Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (52) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Bad, Bad Scissors: They Bring Woe and Disappointment


Amazon Books

‘Twas a dark and stormy afternoon. Lightening streaked across the sky, and thunder rumbled its angry response. A promise of rain hung in the sultry summer air, and all the world waited, hoping that this parched Kansas land would soon be lush again.

Except for me. I didn’t even notice.

I was under ridiculously bright lamps, trying to settle a score with some silk embroidery I’ve been fighting with lately. I was moving along, rather chipper in mood, actually making progress, when I picked up a pair of tiny scissors to take a premeditated, carefully calculated snip of thread….

You do know the kind of snip I’m talking about, don’t you? The kind that is taken slowly and carefully; the kind that you hesitate before taking, maneuvering into perfect position for the snip? That kind?

Poor Quality Hand Embroidery Scissors

When it’s time to take one of these Major-Moment Snips, I strongly – no, I violently and vehemently – encourage you to be absolutely certain of the scissors you are using.

Small, sharp, good quality hand embroidery scissors are the embroiderer’s best friend. Good quality scissors can last a life time. They give little bursts of wondrous pleasure every time they cut a thread. They feel good in the hand. They work with a smooth perfection of motion. Good scissors work as well as good chocolate tastes.

Good Scissors are simply divine.

Poor Quality Hand Embroidery Scissors

And then there are Bad Scissors. Bad Scissors are the kind of scissors that give you all the hope of goodness, only to disappoint. They are small. They are sharp. They are blessedly inexpensive. But they lack quality, and in their making, they lack quality control.

In the photos above, you can see, up close and personal, the blades on a brand-new pair of poor quality embroidery scissors. Just out of the package, they have a burr on one blade, and the tip of the other blade is simply missing. In its place is a rough, broken edge.

Burrs and broken tips snag embroidery threads. And they do it before you even know what has happened. Burrs are difficult to see. They can often be felt, but who wants to run a finger over a sharp scissor blade?

It’s worthwhile to invest in good tools. Once you invest in them, they’re with you for life. You can use them with confidence.

And you’d think that I would know this by now. But these scissors – they were so cute. They were so small. They were so sharp. They were so inexpensive. And they were so, so very flawed.

And my embroidery suffered for it.

Learn from my mistake, dear friends. Be sure of your scissors before you use them!

Have you ever had a scissor disappointment? Any good scissor recommendations? What’s your favorite pair? (Surely we ALL have a favorite!) Have your say below!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(91) Comments

  1. Mary,

    I totally get this! When I started to hand embroider I bought one of those inexpensive stork scissors. I could have chewed the thread off with my teeth better. LOL
    I have two favorites. One has a curved very short blade and came with my sewing machine. I bought it used and have no idea if it was stock or left there by the previous owner. They were made in Italy. The other was a recent purchase of a pair of Dovo scissors. Very sharp small blades that cut the thread like butter. They were the lower end and cost about $40.00, but worth every penny I paid for them.

  2. I have only one pair of scissors that I treated myself to nearly 20 years ago. A very simple Mundial 3 inch scissor. Just recently I noticed that they were not cutting as well as they could. In fact it took a couple of snips to cut a single thread. I felt the blade. Dull, dull, dull. Trying to find a shop that sharpens on the spot was difficult. Sure the store sharpens-they send them out. “You will have them back in a week.” Where are my smelling salts, I feel faint. A whole week without my one pair of scissors?! Well, I did find an on the spot scissors sharpener and not too far from my house either. It’s probably the place that everyone who claims to sharpen sends their scissors too. I got my scissors back within an hour and now they go through thread like buddah…

    1. Hi, Wendi – Yes, I know what you mean. It’s actually pretty hard to find someone these days who will sharpen embroidery scissors, so if you have someone, count your lucky stars!! ~MC

  3. Boy did you hit a nerve with this one. Several years ago I was given a pair of Gingher embroidery scissors and thought I was so lucky. The worst pair of scissors I ever tried to use. I only use them to snip my lengths of thread before threading my needles. Won’t cut fabric worth a darn. Can’t use them for Hardanger. I am saving for a pair of Dovo scissors. You are so right about quality.

