Joan’s Toolbox: 2 Great Seam Rippers Under $5

Lazies, During the development of my latest design Candice, I was reminded how much I love my seam rippers. I hate when I realize the stitches I just made need to come out. It’s a little crushing. It feels like a set-back and a time-waster. Well, to make the job as easy as can be, I have two favorite rippers in my toolbox. Each has their own function and specialty. Yes, different rippers for different needs. And at less than $5 each, consider adding them to your toolbox or as gifts for your quilty friends.


Clover Seam Ripper, item 482W and Havel’s Seam Ripper, item 18933

Clover Seam Ripper – My All Time Favorite
What sets this Clover seam ripper apart from other similar designs is the quality and the handle design/features. The handle includes a little band of rubber grip ridges (black part of the white handle) which gives me really good control. The handle is rounded, rather than flat, allowing me to easily roll it between my fingers as I maneuver the pointed tip between stitches. The tool is very secure in my hand and gives me great control.

The ripper is sharp with a nice point for getting in under stitches. It has a ball point for safely getting in between fabric without ripping the fabric. It’s another fine product from Clover. It is well-thought-out, easy to maneuver, and it works. The pointed end will work as an awl in a pinch for certain jobs – that’s a nice benefit.

Havel’s Seam Ripper – Big Jobs, Tight Stitches
Sometimes I have different ripping needs which call for another approach. I’m talking big jobs, or tight spaces. If I’ve backstitched and can’t easily get the point of the Clover ripper into a tightly stitched seam to get things started, I call my Havel’s seam ripper into action.

Simply touch the stitches with the blade to cut. You do not need to maneuver the tip of this tool under the stitch to get started. The long, flat, sharp, curved, scalpel-like tip of the blade is great for working in tight spaces.

Once you have a few stitches cut and the seam is opened a bit, simply hold the fabrics apart causing tension at the next stitch, and cut a few stitches or more at a time with the blade.

Now please, puh-lease, be careful when using either of these tools, but especially the Havel’s or any other scalpel based design. Dude, it is a razor blade. Sit down when using this blade. No dog or cat nearby, please. Keep the lid nearby and put it on every time you set the ripper down. Every time!

The upside to the scalpel styled rippers – they are really good at ripping. Needs very little force or pressure to cut. You can rip bigger jobs quickly. I tried a Candice pocket with heavy interfacing and it was horrible. Off it came! In seconds.

The downside to the scalpel styled rippers – they are really good at ripping. You can easily cut your fabric when you don’t mean to. Practice using one on something that doesn’t matter.

Both of these items work well on the quilter’s weight cottons that I work with. I don’t work with fine/delicate fabrics, so I don’t have a recommendation for you there.

Now, about all those little broken stitches hanging on for dear life in the used-to-be-seam. Use scotch tape to remove these buggers quickly and cleanly.

Havel’s Seam Ripper
Item 18933, Suggested retail $3.50

Clover Seam Ripper
Item 482W, Suggested retail $4.00


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9 Responses to “Joan’s Toolbox: 2 Great Seam Rippers Under $5”

  1. Regina — November 28, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    LOL – any product review that contains the word “dude” is a great review!!! 🙂 Will have to look at the Havel’s – I just got a bigger Clover one that I really like but the scalpel style would be handy at times.

  2. Penny — November 28, 2011 @ 9:34 am

    I knew great minds think alike. I have both of these, although I rarely have to use them! LOL Just kidding, I have several of the Clover ones spread through out the house and travel sewing. Now what I really love the Havels for is embroidery stitches, I lay it on it’s side and push through the heavey stitches. I leave it in my hoop so they are nice and tight when I remove them, makes it much easier (becareful those babies are very sharp). Ok enough of me! Thanks for sharing Joan.

    Penny D in Chesapeake!

  3. Sharon — November 28, 2011 @ 9:52 am

    While I like the feel of ergonomic handles on tools, I find them terrible exasperating because they roll off the work surface, very easily. The running of the sewing machine is enough vibration to set them rolling away.

  4. Judi — November 28, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    I have the Ultra-Pro Seam Ripper by Havel with the metal handle: Love it! The blade is held in position by a screw for added protection. Only complaint is after a while the clear plastic protective cap falls off easily.

  5. Margaret Wolf-Eber — November 28, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    As a nurse, I have found many useful sewing tools from work! (Or have taken the ideas from work objects.) I use clamps, scalpels, iris scissors, tweezers, magnets, first aid tape, etc. Thanks for the review. If any of your readers do have tips for finer fabric, I’d be interested to read them. I have ruined a few projects trying to fix stitches in finer fabrics.


  6. Connie — November 28, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    I have both of these too. I also have a smaller clover for tight spaces. The right tool for a project really makes all the difference. Thanks, as always Joan for your great ideas!

    BTW, I just ordered an iPad and now have a use for that pocket in the newest pattern!! Can’t wait to sew it out. But it will have to wait until after Christmas – too many projects going!

    Connie D in Suffolk, VA

  7. Charlotte — November 28, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

    I have both those type rippers & totally agree, each are made for different purposes.
    Thanks for the great info….

  8. Lisa McCann — November 29, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    Sharon, set your tools on a terry washcloth next to your sewing machine, and I bet the tools won’t go rolling off the table!

    Excellant review! I will buy these tools- I can see a need for both. And I agree, any review that says DUDE is way cool and is authoritative!!!

  9. Sandi Myer — December 21, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    I have Clover seam ripper but I have never tried this one. I like the idea of the scapel blade too. Thanks for the recommendation of the cool tools, Dude!:)