The 7 Best Kitchen Shears of 2023

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These versatile tools can cut through everything from fresh herbs to poultry.

<p>Real Simple / Kristin Kempa</p>

Real Simple / Kristin Kempa

Kitchen shears are a versatile tool that every home cook should have. Though they look a lot like a regular pair of scissors, kitchen shears can be used for tasks like stripping herbs, slicing pizza, and cutting poultry.

To find the best kitchen shears, we evaluated the materials, weight, length, and ease of cleaning of multiple options. We also spoke to Gill Boyd, a chef and instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, and Gabriel Glasier, founder of Chef Travel Guide and a former executive chef and restaurateur, for their expert insight on what to look for in a good pair of shears.

“Kitchen shears are by no means a replacement for a good chef's knife, but they are a good supplemental tool for specific kitchen tasks,” Glasier says.

He adds that one of the most important things to look for in shears is sharp, heavy-duty blades. “This isn’t always the case, which means that most low-quality shears are fairly worthless when cutting raw meats or [performing] precision work,” Glasier says. “Make sure the edges are sharp or look for another brand.”

OXO Good Grips Kitchen and Herb Scissors

Best Overall Kitchen Shears

Who it’s for: People who want versatile kitchen shears.

Who it isn't for: People who want kitchen shears for a specific task.

These stainless steel kitchen shears from OXO can cut through vegetables, meat, twine, cardboard, and more. The blades have a micro-serrated edge, which helps them grip onto what you’re cutting and prevent your hands from slipping. Plus, the handles have cushioned pads to make your grip more comfortable. Another highlight of this product is its built-in herb stripper, which easily separates fresh herbs from their stems (this is especially useful for herbs with woody stems, like thyme and rosemary). The blades can separate when it's time to clean, and the brand recommends washing them by hand to keep the blades sharp and rust-free.

Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 10.48 inches

  • Weight: 3.5 ounces

  • Dishwasher Safe: No

KitchenAid All-Purpose Shears

Best Budget Kitchen Shears

Who it’s for: People who want an affordable, dishwasher-safe pair of kitchen shears.

Who it isn't for: People who want blades that can separate or unlock.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a solid pair of kitchen shears. These KitchenAid shears have micro-serrated stainless steel blades that can cut through practically anything. The shears are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, and we like that they come with a sheath to keep the blades sharp while not in use. The blade guard also makes it easy to store these shears in a drawer rather than on a knife block. These affordable kitchen shears also come in a variety of colors, ranging from bright red to pistachio.

Price at time of publish: $12

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 8.72 inches

  • Weight: 4.8 ounces

  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Shun Classic Kitchen Shears

Best Splurge Kitchen Shears

Who it’s for: People who want to splurge on a versatile, long-lasting pair of kitchen shears.

Who it isn't for: People who want dishwasher-safe kitchen shears.

If you’re willing to spend more on high-quality kitchen shears, we recommend this pair from Shun. These kitchen shears have one serrated blade and one straight blade. They also have a number of extra features, such as a built-in nutcracker, bottle opener, and jar opener. The handles are designed with ridges, which help prevent your hands from slipping and provide a secure grip. The blades can separate for cleaning, but they are hand-wash only, so if you prefer to toss your kitchen tools in the dishwasher we suggest choosing another option. The brand recommends using warm water and a gentle dish soap and drying the blades right after washing.

Price at time of publish: $69

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 9 inches

  • Weight: 5 ounces

  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Deluxe Poultry Shears

Best Kitchen Shears for Poultry

Who it’s for: People who want kitchen shears to help them handle poultry.

Who it isn't for: People who want kitchen shears that work for herbs, too.

If you’re looking to spatchcock a chicken at home, break down your Thanksgiving turkey, or prepare a duck, poultry shears are a great tool to keep on hand. This pick from Zwilling J.A. Henckels can cut through bones while being easier to handle than knives. The serrated stainless steel blades are slightly curved, making these shears ideal for cutting through poultry. These shears also have a built-in bone breaker, which the brand says can separate bones, wings, and joints.

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 10 inches

  • Weight: 8 ounces

  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Joyce Chen Unlimited Scissors

Best Kitchen Shears for Herbs

Who it’s for: People who want kitchen shears for cutting and stripping delicate herbs.

Who it isn't for: People who need heavy-duty kitchen shears to cut through bones or raw meat.

These kitchen scissors have much shorter blades than the others on our list (just 3 inches), but they’re ideal for precision work, like cutting delicate herbs. You’re not limited to herbs, though: The blades are also sharp enough to cut through bacon, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. Plus, the flexible plastic handles are designed for both right- and left-handed people. Unlike traditional shears, the blades on these scissors don’t come apart for cleaning or sharpening, but they are rust-resistant and dishwasher-safe.

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 3 inches

  • Weight: 2 ounces

  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Material The Good Shears

Best Multipurpose Kitchen Shears

Who it’s for: People who want versatile kitchen shears that look high-end.

Who it isn't for: People who want kitchen shears designed for one specific task.

These stainless steel shears from Material have micro-serrated blades that can handle everything from trimming produce to slicing pizza to cutting slices of beef. And according to the brand, these shears are suitable for non-kitchen use as well, whether you’re crafting, gardening, or opening packages. They’re available in two sleek hues (gold and blue-gray) for an elegant addition to your kitchen accessories. The handles have silicone grips that are easily removed for cleaning, and the shears are dishwasher-safe, too.