  4. Mary, I ALWAYS check scissors before buying them…if they don’t open and close smoothly, I don’t buy them. My very favorite pair is ss Dovo’s- 3.5 inch. I collect scissors, some very expensive some cheap, but I still check for “catches and burrs”. Sorry for your experience. I rarely buy on line unless I know the shopowner and know they will check them for me.

    1. Yes, the woes of online shopping!

      I’m a Dovo fan, personally, and I’ve found I can buy them online without any problem – they are always, always top notch!

    1. I’m afraid it was mostly bark and very little bite, Georgia – lots of thunder and lightening, and a smattering of rain. Things are shriveling at a rapid rate!

  5. Kai scissors!! Relatively inexpensive, extremely sharp and long-lasting. They are the best scissors I have ever used. kaiscissors.com

    1. Right On Carolyn!! My first pair (5100B) was purchased at RSN, the second (5100) at EGA national seminar. Mary–get thee to your laptop & order a pair! Not fancy or pretty, but dollar for dollar they trump Dovo, Sajou, et al.

  6. Dear Mary,
    Here is a way to find those burrs and bad edges from back in the (very) old days when we used to resharpen, sterilize, and reuse hypodermic needles. We ran them through cotton balls. First, we fluffed out the ball to make it loose enough for the fibers to come away easily. If there were fibers on the needle, we knew where the slags were and kept sharpening.

    1. I was wondering about a piece of easily snagged fabric, like a silk scarf I’m slowly working on hand hemming, then I thought about small bits (orts?) of flat silk. I’ve never used it, but reading about the cautions of keeping smooth hands, I’d think it should work?

  7. I have a handful of ‘good’ pairs of scissors from different manufacturers, but my current favourites are Dovos. They’re effortless to use.

  8. Hi Mary
    As soon as you put ‘inexpensive’, I knew that was the problem. Needles, threads, hoops fabrics, SCISSORS. If we want to do our work justice, then inexpensive is a ‘no go area’. It is for me anyway. My husband grumbles when I want the best. To him it’s pound signs before the eyes, to me it’s quality, and quality will rarely let you down!!
    Take care,

    1. I’m with you. You do NOT want to be penny wise and pound foolish… you get what you pay for. Fortunately for me, my DLP ties fishing flies and he understands about quality.

      Happy stitching!

  9. They think that scissors were invented about 3500 (I think) years ago. They were spring shaped until the 18th century (I think) when the modern pivoted variety started popping up. If you put your thumb and forefinger together like a duck quacking you will have the general idea of thier shape and fuction, similar to tweezers.
    My favorite scissors are a 4 inch long (? I have never measured them precisely) pair of snips I purchased at a local history museum for about 5$ over a decade ago. They are “old fashioned” spring scissors rather than the cross pivoted type. They fit better in my grab and go basket than the waaay wider “0” handles of regular scissors. The museum is one of those “old time” museums that has a small foundery, an outdoor oven and many other “shows” with people who dress up in costume and show you how things USED to be. I believe the snips were made in thier foundery along with other objects (like candlesticks)they sell in the museum store. At 5$ a pair it will not be horrifying to my wallet if I lose them, I can always buy a new pair. Yes, I know for a fact that the museum still sells them. They are not particularly shiny or beautiful, thier points are not particularly sharp (not borken, just flat) but the snips do the job they were designed to do without fuss.

    1. Hi, RMW – I know the exact snips you are talking about (I think). They’re kind of a “rustic” version of snippers, or of the (much more expensive) professional snips sold at the Japanese Embroidery Center. I have a pair of them, too – I use them for cutting heavier goldwork wires. Coated black, though the blades themselves are wide, flat, and uncoated? They’re quite handy!

