Sewing and quilting are a great way to unleash your creativity and develop self-discipline. It does not require a college degree or that much money to start. It’s a great hobby to have, which may even make you some money if people really like your work.
A seam ripper is a tool used to remove stitches, open seams, cut threads, and open buttonholes. Unsewing is just as crucial to finish a quality project as putting in the stitches; a seam ripper is an invaluable tool for anyone who works with needle and thread.
As soon as you start sewing, you will begin to unsew; anyone who has done sewing or quilting knows that they sometimes make small mistakes, and if not corrected before continuing the work, the pattern or embroidery would look a little off, and they will not be satisfied in their work.
That is why everyone should invest in a good seam ripper instead of buying a cheap one that will only last you a few days before you have to buy another one.
An experienced sewer or quilter will have a good quality seam ripper that’s easy to use and is reliable. It will make your work a lot easier and give you a precise and cleaner result.
Some of the seam rippers on the market run on batteries, and some are made of high-quality metal that will keep working for you for years to come. Invest some money now and avoid massive headaches down the line.
There are some features that you should look out for when choosing a seam ripper for your needs.
A comfortable handle and good grip will allow you to hold the seam ripper longer and securely so that you don’t end up making a mistake by slipping on the handle or because of fatigue in the palm.
Some seam rippers come with more that one tool like scissors or multiple additional blade designs for all use cases.
A seam ripper’s blade design depends much on the fabric or material that it will be mainly used for. Because some materials require strong blades to handle the thick threads, others require a more precise approach.
We have compiled here the best seam rippers for different use cases and prices. We advise that you at least go through it to understand the market and might even find features that you didn’t know that you needed.
There might be slight price differences depending on when you are reading this.Now let’s start.
1. Galaxy Notions Electric Seam Ripper
Unlike any other seam ripper on this list, I am sure that you can already tell by the name that the Galaxy notions seam ripper is electronic. It can handle serious quilting work as well as lightweight sewing.
The package only comes with a single piece that is the seam ripper and no other tools. Because the galaxy notion is battery operated, it is effortless to use; you just have to press a button and start cutting carefully. Despite being electric, it’s very durable and will be in your arsenal for a long time.
The blade is made of steel; therefore, it is strong, durable, and adjustable, and they can handle precise work.
The Galaxy Notions Electric Seam Ripper is small and compact as it only measures about 4 x 4 x 1.5 inches in dimension. It is manageable and fits right in your hand; this seam ripper smoothly goes along with the rest of your sewing or quilting tools.
This is the ultimate seam ripper for all use cases, but the only thing you have to worry about is recharging it. 1 AA battery is used to power this seam ripper. But the efficiency is not that good; the battery does not last long. Other than that, this product has been on everyone’s lists for years.
- Easy to use and store.
- The automated blades make fixing mistakes very fast.
- Can handle all kinds of materials, even heavy quilts.
- The battery does not last long.
- Batteries are not included in the package.
2. The Best Seam Ripper Bundle – SINGER Bundle
The Singer Bundle comes with three tools: the Singer ProSeries Thread Snips, Comfort Grip Seam Ripper, ProSeries 4 1/2 inch Detail Scissor, and a bonus thimble. This bundle comes with all things you could possibly need in a seam ripper.
This tool is for people who like to use their hands personally to repair any damage. The NANO Tip point of the shears is specially crafted for embroidery and detail work. The knife within the ripper is very sharp and slides through the fabric; it is suitable for pulling out individual threads.
The 5-inch thread snips can easily snip away unwanted fabric threads during quilting, sewing, or crafting projects. The scissor blades provided are of high quality; each one is carefully checked to ensure that they can cut any hard material used in quilting. Each pair comes with a lifetime guarantee.
The seam ripper comes with a comfort grip that doesn’t strain your fingers while picking threads or while opening stitched buttonholes, nor while removing buttons and snaps; the comfort grips are rubberized doesn’t slip. But some have complained that the seam ripper’s handle is too long to fit in their palm nicely.
Most of the people that used this said that the grip was very comfortable to use during long sections, and it is small enough to carry it with their machines.
