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I have a lot of scissors. The less precious pairs come and go, but any textile crafter will tell you that fabric scissors have a special spot in the collection. They need to be sharp, heavy, and easy to handle. So when GarrettWade sent me a pair of their 7″ dressmaker’s scissors, I was excited to dig in for a review.

These scissors are forged from hard steel in France. They’re just as sturdy as my Gingher shears, but with smaller finger holes. Since I can only fit one finger in the lower hand-hold, the remaining free part of my hand can move around a bit more, providing more maneuverability. The finger holes are ergonomically shaped, sloping towards the direction your fingers will face while holding them. The upper blade is heaver than other scissors I’ve used, and it makes easy descending cuts on thick or multi-layered pattern pieces.

I spend a lot of time on the computer, and suffer hand and wrist problems as a result. Since the 7″ dressmaker’s scissors have less weight in the handles, the center of gravity leans towards the blades. I found it easiest to use these scissors for cuts that occur flat on a table, like cutting out patterns for garments. When going to trim up garments on a dress form or snip threads near the sewing machine, I prefer either a smaller pair or my spring-loaded Fiskars, since gravity can play a big role in how much my hand and wrist hurts at the end of the day.

When I compared these scissors to the rest of the collection (they appear above, second from the upper right), they easily ranked in my top three for strength, sharpness, and longevity. They’re made from high-quality steel, so even when they’re dull I can keep getting them sharpened year after year and they’ll be as good as new. If you’re looking for your first “fabric only” pair, the 7″ dressmaker’s scissors might be just the ticket.

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See all of our “Toolsday” tool reviews here.

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Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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