    2. Rustic? Nah, scissors were like that for millenia, unless they have been cosidered “rustic” for every generation except the generation that invented them 5500 years ago (3rd millenia BC I think). (I was in a hurry when I typed the other message). Some animal shearing is still done with rounder, jumbo sized snips like that. I do not do goldwork, I just use regular cotton floss, but they are TOUGH little snips, which to me is more important than esthetics. They are great for car trips, not likely to be ruined if you drop them and tips snap because of a pothole. Hehe, my snippy little buddies ARE very good friends with the floor. I suspect that the REASON that the blades were flat or round at the tips for so long is because they will not easily be ruined if dropped. πŸ™‚

      Yes, the blades are wide and flat, the rest coated black. But they make them at the museum here along with other things like candlesticks for “courting candles”, fireplace implements and other things. We use the candlesticks we purchased for power outages, no, not for candles, we stick our candle sized AAA maglights in them, and can move them around no problem. SAFE! πŸ™‚

  10. And keep your good scissors locked away from men!! Men will take your best scissors when they need to cut a wire or something. They don’t think about the things you do with them. They don’t think.

    1. πŸ™‚ Funny! And a very good point! It never hurts to hide good scissors…! And if your pre-teen happens to get ahold of them, they become fair game for cutting scrapbook paper and trimming hair. Rrrrrrgh….!

    2. Sally, I am sorry that the men in your life have been the type that require you to take out a life insurance policy on your favorite snips. (haha) I am lucky enough to disagree with you, my dad would NEVER do that because he is quite mechanically inclined, and has wire cutters in the garage. My MOM on the other hand is the one who has destroyed a couple of pairs of scissors (large fabric sized) over the years. She also has been caught hammering hanging tacks (for picture frames) into the wall with the handles of scissors. She crochets. πŸ˜›

    3. I’m heartbroken. I just picked up my beloved embroidery scissors and realized they were ruined. No one has confessed yet. These scissors were give to me by my mother when I was 13 years old. The brand name is ‘Joy’ and they were made in Germany. At the time she gave them to me, she said, “If you take care of them, you’ll have them for the rest of your life.” Boy, was she right… they have been my favorite and only scissors for every needlework project for 50 years… I’m now 63! So, what to do now? Can they be repaired? Where do I go? Or do I just buy a new pair and let it go?
      Like I said, I’m heartbroken. Thanks if you have any advice for me.

    4. Hi, Beverly – it might be worth seeking a scissor repair person (sewing or quilt stores can often recommend someone) and get an estimate. If the repair is possible and the price is reasonable, it would be worth it, if you’re attached to the scissors. On the other hand, you could keep them for sentimental value and just not use them and get a new pair for use, for probably as much – or even less – than what you’d pay for repairs.

  11. I think beauty and utility can go hand in hand! I found both in a pair of WASA (Solingen Germany) filigree handled scissors on Hedgehog Handworks(3-1/2″) and recently bought a pair of Dovo (for LEFT HANDERS – bliss!) stainless steel, plain and elegant, to do Hardanger. Love them both!

  12. I’ve learned a lot from reading these posts. When I did sewing and needlework back in the 70s, Gingher scissors were considered premier scissors and they were expensive. I didn’t know that during my 30+ year absence from needlework that Gingher had fallen from grace. I had never heard of Dovo scissors before today, but I will certainly be adding a pair to my Christmas wish list.

  13. For me, Gingher never fails. The curved 6″ is great for applique and the snips is so very
    perfect for all those little “snip” jobs. I have never tried Dovo – but I will now!!

    Thanks for the tips – Wonderful comments – thanks for them all – they are always so very helpful.

  14. My husband learned his lesson the hard way too. When he first started stitching he grabbed a small delicate looking pair of scissors. But they had a slight curve in the blade. He would stitch along, finish a thread and clip off the tail. He’d get more floss, stitch along and then find some of his thread was sticking out the front. What happened? He thought the thread was spontaneously shredding and breaking. Turns out when he clipped his tail fairly close to the back, that slight curve in the blade also nicked the other threads laying on the fabric. They worked loose to the front and he ended up doing lots of repairs. He now uses some nice scissors and is stitching happily along.

    1. Back about 3500 years ago when I started stitching (just kidding) I had a pair of Fiskars embroidery scissors and they were great. I was just out of college and had little cash. They were no longer being made when I lost them so replaced them with another brand. Still have those but my husband did have to rescue them when confiscated at a military clinic just days after 9/11. I took stitching along as usual and the nice young sailor promised me he would take very good care of them while I was inside – his mother did embroidery. As things go, I was delayed and when I came out, he was no longer on duty and no one had any idea where my scissors were. Near tears I called my husband the “Senior Chief” and he went to the clinic on his way home and “pulled rank” to find my scissors. My Hero!!! They are getting a little dull so maybe it’s time to retire them and upgrade. My birthday is coming up soon….

