While many people have a beat-up pair of scissors lying around in a kitchen drawer for opening packages and other random household tasks, this handy kitchen tool is often sorely underrated.
A great pair of kitchen shears can come in handy for a huge variety of kitchen tasks, replacing a knife or cleaver by offering convenience and safety.
You can chop up leafy vegetables, fresh herbs, and even get stuck into a turkey or chicken with the right set of shears.
Our top pick has to be the KitchenAid Multi-Purpose Stainless Steel Kitchen Shears. They are exceptional value for money, yet offer great quality and should last you at least a year or two if taken care of well. Although they don’t offer a bottle opener or a nutcracker, we appreciate their simplicity and effectiveness as good, old-fashioned shears.
What Are Kitchen Shears Best Used For?
A quality set of kitchen shears has two sharp blades for cutting through tough food items including whole chicken, lobster tails, and shrimp shells.
SEE ALSO: How To Eat Lobster
Some kitchen shears offer other tools in the grip of the shears, including a bottle opener, a set of jar lid gripping teeth and a nutcracker.
Most people won’t have the grip strength to break a pair of kitchen shears, and if they don’t work, you can switch to a knife.
Kitchen shears need to be kept in the knife block. If you have children in the house, they may be tempted to borrow this versatile tool for projects. However, the cutting ability of kitchen shears is sharper than many utility scissors and the grip may pinch unsuspecting fingers.
Keep these shears away from little ones unless closely supervised.
Top 5: Best Kitchen Shears & Scissors
Here, we cover our top five kitchen shears with a selection of the best on the market across a range of prices. From regular kitchen shears to specialized poultry shears, our reviews will help you choose the right product for your needs.
1. J.A. Henckels International Kitchen Shears
One of the features you should consider when purchasing a pair of kitchen shears is whether or not they come apart for easy cleaning.
Some models are permanently fixed together, which can make it a little tougher to clean and dry them, while others easily pull apart into two separate blades so it’s easy to give them a wipe down and dry them thoroughly.
This J.A. Henckels pair does not come apart. They remain permanently fixed together with a screw. For finicky users, you may find it annoying trying to clean them adequately, but for others, it may not be a deciding factor.
These shears are well priced, with a micro-serrated blade which helps them to stay non-slip when cutting greasy or tough items.
We like that there is a bottle opener located between the handle and blades for added convenience, and the serrated area in the handle can be used to open screw caps or crack nuts.
SEE ALSO: Best Nut Choppers
The blades are crafted from stainless steel, which is supposed to be rust resistant, but not all stainless steel is created equally – there are many different grades.
Some users have found these shears developing rust quite rapidly. If you take good care of them, drying them straight after hand washing, they may last a little longer.
The two looped handles are standard, and comfortable for either left or right-handed users.
J.A. Henckels has created a basic pair of shears that will do a good job with most kitchen tasks. These shears are sharp and should be able to cut through poultry – including bones.
A common problem with many shears is that they begin to loosen at the attachment and need to be replaced. Henckels offer a screw to adjust the tightness, but this may fail after one or two years, meaning you’ll have to fork out for a new pair.
At this price, that shouldn’t be a huge issue. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced pair of good, all-around kitchen shears, consider this pair.
2. OXO Good Grips Spring-Loaded Poultry Shears
These OXO spring-loaded poultry shears are specially designed to deal with your poultry cutting needs.
While many recommend a cleaver for chopping up chickens or turkeys, be aware that cleavers take a fair bit of force and will cut through whatever happens to be in front of them.
If you’ve never used a cleaver to cut chicken, investing in a hearty pair of shears will give you both a sharp edge and a sturdy grip with which to hold your chicken as you cut.
Buying a whole chicken is generally more cost effective than buying pre-cut breasts or legs, and often roasting a whole chicken makes for a very nice meal. However, working with raw chicken can be quite a slippery mess. Using a quality pair of these shears can help protect you from nasty cuts.
Like the Fiskars Butcher Shears below, the OXO shears don’t feature two handle loops – instead, they have one loop and one straight handle with a bolster to prevent your hand from slipping down the blade.
When you’re chopping up poultry, you may need to get into some hard to reach areas at tricky angles; this is where the tapered blades come in handy.
The spring really does make a difference when you’re hacking away at a large bird. It helps to prevent strain and fatigue in your hand by snapping the blades back open ready for the next cut.
One downside we’ve noticed is that the spring doesn’t open the handles as wide as some people would like, so you may lose a little versatility with this set of shears.
Unlike the Henckels, these shears do come apart for cleaning and sharpening – note that these are hand wash only.
OXO have done a great job at building a strong and sturdy pair of kitchen shears that really will stand up to long-term, heavy-duty use and should be able to handle the hardest of chicken or turkey bones.
