Our team researched 50 of the best kitchen shears on the market, then bought and tested 9 top-ranked models for head-to-head evaluation to help you find the right pair of shears for tacking everything from cardboard to chicken bones. We compared each pair side-by-side with a critical eye, assessing the performance and features of each product in a variety of tests. The most essential performance metrics that we evaluated are sharpness, ease of cleaning, and overall comfort. Our test results will help you choose the right kitchen shears for your nightly culinary expeditions and beyond.We've tested a variety of kitchen gadgets and equipment to take the stress out of your selection and make your culinary endeavors smooth and enjoyable. If you need to slice and dice in the more traditional sense, we've also tested an assortment of knives, including bread knives, chef's knives, and the best kitchen knife sets, as well as the cookware to go with them, from quality wok pans to the top cast iron skillets.
The 5 Best Kitchen Shears of 2023
Our Top Picks
Where other models struggled, the J.A. Henckels International Take-Apart kitchen shears excelled, cutting through everything from bone to cardboard effortlessly. If you are looking for the sharpest pair of kitchen shears with no frills or gimmicks, then scroll no further. This model has no extra features or grooves on the blade, and it comes apart for easy cleaning. The rounded plastic handles are comfortable even for extended use, and the shears open and close smoothly, offering little resistance and requiring minimal effort.
Though this pair's handle is comfortable, it is slightly smaller than other models, fitting only two fingers with bigger hands and three fingers with smaller hands. These shears are simple and well-rounded in their ability to cut everything from green onions to chicken breasts, but if you are looking for a pair with more features that functions more like a multitool in the kitchen, then check out some of the others on this list.
The Acelone Premium Heavy Duty kitchen shears have almost everything we're looking for at an enticing price. This versatile tool cuts herbs, meat, and even bones with ease and can also crack nuts, scrape scales, and open bottles. Our testers with larger hands especially appreciate the generous handle size. Though the blades don't fully separate for easy cleaning, it's simple enough to just toss them in the dishwasher.
We wish this model had a grippier handle instead of hard, sometimes slippery plastic. We also noticed some leftover rough spurs at the base of the plastic handle, but this was quickly remedied with a little sandpaper. Overall, a small inconvenience on a handy kitchen tool.
The OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Scissors live up to their name as they had our favorite grips of all the shears we tested. These have a cut-out in the handle with silicone stretched over it, giving them a nice squish when closed. This silicone also facilitates a non-slip grip even when wet. Along with the best grip, they had one of the sharpest blades right out of the box. Where other models became dull, the OXO's sharp edge lasted throughout months of testing. As a bonus, it comes with a built-in herb stripper that has two size options.
Though we love the way it cuts, we faced some resistance opening and closing this pair due to the tightness of the pin connecting the blades. However, this tight pin keeps the edges close together, allowing these shears to cut even soft chicken fat. We also noticed some rusting around the pin and under the logo cap after going through the dishwasher. This rust never spread away from the pin to the blade, but we'd still recommend hand washing and drying them after each use to reduce the chance of rusting.
If you want a pair of shears to display in the kitchen, the TUO Poultry Shears is your best option. They are spring-loaded with long handles, so they are ready for more after every cut, making them a good choice for cutting wings apart for the big game. Because of the long handles, they have adequate leverage to cut hard items like bone.
This pair falls short due to its narrow range of uses; they don't cut herbs or fat very well due to the space between the blades. This space even makes it hard for this pair to cut paper. It would be a good addition to a well-rounded pair and could cut up chicken bones or other hard items.
The Gidli Heavy Duty Utility Scissors are just like the Marico Ultra Sharp Premium pair but come with an additional set of curved seafood scissors. This extra pair is handy when you need a curved blade to cut prawns or a handle to crack crab legs. The shears themselves are decent and cut through most things. They can also run through the dishwasher, which is a big plus.
These couldn't cut through fat without having to tear it and smashed green onions when cutting instead of keeping a nice round shape. We think that is due to the tension of the blades not being as close together.
The KitchenAid All Purpose Shears have the most color options in the review to match your kitchen style. They have a comfortable ergonomic non-slip handle that makes them one of the most comfortable shears on the list. Their blade is sharp and has a nice no-slip serrated edge making it easy to cut everything we tested.
While we love the look and feel of this pair, they fail to meet our expectations. The biggest disappointment is that they claim to be dishwasher safe, but they showed rusting on the blade and around the pin after one wash. This would be less of a problem if they came apart for an easy hand wash or if the packaging requested to be handwash only.
The Mercer Culinary Shears are sturdy and straightforward. They can come apart at the hinge for easy cleaning and have no extra grooves for food to get stuck in.
They aren't as sharp or as comfortable as the top pairs, which landed them lower on the list. The blade was unable to cut fabric or fat at all, making them less versatile. They also developed rust around the pin and on the blade after one run through the dishwasher.
The Mairico Ultra Sharp Premium shears come equipped with a bottle opener and fish scaler. The bottle opener works better than others with this attachment. They are dishwasher safe making them easy to clean after each use. They also have one of the lower prices on the list, making them a good option if the cost is a deciding factor.
However, when opening and closing, there is some resistance from the blades scraping past each other, and the handles are hard plastic, making them uncomfortable after more than a few minutes of use. They can not come apart quickly, making them hard to rinse effectively, so they need to be run through the dishwasher to clean effectively.
