Good, sharp scissors and shears are mandatory. Scissors handles are not bent and have two handle holes that are the same size. Shears have a smaller hole for thumb placement, a large hole for several fingers, and bent handles to allow them to slide easily while cutting along a flat surface. Generally, scissors are used for trimming small areas and cutting threads, while shears are used for large cutting jobs such as cutting patchwork pieces.
A good pair of paper-cutting scissors is a must for cutting templates out of cardboard and plastic. They, too, must be sharp and sturdy.