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No knife skills? No problem. You can get the same tasks accomplished with a pair of kitchen shears, without having to take a cooking class, or watch endless hours of YouTube videos. Not only are kitchen shears easier to use than knives, but they’re also much safer, and generally more cost-effective. A fancy, high-quality knife can run you over $100, while you’ll hard-pressed to spend close to that on a pair of shears. So it’s a win-win, right?
But before you buy your scissors, you need to know that they definitely aren’t created equal. You can spend anywhere from $10 to $75 dollars, depending on your budget, and if you plan to use them for different tasks, you may need to pick up a few different pairs. Some shears are made for your chicken dinners, while others are better for slightly more delicate uses, like chopping herbs. Need to cut through bones? You’re going to want to pick up the heaviest-duty pair you can find. If you don’t really consider yourself a home chef and just need something to get you from A to B, you can find a pair of multi-purpose scissors, too. Sure, they aren’t made specifically for cutting up a turkey, but you’ll be able to execute all tasks with relative ease and get the job done.
Here are the best kitchen shears.
Best Overall: OXO Good Grips Multi Purpose Kitchen Scissors
Sometimes, you just want something that’s going to get the job done. You don't care about being a master chef, you just want to know that one night you can cut up chicken breast, and the next you can prep greens for a salad. You don’t need to get too fancy (or spend a ton of money), so a pair of multi-purpose scissors will absolutely cut it for basic, everyday use. This OXO Good Grips pair is a definite win.
Not only are they inexpensive, but they're also super comfortable to use thanks to cushioned pads. The micro-serrated blade helps make sure you’ll grip items securely and prevents any slipping. But the best part? These shears are super versatile. They can cut herbs as seamlessly as they can cut meat, flowers, and vegetables. If you’re looking to up your cooking game, you might want to invest in a category-specific pair, like poultry shears, but for getting the basics accomplished, this is a solid choice.
Best Budget: KitchenAid All Purpose Shears
Don’t want to spend a ton of money on kitchen shears? We don’t blame you, and this KitchenAid pair strikes a nice balance between affordable and high-quality. Not only is KitchenAid a brand name to trust, but this pair of shears is multi-purpose, so it can accomplish most anything that you’ll need it to in the kitchen. It's a great, cheap pair to use if you don’t cook often, or if you want to test out using shears vs. a knife before you make a sizable investment.
These have a soft-grip handle, so they won’t kill your hands while in use, are dishwasher safe, and have extra-thick blades for strength and durability. Like most KitchenAid products, they come in a variety of super fun colors (definitely check out the aqua sky), so you can add a little pop to your kitchen gadgets.
Best for Chicken: OXO Grips Spring Loaded Poultry Shears
If you cook chicken regularly and want to invest in a pair that's better suited for the task, we recommend the OXO Grips Spring Loaded Poultry Shears. While multi-use shears will definitely get the job done, using scissors designed specifically for chicken will make your job easier and safer.
These shears feature sharp, stainless steel blades that are perfectly tapered, so you can access those hard-to-reach places. The handles are also spring-loaded to help prevent hand strain while using. Not only are these shears precise when it comes to cutting, but they've also got a no-slip grip, in addition to a handle lock, so you don’t have to worry about your kiddos when they’re on their own in the kitchen. This one is not dishwasher safe, so make sure to hand wash, instead.
Best Japanese: Shun Kitchen Shears
If you’ve ever used a Japanese knife, you know their kitchen tools are top of the line, and these shears are no exception. Shun is the créme-de-la-créme of Japanese kitchen tools, so be prepared to spend a little bit more on these shears—they're totally worth it. This pair is definitely significantly more than the others on our list, but you're getting a lot for that price.
The blades are made with high-carbon, molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel, meaning they’re incredibly durable, and will last a lifetime. The commercial-quality shears feature a micro-serrated bottom blade to grip slippery foods and a smooth top blade for a clean cut. There’s even a bone notch at the end of the blade to easily cut through chicken bones.
Best for Herbs: Chefast Herb Scissors Set
Mincing fresh herbs can be a serious pain, but a pair of herb shears will make your life so much easier. This Chefast pair has five stainless steel blades, giving them a serious advantage over multi-purpose scissors. With the additional blades, you can chop your herbs straight into your dish, both quickly and efficiently.
Thanks to an ergonomic handle, you don’t have to worry about slipping while using them, either. These shears also come with a super-handy feature to make clean-up totally effortless: a cleaning comb built into the safety cover. When you’re not using them for herbs, they’re also perfect for crafting or shredding papers. In addition to the cleaning comb and safety cover, these shears also come with two herb bags.
Best for Easy Cleaning: Wusthof Kitchen Shears 8”
The worst part of cooking a meal is always the clean-up. To make your kitchen clean-up just a little bit easier, this pair of Wusthof kitchen shears can be taken apart for easy cleaning and seamless re-sharpening. Not only is clean-up a dream, but these are a high-quality pair, made from high-carbon stainless steel, and can also be used as a jar opener, thanks to some handy steel tooth inserts in the middle of the handles.
The 8-inch shears are also ideal for cutting flowers, food, paper, and even cardboard, and they’re designed to work equally well whether you’re a lefty or righty. Online reviewers “don't know how they ever lived without these,” so the Wusthof Kitchen Shears might be everything your kitchen has been missing, too.
Best Heavy Duty: Gidli Kitchen Shears
Planning to cut seafood shells? Maybe you need to crack some nuts. How about opening a bottle cap? You need a heavy-duty pair of shears that can accomplish any and all of the above—and be guaranteed to last. This Gidli pair doesn’t mess around. Not only is it one of the sharpest pair of scissors you can find, but it can also do so many things. From cracking seafood shells and cutting through poultry skin to scraping off fish scales and opening bottle caps, these shears can tackle it all.
These professional kitchen shears are incredibly durable, made with heavy-duty stainless steel, and they’re guaranteed to last a lifetime. The ergonomic handles make use more comfortable, and they’re also dishwasher friendly—so if you’re not in the mood to hand wash, you have an out. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty pair of shears to add to your arsenal, this is a great option.
We awarded the OXO Good Grips Multi Purpose Kitchen Scissor (view at Amazon) the top spot because it's versatile and great for the everyday cook. If you're looking to chop through bone and hard seafood shells, aside from just meat and herbs, then look no further than the Gidli Kitchen Shears (view at Amazon).
What to Look for in Kitchen Shears
There are a couple of different kitchen shears available. The most versatile type is multi-purpose kitchen shears. These are great for slicing up herbs and other leafy greens, as well as through meat. If you need your multi-purpose shears to cut through bone or seafood shells, search for a heavy-duty pair. Poultry shears are another type specifically used to cut through meat and will usually have a bone notch to cut through bones. Which one you buy will depend on what you plan to use it for and your budget.
Kitchen shears should provide an excellent grip on both the handles and the blades. Look for non-slip and padded handles so you can hold it comfortably while you chop up your ingredients. As for the blades, look for stainless steel micro-serrated blades. These are easy to clean and rust-resistant. Also, the serrated edge will prevent your items from slipping out.
Beyond simply cutting up herbs, meat, and bones, kitchen shears are made with a variety of features that make them easy to use and clean. Many kitchen shears will come with a bottle opener attached, handle locks so they stay closed when not in use, and much more. Also, consider the cleanup. Not all kitchen shears are dishwasher-safe, so always check the cleaning requirements to keep your shears in tip-top shape.