The Best Kitchen Shears in 2022

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Preparing the pandan leaves to cook

Knives may be the single most versatile food-prep tool of all, but they aren\’t always the very ​best​ choice. A lot of the time, even if you have knife skills to burn, it\’s simpler to reach for a pair of sturdy kitchen shears. They\’re just the thing for snipping the wingtips from a chicken or the fins from a fresh-caught fish, for shredding fresh herbs to go on your salad, or for portioning out that frozen pizza you just pulled from the oven (you know you\’re going back later for the rest, but we won\’t judge).

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Of course, not all kitchen shears are created equal. Some are notable for their exceptional quality, or for providing remarkable value at a surprisingly low price. Some are unitaskers meant for a specific purpose, and some just demonstrate unusually thoughtful design. Here\’s our guide to the best kitchen shears of 2022, and how you can choose between them.

What to Consider When Purchasing Kitchen Shears

So how are kitchen shears different from plain ol\’ scissors? There are a few things that set them apart. For one, they tend to have oversized handles and relatively short blades. The big handles are more comfortable when you need to exert a lot of force, and they enable you to apply more fingers (maybe even your whole hand) to the task. The handle-to-blade ratio also means kitchen shears maximize the leverage you can exert, which becomes important when you\’re trying to cut through cartilage and bone. Many are also designed to separate easily for cleaning and sharpening (gunk trapped in the blades is a food safety issue, especially if you\’re cutting things like raw chicken).

Other features to look for in kitchen shears include:

Either-Hand Usability:​ Most kitchen shears are designed for right-handed use because the majority of us are righties, but some thoughtfully-designed models are ambidextrous. That\’s a big design feature to look for if you\’re a southpaw, of course, but it\’s also useful to those of us who aren\’t left-handed. Partly it\’s a convenience thing: Unlike that USB cord, there\’s no \”wrong way \’round\” when you grab them from your cutlery drawer. From a practical perspective, shears that are symmetrical and ambidextrous will wear evenly over time.

Choice of Materials:​ The blades of your shears will generally be made of either stainless steel or high-carbon steel. Stainless is durable (and won\’t rust) but it\’s harder to sharpen and doesn\’t hold the kind of fine edge you can get with carbon steel. Carbon steel, on the other hand, can rust if it\’s not cared for properly but holds a wickedly good edge. Then there are the handles: Most brands are made of plastic, but they can be hard or soft, smooth or textured. Some shears are forged entirely from steel, which eliminates seams and crevices where bacteria can gather (and we have to say, they just plain look cool).

Unitasker Versus Multitasker:​ A standard set of kitchen shears is a multitasker, a general-purpose tool you can use for whatever prep you have ahead of you. Others are designed to excel at one specific role, whether that be cutting up a chicken for the oven or for turning a stack of fresh herbs and delicate greens into a chopped salad. Depending on your cooking style and your needs at a given moment, you might want either or both.

Additional Features/Capabilities:​ Kitchen shears are a sort of \”Swiss army knife\” for cooks, and manufacturers—taking their cues from the colorful pocketknives—have found ways to incorporate any number of additional features and capabilities into the blades and handles of their shears. Nut-cracking and bottle-opening are common across many brands, and you\’ll even find things like screwdriver tips built into the handles of some (because pot handles and drawer pulls often need to be tightened, right?).

Healthy vegetables meal preparation

The Best Overall Kitchen Shears

Global GKS-210

$85.99 at Amazon

Choosing \”the best\” of anything is a tricky business because it\’s subjective. We think these shears from legendary Japanese knife manufacturer Global are the top choice because of their unmatched cutting edges. The shears are made from solid stainless steel, specifically, Global\’s exclusive ultra-hard CROMOVA (chromium/molybdenum/vanadium) alloy, which holds its edge longer than the steel used in lesser products. The design is compelling as well, with its oversized handles for better leverage and medical instrument looks. These shears don\’t have every imaginable feature (if you want that, in similarly high-quality kitchen shears, check out the Shun Classic), they just cut better than anything else and will keep doing it for a long, long time. That makes them splurge-worthy in our opinion.

At a Glance:

  • Materials:​ Stainless steel (exclusive CROMOVA alloy)
  • Ambidextrous:​ Yes
  • Extra Features:​ Nutcracker
  • Separates for Cleaning:​ No

stainless steel kitchen shears

The Best Budget Kitchen Shears

MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears

$8.99 at Amazon

There are only two questions you really need to ask yourself about a budget pair of kitchen shears: Will they do the job and is the price low? This offering from MAIRICO gives the right answer to both of those questions. The blades are surprisingly sharp for shears in this price range, and the handles are large enough and designed well enough to be comfortable in actual use. They\’re not overly burdened with added features, offering just a bottle opener and a nutcracker, but that\’s fine. They cut well enough, and at this price point, you won\’t mind buying a new pair when the first ones get dull or start to rust.

