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What Are the Best Kitchen Shears?

black kitchen shears in front of raw chicken on white background
The best kitchen shears allow you to cut anything in your kitchen, from raw chicken to those annoying clamshell packages.

One of the best tools I have for my kitchen are my kitchen shears.

A good pair of shears can cut cleanly through almost anything, including meat, gristle, and bone. If you have a garden, you can even use them to cut and de-thorn flowers.

The pair I own is sharp enough to slice through bacon strips and snip raw vegetables. It cuts through gift wrap, and even penetrates armor-plated clamshell packaging!

I will tell you everything there is to know about this multi-tasking tool that, although not really a necessity, will make kitchen cutting tasks easier and enjoyable. Before you know it, they will be the first thing you reach for in the kitchen.

If you don’t own a pair of kitchen shears yet and are considering getting some, I have suggestions on what to look for. I also narrowed down the top choices for kitchen shears in the market to save you time.  You’ll be the proud owner of the best pair of kitchen shears for your needs in no time.

In a hurry? These are our favorite kitchen shears from Amazon, hands-down.

Best Kitchen ShearsWhy We Like Them
1. Shun Premium Kitchen Shears Shun's model is made with quality, high-carbon stainless steel
2. Wusthof WU5558 Kitchen Shears can be used in either right or left hand
3. OXO Good Grips Kitchen Shears these shears are great for a budget
4. Goodful Purpose Kitchen Shears includes two-pack of shears--one for food items and one for other tasks
5. J.A. Henckels International Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears Henckels shears are top quality and include a nutcracker and jar opener
6. Kershaw Taskmaster Shears long 9" blades ensure maneuverability and toughness
7. Seki Japan Multifunctional Kitchen Scissors designed for left-handers, but can be used in both left and right hands
8. MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears and Multi Purpose Scissors Mairico shears are heavy duty but lightweight
9. ACELONE Spring Loaded Poultry Shears factory-calibrated blades with an ergonomic handle make these useful and comfortable
10. Sky Light Kitchen Scissors sharp, high carbon German stainless steel shears are the best of all we reviewed

What is the Difference Between Kitchen Shears and Scissors?

Since they appear similar, shears and scissors are often thought to be the same. However, they are different cutting tools that are designed for different uses.

Scissors are multipurpose cutting tools that have two small blades less than six inches long. They have equally-sized, symmetrical holes for the fingers. These can accommodate the thumb and one finger on the other hole. They are used to cut light materials such as paper, twine, fabric, tape, foil, and the like.

Most scissors are designated as either right or left-handed due to the angles of the blades. They do not need to be particularly sharp, since it’s the movement of the closely-set blades that does the cutting.

Shears, though, are usually longer than six inches in blade length. They are larger and heavier than scissors. Their finger holes are differently-sized to accommodate the thumb in one and two or more fingers on the other. This is so that more force can be applied in cutting harder items.

The handles are usually padded or rubberized to cushion the user’s hand during heavy-duty cutting. They are used on heavy fabric, cardboard, or, as in the case of kitchen shears, meat, small bones, and tough vegetables. Shears can be taken apart by unscrewing the nut in the pivot’s center for cleaning and sterilizing.

Why You Should Own a Pair of Kitchen Shears

A good knife (or knife set) is an investment, so realizing you’ve dulled a blade is a real bummer.

Unfortunately, carving or cutting meat from the bone may blunt your kitchen knives, and dull knives can be potentially dangerous. If you’re not careful, you may end up carving your finger instead of that zucchini! Since kitchen safety is a priority for all of us, kitchen shears, not knives, should be used for any tricky cutting tasks.

When I found out what I could do with kitchen shears, I ended up using them as often as my knives. It’s super useful to have a quality pair of shears that can perform all sorts of household tasks.

There are mainly two types of kitchen shears. The first are poultry shears with curved blades (this allows you to cut around bones and hard-to-reach areas of a chicken). The second kind are straight-bladed multi-purpose shears.

