How to Use Kitchen Scissors

Four Methods:Sourcing Quality Kitchen Scissors or ShearsUsing Kitchen Scissors or ShearsNon-Food UsesGeneral Care of Kitchen Scissors or Shears

Almost every kitchen has at least one good knife in the kitchen. Not every cook realizes the varied benefits of using kitchen scissors or shears to do some of the cutting work in the kitchen. Specialized scissors or shears can actually make some of the usual work of cutting some foods safer, faster and even neater than using a knife. Here are some ideas on uses for kitchen scissors or shears that you may never have thought about before.

Method 1
Sourcing Quality Kitchen Scissors or Shears

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    Visit a kitchen store or department to purchase kitchen scissors or shears. When choosing scissors, bear in mind the following requirements:
    • Look for thick, sturdy blades.
    • Feel the weight––prefer those that feel heavy and solid.
    • Serrated edges and finger grips can be a useful feature.
    • Check that they're washable in the dishwasher for best hygiene.
    • Go for quality––just as with good kitchen knives, you'll want these to last you for years to come.

Method 2
Using Kitchen Scissors or Shears

There are many possible uses, some more obvious than others. Over time, you'll find your own favorite uses that you prefer using them for over knives. This section suggests various uses that can make your food preparation easier.

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    Cut fresh herbs and spices quickly and safely. While some chefs love cutting herbs with a knife, there is a risk of cutting yourself and it can also be messy. Cutting herbs with scissors or shears straight into the mixing bowl, pot or dish is easy and makes less mess than a knife.
    • Chives, basil and parsley are good fresh herbs for cutting with scissors or shears.
    • Fresh garlic cloves and ginger slices can be cut quickly using scissors or shears.
    • Keep your fingers well away from chilli peppers by snipping with the scissors or shears instead of a knife.
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    Cut the roots off various vegetables before using. Snipping with scissors and shears is often faster than using a knife for certain vegetables like scallions and baby carrot tops.
    • Woody ends of mushrooms and fungi can be cut off easily with scissors.
    • Cut the ends of spinach and Asian greens.
    • Cut the florets off broccoli or cauliflower.
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    Trim filo (phyllo) pastry using kitchen scissors or shears. You'll get a really neat edge and may find you have greater control over cutting a straight line while holding the pastry than is the case with a knife.
    • In similar vein, sushi wrapping (nori) and other dried food sheets are easier to cut using shears or scissors.
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    Cut fresh pasta sheets using scissors of shears. Scissors or shears are especially good for the precision cutting required for cutting between rows of ravioli. They're also great for shortening fresh spaghetti lengths.
    • Dried noodles can also be cut using kitchen scissors.
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    Snip pieces of cheese into a dish as it is cooking. This can be a quick way to add cheese for such dishes as omelets and scrambled eggs when you discover you don't have grated cheese and need to add cheese really quickly.
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    Use with flesh, especially poultry or fish. A type of kitchen shears called poultry shears are made especially for cutting joints of whole cooked birds. Kitchen scissors and shears can also spare you from having to cut meat, seafood or fish on a cutting board, improving hygiene. Also:
    • Use the shears to cut off the wing tips of chicken and turkey.
    • Cut raw or cooked poultry into bite-sized pieces.
    • Cut scales or fins off fish when preparing the fish for cooking.
    • Cut rotisserie chicken.
    • Use to cut through the backbone when spatchcocking poultry.
    • Cut bacon pieces into lardons.
    • Use them to cut open crab legs.
    • Trim fat off meat.
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    Cut fruit. Removing external elements of fruit is easy with kitchen scissors or shears. For example, cut off pineapple leaves, strawberry tops or cut grapes into smaller bunches. They can be used to open banana skins for easier peeling.
    • If you hang bananas from a banana tree, use the scissors to snap off each banana as you want to eat it. This helps to stop any other peels from splitting on the remaining bananas.
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    Make preparation of foods for baking easier. Some foods added to baking or used for decorating in baking is made simpler using kitchen scissors or shears. For example:
    • Cut dried fruits into halves or pieces with oiled scissors or shears.
    • Cut lengths of preserved angelica for decorating or baking with.
    • Make shredded coconut from larger dried coconut pieces.
    • Use to slash pie tops before baking.
    • Snip bread to make croutons.
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    Cut thin baked goods. There are various baked goods that might benefit from using scissors or shears:
    • Cut pizza or focaccia into slices.
    • Cut flat breads into smaller sizes or slices.
    • Cut tortillas and quesadillas.

Method 3
Non-Food Uses

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    Use to trim and harvest your kitchen garden herbs. Keeping kitchen shears or snips near the herbs makes for easy fresh herb retrieval and you're more likely to feel like making use of your homegrown thyme and rosemary!
    • They're also ideal for harvesting outdoor herbs and thin-stemmed vegetables.
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    Use to cut string when trussing or wrapping food.
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    Use for packaging. Kitchen scissors or shears are obviously useful for opening packages that won't tear along the dotted line or aren't easy to open in general. They're perfect for cutting off ties placed around food and other packaging seals.
    • Kitchen scissors are very handy for vacuum sealed packaging which tends to cling too tightly to be simply torn apart.

Method 4
General Care of Kitchen Scissors or Shears

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    Wash scissors after use in hot, soapy water. Leave them open to dry, with the points facing down.
    • Scissors or shears may be dishwasher-proof; check the label and if so, this is a very hygienic way to keep them clean.
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    Return folded scissors to a storage place once dry. Avoid having the scissors rub against other metallic items to avoid dulling the blades.
    • If you have a knife block, see if there is a wide enough slot to keep the scissors or shears; this makes it easier to find them when needed.


  • Use kitchen shears only for kitchen activities so they retain their sharpness and can always be found to hand when needed; lighter duty scissors are preferable for cutting paper or other office activities.
  • A good quality pair of sturdy scissors can work just as well as specially made kitchen shears. Just keep them for kitchen use only, to ensure better hygiene.
  • Korean kitchens treat kitchen scissors or shears as an essential tool; they're used to cut a lot of foods such as noodles, kimchi and bulgogi.
  • Some herbs are better torn than cut; experiment.


  • As with general-purpose scissors or knives, using the kitchen scissors or shears for non-food purposes may blunt or destroy them.
  • Ask that kitchen scissors and shears remain in the kitchen and not be used elsewhere in the house; this is important for ensuring hygiene around food preparation.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen scissors or shears
  • Storage block or space

Article Info

Categories: Cooking Knives and Blades