Pinking shears are powerful allies to tailors and hobbyist sewists. Pinking is one of the most ancient forms of finishing a seam, dating back to the 18th century.
These serrated scissors use the logistics of the woven fabric grains to cut them in a way that stops fraying. If they are well constructed, they really do keep the fabric from shredding in the ends for a long time.
Sharp and sturdy, the best pinking shears are the perfect companion to good dressmaker scissors.
Best Pinking Shears of 2020
Consider ones that have long blades, spacious finger holes, sharp serrated edges, and a good grip. Pinking shears can also be used to add decorative borders to the fabric, a nice touch to several projects.
The best tools make sewing a lot more fun, and less of a toll on your body. Repetitive strain injuries are not uncommon among sewists, but sharp and precise tools lessen the chances of that.
With all this information in mind, we researched and compiled this comprehensive list of the ten best pinking tools to get today.
1. Kai Pinking Scissors
The blades of the Kai pinking scissors are made with stainless steel added with Vanadium. This is an element that, when added to steel, greatly improves its strength properties.
That makes it excellent for thick pieces of fabric and tougher material. They also stay sharper for much longer than cheaper versions and have an ergonomic shape that improves comfort. Jersey knit, denim, light cotton, nothing is an obstacle for these scissors!
They are 8 inches long and have rubber finger holes, giving them a great grip. They are designed for professional use, but even someone who sews as a hobby will enjoy their benefits.
2. P.LOTOR Pinking Shears
Ranking high on the lists of sewers favorites, the P.Lotor shears are a safe bet. Their handles are soft and comfortable to use, with very large finger holes.
The stainless steel blades are rust-resistant, sharp and durable. The manufacturer recommends oiling the blades before the first time using them, and they will provide a smooth cut if you do so.
They are bigger than most – 9. inches long and quite heavy to use. Even though they are not expensive, they are well made and reliable.
The brand attests they are suited for left and right-handed people, but some left-handed customers did not feel this was accurate.
These are one of the shears with the longest blades available, and the scallops go from the very beginning to the end of the blades. It makes them ideal to cut long stretches of fabric seamlessly.
3. Fiskars Shears
It is impossible to go wrong with a pair of Fiskar scissors. The brand is pretty well-established in the craft niche, and there is a reason why.
It consistently makes reliable products available while keeping the price accessible. It is 8 inches long, made with stainless steel blades and rubber handles.
One thing that makes it stand out from the crowd is that the lower blade is slightly longer than the superior one. That helps you to lift the fabric, making the cutting process smooth and easy.
They may seem stiff at first, but give them a few uses and you’ll see how slick they get. They cut like butter even through layered pieces of fabric, without the dreaded chewing effect.
4. Gingher Pinking Shears
Gingher is up there with Fiskars when it comes to sewing scissors. Unlike other models, these ones are completely made of steel, with no rubber handles.
That may make them a little harder to use, but if you care about brand quality then it’s worth the extra effort. Gingher has been on the market since 1947, and their scissors are all crafted by expert artisans.
These pinking shears are 7.5 inches long and have a bent handle that is optimal to hold material flat while cutting. A double-coated finish helps with longevity and the customer service is top-notch.
5. KimDaro Pinking Shears
If you need shears that are a specific size, KimDaro offers plenty of choices to pick from. You can get scissors that have scallops ranging from 3, 4, 7, 10, and 18 millimeters, great for particular projects.
The handles are soft and give you a great grip, which is important to control your cutting – especially around corners and round designs. They have a slightly different design some customers love – the indents on the blades are round semi-circles instead of vs.
This makes no difference when it comes to stopping raveling but can be a plus in regards to design.
6. Hui Tong Shears
The Hui Tong scallops are rounded instead of v-shaped like most. They also offer a variety of scallop sizes, from 3 to 7 millimeters.
That means you can choose how your project is going to look like, with bigger semi-circle indents or very small ones.
That makes them more suited to decorative purposes, instead of seaming ones. They get you a wave pattern on the fabric, something hard to do without using a cutting blade.
