A good sharp pair of kitchen scissors has a multitude of food preparation uses and is often an under-utilised kitchen tool. It’s all too easy to relegate your kitchen scissors to the very basic tasks like opening packaging or cutting your greaseproof paper to size. But for lots of foods that require chopping or slicing, scissors can offer a safer, easier alternative to a knife, and they’re a valuable kitchen tool.
Kitchen scissors are great for cutting meats like chicken and bacon into pieces. For tasks like cutting chicken thigh meat off the bone, using scissors eliminates the danger of slipping with a sharp knife so it’s safer and often easier, too. You can even use them to cut a pizza into slices or trim the pastry on the top of a pie. The more you use kitchen scissors for food preparation, the more different uses you’ll discover.
How to choose the best quality kitchen scissors
There are several simple elements to consider when buying kitchen scissors:
- Kitchen scissors range from basic scissors, to multipurpose tools with several functions. Common extra features include integrated bottle openers, nut crackers and herb strippers, so it’s worth having a think about how many of these additional features you’ll use when deciding which pair to buy.
- Aside from sharpness, one of the most important things to consider is handle shape. Would you prefer both handles to be the same size or one side to be bigger with a smaller thumb handle opposite? Think about other pairs of scissors in your house and what you prefer as well as what is most comfortable for your hand shape.
- It’s also worth checking how easy they are to clean, especially if you plan to use them for raw meat and poultry. Some kitchen scissors are dishwasher safe, others have blades that come apart easily so you can thoroughly clean each side and nothing will get trapped between the blades.
Best kitchen scissors at a glance
- Best overall kitchen scissors: Japanese Multi-Purpose Kitchen Scissors £19
- Best scissors for fine cutting: Victorinox Multipurpose Kitchen Shears £22
- Best herb stripper scissors: Oxo Good Grips Kitchen and Herb Scissors £13.99
- Best budget scissors: Anecity Heavy Duty Kitchen Scissors £9.49
- Best scissors for colour options: Kuhn Rikon Household Shears £11.95
- Best scissors for tough jobs: Joseph Joseph PowerGrip Kitchen Scissors £15
- Best multipurpose scissors: AnySharp Multi 5-in-1 Smart Scissors £10.99
- Best scissors for small hands: Brabantia Kitchen Scissors £8.95
- Best scissors for larger hands: Big Green Egg Kitchen Shears £18
- Best scissors for safety: Viners Assure 8” Scissors £8.50
Best kitchen scissors to buy in 2021
Japanese Multi-Purpose Kitchen Scissors
Best overall kitchen scissors
The sharpest of all the scissors we tested, this pair of Japanese scissors slice through thick woody rosemary stalks with ease. The sharp pointy tip to the blades means they are equally effective at finely cutting leaves and soft herbs. When used to spatchcock a chicken they cut confidently through tough bones and are just as good at cutting through meat as well as fine snipping to remove meat from the bone.
They have a serrated mid-section which grips securely onto bottle tops for easy opening and also cracks open hard nuts with little effort. Our main gripe with these scissors is that all the text on the packaging is in Japanese, so there’s no care and cleaning information, and people with larger hands may find the handle a little small.
- Available from Sous Chef £19
Victorinox Multipurpose Kitchen Shears
Best scissors for fine cutting
With a very tapered and sharp point, these scissors are a great choice for tasks like finely snipping soft herbs or for more detailed precision cutting of meat away from the bone. They didn’t cut thick woody rosemary stalks very easily, but cut through finer chicken bones without a problem. The handles are available in black or red – we didn’t find them the most comfortable to hold but on the plus side Victorinox claim they’re made of unbreakable plastic, so they should last.
There’s an integrated nut cracking tool that doubles as an aid for opening screw cap bottles but we found it doesn’t always grip securely enough to be able to open bottles or crack nuts.
Oxo Good Grips Kitchen and Herb Scissors
Best herb stripper
These scissors have micro-serrated blades which are sharp enough to cut through thick woody rosemary stalks. The two integrated herb strippers are perfect for removing herbs from different size stalks and made short work of stripping rosemary and mint leaves from the stalk.
When spatchcocking a chicken they cut through the bone with no problem and the non-slip cushioned pads on the handles make them comfortable to use even when doing these tougher jobs. They’re also effective at cutting meat from the bone with a sharp tip allowing for easy access into awkward spots.
The blades separate for easy cleaning as they pull apart when the scissors are opened fully, but this does mean it’s easy to separate them by accident.
Anecity Heavy Duty Kitchen Scissors
Best budget scissors
These budget scissors are a good all-round choice. They’re sharp enough to cut thicker herb stalks as well as soft herbs and leaves, but they’re not as good at delicate snipping as some of the other scissors we tested. When used to spatchcock a chicken we found them to be less effective on thicker chicken bones but they can cut through smaller bones and meat easily.
