Using A Seam Ripper What is the little ball for

Have you ever wondered what that little ball is for on your seam ripper?

I’ve been sewing all my life and just found out a few years ago!  I had been doing it wrong all this time.

I’ve even taken sewing lessons and no one ever explained it. I just thought it had no purpose…..but it does!

So I thought you might want to know, too!


Put the ball under the seam you want to rip out.

Put-the-ball-under-seam. The-edge-rips-the-seam-sewlicioushomedecor-com

The ball lets you glide the seam ripper through the seam as the edge cuts the seam. This makes ripping out a seam very easy and very quick!




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If you want to see it in action..Pam Damour gives a demonstration below.


Watch the video


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What is the ball for? Place the ball under the seam, the edge rips the seam.


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  1. Oh, my GOODNESS! Now I know how to properly use a seam ripper and won’t chance cutting the material by using it the wrong way. Thank you!!!
  2. I am like you, I have been sewing for years and I never knew what the side with the little ball was for. Thank you.
  3. This just baffles me that there are so many people who didn't know this!! Obviously, the ball is there for a reason! The long, sharp side is for starting or opening the more difficult seams, among a couple other reasons. If you want are looking for the best seam ripper, I suggest the Seam-fix. It has a rubber stopper piece on the end that helps grab loose threads. I've also used X-acto blade knifes but probably the strangest I've found that actually works nicely is an eyebrow razor that has a teeny comb attached, which I use for picking those stray threads. Don't forget to keep your LINT ROLLER handy also!
  4. Thank you. You might know I’ve been using it wrong but thank you very much for the information just happened to see this on the web on your page and very much appreciate the information I’ve been selling for over 40 years God bless Carolyn
  5. I’ve been sewing for years never knew what the little ball was for!! Now teaching my grand daughters to sew so I will inform them of the purpose of the little ball!! Thank you for sharing!! John 3:16
  6. Well imagine that! I'm 61 and have never gave the red ball a second thought. Bring on the next sewing undo.
    • I never knew the red ball had a purpose. I thought it was for safety to cover the edge. Thanks for showing how to use a seam reaper correctly. Of course I use a seam ripper q often. .I have never seen a metal seam ripper until you showed it and how sharp it is. Wish I would get hold of one soon.
  7. Thank you so much for for the great info! I’ve been sewing for over 50 years and also never knew what the red ball was for. It would take me forever to take a seam out. Can’t wait to try it.
  8. DUH! Had no idea, admitting I hadn't given it much thought! After 50 years of sewing, learned something new - it's a good day :) Thanks.
  9. You’m Genius!! I’ll be rippin up a lot faster & safer from now on, thanks to you! I fell into your site accidentally, but will be back often. I make & restyle garments into period costumes for our “Sing Along” shows. We have 2 shows a year. The Spring show proceeds goes to pay for Spring & Christmas show, because we charge an unwrapped child’s toy in lieu of ticket price to attend the Christmas performance. We then haul truckloads of toys to a volunteered building, They are separated into rooms by age, There is also a WRAP ROOM set up with wrapping materials. The parents of less fortunate children, come with their list and make the selections, then on to the WRAPPING ROOM to complete their Christmas shopping. This is very rewarding in that we get to do what we love to do, SING and use our talents in all ways that are required in putting on a production of this kind, And there are a lot of happy smiles on Christmas morning. Costume Maker
  10. You’ve made sewing mistakes a lot easier for me now. It never crossed my mind that there was a purpose for the ball, then that it was there for safety reasons and yes … showing off nice red color. Thank you so much for sharing this red ball mystery.
  11. 1. Don’t recall if my seam rippers came with directions; are instructions on package? 2. I’ve got a couple of seam rippers that don’t have balls!🤭
  12. I thought it was so you wouldn’t poke yourself.. but that seems silly because the sharp end is the longer end so hahaha.. that wasn’t a good guess back when I took home ec. My great grandma taught me how to sew when I was very young, but I took home ec in middle school and no one ever explained the correct was to use a seam ripper. For all the sewing my great grandma did, I’d be surprised if she didn’t use her ripper correctly and maybe I just never caught on. This is good to know though! Thanks for sharing this tip!
  13. I've been sewing for 45 years and never knew what the little ball was for. I do a lot of mending, wish I knew that before. Thank you. Happy sewing.

