Kai Scissors in the Shop and a Look at My Favorite Scissors.

Kai 7230 Scissors

In all of my appliqué classes, we start with a little tool talk. I’m generally cautious to push too many tools, but in cases where it’s important, I do. With handwork, this is especially true, because you can literally feel the impact of everything that you are using.

Kai 7000 series scissors

While scissors are essential when sewing, they are especially critical with appliqué–or at least in how I do a lot of my appliqué since it often involves cutting multiple layers of intricate shapes at once. It’s in cases like this where you really notice which tools are working and which ones aren’t.

It wasn’t until I was demo-ing at an event when my previous scissors failed in front of a class. That was embarrassing! At home, it can be easy to write things off as not a huge deal, but when you’re showing someone else how to do something, it’s suddenly very clear when something isn’t working. My scissors weren’t cutting to the tip, and I was very annoyed.

After that, I was on a mission to find something that would work better, and not to bore you with the details, I ended up finding exactly what I needed in Kai. The brand is incredible, their products are of the best quality, and most importantly, they stand by their product. If anything gets dull or worn down, you can send it in, and they’ll sharpen it for you at a reasonable cost. Since my previous pair of scissors could not be sharpened, I was especially enticed by something that I wouldn’t need to buy again.

At the risk of this post coming across as an infomercial, I still wanted to share it all with you, because I get asked this stuff all of the time, and it is important. Tools matter. Since these have made such a difference for me, I decided to start carrying my favorites in the shop. With them being a super new addition, I thought I’d go over what we have.

Yay, for Kai!

Kai 7230 Scissors

First up is my first pair. After trying everything on their demo table, I arrived at the 9″ tailoring shears, and I’m happy to report that years later they are still my favorite–and they actually haven’t needed sharpening yet. Bonus.

Kai 7230 Scissors

It’s the right size for cutting my appliqué projects, the blades are super sharp and the cut is incredibly smooth. If you have plans to start a Kai arsenal, this is definitely my recommended first purchase.

Kai 7230 Scissors

We can continue chronologically, because somehow my own arsenal has grown parallel to how I’d prioritize them. Of course, your needs might be different, but hopefully this will give you an idea!

My next couple of pairs were their basic 4″ scissors. I grabbed up both their regular and serrated options. After getting just 1 of each, I realized I needed a pair for every handwork spot in my house and every travel bag. They’re lightweight, sharp and perfectly handy for thread clipping and fabric snipping.

Kai 5100 Scissor

Serrated vs non-serrated is a question of preference that I’m not sure I’ve ever decided on. I guess I don’t need to draw any conclusions, because I have and use both, all the time. A serrated blade grips the fabric as it cuts, and a smooth blade glides as it cuts.

Kai 5100 Scissor

A couple of years ago, Kai added a couple of smaller sizes to their 7000 series–my favorite series–which in my opinion, was exactly the right move. I quickly grabbed up all sizes to try.

These first two (7170 and 7150) are really great. They fill the need for a 7230-like scissor, but smaller, for those more intricate cuts. For projects like Alturas, these are my preference.

The 7170 has a 6 2/3″ blade and is a little bit longer.

Kai 7170 Scissor

The added length of this pair might make me like them slightly more than the 7150, but they are both really great.

Kai 7170 Scissor

By the way, both the 7170 and 7150 are great for clipping fabrics when garment sewing. Garment fabrics range from anything thick to thin, stretchy to super stable, and so I always have one of these nearby when I’m cutting out a garment. (Side note if you’re curious, I usually cut out garments with a rotary cutter, flat on my cutting table. I use scissors like these for snipping match points, grading seams, etc.)

Kai 7000 series scissors

The 7150 has a 6″ blade, which is just slightly shorter.

Kai 7150 Scissor

A lot of this just comes down to your own preference when cutting. A shorter blade gives you more control on smaller, more intricate shapes, whereas a longer blade allows you to cut further more smoothly.

Kai 7150 Scissor

Last up is the 7100, which is a 4 1/4″ blade. These are like the luxurious version of the 5100. They’re a bit beefier, the handles are much more comfortable and the blades are of the same high-quality as the other 7000 series scissors.

Kai 7100 Scissor

They are snips that pack a punch.

Kai 7100 Scissor

There we go. That’s the scissor tour (and PSA). If you have any questions, leave a comment or shoot me an email. Kai stands by all of their scissors, and you can send them back to Kai for sharpening at a reasonable price. Personally, I’m over buying disposable goods and into investing in things that I can use for a long time.

Kai Scissors

Kai 7000 series scissors

Happy cutting!

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4 Responses to Kai Scissors in the Shop and a Look at My Favorite Scissors.

  1. Maritza Horsham October 25, 2019 at 5:38 pm #

    I have a pair of laid dressmakers scissor that need sharpening . How do I get this done.

    • carolyn friedlander November 2, 2019 at 1:49 pm #

      If they are Kai brand, you can reach out to them directly about getting them sharpened. If they are another brand, I’d check with a local sewing shop to see if they have someone who sharpens scissors. I know that some shops have resources for that.


  1. WainwrightAL #2: Tool Updates and Travel. - carolyn friedlander - February 22, 2018

    […] + Large fabric scissors (such as Kai 7230 9″ tailoring shears, or these other favorites) […]

  2. Tools of the Trade: Needle-Turn Appliqué (Updated). - carolyn friedlander - September 30, 2018

    […] After trying everything on the Kai demo table, I bought a pair of their 9″ professional shears. I was ridiculously eager to go home to try them and sure enough, they were amazing! Cutting through 8 layers felt like cutting through just 1. In fact, they seem a little too sharp to only be cutting through one layer at the times when that’s what I’m doing. But the best part is that if they ever get dull, I can send them back to get resharpened. I’m all about equipping myself with things that are made to last. To read more about other Kai scissors that I like and why, you can check out this post here. […]

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