At a Glance:

  • Materials:​ Stainless steel blades, contoured plastic grips
  • Ambidextrous:​ No
  • Extra Features:​ Nutcracker, bottle opener
  • Separates for Cleaning:​ No

cutting a roasted chicken with kitchen shears

The Best Value Kitchen Shears

OXO Good Grips Kitchen and Herb Scissors

$18.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

At first glance, there\’s nothing especially remarkable about these shears, but you\’ll change your mind once you pick them up. OXO literally built its brand on comfort and ease of use—hence \”Good Grips\”— and these shears show exactly why that strategy is working for them. The big grips on the shears are soft and padded, and you could only wish that everything else in your kitchen felt as good in your hand. The steel blades are sharp enough to make light work of your everyday food prep and come apart for easy cleaning. The only added feature here is a pull-through stripper for fresh herbs, but it\’s an unusual and useful option at the price point.

At a Glance:

  • Materials:​ Stainless steel blades, plastic handles
  • Ambidextrous:​ Yes
  • Extra Features:​ Herb stripper
  • Separates for Cleaning:​ Yes

Stripping fresh rosemary with kitchen shears

The Best Poultry Shears

Victorinox Locking Poultry Shears

$69.70 at Amazon

There are few things more frustrating than using a light-duty tool for a heavy-duty task, and that goes for kitchen shears as well. If you frequently need to cut up whole fowl—chicken, turkeys, game birds—or tackle buckets of crab and lobster on a regular basis, you might find that general-purpose kitchen shears just aren\’t up to the job. For that kind of serious cutting, you\’ll need a professional-quality tool like these shears from Victorinox.

Their heavy-duty, solid-steel construction provides all the leverage you\’ll need to chew through bone, cartilage and thick shells, and the spring helps reduce hand fatigue. The shears are easy to clean, and the simple flip-down lock keeps them closed (and safe) in your cutlery drawer. They\’re something of a splurge, but using them even a few times a year justifies the purchase.

At a Glance:

  • Materials:​ Stainless steel
  • Ambidextrous:​ Yes
  • Extra Features:​ No
  • Separates for Cleaning:​ Yes

poultry shears

The Best Herb Scissors

VIBIRIT Herb Scissors Bundle

$15.99 at Amazon

Professional chefs have the knife skills to reduce a mountain of herbs to confetti-like strands (​chiffonade​) in seconds, but for anyone else it\’s a daunting task. It\’s easier when you use a set of multi-bladed herb scissors, like these. Five uniformly-spaced blades yield quick, even cuts, and you can snip the herbs directly into your bowl instead of dirtying a cutting board. You\’ll find dozens of nearly-identical herb scissors on Amazon and other retailers, so a buying decision often comes down to who\’s got the best bundle. We like this one, which packages the scissors with a cleaning comb and blade cover, a pull-through herb stripper for removing leaves from the stems (it doubles as a chopping knife), and a 3-in-1 julienne/vegetable peeler tool.

At a Glance:

  • Materials:​ Stainless steel blades, soft plastic handles
  • Ambidextrous:​ No
  • Extra Features:​ Multiple accessories including cleaning comb, herb stripper and julienne tool
  • Separates for Cleaning:​ Yes

Herb scissors bundle with accessories

The Best Bundled Set

Henckels Kitchen Shears for Herbs, 2-pc Set

$24.95 at Amazon

Henckels (and its Zwilling sub-brand) is one of the biggest names in cutlery, and deservedly so. While no single Henckels kitchen shears quite made the cut for this year\’s best-of list, we really like this bundle as a value proposition. It includes a set of general-purpose Henckel kitchen shears with big, comfortable handles—which separate for easy cleaning—and Henckels\’ multi-blade herb scissors, also with larger, more comfortable handles than the ones you\’ll find on the bargain bands. It\’s a compelling combination for a casual cook who doesn\’t need a lot of extra features but wants solid build quality at a modest price.

At a Glance:

  • Materials:​ Stainless steel blades, plastic handles
  • Ambidextrous:​ No
  • Extra Features:​ No
  • Separates for Cleaning:​ Yes

Two pairs of Henckels kitchen shears with herbs and lemons, on a butcher-block countertop

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