Scissors – Best Type for Fabric, Paper, and Crafts



Types of Scissors

Sick of once again digging through cluttered drawers and cabinets for your dull, rusty duty scissors? Maybe it’s time to invest in something that is going to last!

For something so important, these are often overlooked and underused. There are many different types, and using the right pair for the right purpose can make your life much, much easier. Some of the most common types of scissors include:


Kitchen scissors

Kitchen types are a wonderful innovation that has saved many people from harmful utility knife cuts! You can use them to safely and quickly chop up herbs and vegetables, portion large cuts of meats, including a slice of pizza!

These also allow you to work more quickly and efficiently. A good pair of kitchen shears will be sharp, strong, and ambidextrous.


Upholstery scissors

Upholstery types are made for cutting multi-layered fabrics, including coats and other thick materials. You could glide them to help chop up a cardboard box for a more contoured, precise cut for a lasting impression or to fit in a recycling bin or to portion out fabrics or plastics for a creative craft. These are not the ideal choice for cutting things like paper, however, because they are so strong and thick that they tend to wrinkle paper.


Tailor's scissors

Tailor’s are an in-between option for cutting materials thicker than paper but thinner than upholstery. As the name implies, they are often used in sewing and other fiber crafts. You can use them for trimming thread while embroidering or cutting out polyester just like sewing scissors. Though you can use regular ones for these tasks, tailor’s scissors are a bit sharper and stronger, so you can get the job done with much less effort.

All-Purpose Scissors

All purpose scissors

Cutting with the use of all-purpose scissors is probably the one you most often think of. They are usually used to cut paper – including packing tape, and food packaging. These are generally not incredibly sharp or strong, so they work best with thin materials and short-term projects. If you only have one pair, however, this type will be your best bet. Although it may take more effort, they can do most of the tasks that other types are specially designed for.


Nail scissors

Nail scissors are very tiny compared to other types. They are primarily used to groom the nails in your fingers, but some people also use them to make small cutting adjustments to facial hair and eyebrows.

Hair Clippers

scissors for cutting hair

Scissors are known for cutting hair. The most common type is hair clippers. These are generally small since people usually only cut a few hairs at a time. They will also have a small rod that extends from the finger loops. This helps the hairdresser keep his or her hands steady. These also tend to be lightweight since most hairdressers use them for long periods of time.

Hairdressers also use thinning scissors if they work with clients who have thick hair. These have several teeth and are designed to just cut some hair. A trim with thinning scissors will not chop off hair in a straight line, but it will instead make clean cuts and the lines will look less blunt and more natural.


scissors for medical

These are also used in the health profession. Bandage scissors are small, often not much bigger than nail types, but they are thick with blunted ends. This makes them strong enough to quickly cut through thick bandages and bandage tape with precision. The speed offered by the bandage type is necessary so that open wounds can be covered as quickly as possible.

Best Overall Scissors for Everyday Use

OXO Good Grips Multi Purpose Kitchen and Herbs Scissors are our favorite pair available now. They are ambidextrous, so you can use them either you are right and left handed, and they are incredibly durable for kitchen, crafting, or everyday household usage. These are also cushioned to prevent calluses and fatigue when they are used for a long period of time.

The OXO Good Grips come apart for easy cleaning and sharpening. Since they are made of incredibly durable stainless-steel, however, you will not need to sharpen them too often!

How Scissors are Made

Different Types of Scissors

Most modern types are made of carbon steel or stainless-steel lasting for years, though a few designed for special purposes may be made of other materials like the plastic used for children’s scissors.

Carbon steel material typically has handles and blades that are made of the same material, while stainless steel will have heavy duty handles that are covered in plastic. Though carbon steel ones are incredibly strong and sharp, they are heavier and tend to rust more easily than stainless steel.

Most of these are constructed using three pieces: two blade-handle pieces with holes in the middle and one rivet to connect them. The rivet cannot usually be adjusted and goes in the two holes. This important piece holds the them together in whichever shape you hold them in, essentially preventing them from springing open or shut.

Some types, especially those designed for kitchen use, will only be made of two pieces. In order to make cleaning easier, one of the blade-handle pieces will have a specially shaped hole while the other will have a small knob. The knob can be lined up with the hole and secured for use, effectively replacing the rivet.

What Can You Use Scissors For

These are used to cut things, of course! In general, it’s a good idea to have several pairs for different purposes so that you are not (for example) using the same ones for first aid as you are for cooking. Below, we outline some of the most common contexts in which people use these.


Cooking scissors

Cooking is easier and safer than cooking with knives in many cases! They make it a breeze to chop vegetables or meat into small pieces for stir fry. You can also efficiently mince garlic or other herbs using kitchen scissors.

These are also useful for opening food packaging. Many rotisserie chickens come with their legs held together by a piece of plastic. Other times, vacuum sealed packages are hard to break open without something sharp.


Crafting scissors

It is abundant beyond imagination and doesn’t matter if you enjoy diy sewing, crocheting, painting, or gardening, most creative rafts require you to have a solid pair! For example, most fiber crafts require you to have sewing or pacific arc scissors to cut threads, the seam of clothes, yarns, and fabrics to the right length and shape. Nothing is more frustrating than having an entire project ruined by a subpar pair of scissors.