Price at time of publish: $35

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 7.75 inches

  • Weight: Not listed

  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Acelone Heavy-Duty Shears

Best Heavy-Duty Kitchen Shears

Who it’s for: People who want heavy-duty kitchen shears with extra built-in features.

Who it isn't for: People who want shears with blades that can be separated for cleaning.

Some tasks, like cutting up raw turkey, call for heavy-duty kitchen shears. To handle large pieces of meat or bone, you need substantial blades that can exert the necessary pressure and a comfortable grip for maneuverability and safety. That’s why we recommend the Acelone Kitchen Shears. These shears have a non-slip handle, which is critical for heavy-duty cutting. They’re strong and lightweight, with serrated stainless steel blades and plastic handles. The blades also have a built-in bottle opener and a notch on the handle that can double as a nutcracker.

Price at time of publish: $22

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 8 inches

  • Weight: 5 ounces

  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the OXO Kitchen and Herb Scissors for its built-in herb stripper and stainless steel, micro-serrated blades that grip whatever you’re cutting. Plus, the blades separate to make it easier to hand-wash or sharpen them as needed.

Related:The 12 Best Cutting Boards of 2023

How to Shop for Kitchen Shears Like a Pro

Blade Edge and Material

According to Boyd, kitchen shears with high-carbon stainless steel blades are your best bet. “The blade edges can be constructed in different angles depending on the brand type,” he says. “Some shears have serrated edges that are better for cutting through bone or cartilage.”

You should also consider blade sharpness when selecting a pair of kitchen shears. “A good pair of kitchen shears, like a kitchen knife, must be heavy-duty but sharp,” Glasier says.


There are various design considerations to keep in mind as you shop for kitchen shears:

  • Blade Length: Boyd recommends shears with blades at least 5–6 inches in length, because that makes them long enough for a wide variety of kitchen tasks.

  • Blade Placement: Glasier prefers offset blades, which “allow your fingers some room between the cutting surface and the handle,” he says. “This is important for cutting anything that lays flat, like dough or the rib bones of a chicken.”

  • Handle Size: It’s important to find kitchen shears that have comfortable handles. An ergonomic grip is key to kitchen safety and effective slicing and cutting. You should also consider your hand size as you peruse kitchen shears.

  • Handle Material: Boyd recommends shears with a non-slip handle, which he says “is important for comfort and performance during tasks.”

Handle Comfort

While you can use most kitchen shears with your right or left hand, left-handed people may find particular models more comfortable. There are also kitchen shears made specifically for left-handed people.

“Another design factor to consider is whether you want spring-loaded kitchen shears,” Glasier says. “Any time there will be a lot of repetitive cutting, the spring-assisted lift of the handle will make the prep faster and put less strain on your hand.”


Some kitchen shears come with extra features on the blades. Boyd recommends considering models with built-in bottle openers, blades that separate or unlock for easy cleaning and sharpening, and blades that have a notched section for lobster shells and nuts. While these extras aren’t necessary, they will make your kitchen shears even more versatile.

Questions You Might Ask

What are kitchen shears used for?

There are plenty of ways to use shears in the kitchen. “Kitchen shears are used for a variety of tasks, from simple cutting tasks like cutting parchment paper for baking or butcher's twine for roasting meats to cutting protein items," says Boyd. "They can cut poultry into parts, remove fish fins, and cut fish bones. You can also trim vegetables such as artichokes and cut herbs like chives or basil. For baking uses, you can trim pie dough and cut dried fruit.”

What’s the difference between kitchen shears and scissors?

Though they look quite similar, kitchen shears and scissors are not the same. “Shears are constructed with stainless steel and have more thickness in the blade construction than scissors,” says Boyd. “Scissors generally have thinner blades.” Because of this difference in build, scissors and shears are equipped for different kitchen tasks.

“Just like a paring knife is used differently than a chef's knife, kitchen shears and scissors should be used for different tasks,” Glasier says. For example, he says he uses kitchen shears to cut rosemary stems and trim fish fins, while he uses a small pair of traditional scissors for “more precise work like cutting blossoms or other garnishes.” For that reason, we recommend having both kitchen shears and scissors while you cook.

Can kitchen shears cut through bone?

Most kitchen shears can cut through small bones, but you’ll be better off with a heavy-duty pair. “The bones have to be from certain parts of the animal or fish and not be too thick,” Boyd says. “For example, they can cut through the breast bone or wings on poultry or a fish’s ribcage.”

For large bones, you will likely need a meat cleaver or a butcher saw. When shopping for meat, you can always ask the butcher to remove or cut large bones.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Nina Bahadur, a writer with over a decade of experience covering home, cooking, shopping, beauty, and health topics. For this piece, she researched dozens of kitchen shears and evaluated their price, materials, length, weight, and cleaning instructions. She also sought expert advice from Gabriel Glasier, founder of Chef Travel Guide and a former executive chef and restaurateur, and Gill Boyd, a chef and instructor of culinary arts at the Institute of Culinary Education.

Related:The 9 Best Knife Sets of 2023

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