A rotary cutter looks like a pizza cutter. The round blade is razor sharp and can cut through many layers of fabric quickly and accurately. Rotary cutters come in several different sized blades. You must have a special cutting mat underneath the fabric when cutting. Rotary cutters work best on straight edges when used in conjunction with a ruler as a cutting guide.
Keep your scissors and shears dry to avoid corrosion. Wipe lint from the blades frequently. Have the blades sharpened often; dull blades can damage the scissors as well as the fabric. Oil the hinge or pivot point often.
Thread clippers are a small sharp scissors with blades that are held open by a spring mechanism. They are small enough to be held in your hand while working, and will cut threads by using a squeezing motion. They make thread clipping quick and easy.
A good quality pair of shears is essential for sewing. Bent-handled shears are best because they allow the fabric to lie flat while you are cutting. Shears must be kept sharp; only use them for sewing. Most seamstresses prefer shears that are seven and eight inches in length.
A four to five inch embroidery scissors or tailor point scissors is needed for clipping and trimming. It will also be easier to handle for hand sewing.
Cardboard cutting boards are available for purchase at most fabric stores. These mats will protect the surface of your dining room table if you do not have a cutting table. They are also handy if you have to cut on the floor. These are not the cutting boards that are used for rotary cutters.
Pinking shears are a special shears with a notched or zigzag blade. They can be used to finish the fabric edges to prevent fraying. Never use these shears to cut out a pattern; it is too difficult to match up the pinked edges for accurate seams. The blades of pinking shears become dull much more frequently than straight edge shears and are expensive to have sharpened.