Kitchen shears (or kitchen scissors) are hand-operated tools used for food preparation. With specific blade angles, some shears are ideal for cutting raw or cooked meat, while others are for delicate uses, like snipping herbs or deveining shrimp. A heavy-duty shear can even cut through chicken bones without needing a cutting board.
The best kitchen shear should range between $10 and $75, depending on its design and blade material. If you plan on using this tool for a range of tasks, it’s best to get a few different pairs.
Kitchen Shear vs. Household Scissor
Kitchen shears differ from household scissors in the position of their blades’ pivot screw (also known as the blade’s fulcrum). Typically, the blade’s fulcrum of a shear is farther from the handle and closer to the beginning of the bottom blade than a multi-purpose scissor.
These two handy tools also have different blade lengths. Kitchen shear blades are longer than those of household scissors. They also usually feature a larger, more oblong bottom handle to provide a more comfortable grip. Unlike household scissors, they can even be removed for easy changing and efficient cleaning.
Most kitchen shears come with serrated blades. This makes them a better tool for slicing slippery stuff like raw meat or canned tomatoes, but less ideal for cutting thin materials like backing paper and plastic food wrap.
How to Buy the Best Kitchen Shear
Cost aside, kitchen shears mostly differ in terms of how they feel in hand and how easy they can cut through substances. There are also variations in design, functionality, and blade material.
Read on to learn more!
1. Ease of Use
Shears with roomier handles are likely to provide better grip. Keep in mind, the type of material used to make the surrounded soft grip does not affect the grip’s feel as much as the simple shape and size of the handles. While the balance and weight do not impact the shear’s efficiency, it’s best to find a light, nicely balanced unit. This allows you to do repetitive tasks for an extended period with the most comfort.
The best kitchen shear for houldhouse use should be 7 to 9 inches long so the shear’s handle is large enough to fit adult hands. That length also ensures the blades are long enough to power through thick materials like cardboard, but not so long that they become unwieldy for chopping herbs.
2. Ease of Cutting
To provide quality cuts, kitchen shear blades should be extraordinarily sharp and tension sprung, allowing you to cut through all types of materials without tearing or shredding them.
A good pair of shears is also determined by its ability to grip and hold slippery foods. Ideally, you should find shears that feature anti-slip, micro-serrated blades. Whether you want to fillet salmon or crack walnuts, this tool will provide you with firmly secure grips and precision cuts.
3. Functionality Enhancements
For people who don’t cook frequently, inexpensive shears under $15 are versatile enough to perform a series of basic food-prep tasks like chopping herbs, cutting meats, and scraping fish scales.
But for those looking for a multipurpose utensil, a more advanced model ranging between $20 and $30 would be a better option— one that has incorporated other kitchen functionalities, such as a jar opener or a nutcracker built right on the handle.
4. Blade Material
Kitchen shear blades are made from either stainless steel or carbon steel. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that the thickness of the blade doesn’t affect its cutting performance.
In general, professional chefs prefer using high-carbon steel shears because they keep their sharp edge much longer, even with extensive use. Carbon steel is hard metal. It’s less likely to bend under heat or high-force impacts. However, hard metal is also very brittle; it can break if put in the dishwasher.
Plus, carbon steel shears aren’t rustproof. They will discolor over time if you don't apply oil after each use. It also explains why home chefs, who prioritize ease of maintenance, tend to prefer stainless steel shears over carbon steel ones.
Stainless steel shears have high rust resistance, but they do not hold an edge as well as its counterparts. This also means you'll need to sharpen them more often than carbon steel shears. While most stainless steel shears are dishwasher safe, it’s best to check the manual instructions to be sure.
Most kitchen shears are for righties, but left-handed models are also available. Be aware that while some brands label their shears as suitable for both right- and left-hand use, they actually are not true left-handed shears. They are still right-handle shears with the top cutting blades on the right; their handles just aren’t contoured specifically for righties. So, if you use these shears in your left hand and hold the material on the right side, you can’t see the cutting line at all.
Reviews of the Best Kitchen Shears in 2021
- KitchenAid KE3510HAQ - Best to Buy in 2021
- TANSUNG - Best Stainless Steel Kitchen Shears
- OXO Good Grips - Best Value Kitchen Shears
- OXO Good Grips Spring - Best Poultry Shears
- Gerior - Best Chicken Cutting Scissors
- Gidli - Best Fish Cutting Scissors
- Acelone - Best Heavy-Duty Scissors
- Shun Premium - Best Shun Kitchen Shears
1. KitchenAid KE351OHAQ - Best to Buy in 2021
The KitchenAid KE3510HAQ is our top pick because it’s extremely sharp and durable. Affordable yet solid, this multipurpose shear can cut meats, trim fat, slice pizza, and open food packaging.
