One of the biggest discoveries for me in 2021 is LDH Scissors and the numerous cutting tools that they offer on their website. Cutting used to be the chore that I hated most in the process of making clothes, but after the arrival of these tools, cutting is now a task that I no longer dread. I would even venture to say that it is now pleasurable, even sensual. There is definitely a level of visual, audible and tactile ASMR which cutting tools provide when they perform with a high level of accuracy and precision. It doesn’t hurt as well that the LDH Scissors are absolute eye-candy, which increases the pleasure when using them. I am so excited with their products, and how they’ve helped make the sewing process so much more enjoyable for me that I want to shout it from the mountain tops and make sure that everyone (and their grandmas) get a pair of LDH Scissors.
The “LDH” in LDH Scissors mean “Love, Dedication and Happiness”, and those are 3 key words that resonate well with crafters, sewers and makers. We approach our craft with love and dedication, which instantly connects us to our creativity, and allows us self-expression through what we make with our hands. This practice brings us instant happiness, a unique swelling of joy that arises when our hands are in actual contact with, and moulding what our hearts desire, and what our minds envision. So it’s very reassuring to know that the makers of crafting tools “get this”, that they understand the essence of making that fuels us in our craft, and that they also share the same values in the making of their tools.
I must confess that the branding was all very appealing when I checked out their website, and I stalked their Instagram feed for quite a while, and watched their scissor-making video in their factory in China multiple times. You see, after being a serious sewing hobbyist or crafter/maker for the past 3 years, I finally decided to upgrade my cutting tools a few months ago. I was checking out some other different brands but my mind kept drifting back to LDH Scissors. The truly serendipitous moment came right before I hit the “Place Your Order” button, when Ursula of LDH Scissors DMed me on Instagram asking if I was open to them sending me some tools to try out. Well isn’t that a surprising way for the universe to answer prayers? YAAHSSSS!
The Prism 9″ Scissors and the Rotary Cutter arrived promptly from Canada within the week, considering that it was sent during the third wave pandemic-mailing-service-waiting-in-purgatory interval. I wasted no time in using my tools, and boy did I regret waiting so long (3 wasted years!) before I upgraded mine. I didn’t know I was living in some kind of cutting-fabric-hell until my new set of tools showed me what cutting-fabric-heaven could feel like. I was really grateful that Ursula reached out to me, and I was so impressed with the LDH products that it was a no-brainer when she asked me to write an unbiased opinion of their products for a collaboration. Now you might be thinking how could I ever be unbiased since I was such an eager fan-girl-stalker of LDH even before the cutting tools arrived? Well, to put your suspicions to rest, this blog will do a comparison of my previous cutting tools with the LDH cutting tools. I would also make some recommendations for which products to purchase for an avid sewer like me. LDH makes many different tools and I will be focusing on the ones for cutting fabric.
COMPARISON TEST: Old Shears vs LDH Shears
In my pre-LDH days, I was interchanging 3 pairs of fabric scissors – all three pairs have plastic handles, and all will remain nameless. I believe the black pair was made in Germany, the green pair in Taiwan, and the purple pair in Japan. These pairs of scissors cost between US$30-50, and range from 8” to 9.5” long. Here they are:
The black pair was my first. They served me well until I started working with heavier fabrics. The proverbial straw that broke this particular camel’s back was a heavy-weight 100% cotton tweed that I used for this dress:
When I finished making this dress, my black shears were also “finished”, as in kaput, in the process. The blades couldn’t handle the thickness which was produced by ropes of thick cotton strings threaded together to form this unusual patterned weave. The blades felt clunky, sticky and bumpy while cutting, and after cutting the pattern pieces, they went out of alignment. That meant that I had to get them resharpened and realigned. While waiting for them to be refurbished, I needed new scissors so I decided to get 2 new pairs this time – one for light to mid weight fabric; and another for mid to heavy fabrics. Enter the green and purple pairs respectively. After the black pair was resharpened, it never worked the same way again and I don’t use it anymore for precision cutting.
Now it’s unfair to compare the current performance level of my old shears with my new LDH shears simply because I’ve had my old shears for way longer. I’ve only had my new LDH tools for about 2-3 months. That said, I will do my best to compare how my old shears felt in the first 2-3 months of possession. Most fabric shears feel sharp right out of the box, and my old green and purple shears were no exception. After using them for a few weeks, I decided to try them out on this challenging cotton tweed that destroyed my first black pair. They were not bad cutting through multiple layers of denim, but I was still scared putting them to the cotton tweed test. Both sets of blades felt “challenged”. They felt less clunky, sticky or bumpy when cutting compared to the black pair, but they still felt like they were put under considerable “pressure”. The most challenging thing about cutting this tweed is that there is unevenness in the thickness of the fabric throughout. This resulted in a “rocky ride” for the shears. There was a lack of ease whenever I made a cut, and there was a feeling like my hands had to “push through it” or “strain to go over the humps”. In the end, I was too scared to continue cutting this cotton tweed because I didn’t want to ruin my “new” old shears. That was a real shame, and it prevented me from making something else with this beautiful cotton tweed.
