Kitchen scissors are a kitchen-drawer essential. Whether you're using them to open packaging, trim herbs or spatchcock a chicken, you'll want a pair that's nice and sharp, as well as comfortable to use.
We tested 10 pairs of kitchen scissors ranging in price from £4 to £22 from brands including Fiskars, Joseph Joseph, Victorinox, Robert Welch and more.
The best scissors are comfortable to use and razor sharp, but they're also packed full of useful features too.
Find out which we rated in our tests, whether it's necessary to buy left-handed scissors, as well as how to sharpen your kitchen scissors safely.
Prices and availability last checked 6 June 2022.
Extra features: Beer bottle opener, jar opener, separable blades for cleaning and sharpening, fish descaler, garlic crusher
Pros: Packed full of useful features, razor sharp, comfortable for right and left handers, easy to clean
Cons: Need to be careful as they are very sharp
Our verdict: These kitchen scissors can do it all and they're perfect for either right or left handers.
They're just as adept at crunching through bone and cartilage when spatchcocking a chicken as they are slicing through packaging, or finely trimming herbs.
In fact they're so sharp they made easy work of a thick wooden dowel and a plastic ruler in our sharpness tests. Neither of which posed much of a challenge for these scissors.
They're comfortable thanks to the soft rubber handles. They're also packed full of features, including a bottle opener, fish descaler, separable blades, a nut cracker and more.
The following kitchen scissors didn't do enough to impress us in our tests so they're not Best Buys. They're ordered alphabetically.
Extra features: None
Cons: No additional features, not very sharp
Our verdict: These kitchen scissors are just too basic and not very sharp.
While relatively cheap and comfortable to use, these scissors were difficult to use in our tests.
Spatchcocking a chicken was a struggle, trimming herbs was a faff and these scissors don't have any useful additional features either.
Extra features: None
Pros: Sharp and relatively comfortable
Cons: Fine trimming herbs is difficult, no additional features
Our verdict: Although Fiskars is a popular scissor brand, we think you can get better scissors for less.
These basic scissors are sharp and moderately comfortable, but the hard plastic can dig into your hands when doing really tough tasks.
Due to the thickness of the blades, we also found it more difficult than other scissors to trim herbs finely.
Extra features: None
Pros: Good for spatchcocking chickens, easy to clean
Cons: No additional features, not that comfortable or sharp
Our verdict: We think there are better options than these kitchen scissors that have been specifically designed for left-handed users.
These scissors didn't perform very well in our sharpness tests and were only average for ease of trimming herbs.
They're good at tougher tasks, for example crunching through bone when spatchcocking a chicken.
Extra features: Beer bottle opener, lid opener, fish descaler
Pros: Comfortable, easy to clean, lots of useful features
Cons: Not very sharp
Our verdict: These kitchen scissors just aren't sharp enough for tough kitchen tasks.
While they're comfortable, easy to clean and have some useful additional features, we just can't recommend scissors that aren't very sharp.
We struggled to spatchcock a chicken, and had to use two hands and a lot of force to cut through the thicker items in our sharpness test.
Extra features: Thumb grip, separable blades, fish descaler
Pros: Very sharp, easy to clean
Cons: Not many extra features, wasn't brilliant at spatchcocking chicken or trimming herbs
Our verdict: This is a good pair of very sharp scissors, but they weren't the best in our test.
We liked the sharpness of these scissors, the separable blades and how easy they were to clean.
But they're awkward to use when spatchcocking a chicken and, due to the thickness of the blade, aren't the best pair for finely trimming herbs.
Ultimately none of our panel would pick these scissors over our Best Buy.
Extra features: Separable blades, herb stripping holes
Pros: Herb stripper is useful, comfortable rubber grip
Cons: Not that sharp
Our verdict: A decent set of scissors, but let down because they're just not that sharp.
The herb stripping holes on these scissors is a great feature for quickly stripping storks of their herbs.
They're comfortable to use too, and the separable blades make them easy to clean.
But unfortunately they're just not as sharp as others and they struggled in our sharpness test.
Extra features: Fish descaler, beer bottle opener, lid opener, separable blades, flathead screwdriver
Pros: Feature packed, comfortable and easy to clean
Cons: Not very sharp
Our verdict: These feature-packed scissors are just a little too blunt for our recommendation.
It's hard not to be wowed by the dizzying variety of tasks you can you complete with these kitchen scissors.
But ultimately they forgot the most important element – razor sharp blades.
While they won't struggle with basic tasks, tougher ones such as spatchcocking a chicken is a bit of a struggle with these scissors.
Extra features: None
Pros: Sharp and easy to clean
Cons: Very uncomfortable, not many features
Our verdict: These were the least favourite scissors out of those we tested because they're so uncomfortable to use.
The plastic handles are very hard and can cause pain when chopping through tough items.
Despite this they are easy to clean and pretty sharp. But we can't recommend them because of the discomfort experienced while using them.
Extra features: Lid opener
Pros: Razor sharp, easy to use, easy to clean
Cons: Not many extra features
Our verdict: These scissors are razor sharp and a real favourite of our panel, although they don't have quite as many features as our Best Buy.
While these scissors are ridiculously sharp for tasks such as cutting herbs, packaging and tough plastic, they struggle with thick items such as bones or the dowel we used in our sharpness test.
But if you bought these scissors you wouldn't be disappointed. As well as being sharp, they're also easy to use and easy to clean.
We made sure that the panel of researchers we used to assess kitchen scissors included a mix of right and left-handed people.
We deliberately purchased a left-handed pair of scissors to see if the lefties in our group would automatically prefer these over the other scissors in our test.
But we found that many of the other scissors in our test are symmetrical, and therefore equally as comfortable for a right or left hand.
In the end none of the left handers in our panel preferred the left-handed scissors over the Best Buy Spear & Jackson scissors, which are suitable for using in either hand.
The simplest way to sharpen kitchen scissors is to treat them exactly like kitchen knives and use a knife sharpener or whetstone.
We tried a few 'hack' methods such as cutting sandpaper or kitchen foil, but they didn't seem to sharpen the blades very effectively. And we wasted a lot of sandpaper trying.
If you're keen to have scissors that are easy to sharpen go for ones with easily separable blades, so that you can take them apart and sharpen them, and get brilliant results.
We all know that some kitchen scissors come with handy features such as bottle openers and nutcrackers.
But did you know about these five features present on some of the kitchen scissors we tested?
A really good pair of kitchen scissors should be as at home opening difficult packaging as they are at spatchcocking a chicken.
We asked a panel of four researchers, two left-handed and two right-handed, to put these scissors to the test in these everyday kitchen tasks.
Each pair of scissors was used to spatchcock a chicken. The best scissors slide through bone and flesh and made the task a doddle.
The worst snapped and crunched the bone rather then cutting through it and required a lot more force to complete the task.
We trimmed chives and rosemary to see which scissors were able to chop finely, consistently and with control.
Thick wooden dowel, plastic rulers, cardboard, plastic packaging and paper were all chopped, snipped and sliced to determine the sharpest scissors in our test.
As well as the views of our four researchers on the comfort and grip of each pair of scissors, we put one researcher in a pair of 'Cambridge Simulation Gloves'.
These gloves are specifically designed to provide insight into how conditions that cause restricted hand movement, such as arthritis, can impact product use.
For our test of kitchen scissors, we didn't find that there was any particularly noticeable differences between the scissors when wearing these gloves.
After the test, each pair of scissors was cleaned in a washing up bowl and marks awarded to those that were easier to clean than others.
We purchased all of the scissors we tested.