Scissors and shears are different tools designed for different applications, but are often thought to be the same thing. For a better understanding, in this article, we highlight the main differences between these two via a shears vs. scissors comparison.
What are scissors?
Scissors are multipurpose cutting tools found in homes, kitchens and workplaces. They have two small blades (less than 6 inches long), riveted together. The handles join and separate the blades to cut through materials.
While scissors are typically used as multi-utility cutting tools, some are designed specifically for certain unique applications such as kitchen scissors. Scissors differ based on their size, quality, cost, and design modifications. For example handforged Japanese scissors are known to be extremely sharp and durable as their blades are often forged the very same way as the katana ones.
Another example, a hairdresser’s scissors usually have sharper blades and a finger rest protruding from one handle. This construction allows for a clean and precise cut.
Applications of scissors
- Cutting parcel twine, embroidery threads, paper crafts, etc.
- Kitchen jobs, such as cutting herbs.
- Cutting and thinning hair, trimming nails, eyebrows, and other grooming and beautification applications.
- Medical applications, such as surgeries.
What are Shears?
Shears are scissors that are more than 6 inches long. They are large scissors, designed for specific applications. One common design difference between a scissor and a shear is that, typically, a shear has a larger handle on one side. This is so that the user can accommodate more fingers into it, and apply more force needed to cut harder materials.
Some shears, such as gardening shears, have large handles that can be gripped with the entire palm. This way it is possible to gain a greater amount of cutting force.
Dressmaker shears usually have handles attached with adjustable screws for precision cutting. They may even have a bent beak type shape, making the task of shearing fabric easier.
Applications of Shears
- Trimming hedges, grass, and other gardening activities.
- Dressmaking for cutting fabrics.
- Cutting animal’s fleece to make wool.
- Cut cooked poultry.
- Cutting wires and metals sheets.
Thus even though they appear similar, Scissors and shears are two distinct types of tools with different applications. Hence, one must choose the correct instrument that is most appropriate for a particular application.