At Sew Curvy I only stock quality products in the shop which I myself use and can recommend. I have a variety of cutting tools in the studio but here are my favourite recommendations for sale:
When I cut out patterns - any patterns - from corset patterns to dressmaking patterns, to purse patterns and everything in between - I use a 45mm rotary cutter and large cutting mat. Many people who pass through my studio express terror at the thought of amputating their fingers while using a rotary cutter but I say it couldn't be more simple and whats more, you get a much more accurate cut with a rotary cutter because you don't have to lift the fabric you're cutting at all, and you can keep the cutting blade sharp at all times with the use of replacement blades or a special sharpener for rotary blades. The cut you get when using a rotary cutter is sharp, clean and even. Once you get used to using one, you wont want to go back to traditional dressmaking scissors or tailors shears for anything!
In corsetry and dressmaking I find that the best size of blade for rotary cutting, is the standard 45mm. Rotary cutters do come in all manner of shapes, sizes and formats, with standard, luxury and 'deluxe' versions and you can also get different types of blade too. The 45mm size is big enough to cover distance quickly but small enough to negotiate tight curves efficiently. Anything smaller would be tedious and anything bigger would be too clumsy. The array of accessories for rotary cutters can be quite confusing but generally I find that a regular rotary cutter with retractable blade is the most cost effective and easiest tool to use and I prefer Olfa as a brand. Handy tip for dull rotary blades: When they are too dull to cut fabric, you can use them to cut paper, cardboard or interfacing with prescision. Simply 'condemn' the not so sharp blade by paining a blob of nail polish on it to diferentiate it from your sharp blade. The blade can be kept safe in the special plastic case which comes with every Olfa replacement blade.
Scissors are of course useful at other times. I tend only to use dressmaking shears for cutting lengths of fabric and of course it is absoloutely essential that you keep any dressmaking or fabric crafting scissors only for cutting fabric because cutting other materials such as paper, will dull the blades very quickly (although it is possible to have your scissors sharpened professionally in a hardware store). If kept properly and treated well, a good pair of scissors will last a lifetime so it really is a false economy to buy cheap ones.
Applique scissors are sometimes known as duck bill scissors and are good for grading seams or working with layers of delicate fabrics - they have a lower blade which is wider than the top blade and this lower blade protects fabric underneath the scissors while the super sharp top blade cuts the fabric at hand. We also have super sharp stork embroidery scissors in two sizes and these are a timeless classic - show me a grandmother who didn't own a pair! I know I was always fascinated as a child by the little silver pair owned by my Nana and this is why these scissors do have a special place in my heart. Practically, they are fantastic for precision cutting of small areas and for snipping thread ends very close to your project. The applique scissors and the stork scissors on site are all made by quality German brand Klasse.
Small general sewing scissors about 10cm (5") long are good for small cutting jobs like snipping notches, seam allowances, going around corners and other general fabric cutting where you need power and presicsion but don't want a large wiedly pair of scissors. I stock Fiskars small sewing scissors for this job as they are a lovely handy size with very sharp pointy blades.
The humble stitch ripper should not be overlooked here. It is every bit as important to keep a sharp seam ripper in your sewing tool box as it is to keep sharp sewing scissors and cutters to hand. Dull blades = ripped fabric and shredded seams, and seam rippers do not stay sharp for long - the more stitches you rip, the quicker the blade will blunt. With this in mind, I really don't believe in buying expensive seam rippers with fancy handles because they do need replacing frequently so you wont find anything above 50p at Sew Curvy and I frequently send out a free stich unpicker with big orders as a little token of thanks, because I think it is really really important for perfect sewing. Infact, seam rippers are such a versatile sewing tool that some people write entire blog posts about their many and varied uses - here is one such blog post which will give you 9 other reasons why you need a seam ripper in your sewing box: 10 reasons to love your seam ripper