kichenaid all purpose kitchen shears

The Best Scissors for Every Household Task

From fabric-friendly shears to ones for snipping thread, experts share their favorites.
By Caroline Biggs
March 29, 2021
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Whether you're cutting a piece of cloth or trimming vegetables in the kitchen, the right scissors can make all the difference. "A good pair of scissors can make smoother and easier cuts, be more precise, and even ease hand cramping and discomfort," says May Flaum, crafts ambassador at Brother. While it may seem excessive to own multiple variations of the same tool, crafter Kristin Gambaccini of Perfectly DeStressed says having an arsenal of quality, task-specific scissors on hand can be crucial to completing certain projects at home. "Different scissors are made for different things, and a good pair of scissors dedicated to the medium you are using will make your crafting life much easier," she explains.

With all the different types of scissors on the market, it's important to determine which ones are right for a specific DIY job. "Always consider the projects and materials you intend to use the scissors for," advises Flaum. "What makes for an outstanding pair of cutting scissors for a collage artist will not be the same qualities an embroidery enthusiast, seamstress, or someone who works with leather and heavy goods would need." Along with being task-appropriate, Flaum says a quality pair of shears should be sharp, as well as comfortable to hold and use. "They should also be composed of long-lasting materials," she adds. "A good pair of scissors can last well over a decade."

Not sure what kind of scissors you'll need for a specific task at home? From the best scissors for snipping thread to fabric-friendly shears and more, experts share the right pair of scissors for every household job ahead.

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very sharp multi purpose scissors
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

All-Purpose Scissors

Designed to tackle an assortment of household jobs, Gambaccini says all-purpose scissors can be used to cut everything from cardboard to flower stems. "A good pair of all-purpose scissors can be taken with you from the kitchen, to the garden and out to the garage," she explains. "Made rugged and sharp with one serrated edge, RiverView Enterprise Very Sharp Multipurpose Scissors are suitable to cut a variety of materials around the house."

Shop Now: RiverView Enterprise Very Sharp Multipurpose Scissors, $18.99, amazon.com.

kitchenaid all purpose shears
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Kitchen Scissors

Along with trimming herbs, fruit, and vegetables, a quality pair of kitchen scissors can also come in handy when cutting breads and dough. KitchenAid's All-Purpose Kitchen Shears feature sharp stainless steel blades with micro-serrations for heavy-duty kitchen cutting jobs. "They are a trusted brand in the kitchen and their scissors are no different," says Brandi Radulovich, DIY expert and host of Eternal Harvest Décor on Smart. Healthy. Green. Living.

Shop Now: KitchenAid Soft Silicone Grip All Purpose Shears with Black Handle, $7.97, walmart.com.

fiskars original orange handle scissors
Credit: Michaels

Paper Cutting Scissors

Whether you're wrapping gifts or trimming card stock, a sharp pair of paper cutting scissors is a must-have at home. "I love a clean cut on paper, and I've found there's no better pair of scissors for a nice, straight edge than a classic pair of Fiskars," Gambaccini says.

Shop Now: Fiskars The Original Orange Handled Scissors, in 8 inch, $12.99, michaels.com.

westcott 8 inch titanium craft scissors
Credit: Courtesy of Amaon

Non-Stick Craft Scissors

Formulated with non-stick coating on the blades, Gambaccini says non-stick craft scissors are designed for cutting sticky, adhesive materials such as tape, Velcro fasteners, and repair tape. "The coating lasts a long time, and they are wonderful for cutting everything from sticky material to paper to some thin plastics," she says.

Shop Now: Westcott 8" Bent Titanium Bonded Non-Stick Craft Scissors with Adjustable Glide Feature, $9.97, amazon.com.

gingher 8 inch metal dressmaker shears
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Fabric Scissors

Designed to make smooth, long cuts, Flaum says the best fabric scissors have an angled handle that helps keep the fabric from lifting off the cutting surface. "Only use fabric scissors for cutting fabric," she advises. "While other scissors can be used on a wide variety of materials, you want your fabric shears to be super sharp and reserved for a specific use!"

Shop Now: Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmakers Shears, $23.99, amazon.com.

hingher pinking shears
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Fabric Pinking Shears

A reliable pair of pinking shears is an essential sewing tool. Designed with serrated blades that create a zigzag-style pattern, pinking shears prevent fabric edges from fraying. "Gingher Pinking Shears are the perfect sharp scissors with a pinking edge," Flaum says.

Shop Now: Gingher Pinking Shears, $59.90, amazon.com.

mazbot curved embroidery scissors
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Embroidery Scissors

Used for trimming tiny threads and making small, precise cuts, embroidery scissors have thin, slightly curved blades with sharp tips designed for getting around embroidery hoops. "The small blades and slight curve make it easier to cut close to the fabric," explains Flaum.

Shop Now: Mazbot 6-Inch Bent Handle Curved Embroidery Scissors, $16.95, amazon.com.

Fiskars rotary cutter
Credit: Courtesy of Dick Blick

Rotary Cutter

Although it's technically not a scissor, rotary cutters are a specialized cutting tool commonly used for making quilts, because they can slice through several layers of fabrics at once, including thicker materials, such as leather and vinyl. "Be sure to use your rotary cutter with a good acrylic fabric ruler to make perfect straight cuts," advises Flaum.

Shop Now: Fiskars Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter, $14.38, dickblick.com.

assortment of decorative scissors
Credit: Courtesy of Michaels

Decorative Paper Edge Scissors

Whether you're a seasoned crafter or a first-time DIYer, decorative paper edge scissors make it easy to create unique borders and patterns on an assortment of paper goods. "Decorative edge scissors are ideal for creating a fun and custom-cut edge on homemade cards, photo frames and other paper crafts," says Gambaccini.

Shop Now: Craft Smart Decorative Scissors Tub, $13.49, michaels.com.

kids safety scissors
Credit: Courtesy of Staples

Kids Safe Scissors

Designed specifically for first-time cutters, kid-safe scissors have small handles that are easier for little hands to grip and maneuver. "They also have a blunted tip to prevent accidents," says Gambaccini.

Shop Now: TRU RED 5-Inch Kids Blunt Tip Stainless Steel Scissors (two pack), $3.99, staples.com.