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One Minute Reviews: Fancy Cut Scissors

05/02/2011

Initially, I did not get the point of decorative scissors. The first pair I used made it appear as though I had ripped the paper myself. It seemed a bit ridiculous to use a tool, which took longer to do something I could do quicker and for FREE. However, this was before I started making zines and realize that page after page of cut and pasted text imprisoned by a perfectly square border was incredibly boring.

These scissors go by a host of names – paper edgers, paper shapers and decorative scissors – but the goal is the same: adding some well needed flavor to otherwise neatly edged paper.

Some pairs indicate edging shape by handle color, like in the case of these no namers sold individually or in sets at big box crafting stores. That said, I haven’t been able to figure out if this is standardized within the industry. I’ll admit I own quite a few, but find myself (of late) only using them when I can’t remember where I put the real scissors.

I tend to like the pink ones because they often have the most rococo edging shapes. Again, this probably varies by brand and is rendered moot when the entire set is pink, which was the case with a set EK Success decorative edgers I own.

I used to get the cheap ones – usually found in some craft store’s dollar bin – only to have them break after a couple of uses. Still in the process of upgrading my current stash, which boasts a mishmash of rusty, dull duds and edgers that make patterns I don’t like.

While I rarely suggested spending more on an item that comes in a lower price point, I definitely see the difference in performance between this set and the cheapies. They don’t cramp my hands while forcing me to earn every cut the hard way. These are smooth and make nice, sharp cuts. Anything in the range of $1.50 to $2.50 per pair tends to be the sweet spot giving you a shot a cramp free cuts and longevity.

A sampling of the edge patterns offered by my stash of fancy cut scissors. Most of the older pairs are awful about those skips. It’s amazing that a cutting instrument can be both dull as a stockbroker on a date, while also cutting with wild abandon like a newly certified hairdresser.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 05/02/2011 8:44 pm

    There were a lot of Italian tailors in my family, so when I was a kid, there was always a set of pinking shears around to play with. I loved making zigzag cuts in paper whether or not I had a school project to jazz up. So now even though I have absolutely no use for these fancy scissors, I still have the urge when I have access to them (like in church schools, where there always seem to be a variety of them) to mutilate construction paper into all manner of happy shapes.

  2. 05/02/2011 10:49 pm

    I have come to believe I also have little use for these brightly hued dust collectors. Other than keeping my empty vases filled. I love edging paper, but I would need to buy some more paper first in order to satisfy my edging urges.

  3. Q.V. permalink
    05/04/2011 3:39 am

    I keep trying to get the kids interested in these things, by cutting different examples of fancy paper. But in the end the kids are only happy if they can staple something.

  4. 05/04/2011 4:49 am

    @Q.V. – LOL. Kids never change, whether it’s a fascination with the boxes that house their new toys or stapling papers.

  5. Q.V. permalink
    05/07/2011 2:51 pm

    One of the parents represents the manufacturers of tapestries, upholstery, and that sort of thing. So mostly the kids staple upholstery samples into purses. There are 5000 staples in a box, I think we’ve gone through two this year.

    A new kid was walking around while using the fancy-cut scissors to try to cut a pipecleaner. All the other kids were like, “Are you serious?” (regarding the walking around and also the scissors). Those scissors barely cut cardstock, they certainly aren’t going to cut through wire. Why did he want a fancy-cut edge on a pipecleaner?

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