16 Different Types of Scissors (2023)

16 Different Types of Scissors (1)

What is the Function of Scissors?

By definition, scissors are any device that is used for cutting materials like paper, cloth, hair, etc. A pair of scissors typically consists of two sharp blades connected in the middle by a screw with two extending levers that act as handles.

Their handle has holes to put your fingers through. This essentially is the grip of the scissors.

It is widely assumed that scissors are of just one general type. This, however, is a misconception. Scissors are of numerous types, with each type engineered explicitly for the field it is intended to be used.

For instance, medical scissors have further subcategories such as surgical scissors, stitch scissors, mayo scissors, etc., and each of these snipping tools is specifically engineered for the particular task they perform.

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Different Types of Scissors with Pictures

What are scissors used for?

As discussed earlier, there are various types of scissors. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Sewing scissors
  • Embroidery scissors
  • Crafting scissors or All purpose scissors
  • Right and left-handed scissors
  • Gardening scissors
  • Grooming scissors
  • Medical scissors

These are just to name a few. Most of these scissors are further classified into subtypes.

1.Sewing Scissors Types

As the name suggests, these scissors are used for sewing purposes. They can be further categorized into specialized scissor types that carry out different precise sewing procedures. Some of these are:

Dressmaker’s Shears16 Different Types of Scissors (2)

These snipping tools are distinguished by their distinct, sharp, and long blade, which makes them the perfect tool for cutting fabric. The dressmaker’s shears’ blades are tapered, with one blade being pointy and the other round and smooth.

The round-edged blade prevents the fabric’s seams and threads from snagging.

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The shears also feature a convenient clipping and notching curve point. The blades of these shears are knife-edged. The blade on the top is acute-angled, allowing a more effortless and smoother fabric cutting experience compared to regular scissors.

On the other hand, the lower blade is set flush on the table’s surface, making cutting through fabric easier and more accurate. The curved handle offers a smooth and comfortable cutting experience across a tabletop or counter.

The ideal length for the dressmaker’s shears is considered to be 7 inches to 10 inches. These shears are also preferred because how they can be used to cut a number of layers at the same time.

Tailor’s Scissors16 Different Types of Scissors (3)

Tailor’s scissors are normally smaller and shorter in measurement lengthwise. The most preferred blade size for a pair of tailoring scissors is 5 inches.

Tailoring scissors are mostly used by quilters, sewers, crafters, and anyone who deals with cutting through heavy, thick fabrics, leather, or multiple fabric layers.

These snipping gadgets feature two thick, razor-sharp blades with precisely ground knife edges, which are able to cut all the way through to the tip. The portability of these scissors makes them handy and convenient to carry around in a compact sewing bag.

Due to their convenience and precision, these are highly popular among beginner sewers and in sewing classes and quilting courses.

Pinking Shears16 Different Types of Scissors (4)

Pinking shearsare characterized by their unique jagged blades that create a zigzagged, serrated edge while the fabric is being cut.

This snipping tool helps to prevent the fraying or unraveling of the fabric along the ridges. The serrated edges of these shears help provide a better grip for the slippery fabric pieces while they are being cut out.

The curved handle of this scissor design makes it easier to cut on a flat surface like a tabletop or counter.

Pinking shears are essentially scissors whose blades are saw-toothed or serrated instead of razor-sharp and straight. These shears were designed by Samuel Briskman in 1931 to avoid fabric fraying along the seams and to create a zigzagged edge for the fabric.

The pinking shears also have a practical function for woven cloth cutting, which is stopping the unfinished edges from fraying by making the edges jagged and preventing the weave from getting undone and being pulled out.

The sawtooth patterns do not actually stop the fabric from fraying but restrict the length of the free tattered threads, consequently minimizing the damage.

Another use of these pinking shears is their use in decorative cutting. However, actual pinking shears should be avoided for paper cutting, or it will make the blades blunt and dull.

Buttonhole Scissors

A pair of traditional buttonhole scissors is made up of two blades; the top blade has a blunt distal end, and the inside of this blade is relatively flat with tapered cutting edges and an outer edge.

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The lower blade has a sharp distal end, and the interior of the blade is tapered. The two blades can slide over each other, with both of the smooth inner surfaces of the blades closing inwards.

Buttonhole scissors also feature a pair of handles with the blades stuck into them; these blades are connected to the handles with a pivot. These scissors are short-bladed, easily adjustable, heavy-duty scissors that are used for opening buttonholes and replacing buttons.

Appliqué Scissors

Appliqué scissors are easily identifiable by their offset handles and unique blades that are shaped like paddles.

The blades help to thrust away the bottom layer of the fabric while cutting for cuts that are more manageable and controlled along the stitching seam.

These shears are engineered to cut and trim in close proximity to the fabric while simultaneously preventing it from being damaged. These are mostly preferred for fabric that is being appliquéd and in rug making.

2.Embroidery ScissorsTypes16 Different Types of Scissors (5)

These are short-sized scissors where the loopholes for the fingers are absent. They also have a fine and sharp tip. Embroidery scissors are designed to get close to the cloth without fraying or damaging it.

