Rotary Cutter v. Pinking Shears


Today, we’re looking at two different kinds of cutting tools — rotary cutters and pinking shears.

Whenever anyone asks me what kinds of supplies they need to get started sewing, my top 3 always includes a rotary cutter.  With this little tool, a self-healing mat, and a clear grid ruler you’ll never cut a crooked line again.  Most commonly, rotary cutters are used for cutting quilting blocks, but they’re great for cutting any straight line.   There are lots of great beginner-level sewing projects out there that could be done in a zip with the help of a rotary cutter like these sachets from Tuts+ and these color-blocked hot pads from Making Nice in the Midwest

Pinking shears cut edges into a zig-zag pattern and, in doing so, help to prevent fraying.  This means that pinking shears are perfect for finishing off any raw edges that may be visible or accessible in a sewing project.  A perfect example would be a pillow cover like this envelope version from Something is Done, where the inside raw edges may experience some wear and tear. Pinking shears also serve double-duty in preventing fraying while creating a decorative edge in projects like these program pockets I created for my friend’s wedding last year.

Happy cutting!

Bureaucrat by day. Lover/creator of handsome crafts, delightful beverages, and fun stuff at all other times.

1 Comment

  • Reply October 12, 2013


    Why not use a pinking blade in your rotary cutter and get the best of both? Seriously, these are two different tools with two different purposes. No need to compare, use what works best for the job.

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