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Finding the right pair of scissors

Scissors are handheld tools used to cut everything from paper to cloth, hair, and other materials. Two sharp blades are connected by a screw in the middle. A pair of extended levers have holes so you can use your finger and thumb to grip them and cut through things by moving them up and down.

The most common type of scissors are all-purpose, general use crafting scissors, which have long blades and sharp pointed tips. Use these to make straight, smooth cuts through a variety of materials.

How many types of scissors are there and what are they used for?

While this might seem like a cut and dry category, there are dozens of types of scissors, each with unique differences – from sewing scissors to tailor's, gardening, haircutting, embroidery, kids scissors, trimming scissors, and even nose hair scissors.

All-purpose or multi purpose scissors can be used for arts and crafts, opening packages, cutting paper, in the kitchen, and more.

Scissors are most commonly designed with right-handed people in mind but you can find special left handed scissors with a thumb blade farther from the body so it's more comfortable for lefties to hold and cut using them.

Various types of scissors employ different designs, from folding scissors that you can take with you or safely store in a drawer, to scissors with rubber handles, soft grips, various colours, and other differentiating features.

What's the difference between some common scissor types?

Some people wonder if there's value in opting for dedicated kitchen shears. These tend to be longer than 6 inches with the pivot point of the blade farther from the handles and smaller finger holes. They are also more heavy-duty and can handle more cutting force if you need them to cut through the bones of a full-sized chicken, for example.

While you can use general purpose scissors to cut through some fabrics, you're better off to use dedicated sewing scissors or fabric scissors for that – stick to using all-purpose scissors for cutting patterns on paper only.

There is also some debate over whether it's better to pay more for titanium scissors or if traditional steel is better. Titanium is generally lighter and more resistant to corrosion, which means if you're using them in a setting or for a purpose where these two advantages would make a difference, it might be worth the extra bucks. Otherwise, steel will probably suffice for most.