However, this cotton tweed is a fabric that would be perfect to do a comparison test. So I dug it out from my stash and cut it with the LDH 10” Midnight Edition Fabric Shears. SMOOTH LIKE BUTTER. ZERO CLUNKINESS, STICKINESS OR BUMPINESS. COMPLETE EFFORTLESS EASE which gives me the confidence to go ahead and make that bustier that I’ve been dreaming about with this cotton tweed. Hurray!
Right out of the box, these LDH Prism and Midnight Edition Shears are not just sharp; they are sharper than sharp. There was one thing that bothered me about my old shears, even with regular more lightweight fabrics: I noticed that right from the start, they would sometimes shift the fabric while cutting. What I mean is that when the blades made contact to execute the cut, the blades would push the fabric forward or sideways, thus distorting the actual line of the cut that I had intended to make. This happens especially when I want to cut small slivers of fabric. It feels like the blades swerve left instead of staying on track with the edge of the paper pattern. The red circle in the picture below shows the little sliver of fabric that “wavered” and “escaped” being cut by the purple shears:
For my OCD tendencies, this is highly annoying. If I try to make another cut to trim off the wavering sliver of fabric, my old shears can’t do it. The sliver of fabric keeps slipping away, resisting being cut off. The purple shears don’t have enough grip on the small sliver of fabric to make the cut.
I reckon that it’s due to the high quality of the metal used to build these blades and the extremely precise alignment of them. In addition the ultra-super sharpness enables the fabric to be “gripped” securely while the cut is being made. As a result, the fabric never “shifts” or “escapes” from the intended line of cutting. The pictures below show how well the Prism Fabric Shears deal with precision cutting:
In the below picture, my finger and the red arrow are pointing to the sliver of fabric that has been successfully cut by the LDH Scissors; this was the same sliver of fabric that had “escaped” cutting by my old shears in the picture above:
COMPARISON TEST: Old Rotary Cutter vs LDH Rotary Cutter
Scissors are the main way to go for me when I am cutting fabric, but I do own a rotary cutter and I use it when I need to cut knit fabrics. Here’s a pic of my old rotary cutter:
I prefer scissors because they give me better control going around curves and corners, and also because I don’t have a large cutting table or cutting board. I do most of my cutting on the floor. The other reason is that the blades of rotary cutters become blunt really fast. Most of the time, the blades start dulling after cutting one project, and I find it very wasteful to keep replacing the blades. Because they dull so quickly, they start to annoy me with uncut fibres, and I have to go over the cut lines a few times to get a clean cut. Lastly, when I press these dull blades onto the cutting board, they start to embed lines of fabric or fibre tracks that cannot be removed from the board, no matter how hard I try to scrape them out. Here’s a picture of the tracks left on my board by my old rotary cutter:
For all the above reasons, cutting with a rotary cutter is not the preferred option for me. However, it came in really helpful when I was working on my first quilting project. I had to cut relatively small pieces of fabric, and I had to make many straight cuts, which is the perfect job for a rotary cutter, and the perfect way to do a comparison test between my old rotary cutter and the LDH rotary cutter.
First I made sure that I changed out my old blade in the old cutter for a new one, so that it’ll be a fair comparison between both cutters. Then I counted how many strips I could cut out before the blades started to get dull. With the brand of blade that I used to use, I cut out about 47 strips before the blade started to lose its effectiveness. I stopped and started to cut with the LDH Rotary cutter. And after cutting about 143 strips, LDH Rotary cutter is still going strong. The LDH blade didn’t dull at all, and I moved on to cutting multiple layers (up to 6 layers) of fabric to cut more at a time. It wasn’t a problem for the LDH Rotary Cutter. After doing all the cutting for this quilted vest project, the blade is just as sharp – as if I just removed it from the packaging for the first time.
With my old rotary cutter blades, I would have to toss them in the trash by now with all the cutting I was doing. In addition, I used the reverse side of the cutting board and the blades didn’t leave any fibre tracks at all. So I highly recommend getting the LDH Rotary Cutter, or to get the replacement blades that are made to fit any standard 45mm rotary cutter.