- Quality scissor, which is very sharp and durable.
- The seam ripper comes with three unique tools.
- Ergonomic and compact
- Suitable for both left and right-handed users
- The handle of the ripper is too long, and it will not stay within your palm.
- The scissors are too big for delicate projects.
3. Nifty Notions Brass Seam Ripper
This seam ripper is made with a brass body, it comes with a safety cap, and the build quality is undeniable the best on this list. At just 6 x 3 x 0.2 inches, it looks slick, and the finishing on this product is unlike any seam ripper you have come across.
It’s a very classic and simple design, it works well with all kinds of material and will provide you with an excellent experience for even those who haven’t used a seam ripper before. You can easily spot this among your tools because of its lacquered brass body.
The cap slides on and off very quickly but stays in place when you place it on the top like a pen. With the lid on, the seam ripper’s total length is about 5 inches and will sit perfectly in your hands.
Users say that the Nifty Notions Brass Seam Ripper has a nice weight to stabilize their hands while picking out threads. The tool is very sharp and cuts through all the stitches with ease without damaging the fabric.
This tool is better than any other plastic seam ripper that you get within this price point. The brass body has ridges on it to increase its grip, which works amazingly well.
The Nifty Notions Brass Seam Ripper is durable, sharp with a tight grip all encased in a stylish classic lacquered polished brass body. Think of it as the Rolls Royce of seam rippers. The tip will stay sharp for a long time, and the ball will never fall off; this seam ripper was built to last.
- Due to the classic design, this seam ripper can be used by professionals and beginners alike.
- Simple design and easy to use for all.
- Due to the ridges on the body, the grip is excellent.
- The weight of the seam ripper is well balanced; it provides a good feel while working.
- Safely cap.
- Suitable for gifts for people in the same field.
- Some users might find it a bit too much for their taste.
- The body is too slim for some people.
- Irregular shape.
4. Dritz 947 Magnified LED Seam Ripper
This is another unique design, the Dritz 947 comes with a magnifying glass and an LED-lit tip. This seam ripper is great for those who do precise work. It’s a little bulky at 7.8 x 3.9 x 1.5 inches because of the battery house inside.
This seam ripper comes in handy when quilting or embroidery stitching, which requires each thread to be perfectly sewn and arranged. Most people want to see precisely which stitch they cut to avoid making a mess or redoing it. This seam ripper is also suitable for people with weak eyesight or with glasses.
The built-in magnifier has a three times normal zoom, and the LED light lasts a long time. The body is slip-resistant, and the grip of soft material makes it easy to handle it. A lanyard hole is provided for inserting a string or a cord to keep your seam ripper nearby.
The LED is powered by three alkaline button cell batteries, which will give you hours of backups.
The magnifying glass is both adjustable and removable, so if you only need the LED, you can remove the magnifying glass. The seam ripper comes with a protective cover over the tip and the blade included is small and sharp.
- Magnifier and LED with batteries included.
- A lanyard hole is provided for a cord or string.
- Soft finger grips
- Not suitable for people with sensitive eyes.
- The magnifying lens is not clear at a certain distance from the eye.
5. Ultima 5.5″ Razor Sharp Surgical Seam Rippers
The next one on this list is the Ultima 5.5″ Razor Sharp Surgical Seam Rippers coming with four-seam cutters, which also work as seam rippers. The total length of each seam ripper is 5.5 inches; they again come with safety caps.
As the name suggests, this seam ripper is meant for surgical precision; the razor-sharp curved blade can cut through multiple stitches at once. The blades are not changeable, but they are built for long term use.
These seam rippers are more gentle than regular ones, so they can be used on sensitive materials like silk or satin. Most people prefect the Ultima 5.5″ Razor Sharp Surgical Seam Rippers because of the style and sharpness; they are ideal for clothing repair.
These surgical reapers cannot cut heavy materials but work well on soft fabrics. Because the blade is very sharp, take extra care while unstitching, you do not want to let it cut into your material.
For people who work with embroideries, this seam ripper is a blessing in disguise because of the precision it provides.
- Sharp curved surgical blade.