It is important to notice that they are not effective in keeping the edges from fraying, but if you want an affordable pair to use on craft projects these are the best pinking shears to get.
7. JISTL Pinking Scissors
The JISLTL scissors are big, reliable, and sharp. You can use them to cut through four layers of fabric at once, and several users say they work great on thicker fabric.
Although this is not a top brand, they are still a solid purchase, even if they don’t last as long as a Gingher or Fiskars does.
The tension on them is tight, which means they provide a precise and controlled cut -lose scissors can’t get their blades properly aligned for a proper cut.
The finger holes are very large and covered with rubber, ensuring a good grasp throughout use.
8. Allary Ultra-sharp Shears
Although they look like regular fabric scissors at a first glance, the Allary shears are far from that. The steel blades have a zigzag pattern that works great to stop fraying.
If you are not a professional it can be hard to justify spending big bucks on scissors, and this pair will do the job just fine while being very affordable.
They are bigger than most, and if you have small hands you may find it hard to fully open. Still, their sharpness and ability to cut through different types of fabric make up for that.
9. Small Pinking Shears
Large scissors are not easy to use for those with small hands. Their big blades mean you have to open the handles widely to reach their full range.
That is why we found these shears that are convenient for small hands. They are tighter and have smaller finger holes, with a soft but firm grip. Although they are made for small hands, they still have long blades – essential for working with fabric.
As a plus, they are quite inexpensive, but can still cut through three layers of fabric with no issue. They can be used on fabric or paper, but remember to choose just one type of material and stick with it.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Pinking Shears for You
Size, and especially the length of the blades, matter. The longer they are the fewer cuts you need to make on the piece of fabric. That means less effort and strain.
Unless you need the scissors for a specific small project, for example, doll’s clothes, you should look for the longest shears you can find.
It may seem counterintuitive that we recommend heavy pinking scissors instead of lightweight ones. The trick, however, is to find the balance between quality and weight.
Pinking shears have to be sturdy, they do a strenuous job that requires bulk. Cheap models are light and flimsy and chew the fabric more than cut. The ideal ones provide a clean-cut and you can feel their quality when you hold them.
It is even harder for pinking shears to be sharp than regular scissors. Since they have so many indents, all of them need to hold their shape and be razor-sharp. Consider this your number one priority when purchasing this type of sewing tool.
Although pinking shears are commonly used to seam fabric designs, they can also be used for a variety of crafts. They can also add a decorative ending to papercrafts and fabric projects.
If that is your purpose, it is ok to get a lighter shear that will get the job done. If you will use it on leather or denim, however, investing in a top brand may be a necessity.
It is important to keep your expectations in check in regard to this useful tool. Using them will never be as smooth and easy to use as regular fabric scissors.
Even the best pinking shears require a good level of strength and effort since it is hard to make the serrated edges go through the piece of fabric.
With that in mind, it is still possible to make this a comfortable experience with the right product. Long blades, soft handles, and big finger holes are a great help with that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pinking shears really work?
The way pinking shears work is that they cut woven fabrics along with the bias – the sweet spot diagonally located between the lengthwise and crosswise grains.
Cutting against the grain of the fabric like that is key to stop the fabric from fraying to no end. This is a quick method that will reduce about 80% of shredding, but it can’t beat completely sewing the hem.
How do you use pinking shears?
Only woven materials will respond well to pinking shears. Sew your hem beforehand, and use the pinking shears to cut through the edges you wish to stop fraying.
Cut along the edge of the seam, as far as you can from it. This will help to keep fraying to a minimum. They work almost like regular scissors but with more weight to them.
How do you take care of pinking shears?
The number one care advice is to always keep your fabric and paper scissors separately. Using your shears on paper and then on fabric will dull them.
Always dust them after use, as the lint from fabric damages them in the long run. Use a sharpening tool or sandpaper to sharpen them every six months or so, or as needed.
While you can use aluminum to successfully sharpen straight scissors, this will not work on serrated ones.