  15. I finally treated myself to a pair of Dovos. They are pure function – no filagree or anything fancy – but I love them. I really didn’t need new scissors, my current pair was not giving me any trouble. I wanted to have the quality on hand when I venture into working with finer threads and ground fabric.

    I agree with many of the above posts – quality is so crucial!

    Doreen from Maine

  16. Dear Mary

    You are so right concerning scissors I bought a pair of scissors when I first started embroidery a couple of years ago gone blunt already, but now I have a pair of dovo scissors wonderful, much smaller than than the other pair and they cut thread better.

    You ought to be in London nothing but rain for the last 2 months, oh to have sunshine!

    Regards Anita Simmance

  17. Wow do I know how that feels, I got a pair of “stork” embroidery scissors one time. They were cute, I was seeing them everywhere and they weren’t sharp (got them online, so that I couldn’t tell) Then I got a pair that was sharp and they were ssoooooo cuuute and the coating they had put on them to color them came off… yeah like I want that stuff flaking all over my project.

  18. Bad scissors! How many scissors do you know? If you had to pick one, is there a clear winner? If you have one, you’re lucky. If you have more than one, you are blessed.


  19. I use a very expensive pair of cuticle scissors. The kind with the small curved blades and pointy tip. I have not been disappointed. I have tried the $50.00
    range embroidery models only to use them once and then let them disappear into the wasteland of un-used sewing gadgets.

    1. I usually do too, I love my little cuticle scissors. (They’re great for trimming little bits of fabric for appliquΓ© too, if you quilt.)

  20. I do a lot of Hardanger and by far my favorite scissors are Squizzers Model SQ6B, http://www.squizzers.com/craft.html, their website isn’t very good but you can see a diagram of them here. http://www.squizzers.com/diagram1.html
    I use them for all kinds of embroidery. I’ve had the pair that I use for nearly 20 years and they are still sharp (never had to have them sharpened) and they work as smooth as silk. Best thing about them is there is no reason for anyone in the family to try and use them for anything they shouldn’t.

    1. I should have said that the diagram is of the Squizzer construction not of that actual model. And as they mention there is no “left” or “right” to them.

  21. Quality scissors are the one thing I will NOT compromise on. And yes, ANY man will just pick up the scissors and use them….many, many years ago (21 to be exact), I had just bought a beautiful pair of exquisitely sharp & beautiful & tiny embroidery scissors and left them on the lamp table by my chair (with my embroidery); that evening, company came over to listen to new music. My friend’s husband sat in my chair and USED MY BEAUTIFUL BRAND NEW ITTY BITTY EXQUISITE embroidery scissors to OPEN THE CD BLISTER PACK! There were about 20 people in the room…I gasped and screamed “NO” as I lunged for the scissors as he picked them up – all movement stopped, everyone stared….and sadly, my little scissors were ruined – not only dull but twisted from the pivot point! Useless! Now, no kidding, I keep my scissors in an old cash box and LOCKED! Seriously. Lesson learned.

    1. ooooooohhhh, I think my heart skipped a beat reading that one! Do I dare hope he had the courtesy to replace them?

  22. I bought a pair of Dovos back in my days of Hardanger. They were almost certainly made just for me by angels in Sewing Heaven! My grandchildren somehow got them into my garden. (Their mother denies this, by the way.) I have not been the same since. I have a drawer full of Dovo-wannabes but you are right they are just not the same. Not when I am working on a one-at-a time basis. This reminds me to give up fast food for a a week amd buy another pair!

  23. Have just looked for Dovo scissors on the internet and the very first pair I come across are for nose ear and facial hair! Think I should investigate further

  24. My favorite pair is from Sajou. I bought them about ten years ago; they are imitation tortoise shell and a delight to look upon. Very similar to the imitation mother of pearl ones I see in catlogs. Not only are they lovely to look at, but they are really good scissors; well made, feel good in the hand, nice and pointing at the business end. The other ones I use are my Ginghers. I have three pair of those. Two are just plain serviceable chrome. One is kept at the side of my sewing machine; the other in my traveling bag. The third pair have tartan handles and have never been used; just for show. I have a bunch of other scissors, but would not used them because I feel they’re more for show than anything else.

