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Ruggedly made micro-serrated blades cut effortlessly. Boasts spacious, cushioned handles for added control and comfort. Easy to clean.
Has the tendency to operate stiffly at first, but loosen up with use.
Sports a handy jar opening feature. Disassembles easily for cleaning and sharpening.
They are on the higher end of the price spectrum and the handles are small.
High quality stainless steel construction coupled with razor sharp blades. Capable of extremely fine cuts.
Come apart a little too easily.
Serrated blades rarely need sharpening. Handles are comfortable to grip. Boasts a lifetime guarantee.
Some tough cutting jobs might pose a challenge, and they are hard to clean.
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Who would have thought that the most important thing one learns in preschool isn’t how to tie their shoes or say their ABCs? It’s actually how to play with scissors.
Both professional chefs and home cooks rely on kitchen shears to simplify a multitude of tasks. Sure, you could use a chef’s knife to break down a chicken, but a good, sharp pair of shears will get the job done, too. And, thanks to that toddler-era training, you’re less likely to cut yourself.
No matter your level of cooking experience, owning a good, sharp pair of kitchen shears is a necessity. They’re the ultimate in versatility. Besides using them to break down poultry, you can employ them as package openers, herb snippers, dough trimmers, twine clippers, and dozens of other things.
But there are so many types of kitchen shears on the market that it can be difficult to choose which pair is right for you without extensive testing and a long tryout period.
That’s where we come in!
At BestReviews, we buy everything we test off the shelf, just as you would. Our reviews are unbiased, and our goal is to pass the information we gather on to consumers.
We immersed ourselves in the kitchen shear market, poring over product research and checking in with owners to find out which shears are a cut above the rest.
Please visit the product list above to see our top choices, and continue reading to learn the rationale behind our picks.
Grape scissors were once a popular table accessory for dividing bunches of grapes. They were usually silver or silver-plated.
With a good pair of kitchen shears, all components work together for the ultimate cutting experience. The first things to check out are the blades themselves.
If you’re buying new kitchen shears, sharpness shouldn’t be an immediate issue regardless of style or brand.
Like chef’s knives, most kitchen shear blades are made from high-carbon stainless steel. They’re designed to stay sharp, and if they don’t, you can sharpen them with a wet stone, just as you would a dull knife.
To help keep your shears sharp, hand-wash them and dry them thoroughly before putting them away.
It’s important to look for blades with small serrations. These grip whatever you’re cutting, reducing slippage and keeping you on target.
Some shears only have serrations on one blade, while others feature them on both cutting edges for ultimate stability. The number and depth of the serrations can vary widely from one brand to another.
Kitchen shears come with blades of varying weights and lengths. If possible, hold the shears in your hands and find a pair where the balance feels right before you buy.
This will, of course, be different for each person based on their size, strength, and preference.
If your shears have deep serrations, they might need to be professionally sharpened if they become dull.
Many kitchen shears feature pull-apart blades, meaning that the scissors can unlatch into two knife-like parts. This feature is mainly added to make cleaning easier – and it does.
But if the blades pull apart too easily, they’re going to be frustratingly difficult to use as well as potentially dangerous.
If you’re insistent on shears with pull-apart blades, make sure they’re constructed well enough that spontaneous separation won’t be an issue. The blades should be able to open to at least a ninety-degree angle without falling apart.
Kitchen shears are great for slicing pizza.
More so than the blades, the choice between handles can make selecting the perfect pair of kitchen shears difficult. You have to take three variables into account: hand size and strength, comfort, and style. If even one of those features is off, using your new kitchen shears could be a miserable experience.
Once you find the right handle size for you, there are still more decisions to make before choosing your product. Many handles are either cramped, made from uncomfortable materials, or both. Cooking is hard enough; you don’t want to be fighting hand fatigue, too.
Handles are made from everything from hard plastic to rubber to metal. Pick a pair that feels good in your hand. And don’t forget the most important consideration: balance.
Use your shears to cut up jalapenos. You’re much less likely to get the hot spice on your hands.
If you have relatively small, weak hands, avoid shears with spring-loaded handles. These can make opening and closing the shears harder and more fatiguing. People with big, strong hands need to be on the lookout, too: large handles aren’t enough on their own. Make sure the handles are made of a comfortable material and aren’t so big that they slip out of your hand. Again, think about balance above all.
The monkey wrench thrown into shear selection is left-handedness. There are kitchen scissors out there designed exclusively for lefties, and there are even more that claim to be ambidextrous. The bottom line, though, is that options are more limited for southpaws.
No one wants to work with an instrument they don’t like. Kitchen shears come in so many styles that it’s likely you’ll be able to find a pair that works for you and speaks to you aesthetically. Go into the purchasing process with an open mind. Find the pair that looks like it will feel best, but if the shears don’t exactly work with your décor, know that it’s okay to keep looking.
Poultry shears, which have very strong blades, are sometimes branded as secateurs.
Many kitchen shears come with added bells and whistles. There are pairs with built-in bottle openers, corkscrews, nut crackers, and almost everything else you could find in a Swiss army knife.
To say that most of these add-ons are detrimental to the performance of the shears is an understatement. There is, however, one extra that is brilliant in both its execution and inclusion: tension.
Tension is crucial for both performance and comfort. If the shears are wound too tightly, repeated use can be hard on your grip, no matter how big and strong you are. If they’re too loose, cutting becomes difficult, and the shears feel flimsy in your hand. This can be a real problem, especially if more than one person uses the shears regularly.
Luckily, some manufacturers have come up with a solution. They’ve put a small screw or bolt right where the blades intersect. Turning it one way increases the tension; turning it the other way loosens things up. It sounds simple, but it really is a useful addition.
Q. Are kitchen shears and kitchen scissors the same thing?
A. In common parlance, they’re the same thing. Technically, though, shears have blades longer than six inches while scissors have blades of six inches or less. Also, scissors often have symmetrical handles while those of shears are usually different sizes.
Q. Are there special shears for cutting different foods?
A. Yes. There are poultry shears which are typically longer and heavier than regular kitchen shears. There are smaller shears, often called “kitchen snips,” for cutting things like herbs. There are also specialty shears for fish and other proteins. Unless you’re a real gourmet, though, you would likely get by with one good pair of multi-use kitchen shears.
Q. Are kitchen shears dishwasher safe?
A. Most are, but we recommend hand-washing them in order to keep the edges sharp.
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