What Size Scissors For Sewing? (Explained)

Consider the right sizes if you want to grow your sewing scissor collection.

That way, you can ensure you have the tools that meet your needs:

Here’s What Size Scissors to Use for Sewing:

When preparing fabric, you should use scissors that are 7 to 10 inches long, but for cutting thread and other small details, switch to scissors about 3.5 inches long. Popular options, likeĀ Fiskars Original scissors, are about 8 inches long.

What Is the Most-Used Size for Sewing Scissors?

The most-used sewing scissors size is between 7 and 10 inches long. Scissors of that length can be general scissors that you use specifically for sewing.

Alternatively, you can purchase dressmaker shears with a similar blade length. These shears also have a different design, so the blade sits flat against the table.

That allows you to cut through fabric more easily and comfortably. You can also rest your hand against the table and cut longer pieces of fabric.

What Size Scissors Do You Use for Cutting FABRIC?

One of the most common sizes of scissors for cutting fabric is 9 inches.

You usually use scissors with precision ground blades to cut through the different materials you want to sew with.

Precision ground blades can help you cut more efficiently and get more detailed with them than with regular scissors. A lot of these types of scissors also have soft touch handles.

The handle can be more comfortable to hold while you’re cutting fabric. The handle is even more important for your project if you cut a lot of fabric at once.

What Size Scissors Do You Use for Cutting THREAD?

When cutting thread, you should use smaller scissors that are about 3.5 inches.

Small scissors are particularly important when cutting the thread after you finish sewing because you may need to get into a corner.

However, small blades also come in handy if you need to cut thread before using them, such as when preparing your sewing machine. You don’t need a long blade to cut a thin line of thread.

Small scissors may also have sharper blades. Those can give your thread a more exact cut, so the thread can look better and not split apart.

What Size Scissors Do You Use for Cutting PAPER?

You can use the standard scissors you probably already own if you need to cut paper. Popular options, likeĀ Fiskars Original scissors, are about 8 inches long.

Check Out The Fiskars Original Scissors Here!

Fiskars scissors have stainless steel blades, so they can easily cut through paper of different thicknesses. That makes them an excellent choice for cutting patterns for your next sewing project.

Using longer blades on paper can help you cut in a straight line more easily.

Of course, you need straight lines when working with patterns to ensure your fabric will be the right size and shape.

What Are the Average Sizes of Sewing Scissors?

The average size of sewing scissors depends on the specific scissors or shears.

Some sewing scissors are only a couple of inches long, such as scissors for cutting thread.

On the other hand, you may have scissors that are 10 inches long for cutting fabric or paper. Most sewing scissors, in general, are closer to seven inches or longer.

They can get unwieldy if your scissors are much longer than 10 inches. That can take away from any benefits longer blades would offer.

When Do You Use Large Scissors for Sewing?

The main scenario where you use large scissors for sewing is when preparing a pattern or fabric.

You can use larger scissors to cut through long pieces of fabric and paper.

However, it’s best to switch to smaller scissors if you need to make adjustments. For example, if you cut your fabric a little larger than the pattern, you may use smaller shears to help cut the material down to size.

As mentioned, you also should use smaller scissors to cut the thread when you’re finished.

That way, you can get into the corner or another tight spot to cut the thread without ruining the rest of the item.

What Are the Different Types of Sewing Scissors?

As a beginner, you may only use a couple of different sewing scissors.

However, it would be best to consider many different options, especially as you advance.

Then, you can make sure to have a pair of scissors on hand that will meet all your needs. While some scissors are versatile, it never hurts to have specialized tools.

Consider the following scissors and shears and how they can help you with your sewing projects.

General Purpose Scissors

You may have used general-purpose scissors for other tasks around the house. However, sewing is another fantastic way to take advantage of standard scissors.

These scissors are around 7 or 8 inches and have very comfortable handles. That makes them the perfect choice for beginners who want to start sewing.

Some general-purpose scissors work well, so you don’t have to invest in another pair immediately. You can even dedicate one to your sewing projects if you have multiple pairs.

Dressmaker Shears

Another common type of scissors for sewing is dressmaker shears. These are typically quite large and have thick blades that let you cut through fabric quickly.

In many cases, the shear handles are at an angle, so it’s easier to use the scissors. The angle makes the blade perpendicular to the table so you can cut for longer without hurting your hand.

Many dressmaker shears are easy to use and perfect for cutting many fabrics in one sitting.

Now, they don’t have two holes for your hands, so that can take time to get used to, but the benefits are worth it.

Pinking Shears

You can use pinking shears to cut fabric with a zig-zag pattern on edge.

You’ll typically use them on woven fabric since the end pattern can help keep the fabric from unweaving.

On the other hand, they also work well if you want to add a unique design to the end of the fabric. The shape can look great if you don’t plan on sewing the edge over itself.

Pinking shears tend to be pretty heavy and have the bent handle of dressmaker shears. That allows you to cut through a lot of fabric without discomfort.

Tailor Shears

Another type of shear you use when sewing is tailor shears. They’re sturdier than standard dressmaker shears and perfect for cutting through more than one layer of fabric.

Tailor shears tend to use metal instead of rubber handles like dressmaker shears.

However, they have the same angled design that makes the blades line up against a table for easy use.

You can use tailor shears to cut through fabric faster. That’s great if you have a lot of fabric to get through and want to start sewing.

Small Fabric Scissors

Eventually, you may want to invest in a pair of small fabric scissors. These scissors are essential to make smaller, more detailed cuts in your fabric.

One common way to use these scissors is to cut out an applique before placing it on your item.

These scissors have a serrated edge that helps cut the fabric more smoothly.

You can also use these scissors on any curves you want to cut into the fabric. The serrated edge helps bring the fabric in, which allows you to get a clearer edge.


Arguably, you could use any scissors to cut thread. However, snips are special sewing scissors that you only use to cut thread.

They feature a spring that holds them open, so you need to use pressure to close the snips and make a cut. Be sure to look for a pair with a cover to protect yourself and others when you aren’t using the snips.

You could also make sure to put them in a safe place after using them. However, keeping them nearby is nice when you need quick access to the special tool.

Embroidery Scissors

Embroidery scissors are some of the smallest scissors you can find. You can use them to cut the thread or to prepare applique pieces before you place them on your project.

These are usually all metal; you can open and close them like larger scissors.

Some have a curve to help you make detailed cuts, and the blade is usually the part to feature this design.

However, you can also find double curved embroidery scissors with curved blades and handles. If you do any machine embroidery, you can use double curved embroidery scissors to cut thread.

Then, you won’t have to remove your hoop from the machine. You can quickly get back to your project.

Applique Scissors

Applique scissors are a very specific tool you use to finish an applique. These scissors are somewhat small, but they have one wider blade.

That allows you to cut around the applique and get as close as possible. The extra metal helps protect the base fabric, so you don’t accidentally cut the fabric underneath.

Now, the handle of these scissors can be uncomfortable since they tend to use metal. However, since they’re for detail work, you probably won’t use these scissors for long.

Final Thoughts

The size of scissors you should use for sewing depends on the specific task. Use larger scissors when cutting fabric, but switch to something smaller when you need to trim thread.


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