  25. Mary, I have three pairs of embroidery scissors but I use just the one pair, they are my old favourites, now more than 26 years old. The cut like the day they were purchased. Kind Regards Mandy

  26. Here’s one for the Great Disappointment category: Cutter Bee. This scissors was highly touted as having an extremely sharp point and being able to cut well out to the very end. Alas, they literally don’t cut AT ALL out at the very end–they’re only useable if you use the middles of the blades. They were a gift, so I can’t send them back, but if I had bought them, I’d be complaining very loudly to the manufacturer.

    1. I have a pair of Cutter Bee scissors. I only use them for cutting perforated paper, never floss of any kind. They actually work pretty well for that. When they start to get dull, I just give them to the s.o. (who usually promptly loses them) and buy a new pair because they are cheap enough not to hurt.

  27. My curved Bohin scissors are my best friend on a par with my Dorcas thimble. These wonderful little scissors have sharp fine tips and the curved blades make them perfect. Wonderful for daily use snipping and cutting threads they are with out doubt the best thing for cutting out stumpwork pieces. I have just returned from Koala Conventions in Brisbane Aus. which was brilliant, I did a workshop with Catherine Howell called Flemish Botanical Flowers and some elements are worked on felt and these scissors are perfect for cutting them out, the curved edge allows you to get close to the fabric without dangerous tips getting in the way and cutting something else.

  28. I like my stork scissors. So far I’ve had no problems with them for embroidery. They’re quite sharp, and they’re comfortable in my hand.

    Henckels are my favourite brand for fabric scissors. They were expensive, but worth every penny.

  29. I have some small Gingher embroidery scissors that are probably 15 years old. I keep them safely locked away and in their sheath unless actually making the snip. The points are so sharp, I’m afraid I’ll bend one somehow if left lying about. Or jab myself. Or jab something that doesn’t heal, like upholstery.

    I just had a disappointing scissor experience. Joann Fabrics just had Fiskars on sale, so I bought 3 pair. I’ve had good luck with them in the past. A titanium shear for fabric, a curved embroidery scissor, and thread snips. The snips don’t work – the handles are such that if I just pick them up and use them, the pressure moves the blades apart and they don’t cut. they are going back. The curved scissor cuts well, but has some sharp corners and edges. These I’m debating on trying to file the sharp corners, or returning. The shears had a good review on a sewing forum, but somehow…I’m not sure what I think. They are not bad, but not wonderful. I’ll give them a few more chances before making up my mind.

  30. Hi Mary,

    Ah, scissors. I had a wonderful pair of Kai scissors I bought way back in the mid-eighties. They probably didn’t cost a lot and, after many pair of not so good scissors I loved them. They worked extremely well until a few years ago when they suddenly went blunt. I got them sharpened but wished I hadn’t as they didn’t work the same again.

    After that I went through several pairs of other scissors. I now have a pair of Premax which are good for the snipping of floss, etc., but when I took up Hardanger I found I wasn’t satisfied. Recently I splashed out on a pair of Dovo Hardanger scissors which I adore. (One day I might treat myself to another pair of Dovo scissors.)

    Your recommendation of this brand encouraged me to try Dovo as I had to order them over the internet. I’m very pleased I did.

    1. My father says that some scissor blades are not like knife blades, sometimes you cannot just sharpen them is “same old, same old” fashion. Some pairs have to be sharpened in a particular way or the blades go postal on you, like yours did. Even scissors that look the same from different brands often have to be sharpened differently. I am sure it is getting worse and worse is because of the huge numer of brands, manufacturers and model numbers etc. It is horrifying to imagine how many ways you would have to learn to sharpen them. It is too bad that manufacturers do not provide this service, they would know EXACTLY how to sharpen thier own various types, and scissors could be your best embroidery friend indefinitely.

  31. The very best are made by DOVO!!! I don’t even know how mny I have because they re so wonderful. My favorite are the brushed steel, they have never failed me. By the way, none of the other Dovo’s have either. I have 3 of their anniversary sets, gold handles, silver, and “blue blade set”, along with several single pair. Do try them, they have some very fancy, and plain, but they also win the highest degree of function.