You want to own a pair of kitchen shears if you disinfect your cutting tools after each use. You can’t do that with ordinary pair of scissors, but you can do so with kitchen shears that have a break-apart feature.

Another reason to own shears is if you need cutting force in your meal prep on a somewhat daily basis that scissors cannot provide. What I love doing with them is cutting food items like canned whole tomatoes inside the can itself to avoid creating a mess. You can’t do that using a chef’s knife, can you?

What to Look for in a Pair of Shears

Some kitchen shears come with features that allow you to open jars and crack nuts or shellfish.
Some kitchen shears come with features that allow you to open jars and crack nuts or shellfish.

A great pair of shears should not be task-specific. They should be able to do it all, from butterflying steaks to spatchcocking poultry to finely snipping herbs.

Since we demand so much from them beyond simple cutting, some additional factors should be considered when we’re shopping for them.

If you are interested in buying a pair of shears, you need to look at a number of options. The best shears will be balanced, sharp, and constructed using durable materials. They should also be easy to open and close with minimal effort. Some models also come with cool extra features, like nutcrackers and bottle openers.

Versatility should also be a major consideration. The best pair of shears are multi-functional and can handle whatever cutting task you throw at them.

Handles

Shears do heavy-duty cutting that calls for the user to exert some degree of pressure on the handles. Slippery, ill-fitting, and uncomfortable handles can cause some pain or even injuries. Do not forget that shears can be very sharp and it’s definitely dangerous if they slip while you’re using them.

The handles should comfortably fit your hand. Avoid buying a pair that is too small for your hand, as this will reduce control and force. Shears with rubber or plastic handles are the best because you have a better grip when you are cutting through bones or tough materials.

If you have weak wrists or hands, purchase a pair of shears that have ergonomic, soft, large handles with loops or grips that can accommodate all your fingers. This way, you can utilize your whole hand to apply force and cut through anything with ease.

Blades

Look for shears that have a bone notch on one of the blades. This notch serves to grip poultry bones for easier cutting. Mine comes with a lock, which is useful on spring-loaded models—the lock holds the blades safely closed any time you are not using them.

A quality pair of shears will also often include a tightening mechanism, such as a bolt, which you can use to keep the blades closely aligned. To check whether the blades are well-aligned, close them and look to see whether blades meet closely and cleanly.

Come-apart shears can be separated for easy cleaning and drying. This is extremely handy, especially if you’ll be using your shears for meal preparation. It is also helpful in sharpening the blades when the shears become dull. This is really not a necessary feature, but it makes keeping your shears in tip-top shape easier.

Shears are very versatile, and you can do plenty of things with them. So, find a multi-functional pair. I recommend having a separate, second pair dedicated only to food preparation, however, to keep your kitchen tools hygienic.

Versatility

It’s hard to get a good handle on bones, since they have a tendency of sliding out of a shears’ blades. The serration blades of some shears sometimes are not enough to keep the bones in place.

If you plan to use your shears to debone meat or cut a whole chicken, a bone notch will be a handy feature.

The bone notch is a divot found in the lower blade of the shears that is designed to prevent a bone from sliding as the top blade presses down the meat.

Some shears have a nutcracker incorporated in the blades. It is the toothed hollow space near the pivot of the shears. You can hold a nut there while you squeeze the handles to crack the shell. It is great to not have to use another tool for this purpose if you need only a few nuts for a recipe.

Shears may also have a bottle and jar opener. It is often found between the handle loops. It grips tight jar lids to help you twist them off with ease.

Finally, some shears have tips or projections on the handle that can be used as screwdrivers or to open can lids.  Figure out which additional tools you’d like your kitchen shears to have and shop accordingly.

Types of Edges

Dull cutlery can be very dangerous, so the kitchen shears you choose must have sharp edges. All the best shears have a razor-sharp edge because their blades are made from high-carbon stainless steel. This material can be sharpened with a whetstone knife sharpening stone to ensure that you will get the most use out of your shears for a long time.

