Rope scissors

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Umpa Duze » 08/03/10 04:38 PM

Hi all,
I wonder if anyone has advice for me regarding the best type of rope scissors to use with childrens shows. I want to be able to do the uneven rope gag where the volunteer keeps cutting the two ropes trying to get them even. The youngest child would be 3rd / 4th grade. I am not looking for gag scissors (cut/no cut etc.) just for a sturdy, sure fire pair to slice through the ropes that are small enough to be handled safely and effectively by the kids. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks,
Umpa Duze
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby dlfodness » 08/05/10 09:07 PM

I have a related "rope scissors" question. I need a scissors with plastic blades for "cutting" the rope in the moving knot rope trick. I've seen tiny children's scissors that have plastic blades, but none that are larger in size. Has anyone run across this item?
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Postby Pete McCabe » 08/05/10 11:46 PM

As it happens I recently came up with a C&R rope trick and spent some time looking for scissors. I eventually came across a pair by Crayola which are small with rounded edges (good for young hands and my pockets) and which cut quite well.

But, I will be having the spectator do the cutting at one point, and it is vital that this goes smoothly. So I also switched to a rope that is much thinner than traditional magician's rope. I really think this is an important consideration. I didn't come across any scissors that will cut magician's rope quickly and easily but which are safe to hand to a kid. I use a simple rope that came from Home Depot. It's still plenty visible, and of course costs much less than magician's rope.
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Postby Dave V » 08/06/10 03:44 AM

I like Fiskars Kitchen (or Florist's) shears. They come in either standard Fiskars orange or black plastic handles. They're not exactly childrens scissors but they have heavy blades, a rather blunt tip, and they cut rope like they're going through butter.

[img:left]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/115FQ7FDAFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg[/img]
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Postby Joe McIntyre » 08/06/10 08:15 AM

if the kid is left handed he or she might have time cutting with most scissors,
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Postby Umpa Duze » 08/08/10 05:06 PM

Hi All,
Thanks for your suggestions. You raise some interesting issues regarding the rope and left handed assistants. I would not have thought to look for that. I am using a rope that is a little thinner than traditional magician's rope, but with the scissors I have tried so far, that may have been a disadvantage since the tendency is to wedge up between the blades. I looked for the Fiskars at my local stores and they do not carry them in that model (I live five hours from anywhere you would recognize so the options are limited!) Has anyone tried Ginn's "The Best Rope Scissors"? If I am going to order over the internet, I could get those as well as the Fiskars.

Thanks again for your help with this.
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby SteveP » 08/09/10 06:55 PM

The best scissors I've found are actually tin snips. This recommendation from Whit Haydn who has used them for decades as part of his Mongolian Pop-Knot routine. They cut through rope very easily and have a blunt/rounded tip. You can find them in any hardware store in several sizes. I use the smallest I can find. Here's the style you're looking for, although the snips in this image are a little too big:

Image
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Postby Seuss » 08/09/10 10:53 PM

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Postby Bob Taxin » 08/11/10 06:19 PM

I went into a local high end knife store, bought a small pair of high quality scissors, and had them grind the points of the blades into rounded ends. They look like children's scissors and easily cut through magician's rope. If you're in San Francisco, check out Columbus Cutlery in North Beach.
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Postby Umpa Duze » 08/13/10 03:20 AM

Thanks for all of your help. I wish we could get funding to buy one of each and test them like a consumer reports of magic utilities. Genii offers reviews of tricks and books, any chance we might get some comparative reviews of the relative merits/qualities of different rope, scissors, elastic, paint, silks, thread, wire, flash cotton/paper, velvet, table stands, thumb tips, finger flashers etc.?

I know I would appreciate the evaluation of the run of the mill, daily materials if anyone can help me find them.

Just a thought.
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Dany Baronian » 08/13/10 02:13 PM

BaronianTrading.com DOES have the best shears. I sell as many shears as I sell rope. Give it a try, $17.99 plus shipping.
BaronianTrading.com...your #1 source for magicians' rope.
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Postby Dany Baronian » 08/13/10 02:16 PM

I will be advertising with Genii very soon for www.BaronianTrading.com. We sell magicians ropes and shears. Hopefully Richard will do a comparison.

Dany Baronian
BaronianTrading.com...your #1 source for magicians' rope.
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Postby Umpa Duze » 10/11/10 03:54 AM

Hi All,
I wanted to let you all know that I purchased one of Ginn's worlds Best Scissors and am delighted with it. It is easy to handle, light and does as good a job of any I have used. The only thing I am not quite sure of is that you can separate the blades (presumably for sharpening) when they are fully open. They have come apart a couple of times in rehearsal, but it is an easy thing to avoid if you are conscious of the situation.
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Dynamike » 10/23/10 07:48 AM

A good place to go to when purchasing scissors is a fabric store. You can test the scissors on your rope at the site.
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