You could use a regular pair of scissors while quilting, but you’d quickly find the size unwieldy and the weight too cumbersome to hold for prolonged periods. Quilting snips fit the hand beautifully and are much lighter than everyday scissors, helping to ameliorate the task of removing frays and cutting countless threads. As our picks below illustrate, a good-quality pair will not only help you work faster but also keep your hands ache-free.
1. Fiskars Titanium Micro-Tip Scissors
Comfortable to hold and equipped with a short, fine-tipped blade, these scissors make snipping threads with utmost precision a breeze. The handles have a soft grip and are fitted with a spring that reduces hand fatigue—a design that received an endorsement from the Arthritis Foundation. The titanium blades are sharp and resistant to corrosion, and they can access tight spots to ensure neat finishes on your quilts. They are also strong enough to cut through several layers of fabric.
2. Ultima Thread Nippers
If you like the feel of conventional scissors, try this pair of snips from Ultima, which are made in Italy out of hot-forged steel. The blades are attached to a loop that you can stick one finger through for extra control as you use your forefinger and thumb to control the snipping action. This is an elegant tool that cuts through threads with little effort. It’s super sharp, has a nice weight, and because of its metal structure, will last you a very long time.
3. Penta Angel Sewing Scissors
If you like keeping multiple pairs of snips on hand, consider Penta Angel’s pack of three, which are affordable enough that you can lend one out without worrying too much about getting it back. These sewing scissors feature steel blades that are satisfyingly sharp all the way to the tip, and they snip with a simple squeeze of a spring-loaded handle. Compared with brand-name options, these feel slightly flimsy, but they will hold up to regular use.
4. Kretzer Thread Scissors
This tool will help you cut extremely close to your knots and stitches thanks to its curved tips. Resembling a pair of tweezers, it gives you great control over your snips even in hard-to-reach areas. The handles have grooves for an improved grip, and even though they are entirely made of metal, they are very comfortable to hold. The blades are very pointy so you can work with great precision and not worry about damaging your fabric.
5. Heritage Cutlery Rag Quilting Snips
These are expensive shears, and we recommend them for frequent quilters, as they will last a lifetime and give you a frustration-free experience with every use. The sharp blades can handle quick thread snips and can smoothly cut through many layers of thick fabric, making them a joy to use for rag quilting in particular. Rubberized handles make them comfortable to hold, and you don’t have to exert much force to squeeze them. A spring mechanism helps to relieve stress so you can make repeated cuts without cramping.