  32. My experience with poor scissors was not in needlework but in sewing for my daughter. I was making her a skirt very pretty, her favorite colour and very full. I finished it completely and it looked real cute on her. All that was left was to trim the inside seams. My scissors were a little stiff. You know what happened – a beautiful V cut right in the front of her skirt.

  33. I purchased a scissor from Sajou, quite expensive but beautiful to use. I am over my heels in love with them.

  34. I think some of these “fancy” looking scissors are just for looking at.

    When I see any pretty but not so useful item I think of the quote Lone Watie from The Outlaw Josey Wales… “All I have is a piece of hard rock candy. But it’s not for eatin’. It’s just for lookin’ through.”

  35. I thought the little stork scissors must be good they have been around forever…not so very dissappointing. Gingher scissors….I have some good ones and I have some not so good ones….the good ones have DO NOT TOUCH written down the blades with a Sharpie Marker. Does not stop them from being touched so they are hidden away. I have a pair of small curved blade scissors that I love. I had never wondered who made them and really unsure where they came from. They are marked Solingen on one side and on the other Made in Germany 5078. They are a nice 3 3/4″ and I love them! I did a google search and found Dovo scissors are from the same area, but mine are shaped differently around the handle.
    I think Gingher scissors and Rowenta irons are not what they used to be….very sad that quality has been replaced by quantity.

  36. Hi Mary,

    I love scissors and usually stay with Gingher. I have the nippers, lion tail, regular embroidery and others… Ok I love scissors!! Any way I was using new pair of Ginghers and they kept catching my thread. I had never had that happen and I found a burr at the tip of one of the blades. This really surprised me considering the brand. Do you think I should just toss them? Keep in mind I keep every little scrap of thread or material if I think Ill use it some day. πŸ˜‰

  37. I now only use Gingher scissors! My precious hubby bought me 7 pairs of scissors different sizes (included were 2 gold handled embroidery ones one of which is a stork I belive). I use those and a Gingher for my rotary cutting also!

  38. Mary, this is just so funny! When you get tired of teaching all of us everything you know, you can write a book. I’d never heard of Dovo but I’m going to check them out. However I do have a pair of Ginghers which I swear by. They are guaranteed for life and when they needed to be sharpened I sent them to the factory and they did it for free. So, those who don’t like them might want to give them a second try? Of course, to each her own πŸ™‚

  39. I had a pair of Andre Tisserand scissors that I absolutely loved. While traveling 10 years ago, I asked my husband to slip them into our suitcase. Unfortunately he put them into the carry on and they were confiscated at the airport. I really hope someone else is making good use of them!!! I’m still waiting for the opportunity to get another pair!!!! Maybe I should check out DOVO first, everyone seems to love them too.

  40. My absolute favorites are my Dovo scissors with a serrated blade, I just love them. The have a rounded tip so aren’t useful for snipping tight stitches. For that I use a seam ripper, then the scissors in combination with tweezers. I never seem to have any trouble cutting the fabric or nearby stitching.

    Several years ago I was in my son’s room with him, and he pulled out a pair of my sewing shears that had been missing for at least 5 years! I took them back, had them sharpened, and they now live in my sewing room, into which no men are allowed. I bought 6 pair of utility/craft scissors that are now distributed throughout the house for general use, and have no worries about anyone touching my good scissors.

  41. Thanks you for bringing up this very important subject. We should not only be careful about our handwork scissors, but of any other kind of scissors or cutting implemets we buy or receive as gifts.
    I happened to purchase a pair of cuticle nippers and when I opened the package, one of the nippers fell out. I wondered how it stayed in the package without falling of into the packaging.

  42. I had a pair of Premax Italian double-curved scissors that I loved, but I dropped them and now they don’t work so well. So I bought a pair of same in every respect Gingher, since I didn’t know that Gingher are out of favour. I can’t fault them, nor can I fault the other two pairs of Gingher dress making scissors I have, one plain and one with a serrated blade. I must confess that this latter one isn’t as good as the others but still better than anything else I have tried. I don’t much like little scissors for embroidery and prefer the double-curved variety which allows you to get very close to where you want to snip. I also have some of the old-style Japanese snips, bought for me by my husband who cares for my scissors more than I do apparently (since he sharpens them etc, and I only drop them).