Personal Care

Personal care scissors

Scissors are absolutely necessary for personal grooming. They are perfect for trimming stray hairs, mustaches, eyebrows, and even nails that leaves you with lasting impression. You can also use these to cut bandages and bandage tape. It is best to have separate pairs for hair, nails, and first aid.


Household scissors

They are not heavy and are quite handy to have around the house! You can use them for everything from trimming flowers – including the way you fit a vase to cutting stray threads, thin plastic chain and the seam off of clothes.

These can also make opening a package a cinch! People love to diy are buying a variety of more and more things through the internet, and items are now covered in an additional layer of shipping material on top of normal plastic and cardboard wrappings. A good pair of scissors will not only make you creative but will also help you quickly remove excess cardboard and tape so you can get to your ordered items more quickly!

How to Clean and Store to Make Them Last Longer

Scissors submerged in water

Raise your hands if you have a pair of dull and/or rusty ones tucked away in the back of your garage or the back of a drawer. Okay now put them down.

If you are investing in a nice pair, you want them to stay sharp and in good shape for as long as possible. Remember the basics and the best way to do that is to properly clean yours regularly.

  • Make sure you first wipe off your scissors.
  • Hand wash your scissors with mild soap.
  • Make sure to dry your scissors with a soft cloth so that they do not rust.
  • If it is possible to separate the pieces of your scissors when you wash them, you should do so.
  • You can put kitchen scissors in the dishwasher. They will not last as long this way, however, so it is not recommended when you have time to hand wash.

How to Sharpen

How to Sharpen a Scissor

Dull scissors, like dull knives, can be very dangerous! People apply extra pressure when using dull tools. Since these tools are also more likely to slip, it is best to avoid getting accidentally cut your fingers yourself.

The easy solution to this is to sharpen these when they start to get dull. They will be both easier and safer to use!

If yours are only a little bit dull, you can make them a little sharper very easily. Simply use these to cut a piece of 150-grit sandpaper or aluminum foil that has been folded over itself several times into small strips. Make sure to wipe off the scissors before testing their sharpness (which can be done by cutting up paper). Repeat the process if necessary.

If yours are very dull, trade them with new ones or you can sharpen them in a way similar to how knives are sharpened. You will need to get a sharpening stone. If it is possible to separate these into two pieces, do that first. Then, run each blade over the stone just as you would a knife. Your dull pair will be like new in no time!

When Is It Time to Replace

Replace a Scissor

While your scissors should last for a long time if you clean and sharpen them regularly, eventually, you will need to get a new pair. How will you know when that time comes?

When your scissor blades start to chip or rust, it is a good idea to replace them. You will also want to get a new pair if the plastic handles start to come apart. At this point, these are ineffective and unsafe, and it will be frustrating to use them.

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Types of Specialty Scissors

Many pairs are used for multiple purposes. For example, kitchen types can be used as craft cutting tool in a pinch.

Others, however, should definitely not be used as multi-purpose scissors. These include thinning scissors, pinking shears, and children’s scissors for the nails in their fingers.

Thinning scissors are a known tool by hairdressers to make hair look more even after it is cut. Pinking shears are used to cut fabric so that the edges line up more evenly. Children’s scissors have a variety of designs and have duller blades that are often made of plastic so that kids don’t hurt themselves.


These have been not only in Asia but in most parts of the world and are a part of the trade for thousands of years. The earliest ones had a different orientation and started with the blades in an open position and had to be pulled apart to close the blades.

The pivot ones that most people are familiar with were not largely made and distributed until the late 18th century. In the 19th century, such as hand-made ones in Sheffield started manufacturing on a large industrial scale. Today, people continue to experiment with lighter materials and different lengths to make these for many different purposes.

Left Handed Vs. Right Handed – What’s the Difference

If you are left-handed, you already know that most are right-handed scissors. The angle of the blades and the different sizes of the handle loops make them ideal for right-hand use.

Most likely, this kind of orientation is incredibly frustrating for you.

Fortunately, more manufacturers are becoming aware of this issue! Most known kitchen shears are less heavy and are made to be ambidextrous, and many craft scissors come in left and right-handed scissors. If you use scissors in an occupational capacity, make sure you get ones that are made for your correct handedness so you will have more control!

Fun Facts

  • Longer, heavy scissors are known as shears.
  • The giant scissors used by politicians to cut ribbons at grand opening events are called ceremonial scissors.
  • Scissors can also be a surgical tool.
  • Foot-operated and mouth-operated scissors have been specially designed for individuals with differing mobility needs.
  • Like the noun “pants,” the noun “scissors” is treated as a plural noun.
  • There is a company in China that has been making scissors continuously since 1663.


Scissors are incredibly useful – it is important to know the basics and make sure you use ones that are appropriate for your situation. It is also important to make sure you take good care of them so that they will last longer. Our favorite high-quality scissors available now are the OXO Good Grips.

We at ComproGear plan to manufacture our own high-quality scissors at an affordable price. They will be the best in the market. Keep checking back to see when you can get your own pair!

This page last updated July 12, 2022