  14. Thank you so much! I even use it today but not the ball side! Even my instructor never talked about the ball side cis she never knew what’s its for! Thank you
  15. The first time I used a seam ripper, I thought that’s what the little ball was for, and it really is very convenient. Was just a lucky guess … I guess 🙂
  16. OMG! You’re kidding! So many people did not know what the ball was for? Oh my, someone took time to put a cute little ball on the end of my seam ripper! It’s so pretty. Yeah, I’m being sarcastic. Walmart paying you to advertise with them? Don’t waste your time with a cheap ripper from Walmart. Spend a little extra money and get a good one. After using a good one, you will pitch that “cheap” piece of junk. If you do much ripping, get one that is comfortable to use and made from good metal. The word is ergonomics – also known as comfort design, functional design. Oh, Just in case, I keep one that folds in my pocket for “emergency” uses. –Have a great day:)

    • It is amazing I’ve been sewing for years and never new what the ball was for thanks to Pinterest June Webster December 2017
  17. Holy cow! I have been sewing since I was a kid , including sewing classes every summer @ the Sears center, grades 7-12 in school ,plus taking quilting lessons and I have never heard that before. As a matter of fact, I never even wondered what the ball was for! LOL Being a LEFTY, I have pretty much had to learn to do things my way. But, it's nice to know, that here's one more thing that I have always done backwards. LOL--- thank you and have a GREAT DAY!
  18. Wow! It's great.I had seam ripper but till now I don't known how to use . Thank you for sharing.
  19. Not only does it cut fast, the main purpose of the little red ball is not only to slide right thru but it does not stick into the material as it would if the ball is on the top....also be very careful using it on any thing thin or sheer and all knit material....happy sewing....I just found this site....
  20. I am 80 years old and have been sewing all my live and I did not know what the little red ball was for on the seam ripper. I have never heard anyone exspain it.
  21. I have always used the sharp inside curve of the seam ripper tool like this to cut the "hole" after making a buttonhole with the automatic setting on my machine. Just remember to put a pin across the far end first so that stops you ripping right through the bar tack!
  22. I want my money back! I bought one of those fancy seam ripper shavers (which I have never used successfully). Wow! Who knew - I just ripped a seam from a block in under 10 seconds (yes I did time it). I am so amazed at how easy it is and it doesn't rip your fabric! Thank you so much!
  23. It also works great to rub over the holes ( especially with batiks) left after removing the thread...the fabric fills in great.
  24. The way you show how to use the ripper - is there an other way to do it, then? I don't want to sound rude, but I was disappointed as I expected something sensational.
      • I found this interesting because in all the sewing classes I have taken, the instruction has been NOT to rip up the seam but to slice through stitches on one side of the seam at 3 or 4 stitch intervals. Supposedly, they told us, this puts less stress on the fabric when you separate the sides. But I have to tell you, I like your way MUCH better--much faster.
    • The video never mentions what the ball is for. It just states the ball goes down. Well, I learned on my own what the ball was for. The first time I cut my fabric I tried it with the ball down since it just seem to make since the ball being round and smooth it would not cut my fabric and it would glide easily over the fabric.
  25. All my years sewing I had no idea I too was using the seam ripper incorrectly. Thank you for explaining. Maybe now I won't hate ripping out seams so much.
  26. Muchas pero muchas gracias tantos años de uso y no sabia de esa bolita su uso! Dios te bendiga abrazos desde México!
  27. Wow! I'm 65 years old and had no idea what that little ball was for. I can't wait to make a mistake so I can use it like you showed in your video. thanks!

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