- Safety cap.
- Cuts multiple stitches at once.
- Gentler on the fabric.
- Some users complained about the blade not being sharp enough.
6. Dritz 5111 Seam Ripper
Dritz has over ten years of experience in making crafting products, their company motto is to create and inspire. It started as a family business in New York but has grown to be an iconic crafting and sewing company. Most products from this company are affordable and perform great for their price.
This seam ripper sports an ergonomic design and a comfortable handle made of durable and sturdy leather rubber. The dimension is 7.8 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches, which is large compared to others. The ergonomic design and soft finger grips make it possible to work with this seam ripper for prolonged hours without causing any stress or strain on your hands.
Even if you have sweaty palms, this seam ripper will not slip from your hand. The Dritz’s ripper is sharp as its competitor. The ball on the tips will protect the fabric from unwanted damage during unstitching. The ripper has a protective cap to cover its tip, which comes in handy to keep the blade sharp. The translucent cap cannot fit on the back of the ripper, unlike a pen.
This seam ripper is designed with embroidery in mind; the Dritz can cut individual threads with precision. But don’t think that it’s only good for that; it can handle any sewing related-use even opening buttonholes with ease as it’s meant to be an all-rounder.The blade is very durable and made of hardened steel.
- Large handle with soft finger grips
- Ergonomic design.
- Comes with a safety cap for protection.
- The safety ball on the end protects the fabric.
- The cap does not slip on the back like a pen cap.
7. Clover 463 Seam Ripper
The clover company came into being in 1925 founded by Mr. Toshio Okada; it became a brand name in 1948 and began as a wholesale distributor of needles and handcrafted accessories.
Eventually, the company became a manufacturing company that produced high-quality machinery. Now, the US counterpart has extended its product line up with patchwork quilting tools and sewing notions and has become a well-known brand in the artisan world of North America.
The Clover 463 seam ripper has a unique design due to its roots in Japan, it has simple. This ripper is best known for its use for opening buttonholes by the sewers that used it. But it also does an excellent job of getting rid of those annoying tags sewn into collars.
It also comes with a safety cap for easy storage. Some users reported that the handle was too small for them to use for long sections. This ripper can cut the tiniest stitches and seams; therefore, it is perfect for elegant stitching and delicate fabric.
Even though the handle looks like it’s made of wood, it’s actually made of hard plastic, which is durable enough for all your needs.
This seam ripper is like the surgical cutters above, but unlike that one, this one does a better job at picking out threads.
- The handle is well made and sturdy.
- The seam ripper handles fast and sharp.
- It can handle zigzagged threads without damaging the fabric.
- The protective cap can not be attached to the back.
- Users have reported that the handle is too small.
The last seam ripper on this list is from the company Kingma’s, a brand you trust. The Kingmas Colorful Seam Ripper comes with four Small Thread Unpicker, four Big Thread Unpicker, Scissors total of 9 pieces that can handle any kind of use case.
This is one of the best seam rippers for a budget buy. The rippers come with clear caps to avoid your hands from getting accidentally punctured and can become an extension of the body like a marker.
This large thread picker has a long flat handle and can handle any unthreading tasks along with its smaller counterpart. They are also the perfect tools for opening buttonholes very smoothly.
And each ripper comes with a mini red ball attached to protect your fabric from tears while picking out threads. The blades of these rippers are as sharp as the other rippers on this list.
The overall package of nine tools is value for money, all of them are built with good material, and the only complaint that some users reported was that the scissors included were not sharp enough. It can quickly get into fine stitching and undo it. You can easily use this ripper for all kinds of sewing, quilting, or even quilting.
- 9 tools that can fit any kind of unthreading or stitching.
- Long flat handles like a knife that’s easy to use.
- Each ripper comes with a transparent protective cap.
- Some have claimed that the blade becomes dull after extended use.
- The scissors are not that sharp.
Why you need a good seam ripper
A cheap seam ripper may get the job done, but the blade will become dull fast, you will have to buy a new one every three or four sections. You may think it’s cheaper, but the cost will end up being more significant than the price of a good seam ripper, which will last you a long time.