Serrated blades are now the standard in kitchen shears. They provide a better grip than a straight-edged blade. The deeper and sharper the serrations are, the more securely they can hold on to what you’re cutting.

Materials

Kitchen shears need to be super sharp and strong to make it easy to cut through tough kitchen tasks. This is possible only if they are made of high-quality materials.

Shears can be made from a variety of materials, but stainless and carbon steels are typically used. Stainless steel is great for resisting rust, but kitchen shears made from carbonized steel tend to have harder blades and, therefore, generally last longer.

It is important as well to look into the materials used in the shears’ handles. Seriously consider buying shears with handles that have rubberized or textured materials. They add some cushion and grip to make your cutting task comfortable and safe.


The Ten Best Kitchen Shears

Shun Premium Kitchen Shears Shun Premium Kitchen Shears; Stainless Steel Construction with Elastomer Grips for Comfortable Use; Notched Blade Convenient for Cutting Stems and Small Bones; Blades Separate for Easy Cleaning

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Shun is a top Japanese brand of quality and top-of-the-line kitchen tools. These kitchen shears really live up to the brand’s reputation. You know they are high-end just by looking at them.

The blades of these Shun kitchen shears are made from high carbon, molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel that provides durability that can last a lifetime. It has a notched blade so you can easily cut through chicken bones or trim the stems of flowers.

The pair features a micro-serrated bottom blade for a good grip when cutting slippery food and a smooth top blade for doing a clean cut.

All in all, the Shun kitchen shears are a beautiful multi-purpose tool that’s perfect for any kitchen. They combine strength with elegance. Just be prepared to pay more for these compared to other shears. 

PROS:

  • Won’t wear out with daily and frequent use due to its very durable material
  • Micro-serrated blade provides good grip on slippery foods and tough materials
  • Interlock screw facilitates tension adjustments
  • Notched blade can easily cut through chicken bones

CONS: 

  • A bit pricey

Wusthof WU5558 Kitchen Shears Wusthof WU5558 Kitchen Shears, 8", Black

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The main feature of these kitchen shears is the pull-apart mechanism that lets you pull them apart for easy cleaning. This prevents bacteria growth between the two halves.

Thanks to some handy steel tooth inserts in the middle of the handles, these shears can be used as a jar opener, among other things. They are also ideal for cutting food, flowers, paper, and cardboard.

Left-handed? No problem. The shears are designed to suit both right-handed and left-handed people.

Other noteworthy features include high carbon stainless steel material and a bone notch on its synthetic handles. It is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

PROS:

  • Pull-apart technology for easy washing and drying
  • High-carbon steel material makes it durable
  • Designed for both right-handed and left-handed people
  • Grooved synthetic handles provide easy grip

CONS:

  • Plastic screw cap may break after a time

OXO Good Grips Kitchen Shears OXO Good Grips Kitchen Shears, 0.9 x 3.5 x 8.1, Red

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These here are your multi-purpose shears designed for basic, everyday use. They are nothing fancy, but they do get the job done.

The first thing you will notice is the cushion pads on the insides of the shears’ handles. This is something that you don’t expect in an inexpensive pair of shears. The cushions provide comfort, especially when you’re cutting tougher stuff.

The micro-serrated blade helps secure items and prevents them from slipping. The shears’ best quality, however, is their versatility. They can cut meat as seamlessly as they can cut through vegetables, twine, flowers, and herbs. If you’re looking for a solid pair of shears that gets the basics accomplished, this is it.

PROS:

  • Cushion pads on the handles provide comfort and ease in cutting through even hard items
  • Sharp micro-serrated blade prevents items from slipping
  • Multi-purpose shears
  • Blades separate for thorough and easy cleaning

CONS:

  • Hand wash only

Goodful Purpose Kitchen Shears,  2-Piece SetGoodful Purpose Kitchen Shears, Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Scissors, Comfort Grip, Micro-Serrated, 2pc set, Teal

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Every kitchen should have multi-functional scissors that can be used to snip herbs, cut meat, trim seafood, open packaging, and so much more. This two-piece, stainless steel set from Goodful has ultra-sharp blades that can cut through the toughest items with minimal effort.