COMPARISON TEST: Old Thread Snips vs LDH Prism Thread Snips
Thread snips are really helpful to quickly snip off threads while sewing. I reach out for them when I am embroidering Sashiko as well, so I have bought quite a few of these in the last 3 years of sewing. And I have bought many not because I need a quantity of them, but because these thread snips rust within 2-3 months and dull quickly within that time span as well. Then I would have to throw them out and buy another. Within 3 years, I must have bought about 7 of these. They are cheap but it’s such a waste to be tossing them all the time. The picture below shows my last rusted thread snips before I tossed them out right beside my Prism Thread Snips. I have owned both for about the same amount of time, and the old thread snips are way past their prime after 2-3 months of usage, as you can see. I live close to the beach, so these metal snips tend to rust very quickly.
In comparison, the LDH Prism Thread Snips are of a different league. There’s a ring to put your ring finger through it for more stable handling. It also feels heavier in the hands which allows for better control and stabilisation. They are extremely sharp for thread snips, and I tried snipping into the seam allowance of 2 layers of mid-heavy weight fabric (wool and cotton canvas) with no problems at all. In contrast, my old thread snips would never be able to accomplish this thickness of cutting. If I tried with heavier fabrics, then the unstable spring back mechanism would hurt or pinch my fingers. I can assure you that no such thing happened when using the LDH Thread Snips.
MY DREAM CUTTING TOOLS SET
The above picture shows my dream cutting tools set. It includes the 9″ Prism Fabric Shears, The 10” Midnight Edition Fabric Shears, the Rotary Cutter with replacement blades and the Prism Thread Snips. The Prism shears and thread snips are made from industrial stainless steel and are electroplated to give them that iridescent rainbow veneer. The Midnight Edition is part of LDH’s signature series – a pair of shears made from industrial grade carbon steel. It LDH website says that these blades are slightly concave which lends to their sharpness. I would say that if there’s one pair of fabric shears that you are looking to purchase instead of a set, then this is the one to get. The carbon-steel does require a little bit of extra care to maintain, but these shears are SHARP!
This set is what I recommend any sewer to have. If you use pinking shears often, then I suggest getting a pair from LDH as well. I wish I had started out with this set so that I could have avoided all cutting woes when I was a beginner. I reserve my Prism Fabric Shears mainly for light-medium weight fabrics; and the Midnight Edition for medium-heavy weight fabrics. The fabric shears come in different sizes so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
The following slider show the projects that I have completed with the help of these shears in the last 2-3 months. I’ve used them to cut very light slinky fabrics (like silk satin), to light to medium (silk taffeta, cotton lawn and poplin) to very sturdy thick fabrics (like denim, canvas and cotton tweed), and each cutting experience has been enjoyable and precise.
The thumbnails below show how I made a tailor’s ham with my Midnight Edition Fabric Shears cutting through heavy weight wool and cotton canvas. Scroll through the pics to see the making process:
What I’ve learned in my experience as a sewing enthusiast and crafter is that it’s better to invest in quality cutting tools than to settle for something cheaper with lower quality. Actually, I find that the pricing for the LDH products to be very reasonable and accessible. At a very affordable price, you get top quality cutting tools. In fact, they were not more pricey than my old shears. They also have a series of lightweight industrial steel fabric scissors with plastic handles which are more affordable than any fabric shears that I’ve bought. I have also discovered that it’s best to invest in several cutting tools for separate purposes to prolong the longevity of the shears.
Ultimately, what sets the LDH Scissors apart is how I feel the love, dedication and happiness radiating from each tool. Each pair of shears comes in a cardboard box lined with a foam cutout so that you can nestle the shears in it for easy and safe storage. Even the thread snips come in a super adorable box.
The rotary cutter has a pouch to store it in as well. Very few brands make the extra step of providing these storage boxes/pouches for their tools. These boxes or pouches don’t just look good, they also fulfil the function of protecting the tools from rusting, and minimising the shears from direct contact with the ground if they do fall. The uplifting words printed on the box like “A Box Full Of Inspiration” or “A Box Full Of Ingenuity” bring a smile to my face every time I use the tools, and they remind me to treat my tools with deep respect and loving tenderness. There are also very useful videos on the blog on the LDH website that teach how to maintain and oil the shears. In addition, LDH also provides a sharpening service when the time comes for the shears to be resharpened. More good news: the LDH shears come with a 10-year warranty.
LDH SCISSORS GIVEAWAY
LDH Scissors is a family-run, female-led company and my experience is that they are very approachable if you have any inquiries. There’s an actual person (the owner most times) connecting with you which makes the purchasing experience personal and pleasurable. When writing this blog, I was thinking that I wanted to share this great experience that I am having with my LDH tools. So I approached Ursula to offer a US$50 Giveaway to my subscribers and followers as a part of this collaboration, and she warmly agreed. If you want to participate, and win yourself a US$50 voucher to any of the LDH products, please hop on over to my Instagram account and enter the giveaway there. In the meantime, I wish you luck in the giveaway contest:
And of course may your crafting days be filled with love, dedication and lots of happiness! Happy cutting, happy sewing!