  43. I started embroidering three years ago. I love it. The women in my stitching group called me a natural. I’ve learned a lot from them. I ruined my scissors using metallic thread and braid. The ladies told me to get a very good pair of scissors and to really take care of them. I was not used to extra sharp scissors so inadvertantly cut good thread until I learned better. Now I use my embroidery scissors for all my sewing–except for metallic threads.

  44. I love my Ginghers. I have two pair. Reason for two is because I alternate use between the two of them. When one pair starts to lose its sharpness, I send them back to Gingher where for $7.50, they will refurbish, sharpen and send them back. Turn around for me is usually a couple of weeks (which is why I have the other pair) but would probably be longer for others as I live fairly close to the distributor.

    When one pair goes to the “hospital” I then use the other pair until its time for them to go in for surgery. πŸ™‚ I have different fobs on them so I can always tell which is which.

    Address and information on their program can be found on the gingher website.

  45. I’m not much of an embroiderer (but still love to read your blog πŸ™‚ ), but do lots of sewing (and work professionally with historical textiles). My go to scissors are simple u-shaped japanese “mini nigiri”.
    It took a little getting used to, since you need to press them together to cut and spring open if you loosen the pressure. But it really feels like a different level of control over your cutting. And for very tricky stuff I use a scalpel with a fresh blade πŸ™‚

  46. First choice is a wonderful stainless and matte gold pair of Dovos. They have a very sharp narrow blade, feel good in my hand and are beautiful to boot. Second choice are my pewter Gingers.

    1. I still have my first pair of sewing shears from Kanip which my mom bought me in 1975. Not fancy, but it was the scissors that told me I was a seamstress and not my mother’s helper. They need to be sharpened,but still hold a favorite place in my basket. As far as embroidery scissors, I love my Ginghers and my new Simplicity scissors, but my Fiskars scissors got dull fairly quickly, although it is still used routinely for sewing threads. I wish I would have bought the Kai scissors when I was at a sewing show last fall.

  47. I found this whole discussion to be fascinating. I have to admit I haven’t thought much about my scissors (I know, slap my wrists), but do have a couple of favourites of brand unknown. Mostly I just buy the cheap ones and toss them when they get dull. I recently picked up a pair of stork scissors and they’re perfect for snipping threads, but they’re still new so who knows how they’ll function over time. I plan to check out the Dovo’s though, because it sounds like I NEED a pair!!

  48. My good scissors are Ginghers, from before their quality started to decline. My everyday scissors, which I actually love, were $5 at WalMart. Yep, WalMart, now sold for the princely sum of $7. They’re by Westcott -small, with curved titanium-coated blades & large cushioned handles, and very sharp. Figuring they were cheap & easily replaced, they have been abused in every unspeakable way. They’ve been dropped many times (point-down, of course), cut metallic thread, fabric, paper, stray hairs, and yes, the odd fingernail. Yet, they remain sharp & have never once snagged a thread.
    My husband knows the importance of maintaining one’s tools & would never dream of improperly using my scissors. My 7y/o grandson, a budding needlepointer, has his own inexpensive but serviceable scissors, and knows not to touch mine. My mother, on the other hand…. She had my great-grandmother’s beautiful old stork scissors. I was thrilled when she offered them to me, along with her sterling silver thimble & clever measuring tape. I was sickened to find one of the blades broken off – she had used them as a screwdriver.

  49. I have many pairs of Gingher scissors, but my favorite are my Dovos scissors. I have two pair – one with a curved blade & a pair of hardanger scissors (the tips are thinner than the rest of the blade) Love both of them.

  50. My vote is for Dovo – wonderful tools that don’t let you down! I have been disappointed by Gingher, though the designs are lovely. I wonder if anyone else has used Tres Claveles scissors? I purchased mine over a dozen years ago and consider them to be my “good” scissors with the most precise, delicate, sharp points that I could ask for. Anyone else ever heard of “3C”?

