David Chang, of Momofuku and Ugly Delicious fame, caused a culinary buzz with one particular hot take on Instagram: Scissors, he asserted, are today’s most underrated kitchen tool. We live in a time when quality knives are a $1-billion-plus industry, and it’s time we all understand what Chang and other pro-scissor chefs (who are commonly found throughout East Asia, France, Italy and Spain) have long professed: Your kitchen isn’t complete without a pair.
High-calibre kitchen shears can multi-task through countless chores, like cutting bacon, trimming dough, busting open lobster claws, slicing fish fillets, spatchcocking chicken and portioning hot, cheesy pizza. And when it comes to prep, they can minimize mess and eliminate the need for cutting boards: Chop sausages into bite-sized pieces right in the pan, or snip herbs straight into your salad bowl.
What, then, makes a worthy pair? “Look for the same thing in scissors as you look for in a good knife,” says Maggie Fox, founder and CEO of Ciselier, a company based in Hamilton, Ont., that sells well-crafted scissors. “No rubber or painted handles – they’re signs of poor quality; micro-serration on the blade for maximum grip; and break-apart blades, which are very handy for cleaning.” Material-wise, Fox says to opt for hot-forged C50 carbon or AISI 420 stainless steel, solid and polished, because they’re specifically designed to be durable and remain sharp with regular use.
1. Global 8.25’’ Kitchen Shears
These beautiful (but heftily-priced) scissors are made from molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel. Their elegant styling has touches reminiscent of Global knives. The serrated blade helps grip the surface of whatever you’re cutting.
2. All-Clad Professional Stainless-Steel Kitchen Shears
The dishwasher-safe All-Clad shears have a micro-serrated upper blade and honed edges for precision cutting. Blades pull apart for easy cleaning.
3. Shun Kitchen Shears
These versatile shears from the Japanese knife maker have soft Santoprene handles to provide a comfortable grip. Better still, the ergonomic handles are designed to be ambidextrous.
4. Zwilling Twin Select Kitchen Shears
These shears are dishwasher safe and have hand-honed blades with micro-serration to cut precisely. The scissors can also be used as a bottle opener.
5. Wüsthof Stainless-Steel Kitchen Shears
WÜSTHOF refers to their scissors as the “the indispensable helper in every household.” The multi-use scissors cut through parchment paper, fish bones and packaging, among other things.
6. OXO Good Grips Kitchen and Herb Scissors
Keep these inexpensive scissors easily accessible. Handy for cutting everything from meat to pizza to vegetables. Bonus: An integrated herb stripper removes fresh herb leaves from their stems.
7. Ciselier Fennek 8” Italiano Classico
These lightweight kitchen scissors are handmade by Fennek, a highly respected Premanese scissormakers which set up shop in 1895. They feature a bone notch as well as deep serrations for grip and stability while cutting.