The handles are ergonomically designed to provide ultimate comfort while preparing food. They also have non-slip interiors for extra safety while using.

The shears also have a micro-serrated blade for enhanced cutting performance and precision cutting control. The blade, made from premium, food-safe stainless steel, is rust-resistant. It is also dishwasher-safe for fast and easy cleaning.

These shears – two of them – will be a welcome addition to your kitchen’s cutting and trimming needs. They will make your food preparation easier.

PROS:

  • Comes as a two-piece set
  • Ergonomically designed handles provides ultimate comfort
  • Micro-serrated blade for enhanced cutting performance
  • Rust-resistant

CONS:

  • Doesn’t have a screw you can tighten when shears become loose

J.A. Henckels International 11517-100 Take-Apart Kitchen Shears J.A. Henckels International Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears that Come Apart, Dishwasher Safe, Black/Stainless Steel/Blue

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Here’s another pair of shears that lives up to the name of its brand. These J.A. Henckels shears certainly are successful in doing that. They are made from high-quality corrosion-resistant stainless steel that will last for many years.

The micro-serrated blade edges guarantee non-slip cutting. The shears have a serrated area between the blades that is designed to open bottle caps with ease. And still, there is another serrated area between the handles that can be used to crack nuts.

The blades are able to come apart easily for cleaning. Unlike other shears with this feature that easily come apart even while using them, these Henckels come apart ONLY when you want them to.

PROS:

  • Made from high-quality stainless steel
  • Micro-serrated blades for non-slip cutting
  • Designed with bottle cap opener and nutcracker
  • Come apart feature for easy cleaning 

CONS:

  • Rust may appear after some time

Kershaw Taskmaster Shears Kershaw Taskmaster Shears, Multi-Purpose Shears, Multifunctional Scissors with 3.5 Inch Blades (1121), Black, Regular

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Measuring just shy of 9” in length, the Taskmasters may have one of the longest blades of all kitchen shears. The length ensures smooth and continuous cuts on parchment paper rounds or chicken parts, but they are still narrow enough to have great maneuverability.

The angular serrated anvil blade can securely grip whatever type of food. The cutter blade is sharpened to a fairly acute angle that makes the shears razor-sharp.

The blades are made of high-quality cutlery-grade stainless steel. They come apart for easy cleaning and sharpening. The shears are efficient for both right and left-handers. 

Additional features of these shears include a bottle opener, small and big-sized jar openers, and screwdriver tips. The finger bows are good-sized and made of grippy plastic that is comfortable to hold.

PROS:

  • Long blades make for longer and smoother strokes
  • Serrated blade edge provides a secure grip to the item being cut
  • Blades come apart for easy cleaning and sharpening
  • Can be used by both right and left-handers

CONS:

  • Handles are too big for regular-sized hands

Seki Japan Multifunctional Kitchen Scissors Seki Japan V.ROAD Heavy Duty Kitchen Scissors, Multifunctional Utility Shears, Stainless Steel Blade Red PP Soft Handle for Meat, Vegetable

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Seki City in Japan is well known all over the world for its cutlery industry that produces high-quality kitchen knives, Japanese swords, scissors, pocket knives, letter openers, and more. Without even trying their kitchen shears, you immediately know that they’re durable and strong.

Primarily designed for left-handed persons, these shears can also be used by the right-handed. Both beginners and professionals will be comfortable using it.

The stainless steel blades are rust-proof. The wide and thick serrated edges can cut slippery foods and hard-to-cut materials with ease.

There are projections on the handles that are useful in opening lids of cans or crack hard shells. Those with weak grips or do not want to ruin their manicure will find this feature useful.

