Quality Kitchen Shears
Similar to a household scissor, a kitchen shear is made in several sizes and designs. While the general design of a kitchen shear is like that of any other type of scissors, there are a couple of key differences: The fulcrum on the blades is positioned further from the handles so that the blades are in the most optimal angle for a cutting task, and the tips of the blades are typically rounded or blunted rather than coming to a point.
Much like a quality kitchen knife, the blades of a kitchen shear are generally hand-forged from a high quality of steel such as hi-carbon steel. The blade remains as sharp as any forged kitchen knife’s blade and most are dishwasher safe.
There are essentially three different types of kitchen shear: those that are perfect for severing bundles of kale, collards, turnip greens, bundles of asparagus spears, green onions, chives, cilantro and parsley, those that are shaped like garden pruning shears (curved beak shaped blades) that are used for severing chicken or duck breastbones or cutting through the backbone of fish.
- Look for a solidly made kitchen shear that feels heavy and well balanced in your hand and avoid those that feel flimsy or shoddy.
- Avoid the type that has lots of nooks and crannies around where the handles join the blades as those areas can easily harbor bacteria from food particles and are difficult to completely remove.
- Solid molded handles are of higher quality and more durable.
- Hi-Carbon stainless steel blades; which holds an edge well.
- Offset blades which allow you to cut at an angle to maintain leverage.
- Because the blades of a kitchen shear can become seriously damaged or bent, rather than purchase new a kitchen shear it is a good idea to purchase replacement blades.
- For added protection, purchase and use a sheath to protect the blades and to keep your hands from getting injured when reaching into the kitchen drawer.
- Care for a cutlery shear in the same way you would care for any kitchen knife. After use hand wash them with very hot water and soap; a few drops of bleach may be used periodically to keep bacteria off the shear.
- The general rule of thumb is to never run a kitchen shear of any kind through the dishwasher as that can dull the blade and damage the handles.
- Be sure that the kitchen shears you choose can be sharpened
If you want a pair that will withstand the rigors of a dishwasher, try the Wusthof Come Apart Kitchen Shear (See description below.).
Top 6 Best brands:
- J.A. Henckels Twinshear Kitchen Shear – Forged from Henckels’ Solingen stainless-steel and features short high leverage blades and composite polymer handles. Lightweight but strong and the handles are unbreakable. Steel inserts between the handles allow them to be used for loosening jar lids.
- Messermeister Take Apart Utility Shear – Come-apart design for easy cleaning and they provide a jar-opening clench tool, a finger-protecting plastic nub between the grips, and Solingen German made stainless-steel. Has an offset design, bone and twig cutter, screwdriver and nut cracker. Handles are made of santoprene for a non-slip grip. Blades are pre-sharpened and measure 8.5 inches.
Not bad for $20.
- Scissor with Red Handle by Joyce Chen – Has large handles and 6.25-inch blades.
- Good Grips Kitchen Shear by Oxo – The blades are micro-serrated allowing for a more precise cut and hardened stainless-steel for aggressive cutting jobs. They also have a herb stripper between the grip to remove fresh herbs from difficult stems. Comfortable Good Grips handles that are designed to minimize pressure and to cushion your grip.
- Kyocera Ceramic Kitchen Shear – Ceramic will never rust or corrode, is lightweight and they come sharp right out of the box and will will never need to be re-sharpened. Their only caveat is that ceramic can chip or break if dropped.
- Wusthof Come Apart Kitchen Shear – Blades come apart for easy cleaning and storage. The grips are sturdy and non-slip and feature a built-in sawtooth bottle and jar opener. At $12.99 just throw them in the dishwasher and don’t worry if they dull over time.
5-Blade Herb Snipper
A 5-blade herb snipper has a multiple set of very sharp 3-inch stainless steel blades that are stacked, one on top of the other.
This unique blade design allows you to quickly mince or cut fresh herbs and leafy items into tiny bits directly into a cooking pan or over a plate for garnishing.
The 5-blade herb snipper has a large green handle that is lined with soft silicon for comfort and non-slipperiness.
Pros: Easy to Clean/Wash (dishwasher safe), inexpensive (prices are generally under $10), well constructed, comfortable grip, nice design, durable, and removes the need for a cutting board.
Cons: Works fine with dry herbs but those that moist, e.g. basil, parsley or cilantro, gets stuck between the blades. You can wash off the excess in the sink but it’s a waste of food and effort.
Filed under: Kitchen shears
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