The podcast episode I just posted tonight (Episode 135 In Which We Rip It) is all about seam rippers. I do a quick pro-and-con about the three styles of seam rippers I now own. Here are some quick pics to go along with the episode.
First, the three seam rippers side-by-side (left to right): a traditional seam ripper, the Olfa Rotary Point Cutter, and Havel's Ultra Pro Seam Ripper.
All are certainly up to the task, but they each have their benefits and draw-backs. You'll just have to listen to the episode to know (in my opinion, anyway) what those pros and cons are!
A traditional seam ripper at work... (pardon the bad fingernail--it's that time of year when dryness abounds!)
There are actually a couple methods to using this one--sliding it under individual stitches, or sliding it between threads in the seam between fabrics. I just have more problems using it the second way because the pushing motion tends to push the fabric out of whack.
The Olfa Rotary Point Cutter at work. This has been my preferred seam ripper for many years.
It was really hard for me to properly demonstrate this with one hand while holding my phone to take a picture in the other. But you get the basic idea: you simply cut the threads with the blade. When the blade is sharp--and it stays sharp for a very long time (again, listen to the episode to hear how old my blade is!)--all it takes is a little tap on the thread with the blade and it slices cleanly, Very fast and easy, and no stretching of the fabrics. And nope--no cuts! No cuts on fabric or on fingers!
Finally, Havel's Ultra Pro seam ripper at work. This will take a little getting used to but I have high hopes.
Again with the problems of ripping a seam one-handed with a phone-camera in the other hand...and this time, being positive I was going to slice off an appendage in the process.
It's the same basic concept as the Olfa ripper. But with surgical precision. This one could clearly get into tighter corners to rip seams than the Olfa could. I also mention a few other particular types of sewing it would be useful for in the episode.
Hope this is useful information to you! Links to the items are in the show notes to the podcast episode at the link in the first paragraph.