a little more with this brand, where these shears will run you around $40.

3. Makasla Pinking Shears (Budget Pick!)

The Makasla Pinking Shears are a basic pair of pinking shears without any frills, which also helps to make them a great budget pick for those who don’t want to spend too much.

The biggest difference between the more expensive shears and budget ones is that expensive ones are completely plated while budget shears have plastic handles.

This doesn’t mean that the quality of the scissors is any different!

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These high-quality shears have premium stainless steel blades that give that classic zigzag pattern you would expect from pinking shears.

I love plastic cushioned handles because they are more comfortable to hold than metal ones. You can purchase these shears for just under $8, making them easy to replace once they dull.

While most of the reviews favor these shears, a couple of people did claim that the tension of the shears wasn’t as strong as they expected, which can sometimes make your cuts not as precise.

Final Thoughts:

The crafter’s curse is when you don’t know when to stop when it comes to buying new tools to elevate your crafting game.

In comparison, I think some things tend to be a little gimmicky and don’t change the way you craft or even the overall quality of the finished product.

However, this is not the case when it comes to pinking shears! I use my pinking shears so often that I wouldn’t be able to sew and design the way I like to without them.

Just remember that if you are not cutting fabric often, there isn’t a need to spring for the professional shears, of course, unless you want to!

Crating is such a personal hobby that whatever makes you happy, you should do it.

So get yourself a pair of pinking shears, and I promise you that you will be surprised about how it elevates your sewing game. Take care.

Sources:

Scissors versus Shears: Everything you Need to Know

What is the difference between fabric scissors and pinking shears?

Do You Have to Use Pinking Shears to Keep Fabric From Unraveling?