Even in the budget range, a good seam ripper will offer you excellent built quality and many features. The handle will feel much more agreeable and the grip more comfortable, allowing you to use it for longer.
The blades will come with protection caps so that you don’t poke your finger accidentally, and it allows for easy storage among the rest of your tools. Some of the seam rippers come with LED and magnifying glass, which I am sure you had a project where you needed them.
Features that you should look for in a seam ripper
Seam ripper types
There are two main types of seam rippers, one with a curved blade and the other forked head type.
The forked head seam ripper has one end longer than the other and is pointed. The other smaller end has a small plastic ball on it to protect the fabric while removing stitchings or picking threads, and the inner curve is the sharp cutting edge of the seam ripper.
The curved blade type is also known as a surgical seam ripper. It’s known to be super sharp and easily cut through the fine thread with precision and speed or your fingers, for that matter, if you are not careful. It’s more advanced than the curved ‘u’ type, and I do not recommend it for beginners. It is perfect for sewing and quilting tasks for experts who know precisely what they are during. Easy to handle and butter-smooth cutting experience.
Safety ball and cap
Almost all the seam rippers on the market come with a safety cap, it will save you from accidental cuts, and if children are in the area, a must-have feature. And if the cap fits on the back of the seam ripper, it will serve as an extension for a better grip.
One of the most critical factors you have to consider is the handle comfort that will determine your stability while opening a seam or cutting a thread. The handle is crucial for delicate work like embroidery and patterns as one slipup can result in the whole project’s downfall.
The Dritz 5111 seam ripper is a good example; the handle has a comfortable grip that you can use for long hours.
Accessories or pieces included.
A seam ripper will come as a single unit or have multiple rippers for different uses like the ultima surgical seam ripper or the kingmas colorful set. You have to choose according to your needs. If you are a beginner, a set might be more useful, but professionals who know precisely what they want will choose a seam ripper for their specific needs.
And some seam rippers come with additional attachments like the Dritz seam ripper, which boasts a magnifying glass and LED lighting. Or the Singer bundle in which to get a handy scissor. In the case of electric seam rippers, you should check if they come with batteries or would have to buy them separately.
When choosing a seam ripper, make sure that its size is perfect for you because if you choose the wrong size, you will not be able to hold the ripper for prolonged use cases. Some prefer a large handle for picking threads while other small handles that can easily fit into their palm.
Seam rippers for embroidery
Factors that separate a standard seam ripper and a one used for embroidery are the blade’s sharpness and a good grip for stability.
A sharper blade will cut through threads seamlessly while a duller blade will require more effort and has more chance of damaging the fabric. Some ripper blades are sharp, but surgical blades are much sharper. The Ultima razor-sharp surgical blades will make short work of any threads or seams.
Depending on the fabric you have chosen to work with, you have to adjust your approach. For delicate materials like silk, use the seam ripper very carefully and gently; you can go tougher on thicker fabrics like fur and lace.
How to use a seam ripper
The General Method
Before starting, make sure you have chosen the perfect seam ripper for this material; the material’s thickness and strength play a vital role in the type of seam ripper you should select. Make sure you have adequate lighting to see the seams clearly.
- There is a simple way to remove a line of long stitches along a seam, cut every third stitch on one side, and then simply pull the thread out from the other side.
- If the threads in a seam are not stitched too tight, you can cut the thread on a side and pull it until the fabric gathers or until the lines feel like it’s going to break, then cut the thread at the end of the fabric gatherings. You can pick out four or five inches of seam this way, depending on the fabric’s thickness.
- You will have to pick out individual threads if the seam is stitched tightly. The tip of a ripper should go under each stitch and then cut it. You can get rid of the fluff with rubber or masking tape.
- Now for cutting a buttonhole, you can pierce the buttonhole at both ends first then cut it through the middle to avoid the ripper from overcutting your fabric. Or you can use two pins to seal the two ends of the buttonhole before cutting it with a seam ripper.
On single stitches
- First, pull on the fabric to clearly view the stitches but do it gently so that you don’t break the threading.
- Next, push the long pointy tip under a stitch that you want to remove.
