Kitchn Love Letters

This Underrated Kitchen Essential Is My Secret Weapon During Package Season

published Dec 7, 2022
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Our Place Shear genius
Credit: Our Place

In most home kitchens, even the ones stocked up with impressive essentials — I’m talking about top-notch knives, do-it-all Dutch ovens, and ultra-useful baking supplies — there are usually a few totally underrated tools missing from the cabinets and drawers. One such item is a high-quality thermometer. (Yes, I’m talking to any home cooks out there who have ever overcooked a pork chop.) Another tool you’re missing: a mini offset spatula. Trust me, just buy one — you’ll be wondering how you ever lived without the affordable tool in no time.

The king of all the missing kitchen tools out there, though, are kitchen shears. And I’m not talking about a pair of scissors you use in the kitchen — I’m talking about real, purpose-built shears. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in someone else’s kitchen to help with the cooking and discovered an old pair of desk scissors covered in dried glue stick and sharpie marks. No judgement, either: If you haven’t worked in a restaurant, chances are, you don’t know just how useful the snippers are. Lucky for you, I recently found the very best pair of shears I’ve ever had the pleasure of using at Our Place. Why? Well, besides being extremely functional, these handy things are also total stunners (much more attractive than the 2007 Office Max scissors you’ve been using) and have a special feature that proves they’re specifically designed for in-home use.

Like any good set of shears, this genius pair has durable, ever-sharp, stainless-steel blades. The blades are micro-serrated, which means they have mini divots that increase the total blade surface area for effective snipping. I put them to the test by cutting through carrots and flower stems with incredibly little resistance (a total lifesaver for my tired-from-typing wrists and fingers). They’ve also been designed to include one of my favorite snipper elements: two little slots for herb stripping. Just below the handle, you’ll find these helpful holes in which you can, and should, gently pull herb stems through for seamless leaf removal. As someone who relies heavily on chimichurri, salsa, and zhoug, it’s a feature I use practically daily.

When it comes to holding the Shear Genius, we’re talking about complete comfort. With ample knuckle room, a grippy handle with a little give, and superb balance between handle and blade, I think I could easily hold the things for literal hours. Which, I basically have done, keeping the snippers out through long cooking projects, using them as frequently as possible, and actively noticing how much easier my prep had become. Plus, once I was done, and the shears were coated in a healthy layer of cilantro, olive oil, chilis, and/or dried fruit, I just separated the two blades and hand washed the easy-to-clean components in a jiffy.

Credit: Stella Totino

Okay, onto the reason why I think these shears reign supreme: They’re got a teeny detail on the back of the handle that’s hard to miss but has totally changed my life recently. Above, you can see the small stainless-steel stub atop on the left side of the handles. What’s it for? Well, opening packages of course! Instead of dulling your nice kitchen shear blades, finding yourself frustrated with that aforementioned arts and crafts pair, or, like me, using a house key, now you can just safely utilize the backside of the Shear Genius and slice open any package, no matter how hefty the tape. TBH, before using it, I thought this feature was just a nice little add-on. But, since it’s the holiday season and I’ve been receiving more packages than usual, I’ve put the thing to good use and let me tell you, it truly is so handy.

Long story short: Every kitchen needs — no, every kitchen deserves — these shears. Comfy, multi-purposed, durable, and stunning, I’m gonna go so far as to say I think you should probably stock up one more than one pair. Slip these puppies into a few stockings and I think you’ll easily win this year’s gifting MVP.

Buy: Shear Genius, $25