They’re suitable for left- and right-handed users, come with a handy blade cover for safe storage and they’re dishwasher safe. There’s also an integrated bottle opener plus a scraper for removing fish scales on the back of one of the blades. The serrated section in the middle of the handles grips tightly onto hard-to-open bottle lids and can also be used to easily crack open hard-shelled nuts like walnuts.
- Available from Amazon, £9.89
Kuhn Rikon Household Shears
Best scissors for colour options
These scissors are available in green, red, yellow, grey or a quirky avocado design. They’re a great option if you’re looking to colour code your kitchen scissors, perhaps you want different scissors for meat and non-meat foods. The sharp blades cut through thick woody herb stalks easily but are equally effective on delicate mint leaves and chives. The size of the integrated herb stripper makes it best for herbs with thinner stalks.
They waste no time cutting through chicken bones and meat, but the rounded tips mean these scissors are less suited to more detailed trimming near the bone.
For easy cleaning after using on poultry just open them fully to separate – but it’s so easy you can end up separating them accidentally. They’re suitable for left- and right-handed use. The handles have a non-slip grip but they feel hard and somewhat uncomfortable during use and the size means they’re better suited to smaller hands.
JosephJoseph PowerGrip Kitchen Scissors
Best scissors for tough jobs
Good for cutting through bones, these scissors have an extra thumb grip which allows you to use both hands when extra force is required for tough jobs, and we found the handles comfortable to hold. They have a serrated edge for superior cutting, but the tip isn’t as sharp as some others so they are less suited to more detailed jobs like trimming meat from the bone or fine snipping herbs.
There’s a blade notch for gripping items like flower stems which we found helpful when cutting thick woody rosemary stalks. Although it works, the integrated herb stripper is more awkward and fiddly to use than some others because you have to poke the end of the stalk through a hole in the side of the blade. The blades separate for easy cleaning by opening the scissors fully, but like the other scissors that come apart using this method, it’s easy to separate them by accident.
AnySharp Smart Sizzors Multipurpose Scissors
Best multipurpose scissors
These multipurpose scissors have plenty of functions including an integrated nutcracker, garlic crusher, bottle opener and even a wire stripper. They’re sharp enough to cut through thick woody stalks but for cutting fine herbs and leaves we found the angle of the scissors made them uncomfortable to use and the large chunky blades mean you have limited control. They can cut through chicken bones and the large soft grip handles allow for a good two-handed grip when tackling thicker bones. The tip is sharp enough for fine meat trimming but, as with herbs, we found the curved shape of these scissors makes them less suited to more delicate cutting tasks.
They’re suitable for right- or left-handed use and have an adjustable tension bolt. After use they can go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Brabantia Kitchen Scissors
Best for smaller hands
These basic scissors don’t come with any extra features or gimmicks, but the handles have a comfortable non-slip rubbery grip that’s a good size for smaller hands and they’re suitable for both left and right handers. They aren’t built for tough jobs like cutting thick woody stalks or thick chicken bones. But they’re useful for light kitchen jobs including cutting soft herbs such as mint and chives, and they can cut through fine bones as well as meat. They’re a good affordable option for general use and they come with a five-year guarantee.
Big Green Egg Kitchen Shears
Best for larger hands
With one large, looped handle and one straight handle that’s textured for a secure grip, these scissors are ideal for large hands. For smaller hands, they also work well for two-handed cutting when extra force is required. In use, they remind us of secateurs – they’re sprung so they remain in the open position unless locked closed. They’re sharp enough for thick woody rosemary stalks but don’t feel easy to control when cutting delicate herb leaves and chives. They can effectively cut through meat and thicker bones but, again, lack the delicate control for finely cutting meat away from the bone. For simple easy cleaning they’re dishwasher safe.
- Available from Big Green Egg, £18
Viners Assure 8” Scissors
Best for safety
For maximum safety, these scissors have a squared tip. However, this does mean they’re not ideal for cutting things that require a fine point, such as snipping meat from the bone. For soft herbs and leaves the blades cut well but the chunky shape and squared tip don’t make them well suited to lots of this type of fine cutting. They have a non-stick blade coating to reduce cutting friction but we found that for some foods like chicken this meant the blades didn’t grip and slipped off too easily. They come with a lid opener and nutcracker built into the handles which grips bottle lids securely and easily cracks walnuts open.
If you’re looking for very sharp scissors that can tackle tougher jobs like bones and woody stalks, these aren’t the scissors for you. But for general and lighter cutting jobs, they provide a safer alternative to very pointed scissors and they come with a 10-year guarantee.
How we tested kitchen scissors
We gave all the scissors a thorough test by cutting through a chicken to spatchcock it. At the other end of the spectrum we cut up delicate herbs including chives, mint and rosemary.
For those with an integrated herb stripper, we used it to strip rosemary leaves from the stalk and also tried out any additional features like bottle openers and nut crackers.
During use we were assessing handle comfort as well as the blade sharpness, and finally we noted how easy they are to clean.