- Ensure that you’re catching only the thread you want; otherwise, you will damage the fabric.
- Push your tool gently into the stitching so that the stitch reaches the blade in the curve.
- Then apply a little pressure to cut the thread with the help of the blade in the curve.
- Repeat the process with the other stitches.
Multiple stitches in a row
- First, pull out a few stitches at one end of the seam.
- Line up your seam ripper with the stitches with the blade in the curve facing the stitches and the red ball between the seam.
- Then hold the material firmly with one hand and hold the seam ripper with the other.
- Pull the material towards you, i.e., towards the blade and let the blade cut and collect the thread.
- First, you should sew a buttonhole either by hand or with a sewing machine.
- Seal both ends of the patches with straight pins
- Pierce the long pointy end into the fabric between the zigzag border stitches.
- Push your seam ripper until it hits the pins.
- There, now you have an open buttonhole.
Using the seam ripper during sewing
- To use a seam ripper during sewing, bring the seam ripper to one end of the stitches that you want to remove from the bobbin side.
- Using the seam ripper, make sure the blade on the curve is between the fabric and the thread by sliding the curve sideways into them.
- Finally, gently push the seam ripper upwards to cut the stitches.
- Generally, this is how it’s done, but the approach changes with the material used.
Seam Ripper FAQ
What is the Red Ball on a Seam Ripper Used for?
At one end of the tip, the red ball is a safety feature that protects your fingers and saves the fabric from being torn while picking threads or cutting seams. The other end of the “u” shaped tip has a sharp edge and the middle, a blade.
What else can I use a seam ripper for?
You can use it to remove tags from clothes and cut anything around the house that requires precision as long as you think the blade can handle it. Think of it as a tool in your toolbox.
Can You Sharpen a Seam Ripper?
This question is asked a lot, and the answer is yes. A cheap seam ripper may not be worth the effort, but a good one can be sharpened by a thin piece of bead reamer or steel wool, Or if you have good hands, a cylindrical file should do it.
What are the Parts of a Seam Ripper?
A seam ripper has four main parts: the handle that you grab onto has a short shaft as a forked part with a blade in between the forks, then pointed longer side and a ball-tipped short side, the long pointy side of the tip that picks out threads and stitches, the red ball at the short side prevents the sharp end from poking your finger and the blade between the two that slides across the seam cutting stitches.
Should you allow your child to handle a seam ripper?
You should not allow the sharp surgical seam ripper ones near your kids unless they know exactly how to use them. Seam rappers can be generally used by children over the age of 10 but still keep an eye on them.
How to properly care for your seam ripper?
Always keep your seam ripper in a safe place away from children unless they know how to use it. Always protect the sharp end with the protective cap when not in use. Clean your seam ripper with rubbing alcohol to remove debris that can build up from fabric glue, stabilizers, and so on.
How much does a seam ripper cost?
The cost depends on the brand name and features. If you’re buying a set of seam rippers of different sizes, expect a higher price. However, single seam rippers are cheaper.
All of the seam rippers mentioned above have unique features that separate them from the rest and are oriented towards a specific audience.
If you are a beginner or like to spend as little time on unthreading or cutting seams, the Galaxy Notions Electric Seam Ripper is the best choice; it will save you a lot of time and effort over time, and you will learn to appreciate it.
For those looking for an all-in-one package, the best one that comes with scissors is the Singer Detail Scissors, Thread Snips, and Seam Ripper Bundle, it also comes with a thread snip.
If you want functionality, you can go for the Dritz 947 with a detachable magnifier and LED light, it will give you a clearer picture of what you are doing.
The Nifty Notions Brass Seam Ripper has a classic brass body with a lacquered finish, best for people with a traditional taste, and it’s a beautiful design you can give it as a gift.
We would recommend the Ultima 5.5″ Razor Sharp Surgical Seam Rippers for embroidery purposes as it is very sharp and easy to handle for a long time.
The KINGMAS Colorful Seam Ripper is the budget king with 9 pieces in the bundle, including a Mini scissor. It has enough seam rippers for almost all use cases.