Rust-resistant stainless steel blades
Comfort grip handles
Plastic guard included
Compact and portable
Scissor halves cannot pull apart
Not dishwasher safe
Capable of cutting through paper, cardboard, and packing tape, it could also be suitable for the office, school, arts and crafts, and more. Just keep in mind that the KitchenAid KE3510HAQ is a basic shear ideal for simple food prep tasks. While it can deal with crab, turkey, chicken, or any other food with bones, we don’t think it performs as well when solely dedicated to poultry.
With soft-grip coatings, its ergonomically designed handles fit well in your hand while still ensuring optimal stability. The shear even offers a wide range of colors for you to choose.
Like most kitchen shears, the KitchenAid KE3510HAQ comes with a micro-serrated blade to promote secure grips and precise snipping. The stainless steel blade is rust resistant and non-reactive with acidic foods. This allows you to snip too-big-pieces directly in the hot pan even when there is an acidic solution inside. To prevent the blades from rusting, you can use the included plastic blade guard after each use.
Be aware that the blades cannot be taken apart for thorough cleaning, as the pivot screw is permanently covered by a stainless steel dot. But it’s still very easy to clean by hand, even in the area between the blades and the handle.
The biggest disadvantage of the permanent pivot screw is it prevents you from flexibly adjusting the tension of the cutting blades. It could even come loose after 6-12 months of regular use. According to some users' complaints, every time the pivot screw loosens, they have to re-tighten it by hand. And if they do not tighten it well enough, it becomes wiggly, compromising the cutting action.
At such an inexpensive price, the KitchenAid KE3510HAQ offers more than we’d expect. It works well and comes with enough advanced features to make your food prep entirely safe and convenient.Check Latest Price On Amazon
2. TANSUNG - Best Stainless Steel Kitchen Shears
The TANSUNG is better than other stainless steel shears partly due to the blade material. While most household kitchen shears are made from 420 steel because of its low-cost, the TANSUNG is exclusively crafted from 5Cr15MoV stainless steel— the metal that is widely used to produce heavy-duty chef’s knives, higher quality scissors, and hunting knives.
Heavy-duty stainless steel blades
Not ideal for left-handed use
Compared to their conventional counterparts, the 5Cr15MoV stainless steel shears offer better corrosion resistance. That’s why they can withstand the abrasive nature of dishwasher detergents and have the advantage of being dishwasher safe.
The TANSUNG benefits from the CNC technology that represents premium quality and delicate aesthetics to make its blades impressively sharp. Apart from cutting through tough things with ease, the blades are so well-designed that you can use the shear to cut raw fish precisely without tearing the meat.
There is a bottle opener at the tip of the handle, allowing you to open different types of sealed lids like metal caps, bottle tops, jar lids, and more. This versatile opener also works as a peeler for peeling off fruit and vegetable skins. Be careful when cleaning it, though, as the peeler is so sharp that it can accidentally cut your fingers.
Not only this, while the shear is separated, you can use its micro-serrated blade to scrape fish scales. Attached by a high-grade pivot screw, this all-in-one kitchen tool can also crack walnuts without its blades falling apart during operation.
By not having to shift back and forth among different tools, this shear saves time and improves food prep efficiency for its users. The TANSUNG is more than just “functional.” With an eye-catching design, it is very stylish with three different colors for you to choose.
We appreciate that the large handles have meticulous, stylish patterns and soft material surrounding. They ensure to fit your hands well, provide room for your fingers to rest, and absorb pressure to maximize the comfortable grip.
More impressively, TANSUNG offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% money back guarantee on this product. You can have your shear repaired or replaced entirely free of charge if there are any defects in material or workmanship.
The TANSUNG is labeled suitable for both righties and lefties. But we don’t think it is a true left-handed shear. If you are a left-handed cook, it’d be better to look for another option.
Long lasting strength is the major selling point of the TANSUNG, and it’s not the only one. The shear is more than just “functional”, so whatever the tasks at hand are, they’ll be accomplished in the most efficient manner.Check Latest Price On Amazon
3. OXO Good Grips - Best Value Kitchen Shear
OXO Good Grips is a basic utility shear with high-quality construction. In terms of performance, it doesn’t work any better than our top pick with the super sharp micro-serrated blades and ergonomically designed handles.
Hardened stainless steel blades
Cushioning pads on grip
Quite large handles
From tough tendons to plastic packages, the OXO is sharp enough to handle medium-duty tasks without much trouble. It can even serve as an herb stripper, allowing you to remove fresh herbs from tough stems or to separate rosemary with ease.
The OXO Good Grips is also exceptional in its ability to absorb pressure while squeezing thanks to cushioning pads on the handles. Not many shears have this feature, so for us, this is a big plus. Just keep in mind that while this shear is capable of slicing through thick items like chicken bones, the process can be tricky and time consuming.