PROS:

  • Designed for left-handers but can be also used by right-handers
  • Rust-proof blades
  • Serrated edges can easily cut slippery foods
  • Projections on handles can open can lids or crack hard shells

CONS:

  • Lower quality than expected from a product from Seki City

MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears and Multi Purpose Scissors MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears and Multi Purpose Scissors

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These kitchen shears from Mairico do an outstanding job for whatever task you can think up for them. They are heavy-duty kitchen shears, yet they are lightweight.

This pair of shears is perfect for a wide range of cooking tasks from butterflying thick steaks to cutting through cartilage and smaller bones. It can significantly cut your prep time.

The ultra-sharp blades can cut thick pieces of meat and spatchcock poultry without demanding much effort from the user. The blades’ sharpness also allows for precision cutting–they can be used to snip fine herbs into tiny pieces easily. 

I like that the shears have an integrated bottle opener and nutcracker. It also has a well-engineered handle that is comfortable and anti-slip.

PROS:

  • Perfect for a wide range of cooking tasks
  • Can cut through thick meat and spatchcock poultry with minimal force from the user
  • Can be used for precision cutting
  • Integrated bottle opener and nutcracker

CONS:

  • Can turn rusty after repeated uses

ACELONE Spring Loaded Poultry Shears ACELONE Spring Loaded Poultry Shears - Heavy Duty Kitchen Chicken Shears With Anti-Slip Handle & Safety Lock - Poultry Scissors For Meat, Game, Chicken, Bone, Poultry & More.

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This product will make many of your kitchen tasks easier. These shears can slice through raw meat, butterfly whole poultry, chop herbs, and slice vegetables. They’re also very useful outside the kitchen in doing arts and crafts as well as in gardening.

The shears may be lightweight, but they are built to last. They are made from culinary-grade stainless steel that ensures their durability. The shears are equipped with factory-calibrated ultra-sharp blades.

What I love most is the shears’ ergonomic design. The curved shape of the blades is intended to provide maximum force but requires very little effort on your part. The handle has a large space for the fingers to rest while holding the shears.

PROS:

  • Has many uses in and out of the kitchen
  • Lightweight
  • Has factory calibrated, ultra-sharp blades
  • Ergonomic design

CONS:

  • Faulty locking mechanism; shears may spring open while stored

Sky Light Kitchen Scissors Kitchen Scissors, Multi-Purpose Take-Apart Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears, Poultry with Sharp Blade for Can Opener, Walnut Cracker, Cutting Turkey, Chicken, Bones, Vegetables, 9-Inch

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These are chef-quality kitchen shears that will make your cooking simpler and more enjoyable. As expected from a good pair of shears, they can cut meat, small poultry bones, fruits, and vegetables.

These, however, perform the extra functions of being a nutcracker, bottle opener, and fish scale scraper. You might just be getting your money’s worth with these shears, which I think are the best overall of all the kitchen shears I’ve reviewed so far.

The shears are made from sharp, high-carbon German stainless steel that is rust and corrosion-resistant. The blades have advanced micro-serrated edges for slip-proof cutting every time. 

The well-designed handle is comfortable and offers a good grip for both right and left-handed users.

PROS:

  • Made from high-carbon German stainless steel
  • Rust and corrosion-free
  • Advanced micro-serrated blade edge for slip-proof cutting
  • Offers a good grip for both right and left-handed users

CONS:

  • Heavier than the usual kitchen shears

Looking After the Shears

Shears can last a long time but, like any items you have in the house, you need to store them properly.

Most shears come with their own cover. If they do not, you can wrap your shears in a cloth or sheath to protect the blades. Or, you might choose to store the shears in a knife block.

It’s best to not put any shears in your dishwasher, even though most of them are labelled dishwasher-safe. If you clean your shears by hand and wipe them dry thoroughly before returning them to their sheath or cover, they will last longer and be less likely to rust or break.

