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Looking for a good pair of scissors
December 23, 2013 4:43 AM   Subscribe

Looking for some suggestions/recommendations for a good pair of scissors.

I would love to have a "good" pair of scissors for around the house. I have always bought cheaper pairs of scissors ($10 range) and get a couple of years out of them and replace them when I need to; no complaints there.

But now I am wondering, is there a pair of "good" scissors that I could purchase that would be the last pair of scissors I ever need to buy????

I am looking for a pair (and why am I saying "pair" when I only want one set/unit of scissors?) that would be considered an "all purpose" or multi purpose pair of household or hardware scissors. I am NOT looking for scissors for cutting fabric (or craft scissors).

I want a set of scissors that I can use for everything - cutting paper, tape, cardboard, the occasional piece of fabric (but only to cut something off for example - not for sewing, etc). I would love to have a rugged set that I wouldn't mind getting sharpened, etc.

I know there are brands like Fiskars and Gingher that I have seen in fabric stores, and I don't mind buying these, as long as they would be good for all purpose around the house.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Recommendations? Thanks!
posted by dbirchum to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
These are my all around favorite general purpose scissors. I honestly don't know if they can be sharpened, but they really rock.

I've never had them last more than a few years because they get ... permanently borrowed.
posted by tilde at 4:59 AM on December 23, 2013


There are a few suggestions from Reddit's BuyItForLife subreddit.

Fiskars Heavy Duty or Forged Steel models come recommended in there, as do Gingher, Messermeister, and Clauss shears.
posted by Magnakai at 5:08 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


For 'last purchase ever', you'd probably want a couple of pairs: an 7-8in general purpose set, and some smaller 4in snips for anything that needs greater precision. Fiskars and Gingher in the US, one of the two Sheffield makers in the UK.

All-metal fabric shears (or wallpaper shears) are the scissors that last a lifetime, so look for close variants of that design. When marmalising wrapping paper for presents, I always wish I had my dad's paper-hanging shears.
posted by holgate at 5:13 AM on December 23, 2013


I've had my Cutco scissors for 13+ years and they've been great.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:51 AM on December 23, 2013


Also, depending on the kind of cutting you're doing for the cardboard, I had a great time breaking down a fat ton of boxes using a ceramic slicer.
posted by tilde at 5:54 AM on December 23, 2013


I have never had a pair of Fiskars, at any price point, do me wrong.
posted by BrashTech at 6:02 AM on December 23, 2013


Any thoughts on these??
posted by dbirchum at 6:05 AM on December 23, 2013


$66 seems like an awful lot of money, and does that even include the shipping? I'm gonna go ahead and say Fiskars are great, they're well-made and the only problem I've ever had is people who keep trying to 'borrow' them.
posted by easily confused at 6:13 AM on December 23, 2013


If you buy a pair of scissors for general purposes, please buy a second pair for fabric, if you sew or plan to do anything with cloth. And don't mix them up. I have Ginghers for fabric only and assorted Fiskars for kitchen, crafts, paper. The Ginghers get sharpened.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:14 AM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fiskars 8-Inch Softouch Spring Action Razor Edged Scissors. Cuts through things like butter, and great if you have any pain or stiffness in your hands (RSI, arthritis, fibromyalgia etc).

...I have four pairs...
posted by The locked room sockpuppet at 6:15 AM on December 23, 2013


Any thoughts on these??

They're Wilkinsons, one of the two remaining Sheffield makers. (I'm always annoyed when 'curated quality stuff' places like Best Made and Kaufmann Mercantile obfuscate the maker, making it a game to work out who it is.) Genuinely top-notch, but probably overkill for your needs, and the few US importers seem to mark them up.
posted by holgate at 6:50 AM on December 23, 2013


You might benefit from learning how to sharpen scissors. I have several scissors that range down to really cheapies, and they all seem to last forever. I don't think I'm likely to throw any away unless a pivot broke or they got seriously deformed cutting some ridiculous material or something.