Measuring 10.5 inches in length, the OXO has a perfect handle for adult hands. But for those with small hands, the handle may be too long and big. This makes it more difficult for them to open the blades wide enough to separate or cut things like cardboard.
The OXO Good Grips is dishwasher safe when the blades are separated, but hand washing is advisable to prolong its lifespan.
The OXO Good Grips is not just the most useful tool in your kitchen. It’s a life-saver helping you to make short work of food preparation and also seems to be a reliable way for turning scissor tasks into enjoyable activities. If you’re looking for a basic shear that can enhance your cutting skills, we highly recommend this one.Check Latest Price On Amazon
4. OXO Good Grips Spring - Best Poultry Shears
OXO Good Grips Spring is a good pair of kitchen shears specially developed for slicing effortlessly through chicken meat and bones. Featuring perfectly tapered blades, it allows you to access even the most hard-to-reach parts of a chicken with ease, like the joints and spine. The utensil is so tough, you can even use it to cut off twigs, fruits, and thick flower stems.
Spring loaded handle
Releasable pivot screw
Easy to clean
Scissor halves could fall apart unintendedly
With balanced weight and spring-loaded handles, the OXO Good Grips Spring lets you enjoy your job for hours without causing hand fatigue or discomfort. In addition, its micro-serrated blades are crafted from premium stainless steel. This means they are rustproof and incredibly durable if properly cared for.
The only problem is, when you try to open the shear all the way to get through a thick bone, the shaft lines up just right, causing the blades to fall apart accidentally. But on the bright side, it’s so easy to reassemble the blades, you’ll still be happy even if you have to do this constantly.
The handles are ergonomically designed to provide soft, secure grips. They are equipped with bolsters to prevent your fingers from slipping forward. As a nice bonus, there is a safety lock at the tip of the handles, which helps to keep the shears from opening accidentally. The OXO Good Grips Spring is not dishwasher safe, but it’s extremely easy to clean by hand while separated.
The sharp, slightly curved stainless-steel blades make the OXO Good Grips Spring an indispensable tool for both home cooks and professional chefs. With a heavy-duty construction, it offers many unique benefits that ensure to outperform most other poultry shears out there. Using this shear instead of a harder-to-control knife and you’ll see how easy it is to cut a whole turkey into pieces.Check Latest Price On Amazon
5. Gerior - Best Chicken Cutting Scissors
Heavy-duty, durable, and ultra sharp are traits that make the Gerior the best kitchen shear for butchering a large chicken. Like most poultry scissors, one of the take-apart blades has micro-serration, which will help the bone to sit still instead of sliding away while being cut by the other blade.
Poorly constructed safety lock
The stainless steel anti-slip blades also prevent the micro-bacteria in poultry from sticking. By that token, the shears eliminate the risk of poultry-borne diseases. This all-purpose scissor even includes a section for opening bottles.
While it slices through nearly all types of poultry bone pretty well, the Gerior is not ideal for trimming fat. You'll need another pair of basic shears or a sharp household knife to get the job done.
The spring-loaded handles are designed exclusively to provide a spring action. Reducing hand strain each time you open or close the shear makes it easier for you to achieve a precise cut.
There is a pivot screw joint between the two blades. To disassemble the scissor, simply open it to the disassembled position, then gently shake and separate the blades.
However, the shear is so easy to separate that its halves can fall apart unintentionally. That’s why you’ll need to activate the safety lever, which limits the shear’s opening angle. So, even when you open the shear all the way, there is no way its halves can fall apart.
The safety lever can also be switched to the right position to lock the handle and prevent accidental opening. The only drawback is the position of the safety lock: Located right where your thumb is when you are cutting, it could cause you to accidentally lock or unlock the lever more often.
For many reasons, deboning a chicken at home is obviously an impossible task. Areas like the ball joint at the ‘knee’ of the leg seem to be unreachable if you don’t have the right tool. That’s where the Gerior kitchen shear comes in handy. With just a little practice, you can debone chicken thighs on your own using this cost-effective shear. Though the shear may have some difficulty in breaking down a whole chicken.Check Latest Price On Amazon
6. Gidli - Best Fish Cutting Scissors
Including two essentials in one practical bundle, Gidli has been successful in satisfying the demands of both home cooks and gourmet chefs alike. If you want to cut through chicken bone, remove shrimp shells, or fillet a fish with razor-sharp precision, this set is the most suitable.
2-pack in one set
Sharp, micro-serrated blades
Handy seafood scissors
Not suitable for removing fish scales
Permanent pivot screw
Apart from the rust-resistant stainless steel blades, these shears also come with all the advanced features you can expect from a mid-level model. Those include the ergonomically designed handles, a built-in bottle opener, and a center-toothed grip for cracking nuts. The scissor even has a matching blade guard to protect its blades from damage and allow for safer storage in a drawer.