    1. Yes, I have. Can’t praise them enough. I bought my niece a pair for her 18th birthday three years ago (they were a little expensive). She has been very happy with them. Since then, other girlies have taken a shine to them … so I went to find some more today … and now they are even more expensive! I came home empty handed … but went and bought myself a cheap pair of another make, just for me, and am thoroughly disappointed with them. πŸ™
      So OH is off tomorrow to get some Claveles for me and the girlies. Claveles are beautiful snippers, so elegant, with very thin tips, and very very sharp. Gotta go for quality over false economy every time. Stupid of me to think otherwise. Lesson learnt (… again!)

    2. Dawna, I’m about three years behind this discussion but I too own and cherish a pair of 3C storkies. I would give anything to know where to buy a backup pair in the U.S. Any clue?

  51. I have a pair of bent handled sewing shears that I have had since seventh grade. The gold has worn off the handles. They are the best scissors I have ever used. They feel good in the hand, take and keep a nice edge, blades are smooth, even, cut cleanly. My mother bought them from JC Penneys for me! My kids learned when they were toddlers that Mom’s scissors were NOT FOR PAPER!

  52. I have had my Joy embroidery scissors all my life. My mother gave them to me when I was a little girl. I’m now 63 and I’ve never sharpened them. They cut to precision always. I don’t know what I’d do without them. I also use them to precisely cut an ingrown toenail down the side. Other embroidery scissors can’t do this and are too weak. Wish I could find a back-up pair. But, so far, my little Joy scissors keep on chugging.

  53. I can’t tell you the name of my favorite pair as it is not visible. They were my grandmother’s, she did mostly hucking but also embroidery and has been gone for nesrly 50 yers and they are still sharp.

  54. What you need to do is get on a site for made in Sheffield scissors and you will never look back, guaranteed a lifetime. That is Sheffield England of course.
    Good luck, Julia

  55. My favorite pair were my grandmother’s who has not been with us for almost 50 years. They are still sharp and work great.

  56. Hail& happy days to the sites Chief cut-up. Some years ago I struck out for the cloth store in search of a proper tribute for this regions most beautiful and gifted Queen of Needle,Thread,and Cloth. Up one isle down the next I looked(both high and low). That’s when I spotted a strategically placed end cap! Pondering said end cap I made my choice a pair of shinning Gingher scissors! My gift came a what seemed to be a fair price for a Queen(how much is too much) and we lived happily ever after. .. ,,, till now. Herself presented me with the smallest pair of snips stating: “These are too loose!” Taking out my trusty vial of lubricating oil and in a second that was done. Next I selected an appropriate slot screw driver. First I tighten, no change! Taking a different tack, I loosen, then tighten said screw!!! No change. … ….. What to do, what to do… Eureka!!! I spotted your site on the internet, hope is reborn, my chance for honor and self esteem may be insight! With your help. Or do I haft ta go buy a new pair?

    1. LOL! Well, it depends on the scissors. If they were expensive, then you’d probably want to get them fixed, but if they were not expensive (say, less than $20), then you’d probably be better off buying a new pair, because it will cost you just as much or more to have them fixed. If I were buying a pair that I really wanted to last a long time, I’d go for scissors made in Germany, in Solingen (like DOVO scissors), or in Nogent, France. Both places have good reputations for producing excellent scissors. Another option is the higher end Premax scissors from Italy. Their little decorative ones are not as good, but their tiny ring-lock scissors are excellent.

  57. In 1992, I was studying at the University of Valencia in Spain. Like most students, I didn’t have a lot of extra jingle in my pocket but I loved to window shop my new city. I learned about Tres Claveles (3C) scissors, very high quality, made in Spain, scissors for all kinds of work from embroidery to dress making and hair styling. Sadly, I left Spain without a pair but made a mental note that I needed a pair of 3C storkies for my hardanger cutting. Ten years later, I found a pair in Virginia and these storkies have been the best scissor I’ve ever had my hands on. In my opinion, the quality of materials and workmanship (details) are a dream come true. Try the high end embroidery scissors for about $30. You won’t be sorry!

  58. This comment refers back to a long ago post regarding the importance of good quality scissors. I love my Dovo scissors! Fine tipped, sharp, solid. They seem to be hard to find now, but worth the effort and cost.

More Comments