That being said, I can appreciate an older style forged pair of scissors. The kind that don't usually have plastic handles and are not punched from flat steel stock. I've seen some good ones made by Gingher and Wiss. I think forged style scissors tend to have a little bit more rigidity that just feels more substantial and higher quality. And a good pair made from carbon steel might offer a bit more hardness and grindability, which means longer lasting sharpness and easier sharpening.

Regardless of how classy your scissors are, they will need to be sharpened from time to time. It's a good skill to know. Sometimes you can find a good knife sharpening service locally that will do it for a reasonable price.
posted by 2N2222 at 7:13 AM on December 23, 2013


I used to work for Fiskars, I know *their* scissors well. Hard to go wrong with any of them, honestly, choose the one that fits your hands best. The iconic gold standard is the offset 8" Home and Office. They're almost talismanic for me. I keep my pair within a foot of my right hand at my desk. To others, they're just really good scissors.

Please note: If by 'cardboard' you mean 'corrugated cardboard', then keep a second heavy-duty pair for that (probably the take-apart shears, also good in the kitchen), or just use a utility knife. Corrugated will soon end that wonderful glide through paper that is a feature of good all-purpose scissors.

Fabric shears are sharpened to a different bevel angle than multi-purpose scissors, and you only want those for extensive fabric craftwork, and you've already ruled that out. The little micro-point snips are handy for thread and fine cutting, but they don't have the same multi-utility as the all-purpose scissors.
posted by BlackPebble at 7:16 AM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Joyce Chen Unlimited scissors have a devoted fan base. I've had a pair for at least a decade and have used them to break down unnumerable chickens, cut through sheets of tin, etc., and yet just this weekend was using them to snip pretty little Vs in fabric ribbon and they did just as nice a job as my Fiskars would have, and I only ever use those for fabric. I use those Joyce Chens almost every single day, run them through the dishwasher, and have never had them sharpened. Not sure how you can top that!
posted by HotToddy at 7:53 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


KAI N5210 Japan Made is what is written on the best pair of scissors I've ever owned.

I don't know how they came into my possession but have had them for at least a decade now as my goto cut everything (paper, cardboard, fabric, wallpaper, carpet, leather, linoleum, canvas, rope, wires, light sheet metal ... really, you name it) tool. They also get used as a screwdriver and pointed prybar. I carry them with me everywhere. They reside on my desk at home, and go into my packsack with wallet and phone when out. I am really not gentle with them and know I do risk destroying them with some tasks, but they always pull through.

They are amazingly comfortable, very robust (don't warp or splay under tremendous strain) and retain an edge and retake an edge with ease and don't rust (stainless steel). The blade design is very knife like with a thin deep blade and strong back. As opposed to designs with a shallow cutting area and a lot of back. So they are also precise and don't hang or deform materials greatly.

I've tried and blown though many Fiskars (tend to snap the handles off (at least 4 different pair)) so the name inspires little confidence in me compared to this simple workhorse you can just whip with abandon.

I had no idea they were designed for sewing until I looked them up today. The 5000 series also doesn't even seem to be their professional or top grade scissors. I have nothing but good things to say about them and am just happy to now know I could replace them if ever I do go overboard, because if they do fail it will be entirely operator error and not a design or material flaw of this outstandingly well made tool.

In action (about a minute of company promotional video)
posted by phoque at 8:01 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


fiskars really are great household scissors and joyce chen makes awesome kitchen scissors as hot toddy mentioned. every kitchen should have a pair of the joyce chen scissors. my mom has had hers for eons.
posted by wildflower at 2:23 PM on December 23, 2013


Electrician's scissors? (klein, wiss, or Jonard brand are supposed to be good.)
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:04 AM on December 24, 2013


Standard weight 8" Fiskars are in a class by themselves. They cut amazingly well and are quite durable. Also, they're inexpensive enough to replace when they lose the edge, or when you or somebody else makes a notch in the edge trying to cut a heavy staple.

When I made my living as a pasteup artist, I bought myself new ones as a Christmas present every year.

Stay away from the fancy models. The 10" are too big to handle easily, smaller ones aren't angled and are too short, and the ones with bells and whistles just add weight and cost. Simpler is better.

There are many knockoffs. Accept no substitutes. Fiskars are just better than the competition.
posted by KRS at 8:03 AM on December 24, 2013


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