However, bear in mind that you may be looking at replacing these after one or two years due to failure of the spring.
All in all, we recommend these OXO shears if you’re looking for something to help you get through those tough turkeys or chickens in the kitchen. They should last the distance and are comfortable and safe to use.
3. MAIRICO Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears
Coming in at the low-budget end of the spectrum, the MAIRICO heavy duty kitchen shears are your standard designed shears with two loops.
As with the Henckels, these feature a bottle opener and nutcracker, and the blades do not come apart for sharpening or simple cleaning.
They are not dishwasher safe either, so you’ll have to put in just a touch more effort via handwashing to ensure nothing is stuck between the blades.
Although these are labeled as heavy-duty shears, unfortunately, they don’t quite live up to the hype. You may find they dull quickly and rust rapidly, even when treated with kid gloves.
We can’t recommend these shears for poultry, as they struggle to get through chicken wings, let along bones.
The hinge itself is made of plastic, which brings into question the longevity of these MAIRICO shears, and the screw may loosen over time and can’t be tightened again.
Unfortunately, with this set of shears, you do get what you pay for; the budget price tag purchases you an average product.
If you are just looking for something cheap and cheerful to do some basic cutting tasks around the kitchen, feel free to give them a go; however, we much prefer the KitchenAid shears below, which provide much higher quality for a similar price.
4. KitchenAid Multi-Purpose Stainless Steel Kitchen Shears
The basic design of these KitchenAid shears is similar to that of the Henckels and MAIRICO shears. There are two equal sized handle loops, and the blades are permanently fixed together.
Although they are dishwasher safe, KitchenAid strongly recommend handwashing to lengthen their lives and keep them in prime condition.
These shears are super comfortable to use, the loops are a bit larger than the other brands reviewed, so are great for those with big hands, and they are lined with a soft grip coating.
There is a nifty plastic guard included to protect small hands from those micro-serrated blades, which are nice and sharp.
The design of these shears is stylish, although they lack any extra features such as bottle openers or nutcrackers.
However, if you’re looking for a very well-priced pair of scissors that will easily slice through beef or chicken just as easily as paper or plastic, you will happily sacrifice those extras.
We’re not sure how well they’d do with tougher bones, as these KitchenAid shears aren’t marketed as specific poultry shears.
Unlike some of our earlier models, the stainless steel does seem to be better quality and repels rust for quite some time.
For home chefs looking for a long-lasting, strong, high-quality set of shears for a bargain price, these will suit you just fine – you can even afford to grab an extra set for the garden or workshop!
5. Fiskars Heavy-Duty Butcher Shears
These Fiskars Heavy-Duty Butcher Shears are of a similar design to the OXO Poultry Shears above.
Instead of two finger loops, there is one loop and one long curved handle, and the blades curve sharply to give access to difficult to reach places.
The specially designed handle has special “softgrip touchpoints,” designed to give a bit of extra comfort at those areas that might usually start to cause pain or rubbing after extended cutting jobs.
Crafted specifically for dealing with meat, poultry, fish, bone and fat, the blades are nice and sharp and are serrated to give a bit more precision.
The spring action design helps pop the blade open to prevent fatigue and there is a power notch for cutting into those tougher bones.
We love the added protective sheath to help keep sharp blades safe from curious little hands and appreciate the thoughtful design that allows us to pop off the safety lever using only one hand.
The blades come apart for easy cleaning and are dishwasher safe.
Usually, we would say this is a huge bonus, but unfortunately, this turns out to be the major downfall for the Fiskars shears.
If you open them too wide – which you will do a lot when maneuvering through tough meat – they fall apart instantly. Not only is this annoying, but it can also be dangerous if you have children or pets underfoot when this happens.
This design flaw is a real shame because these shears really do a great job of tackling even the toughest meat and bones – although at times they struggle with chicken skin, strangely.
If you’re on the hunt for shears that will have no problem fitting in with your meat-cutting needs and can get past the annoyance of them falling apart on the regular, consider purchasing yourself a pair of Fiskars Heavy-Duty Butchers Shears.
A heavy-duty pair of kitchen shears can give you a versatile cutting edge or step up and function as a clamp while you handle a large project.
While many types of meat can get slippery as you handle them, with a good pair of kitchen shears and a solid grip on a breastbone or neck bone, you can maneuver even large cuts of meat for cutting. This will reduce the number of cuts you need to make with your kitchen knife and reduce your risk of injury.
The KitchenAid Multi-Purpose Stainless Steel Kitchen Shears are a great choice for any kitchen – unless you specifically need a heavy-duty set specifically for butchering meat, in which case we recommend Friskars Heavy-Duty Butcher Shears.
Treat yourself to a pair of herb scissors as well and you can enjoy a delicious meal from the main protein course to fragrant herb garnish.