Check blades for sharpness regularly. If they need to be sharpened and you’ve never done that before, I would advise that you go to a professional, as sharpening shears incorrectly can ruin their blades. Never use cutting shears if their blades are blunt or nicked.

With a quality pair of shears, you’ll be cutting through chicken, turkey, and anything else you can think of with ease! Don’t be afraid to shell out a few extra bucks for a quality model, as the best shears will last a long time and pay for themselves many times over in the years to come.

Conclusion

Shears have longer and thicker blades and stronger handles than scissors. More importantly, they are more multi-functional since they can perform heavy-duty cutting that scissors cannot.

The best kitchen shears can do some light kitchen tasks, like cutting fresh herbs or parchment, while they’re also able to tackle heavier tasks, such as spatchcocking chicken and cutting through meat and bones.

Given how much work a pair of kitchen shears can do, it helps to own the best pair for your needs. The best shears should be sharp, durable, easy to clean, and versatile. They should also feel comfortable and balanced in your hands. Any of the ten top picks here has to be the one for you.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the best kitchen shears for cutting chicken?

The best shears for cutting chicken are ones that are super-sharp, separate for easy cleaning, and combine maximum cutting power with the least hand strain.

Your poultry shears will be doing a lot of tough work cutting through joints, so you want to look for ones that are powerful but also maintain a good grip on the slippery skin of the chicken.

Look for stainless-steel or carbon steel blades that curve to help you cut hard-to-reach areas of the chicken, and for a handle lock to keep the scissors closed during storage:  safety in the cooking area is always extremely important to a good chef.

Excellent poultry scissors will always inflict the least stress on your hands as you use them, so kitchen shears that have ergonomic handles are always a plus.

What are the best kitchen shears for people who are left-handed?

Left-handed people will prefer kitchen scissors that are made just for them, but which are also simple to use and have the same high-quality characteristics of other shears, such as stainless-steel blades that last a long time and that can be used for other purposes, like opening cans or cracking nuts.

The Wusthof Kitchen Shears are a great pair of left-handed kitchen shears guaranteed to help all the southpaws who love to spend time cooking good things to eat.

What are 4 uses for kitchen shears?

The more obvious uses of kitchen shears are snipping herbs, breaking down poultry, cutting parchment, and opening food packaging. They are, after all, primarily scissors.

They have other uses, too, though. Kitchen shears often have a built-in jar and bottle opener, nutcracker, and screwdriver. Granted, you can’t do heavy-duty screw driving and they won’t even fit in a small screw, but they will do in a pinch.

Why do kitchen shears come apart?

Kitchen shears typically have a come apart feature for easier cleaning, drying, and sharpening.

Shears that are used in food prep need to be cleaned after every use. The pivot screw can be a breeding ground for bacteria with the food particles left on it.

Being able to separate the blades also makes sharpening them easier and safer.

Do chef's use scissors?

Chefs will use anything that will make their jobs easier and more efficient, so, of course, they do use kitchen shears and scissors.

Tasks that can be done faster with kitchen scissors include trimming off fins and gills on whole fish, removing shells from lobsters, and butterflying chicken and other small poultry.

Cutting fresh herbs is even better when using scissors because it will prevent them from getting bruised, however sharp the knife that is used may be.

What is a French knife?

A French knife is more popularly known as a chef’s knife. It is found in nearly every professional kitchen. It is a versatile knife that can be used for a variety of cutting tasks.

French knives have a wide blade that tapers to a point making them suitable for chopping, mincing, and slicing. They typically measure 8 to 12 inches, although they can come in different sizes. The French knife is larger than utility and paring knives, but is smaller than a carving or bread knife.

Additional Resources


What do you use your kitchen shears for? Leave a comment below and tell me what interesting uses you’ve found for this multipurpose tool.

Kitchen Professor author

Doug Barrington is not a real professor but he's real nerdy in the kitchen. He's been barbecuing, chopping, and generally blazing food for many decades. He thinks there's definitely a better spatula or utensil out there that hasn't been invented yet.

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