The Spring Chef Shears are simple and are good enough to have in the kitchen. They do the job and are easy to throw in the dishwasher after each use, showing no signs of rust after washing. The handle is fairly comfortable and has a non-slip silicone liner. They come with a blade sheath that is nice for keeping them clean in the drawer or on a camping trip.
However, they aren't as sharp as some other models we tested. The blades do not come apart, making them harder to rinse and feel confident all raw meat juice came off, and they do not have any extra features that can make them more well-rounded. These would make a good backup but are not our go-to option.
Why You Should Trust Us
To help you make the best decision on a new pair of kitchen shears, we sorted through the top shears available on the market and bought and tested nine of the best. We created and executed an extensive testing plan to put each pair of kitchen shears head to head, sharing with you the best of the best. A pair of scissors' main job is to cut, so that was our top priority in our assessment. We cut bone, chicken breasts, herbs, pork chops, plastic packaging, cardboard, fabric, and anything else put in front of us to determine which pair consistently performed the best. Then we looked at how easy it was to clean up our mess by handwashing each pair rating them on the time it took to wash. We also threw them all in the dishwasher to see if they could handle the heat without rusting or staining, and we assessed how the handles felt in hand, wet and dry, rating them on grip and comfort during extended use.
Bennett Fisher is our head tester. He is a product developer specializing in sun protective clothing and backpacking equipment but has also focused on human-centered design with composites and household items. He has spent the past three years using fabric shears while sewing up prototype apparel and bags, helping him understand the importance of a comfortable pair of sharp shears. It is no different in the kitchen or around the house when you need something cut or opened. Kitchen shears are convenient and make quick work without getting out a big knife or cutting board, and should cut right through anything, not hurting your hands in the process.
Analysis and Test Results
We made a list of the most redeeming qualities of a pair of kitchen shears and formulated a testing plan to rank each pair on our list based on these metrics: sharpness, ease of cleaning, handle comfort, multiuse, and aesthetic. The top-scoring models have the best balance of these qualities.
If shears can't cut, they are useless in your kitchen, so we tested to make sure our top picks have sharp, strong blades. To test this, we started with green onions, looking to see if the onions kept a round shape or became flattened. We also assessed the edge of the cuts to see if it was a clean cut or if there was pulling. After that, we cut chicken, looking at what pairs could easily cut the bone, fat, and meat without picking up different pairs for each job. While cutting meat, we found that over half the pairs had a hard time cutting the fat off of the chicken. Instead of cutting through the thin, loose fat, the shears would fold it between the blade and only tear the fat instead of cutting it. We cut light polyester-spandex fabric and experienced the same result, that only half of the pairs could make cuts with the entire blade. We also cut thick plastic packaging, pork chops, carrots, cilantro, and cardboard where minor differences were noted, but not as stark as the fat test.
The top scorer is J.A. Henckels International Take-Apart. They were the most consistent pair in our review, cutting everything on the list, followed closely by the OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Scissors. Both pairs have a micro-serrated edge on one blade, preventing slippage while cutting, and both blades are close together when shut, stopping anything from folding in between them. The ability to cut thin, flexible material sets these two shears apart from the KitchenAid All Purpose Shears.
Ease of Cleaning
After each use, especially raw meat, the scissors need a good wash. We wanted to see which pair was the fastest to clean thoroughly, so we used a simple sponge, hot water, and dish soap. After handwashing each one, J.A. Henckels International Take-Apart won the day because they could come apart quickly and had the simplest design with no extra grooves for gunk to get stuck in.
We didn't want to stop there, so we placed them all in the dishwasher and ran it overnight. When inspecting each model after the wash, the KitchenAid All Purpose Shears, OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Scissors, and Mercer Culinary Shears had rusting around the pin. However, other pairs like the Acelone Premium Heavy Duty had no visual signs of wear from running through the dishwasher.
We don't like our hands cramping after cutting for long periods, and we are guessing you don't either, so we made handle comfort equally weighted with ease of cleaning. On top of all the cutting for the sharpness test, we also cut three feet of cardboard to test heavy use on a resistant material. After all that cutting, the OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Scissors had the softest and most comfortable handles. The handle has silicone stretched over it, giving the shears a nice squish when closed. The KitchenAid All Purpose Shears come in next with a much firmer but more ergonomic handle.
Want one tool in your kitchen that can do it all? Here we looked at the extra features the shears had on them besides cutting. Points we awarded for each unique feature per pair, and the Gerior Heavy Duty Come-Apart easily has the most. This pair comes with a bottle opener, peeler on the blade, fish descaler, flathead screwdriver, and nutcracker/jar opener, by far the most attachments out of our test fleet.
The aesthetics metric is as simple as it sounds. Which pair looks the best? We know you want your kitchen to look good. In a lineup of all the shears, the wooden handled TUO Poultry Shears with its unique tiger coloring is easily the most eye-catching and will be the envy of all of your dinner guests. We also like the sleek look of the OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Scissors and J.A. Henckels International Take-Apart, both of which blend in nicely with your appliances. If you like color options, we took into account that the KitchenAid All Purpose Shears are available in several different colors.
Our team of experts spent weeks testing and reviewing each model for the sharpest, most comfortable, and easiest to clean. They calculated the results and brought you which pair is the best based on their findings. We did all of this testing, so you don't have to spend time purchasing and returning multiple pairs, and hopefully make your shopping experience a little easier.
— Bennett Fisher
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