Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

pinking shears and trimming scissors

organdy | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

hello all, any recommendations on pinking shears and scissors for trimming/grading seams would be appreciated. without a serger, i rely on my pinking shears, but they are too old for sharpening anymore. other than some minor arthritis in my right hand and generally ‘big’ (not fat) fingers, i have no limitations with scissors. my last great local fabric store has closed shop, so i’ll have to buy on-line unless you all have better clues. Thanks as usual!


  1. starzoe | | #1

    I am not a fan of pinking shears; I think they were popular for trimming seam in the past before zig-zag machines, plus they are pretty unwieldy. I don't have a serger and find that just trimming seam allowances and using the zig-zag works very well for an every-day finish. Of course there are other ways to finish a seam : HongKong finish, flat fell, stitched down, and sometimes no finish at all is needed, just a good pressing.

    1. sewfar | | #2

      I use both your methods but I still like a pinked edge on airy fabrics that ravel. No added bulk from from serging or the zig zag thread.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #11

        Have you tried a two thread overlock?  It doesn't leave much bulk at all and makes a very nice finish if you use a fine thread.  Mary

        1. sewfar | | #12

          Sounds wonderful. I never heard of this before and will definitely try it.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #14

            That rotary cutting machine looks like it's for precutting strips for quilting now that I took a second look.  Interesting anyway though.  Mary

        2. sewslow67 | | #13

          Say, Mary; I use mostly Metrolean thread in my serger for clean-finishing edges, as it leaves no impression on the front side of the garment.  Do you use this also or have you found another, very fine thread that works well.  Metrolean has been difficult for me to find since this last move, so I'm always interested is where other fine threads can be located (even on the Internet ...if they ship to Canada, which many do not).

          Edited 6/30/2009 12:33 pm by sewslow67

          1. MaryinColorado | | #15

            I always love trying new threads, but haven't been able to find that one out here.  I generally just use Maxi Lock, Madeira, or YLI brands for serging.  I love using a variety for different effects.  I never buy the cheap threads because they tend to be uneven or fuzzy and unreliable.  I'll continue to watch for the Metrolean but think it is not available in the States.  Thanks for the suggestion.  Mary


          2. starzoe | | #16

            Do you mean "metrosene"? It is made by Mettler (Swiss), polyester 100/3, very fine. It is available in Canada.

          3. sewslow67 | | #17

            I've also used "Metrosene" for years, but I am talking about another product called: "Metrolene" (I spelled it ...."lean" ...on that other post instead of ...."lene")  Anyway, Metrolene is is a much finer thread than Metrosene, and my spools are all Swiss made as well. 

            The end of the spool label says:  Mettler Metrolene:  Nm 120/2 - Swiss Made.  It doesn't say that it is 100% polyester, but I know it is, but that label is gone (it was wrapped around the spool, as I recall).  I bought all this thread down in the states (some when I lived in Denver and some when I lived in Portland). I haven't found any here in Canada, but I must admit, I haven't looked very hard either.

            Edited 6/30/2009 11:31 pm by sewslow67

          4. MaryinColorado | | #18

            Aha! Found it!  It's listed as a bobbin thread for machine embroidery.  I also found one reference when I googled it as a very fine thread for serging extremely delicate fabric.  Thanks for the tip, I'll look for it when I go to the Denver Sewing Expo the second week in July.  Mary

          5. sewslow67 | | #19

            Great, Mary.  I actually never thought about using it as a bobbin thread for machine embroidery, but that's a good idea.  When I stop and think about it, I agree that it would be perfect.  All I know is that I have found it absolute perfection when it comes to a very, fine, thin, flat edge for finishing.  Thanks for the information.

            Good luck in finding it.  And have fun at the Denver Sewing Expo.  I sure wish I could join you!

          6. MaryinColorado | | #22

            It would be fun to meet!  I went out of town and didn't get signed up for any workshops but I'm sure it will be interesting and tempting!  Mary

  2. sewelegant | | #3

    I also rarely "Pink" my seam edges any more, but having said that, I find my Gingher pinking shears a necessary member of my "tools team".  My old WISS pair went right into the old paper craft bin after buying these.  I have always heard you could not sharpen pinking shears so never gave it a thought, just got rid of them, but the Gingher pinking shears are still sharp after 20 years and I highly recommend paying the price for them.  They will cut through sheer to cotton weights like butter and I just do not use them on things like denim.