As an additional benefit, this set is under warranty to be free of defects in material and workmanship throughout the original purchaser’s lifetime. If the shears are defective within your lifetime, the manufacturer will repair or even replace them free of charge (except for shipping and handling).
The Gidli scissors are dishwasher safe, but we recommend you wash them by hand to avoid permanent damage from dishwasher detergent. Like the top pick, these models cannot be separated, making it more challenging to clean food particles that remain in the pivot screw.
Furthermore, because the scissor halves are pivotally retained together by a retaining assembly, you’ll need to be extremely careful when using the micro-serrated blade to scrape scales from fish or your hand can be cut by the non-serrated blade.
Included in the Gidli set are two pairs of well-designed scissors that promise to take the convenience of food preparation. With the utility shear, most of the cutting tasks is less a hassle. And if snipping, cracking, or de-veining shellfish is your nightmare, the curved blades of the seafood shear will surely help you overcome it.Check Latest Price On Amazon
7. Acelone - Best Heavy-Duty Scissors
The Acelone is almost identical to the Gidli, with the only difference being the blade material. Crafted from top premium-grade stainless steel— 3CR14— this pair of scissors can give you countless years of service and enjoyment. When properly cared for, it is surely an investment that will never fail you.
Quite difficult to thoroughly clean
While costing as much as the top pick, it comes with the added benefits of having a beer corkscrew for opening bottle caps, and a center-toothed grip for cracking crab legs or nuts.
We like that the shear blades are reinforced with grooves to prevent slipping and make cutting easier. The handles are ergonomically designed to fit an American hand shape. Featuring a soft grip coating, they are anti-slip and save on labor.
We found the Acelone performs well in all food prep tasks, with the exception of removing fish scales. Also, because the scissor halves cannot be taken apart, cleaning the opening or closing friction surface from the inside of the pivot screw might be tricky.
There is no need to additionally use a chopping board when the Acelone multifunctional shear can cut through all kinds of food faster and easier. Forged from high corrosion-resistant material, the tool offers unparalleled performance for any cutting task without its blades being blunting over time. Believe it or not, this is something that you can trust.Check Latest Price On Amazon
8. Shun Premium - Best Shun Kitchen Shears
The Shun Premium is a commercial-quality shear from Japan. It is the most expensive model on our list, but is totally worth the investment, given its unique grip design and incredibly durable high-carbon, molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel blades.
Black elastomer grip on handles
High-carbon, molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel blades
Adjustable pivot screw
The Shun Premium is formulated for optimal convenience in the kitchen, with take-apart blades for quick cleaning, and a releasable interlock screw for adjusting the degree of tightness. We appreciate that the scissors’ pivot screw is made using Japanese advanced technology and high-quality materials so it will not rust or corrode like the cheaper counterparts.
There is a black elastomer grip on the handle, which helps promote secure, comfortable control when you open packages, cut raw meat, clean shrimp, snip herbs, or trim fat. While a micro-serrated bottom blade works well enough to grip slippery foods, the smooth top blade ensures to cut through anything with a comparably smooth action. The shear can even debone a small turkey with ease thanks to a bone notch at the end of the blade.
Be aware that Shun Premium is not a good fit for those with big hands due to its relatively small handle. It also cannot be put in the dishwasher since the harsh chemicals could ruin the blade and cause the grip coating around the handle to discolor.
The Shun Premium is a fancy stainless steel shear famous for its long lifespan and limited lifetime warranty. If you don’t mind paying a little extra and skipping on some functionalities like bottle opening or nut cracking, this would be the most useful yet durable tool you ever have.Check Latest Price On Amazon
Top-rated Kitchen Shears Comparison Chart
|Product||Blades Material||Dishwasher Safe||Dimension |
|KitchenAid KE3510HAQ||Stainless Steel||No||0.5 x 3.5 x 1||Lifetime|
|TANSUNG||Stainless Steel||Yes||9.25 x 4 x 3||Lifetime|
|OXO Good Grips||Stainless Steel||No||10.48 x 4.76 x 1.14||Lifetime|
|OXO Good Grips Spring||Stainless Steel||No||12.2 x 4.69 x 1.14||Lifetime|
|Gerior||Stainless Steel||No||8.11 x 3.7 x 0.55||Lifetime|
|Gidli||Stainless Steel||Yes||8.25 x 4 x 1.25||Lifetime|
|Acelone||Stainless Steel||Yes||8 x 3.7 x 0.35||Lifetime|
|Shun Premium||Stainless Steel||No||3.5 x 1 x 8||Lifetime|
So that is our list of the best kitchen shears this year. These reviewed models are our top picks because they are impressively sharp and durable. If you enjoy our reviews or have something to share, feel free to drop us a comment. That’d be much appreciated.
A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen. Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it. Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.