Reported by Heather Strenzwilk
If you say “Westcott” at my house, my family may look at you oddly but if you ask “where are the good scissors?” they’ll grab a pair of Westcott Titanium Scissors. We have been using Westcott office products in our home for years, and I have always been pleased by their durability and dependability. Westcott has been in business since 1872! Along with their full line of office products, they have a full line of crafting products including shears, paper trimmers, paper crimpers and decorative rulers.
For this review, I had the opportunity to test a lot of scissors. Normally, I tend to use my two or three favorites while doing paper crafts. Westcott sent me me scissors ranging from 3″ precision to 5″ detail to 6″ spring-assisted to 8″ non-stick and bent, plus a hobby knife, a 12″x12″ self-healing cutting mat, and three paper trimmers. Before I discuss the specific scissors, here are some general observations:
- All of the scissors have Titanium bonded blades which are five times harder than stainless steel, which make them stay sharper longer.
- All of the scissors have contoured handles and all but the precision and nonstick scissors feature RibGrip® handles. The smooth handles are comfortable and the scissors didn’t slip even when my hands are damp.
- All of the scissors have pink and raspberry handles and I love having a full, matching set of scissors. The only drawback is that if the pink rubber part rubs against anything like a newspaper or pencil the handles get smudged.
Here we get to the nitty gritty about each style of scissors:
5″ Pointed Scissors are ambidextrous and come with a snugly fitting blade cover and lanyard. This size is the same size as standard children’s scissors but due to their very sharp tip, these would not be good for younger children. These scissors cut well and with two inch cutting blades, I felt more productive cutting with these. The plastic cover fits snugly, yet is easy enough to remove. These scissors would be perfect to take to a crop and they wouldn’t damage your other supplies. The lanyard is a unique idea; a great way to keep the scissors handy and might be helpful to a camp counselor or activities aide who is helping multiple crafters.
6″ Spring-Assisted Scissors were my least favorite pair. The scissors lock for storage or for safety. The sliding plastic lever which controls the locking mechanism is loose in the open position on my pair, so when they are open the slider shifts so that the blades can’t fully cut, so you have to stop and push the lever out of the way, or tilt the scissors in a ‘blade up’ fashion to move the lever back. The lower handle has a small loop to add a charm or identifier so they don’t get lost, which is a clever idea. They are ergonomically designed to reduce hand fatigue. Despite numerous attempts at using these, they always felt awkward (and the lever problem didn’t help). Despite the RibGrip® handles, these scissors slipped out of my hand while cutting and with their sharp tip, I was worried about injuring myself.
8″ Bent Shears are a great addition to my sewing basket. I recently learned that bent shears are a good tool for cutting fabric on a table. Because they sit flat against the table, there is less up and down action so the fabric doesn’t pull, resulting in a straighter, more accurate cut. The best way to keep your shears sharp is to designate them for fabric only- never use them to cut paper. I used the 8″ Bent Shears to cut some lightweight cotton fabric and an old pair of jeans and cuts were very smooth.
Like most tools, different sizes of scissors are best suited for certain materials or projects. My personal preference has always been toward larger, heavier scissors for most of my paper cutting and of course shears for fabric. One thing I should note is that scissors and shears are measured by their full length, not their blade length. For example the 3″ Details Scissors have a 1 inch cutting blade. If you are doing a project with larger paper, you should use longer scissors because you’ll make less cuts and therefore be more accurate.
Most of the scissors I tested are adjustable thanks to an adjustable pivot. The 8″ Bent shears have an exposed screw, which can easily be adjusted with a Phillips Head Screwdriver. The Non-Stick scissors have a decorative cap which can easily be popped off to expose the screw. I have owned some of my Westcott Scissors for nearly 5 years and I have never needed to adjust or sharpen them; hopefully the new series will be just as dependable. One last note about the product packaging, some of the larger scissors and shears are carded so that you can open and close the handles before you buy them, which is a nice way to see how the scissors feel in your hand.
- The RibGrip® handles are comfortable and help keep you maintain control while cutting.
- The raspberry/pink color scheme stands out and can easily be found on a cluttered craft table.
- The 5″ Pointed Scissors with a cover and lanyard are safe, practical and convenient.
- The coating on the Non-Stick Scissors is showing wear after a few weeks of use.
- Why don’t the 3″ Detail Scissors come with a protective cover or pouch?
- A loose locking mechanism lever on the 6″ Spring-Assisted Scissors inhibit them from being used properly. Is my pair defective or is this a design flaw?
Overall, I was satisfied with the scissors, especially the Bent Shears, Non-stick Scissors and Detail Scissors. All of the scissors cut cleanly for their particular use- paper or fabric. The contoured handles and RibGrip® coating made them comfortable to hold and use for extended periods of time. Although I personally prefer longer (8″ scissors) for most projects, the 5″ Pointed Scissors with fitted blade cover and lanyard are very handy, portable and safe. I would highly recommend the 8″ scissors, shears and 5″ Pointed Scissors, I recommend the non-stick and detail scissors but I do not recommend the spring assisted scissors based on my experience with them. One last note, I have been using Westcott Titanium scissors in my home for nearly 5 years and they cut just as well now as when I bought them home.
Westcott is giving away a prize pack filled with $150 in wonderful products to two lucky readers.
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What do you love most or least about the scissors you are currently using? What size scissors do you use for your projects the most? Please share your thoughts with our readers.
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