Essential Cutting Tools

Sewing means cutting. Cutting patterns, cutting fabric, cutting interfacing, cutting thread... There's a LOT of cutting in sewing. So, what cutting tools do you want/need? We'll do a quick rundown of the best and the brightest and why you want to have them in your sewing arsenal!

Essential Cutting Tools


This one seems like a no-brainer, I know, but it needs to be on this list. I would just like to stress here that you will want 2 pairs of scissors. An inexpensive pair for paper, and a quality pair for fabric. And NEVER use your fabric scissors on paper! It will dull them and cause ragged edges and very difficult cutting for you. It also is worth it to get your fabric scissors professionally sharpened when you feel like they're losing their edge.

Rotary Cutter/Mat

These two things go hand in hand. A rotary cutter will make short work of cutting your fabric (see this post for tips!), but if you don't want to damage your table or floors, you'll need a cutting mat to go with it. The mat serves as a safe surface under the sharp blade, kind of like a cutting board in the kitchen. While not absolutely necessary for sewing clothing, I personally find I save a LOT of time by using these particular cutting tools.

Embroidery Scissors

These are a much smaller version of your fabric scissors. They are typically 4-6 inches in length total and are perfect for things like reverse applique, clipping curves and points, and cutting open buttonholes. Their smaller size makes them much easier to control and get into tighter spaces.

Thread Clippers/Nippers

These little tools are one of my favorites. They might be small, but they are mighty. And they see a LOT of use in my house. These little spring-loaded beauties are the perfect tool for clipping threads as you sew. And, if I'm being honest, I use mine to fix my mistakes more often than I use an actual seam ripper. Mine can always be found sitting directly to my right in front of my machine for easy access. Another great thing about them? They're really inexpensive, so replacing them is a drop in the bucket (unlike a good pair of fabric scissors), which means this is something you really shouldn't be living (sewing) without!

Can you think of any essential cutting tools I've missed? Please let us know in the comments below! And join us in our Facebook group for more tips, giveaways, and to find new sewing friends!
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