The Best List

The Best Kitchen Shears for Most Home Cooks

updated Feb 1, 2021
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Credit: Leela Cyd

Every home cook needs a pair of kitchen shears. They’re what we reach for all sorts of tasks: snipping herbs, cutting parchment, spatchcocking chickens, opening annoying clamshell packages containing new kitchen tools, and more. As you’d expect, though, not all shears are created equal.

Scissors have two blades (we know you knew that part): a cutter blade and an anvil blade. The cutter blade does, you guessed it, the cutting and has a smooth edge that’s usually beveled and resembles a chef’s knife. The anvil blade is typically serrated (to grip whatever you’re cutting) and thicker. We’ve found that, for some shears, the serrations aren’t deep enough to actually grip the food, and for others, the beveled edge isn’t quite sharp enough.

To help you find the best pair of kitchen shears for your tool drawer, we looked to see what other experts and satisfied shoppers had to recommend. Then, we weighed in with our own two cents. Let’s take a look.

1. OXO Good Grips Kitchen and Herb Scissors

The Best Kitchen Shears, According to Wirecutter

The folks at Wirecutter combined regular scissors with kitchen scissors in one big post. Scroll down and you’ll see that they picked these OXO scissors as the best ones to use in the kitchen. They liked the combination of the sharp, take-apart blades, the micro-serrated blade (which had plenty of grip, they reported), and the roomy, padded handles. They said the shears easily and cleanly snipped through fresh herbs, raw poultry, bones, and even clamshell packaging like it was no big deal. Another key feature that Wirecutter liked: The OXO warranty means you can get a replacement pair, should yours start to rust.

2. Kershaw Taskmaster Shears

The Best Kitchen Shears, According to Cook’s Illustrated

Cook’s Illustrated‘s pick has won the top spot for quite a few years now. They report that these shears have the longest blades out of all the ones they tested, noting that the length ensures smooth, continuous cuts on parchment rounds and chicken pieces. And while the blades are long, they’re narrow enough to do the intricate work, too. Testers also liked that the anvil blade had deep, angular serrations that helped to grip the food, while the cutter blade was sharpened to a fairly acute angle and stayed incredibly sharp throughout testing. They pointed out that the roomy handles and just the right amount of tension between the blades made the scissors extra comfortable for hands of all sizes. They can even be used by right- and left-handed cooks.

3. Shun Kitchen Shears

The Best Kitchen Shears, According to Serious Eats

Our friends at Serious Eats say these heavy-duty scissors are strong enough to cut out a chicken back or snip chives as cleanly as possible. The fact that the shears come apart at the hinge (for cleaning) is a huge plus. Ditto for all the fun built-in extras (think: bottle opener/lid lifter, flathead screwdriver head, nutcracker, jar opener, bone notcher, etc!). Even though the editors know you’ll probably never end up using half (or any) of them.

4. KitchenAid All-Purpose Shears

The Bestselling Kitchen Shears on Amazon

The bestselling kitchen shears on Amazon have a 4.7-star rating and more than 2,000 five-star reviews. Satisfied shoppers say these are super-strong, great for meat, and incredibly good-looking. Some reviewers have commented that the shears are bigger than they thought they’d be (in a good way!) and that the handles are roomy enough for even arthritic fingers to slide through. And almost every reviewer comments on the price: “I almost think they made a mistake with the pricing on these,” one shopper said.

5. J.A. Henckels International Take-Apart Kitchen Shears, $18

Kitchn’s Thoughts on the Best Kitchen Shears

It’s not often that we find entirely different picks from each source for our Critics’ Picks stories. And we’re going to throw out yet another option: these J.A. Henckels International Take-Apart Kitchen Shears. Not only are these shears affordable, but they’re made by the beloved German kitchenware company J.A. Henckels, which also owns top brands like Zwilling and Staub. They can tackle tough and delicate jobs alike, including spatchcocking chicken, breaking up canned, whole tomatoes, and cutting opening a tough plastic clamshell container. They also come apart for super easily for cleaning and are dishwasher-safe.

Do you have a pair of kitchen shears you like? Tell us about them in the comments below.