Other Brands

A variety of different brands of tailors shears.

Often little is known about some of the older manufacturers but many of them are very good quality shears that with a little tender loving care turn into excellent tools that are well suited to a professional tailor. The range is not comprehensive as some of them are extremely rare and often some that make it to the market are simply worn out or damaged. What is presented below are reasonably good condition shears that work well and can be used in a number of contexts for a clothing manufacturer or tailor.

Wilkinson Tailor's shears
This is a pair of 14 inch Wilkinson shears sourced from the UK with no known history. By their manufacture, style and technique they appear to have been made prior to WW2 with characteristics like the handles being brazed onto the blades which was a very common English technique for that period. They cut very true, produce excellent long straight cuts and are not unduly heavy for their size. Because the cutting blades are reasonably straight they are not well suited for tight radii but it would be normal to keep a pair of trimmers as an accessory to a pair of shears of this type.

Keencutter Tailor's Shears
This is a pair of very rare Keencutter number #7 shears that are identical to a pair of Wiss number #7 of about 1910 so it is probable that these are a job lot from Wiss who were known to make some items for other companies. They arrived in very good condition, almost no rust and no damage to the blades. They have been hollow ground again, sharpened and fully restored and are in as new condition.

Compton Reliance Large Tailor's Shears
This is a pair of 15.5 inch genuine big iron Compton Reliance industrial tailor's shears that arrived in physically sound condition from a private owner in New York. They had been in the family so long that he did not know who first owned them. They were hollow ground and sharpened, the rest of the handle paint removed. At a guess they date from around WW1 and are very powerful shears that are surprisingly nimble for their size and weight. Well balanced for big iron, they have very long handles which improves tactile feedback while cutting and happily handle fabrics from the light and flimsy to heavy double layered fabrics.

Henkel Industrial Shears
This pair of shears are closer in design to industrial scissors than shears but they have the thumb rest and lower handle lug and are very powerful shears due to the high blade curvature and strong blades. Henkel was a manufacturer in Ohio that were sold in 1914 so this pair is at least 100 years old. While by no means elegant, they will in fact cut almost anything including very heavy fabrics and while they are not as precise as the high end tailor's shears, they make up for it with their sheer grunt.

Kissner Tailor's Shears
There is little reference material available on Kissner but it would seem from the very scant information available that they were makers of custom shears and scissors in the Solingen area in Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. 15 inches long, very strong with deep blades, very high quality manufacture and easily powerful enough to cut most heavy fabrics, they are also capable of cutting fine fabrics and cut with high precision. Excellent for long straight cuts and will handle reasonably small curves with practice. This pair were sourced from a private owner in Melbourne, Australia and appear to have been custom made for a person with very large hands. The handles need to be properly stripped and repainted but this pair are in excellent condition.

Wilkinson Modern Tailor's Shears
This is a rescued pair of 13.5 inch Wilkinson tailors shears that were sourced in the UK. As they arrived the shears would not cut at all as an amateur had sharpened the blades at a negative angle. To repair them without wasting the blade height, they were hollow ground to take out the incorrect sharpening angle and then resharpened and refinished. As a rescued pair they perform reasonably well but a new pair would certainly be better. One of the reasons for adding this pair to the page is you can still buy a new pair in the UK from William Whitely and Sons and while they are not cheap, they are made in the traditional manner and are very good quality shears. It may be to your advantage to shop around with different vendors in the UK to get the best price for a new pair.