  3. jjgg | | #4

    I frequently pink my seams but I use a roarty cutter with a pinking blade on it. I almost always put an acrilic ruler over the seam just for added protection that I don't make a horrendous mistake.

    For trimming I have 5 inch 'embroidry' scissors. (actually, I have seveal pairs of trimming scissors. I also have a pr of duckbill scissors, but I most definitly don't like them. It may be that mine are just too tight. I know lots of people lovethe duckbill scissors.

    1. ljb2115 | | #20

      Strange.....I also do not like the duck-bill scissors.  These were to be the best thing since "sliced bread". but I have nicked and cut fabric with these just as easily as if I had used regular trimmers.  Great minds think alike?????

      1. sewfar | | #21

        I was also interested in the new pinking machine until I saw that it is for quilting strips. Ages ago I saw Nancy Zeiman demo her mother's old Singer hand cranked pinking machine from the 1940's. It was so smooth that I searched for one. They are on e bay, expensive and I am sure that the blades are no longer available and one would not know if rotary cutter blades could be substituted successfully until after investing. I love simple old gadgets and I am a believer that electrified and fast is not always the only and best option. My son just got his PhD in electrical engineering and is researching and teaching so at least one in the family disagrees with Mom's love of old slower gadgets but then Mom herself is older and slower !!

        1. MaryinColorado | | #23

          I remember being fascinated watching my mother use a hand crank meat grinder to make hamburger from a roast.  

          Congratulations on your son getting his PHD!  How exciting to be involved in research and teaching.  Mary

          1. Palady | | #24

            Catching up here.  The thought caming to my mind some time ago was "older" pinking sheers and/or scissors were manufactured for the fabric of the day.  Might it be the issue some have experienced in todays arena is because of this difference? 


  4. miatamomma | | #5

    Over the many years that I have sewed I have had many unsatisfactory pairs of pinking shears wuntil I bought a pair of Fiskars.  Very happy with them though I don't use them much since I serge most seams.  As for cutting scissors I have a pair of Gingher and also a pair of Fiskars which I think are what they call razor-edge.  Happy with all of them.  Hope this helps.


    1. KharminJ | | #6

      Heya! Thanks for the comment/recommendation of the Fiskars pinkers! I've been thinking about investing in a new pair while I still get an employee discount. (Even so, Gingher's are a little rich for my blood.) My Mom's Wiss's have always given me fits - pulling hard to one side all the time, so I haven't tried using them in years. Is that a generic trait of pinking shears? These're the only ones I've ever tried. It just seems like one of those "you gotta have 'em, just in case" kinds of tools. Happy proper summer weather, for a change, everybody!Kharmin

      1. miatamomma | | #7

        When I first used my Fiskar pinking shears I could not believe how well they worked.  Other shears, even if rather new, seemed to chew the fabric and not make clean cuts.


      2. Teaf5 | | #8

        Ginghers are worth every penny, especially if you use a 40% or 50%-off coupon on them, and they will easily last for thirty years or more of heavy use.

        1. sewslow67 | | #9

          I agree with you, Teal5.  I used my mother and grandmother's shears for years, including their pinking shears, and loved the idea using these tools since they were from my two darlings, but these little buggers were just that ...little buggers;  and the Weiss pinking shears chewed up the fabric - probably only because they were old - same as the no-brand dress-maker shears. 

          Thankfully, I got a nice bonus one year that was exactly the time that all the Ginghers just happened to be on a 50% off sale, so I bought a collection then, and I've never been disappointed. 

          That was over 30-years ago, and each pair continues to be as sharp as the day I got them, and each has served me well.  I've used all of them a lot and appreciate having some for specific special purposes, as it does make tasks easier.  Now, of course, with the economy like it is, and my age (i.e. fixed income) these tools would be out of reach.

          Edited 6/30/2009 6:39 am by sewslow67

          1. decoratrice | | #25

            I inherited a pair of rotary pinking shears.  They are exceptionally cool=looking, and best of all, they work!  I gave away all my other unsatisfactory pinkers (just passing the misery on, I know).  Don't know if they are still being made, but worth searching for.

  5. MaryinColorado | | #10

    I just got a newsletter from http://www.nancysnotions.com  There is a new machine out that roller cuts edges with a straight or a pinked edge.  It's called a rotary cutting machine but didn't pay much attention so don't know if it would work for your purpose or not. 

    I use rotary cutters more often than scissors due to arthritis, they do have pinked blades available too.  Otherwise I serge the edges and let the serger cut off the excess instead of pinking them. 

    Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.  Mary

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All