High Carbon Steel versus Stainless Steel

High Carbon Steel versus Stainless Steel

We make our scissors from two kinds of metal: carbon steel and stainless steel. The differences between the two steels is one of our most frequently asked questions, and a topic we love to talk about because of how differently they can affect a scissor. Read below to learn about the key differences and which kind of scissor is best for you!

Carbon Steel

A well-known metal in the scissor industry, carbon steel is a type of steel that has a percentage of carbon mixed into the metal, which varies by manufacturer. In general, it is a tougher metal than stainless steel. Our carbon steel is neither too soft or brittle, but perfectly flexible due to the addition of manganese and carbon content.

When it comes to cutting tools - such as knives, scissors, and blades - carbon steel is usually the better choice. Here are some of the advantages:

  • A super tough metal, but also softer than stainless steel. This means that it can be sharpened to a finer edge and is easier to sharpen. 
  • It is less prone to chipping than stainless steel. However, we advise everyone to keep an eye on their scissors. DO NOT drop them on the ground. This is one reason why we provide boxes for the scissors. 
  • It is a lighter metal, so if you need lighter scissors due to arthritis, nerve, or wrist issues, carbon steel will suit you best!

        One key point to note about carbon steel is that, unless treated with an anti-rust coating (like our Midnight Edition Fabric Shears are!), it is prone to rusting. What this means is that you need to ensure that the blades of your scissors are kept dry, not only from water, but from humidity in the air, similar to a cast-iron pan! If you aren’t going to be using your scissors for a couple of weeks or longer, we recommend storing them in their box, with the blades coated in oil - such as sewing machine oil - to keep your scissors smooth and healthy!

        Our Signature Midnight Edition line of fabric shears are handcrafted from carbon steel, as are our Traditional line of fabric shears and the blades of our thread snips. The newest addition to our scissor family, our Midnight Edition 45mm rotary cutter uses our carbon steel rotary blades, which we have tested with local fabric shops for durability.

        Our carbon steel scissors are the sharpest, and lightest shears that we make! 


        Stainless Steel

        Perhaps the most well-known type of steel in the world, stainless steel is a modern invention, having been first industrialized in 1912! 

        If you are concerned about having to maintain your scissors, stainless steel is the metal for you, and here’s why:

        • It’s highly rust-resistant. Stainless steel can stand up to humidity better than high carbon steel. However, contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is not rust-proof. But unless you are storing your scissors in a pool of water, rust should be a no-show!
        • Stainless steel will technically stay sharper (this also depends on the angle of the cutting edge). However, it is more difficult to sharpen because it is a harder metal and it can be more prone to chipping.
        • The extra weight of stainless steel may make the scissor feel easier to control.

            Our Classic line of fabric shears, pinking shears, as well as our one piece and ring-grip thread snips, and embroidery scissors are handcrafted from stainless steel. 

            If you have any questions about maintenance, weight, or any of the points listed above, send us an email and leave a comment!

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