These shears have a curved blade to make getting close to the base of the fiber strands (threads) easier. This also ensures that the garment is protected from any damage during the cutting process.

Embroidery scissors are visibly smaller and more delicate than other shears. Appearance-wise, they resemble typical surgical scissors because of their compact size and tip for precision, making them an ideal tool for minuscule snips that are usually required in embroidery work.

They feature especially sharp blades that are able to get in between threads and grasp beads, sequins, etc., with ease.

3.Crafting scissors or All purpose scissors16 Different Types of Scissors (6)

These scissors feature long blades with sharp and pointed tips and are used for cutting straight, long, and smooth slices in a number of different materials.

These scissors are also used in smaller, restricted areas. In sewing procedures, they are mostly used for non-fabric shearing purposes, such as cutting out patterns from paper.

They are also referred to as crafting scissors. Other than in sewing, they are used in arts and crafts, in kitchens, and for packaging and wrapping purposes, among many others.

4.Right and Left-Handed Scissors

Usually, scissors are best suited for right-handed people, whereas left-handed people struggle to get on with day-to-day chores if they have to use a pair of scissors.

For the latter, there are specially designed scissors called left-handed scissors. Since scissors have blades that overlap each other, they are asymmetrical.

These irregular blades are independent of orientation and shape. The top blade forms the same diagonal as that of the right-handed scissors, irrespective of the point of reference.

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A human hand is also asymmetric, and when a pair of scissors is closed, the thumb and fingers do not close perpendicularly but instead have a lateral component to the motion.

To be precise, the thumb thrusts out from the palm, and the fingers are pulled inwards. For right-handed scissors, the thumb blade is closer to the user’s body; on the other hand, left-handed scissors work with the opposite principle.

5.Ambidextrous scissors

They’re quite rare, but ambidextrous scissors are also available in the market.

These scissors are designed for use by both left and right-handed people because they have symmetric handles, which means there is no difference between the thumb and finger holes, allowing everyone to use them easily.

Other than the symmetrical handles, these shears have very strong pivots enabling the blades to only rotate and not move laterally.

Even though most ambidextrous scissors have the upper blade on the right, like most right-handed scissors, left-handed people are still able to use them without any issues.

6.Gardening Scissors Types

Gardening scissors are specialized scissors used for gardening and horticultural purposes. There are many sub-categories of these scissors, such as:

Hedge Trimmers

A hedge trimmer, also known as a shrub trimmer or bush trimmer, is a popular gardening tool among gardeners. It is a handheld tool meant for trimming, cutting, and snipping hedges, shrubs, and bushes.

It comes in different sizes and designs, depending on the size of the hedges that are to be trimmed. They also come in two types, which are manual and powered trimmers.

Grass Shears16 Different Types of Scissors (7)

Grass shears are another widely admired gardening tool. These are significantly different from pruning shears because of their long handles and perpendicular orientation to the blades.

These are primarily used for cutting grass, lawn maintenance, and grass pruning from an upright position.

These shears come in two different kinds, one with horizontal blades and one with vertically attached blades. Horizontally bladed grass shears are used for removing grass missed by a lawn mower, while grass shears with vertical blades are used for trimming the boundaries of a lawn.

In 1939, a new version of the vertically bladed grass shears was designed, which featured a long-handled lever on the top accompanied by wheels at the bottom of the shears.

This development allowed the gardener to trim the lawn edges of tricky areas such as sidewalks and driveways as well. Grass shears are not used as much nowadays due to power trimmers having replaced them by offering an easier and quicker service.

Pruning Shears

Pruning shears, also referred to as hand pruners in the USA, are a type of specialized gardening scissors meant for plants.

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These scissors are very strong and are preferred for pruning hard and long tree branches regardless of their length or thickness. They have been used to cut branches of up to two centimeters in thickness.

These are used by gardeners, arboriculturists, farmers, florists, and nature conservators. Their newer versions are called loopers, which are larger in size and come with two long handles, primarily used for branches thicker than pruning shears can trim.

7.Grooming scissors Types

Hair Cutting Shears16 Different Types of Scissors (8)

Trimming Scissors Function

Hair-cutting shears are specialized scissors that are particularly designed for hair cutting and trimming. They are also informally referred to as barber shears, hair shears, or hairdressing shears.

These hair-snipping tools are drastically sharper than other scissors and have a smooth and sharp cutting edge.

They come in varying sizes, with the five and 7-inch bladed shears being the most widely used ones.

The hair-cutting shears have a distinct appendage, which is identified as either a finger brace or a tang, and this is attached to one of the finger loops, thus giving the hairdresser the added benefit of increased control while trimming a client’s hair.

Hair Clippers

Hair clippers, informally known as hair snips, have a striking resemblance to a pair of scissors in their appearance. These are specialized clippers with razor-sharp blades used for cutting and trimming hair. They have the same working principle as that of scissors but have different shapes and designs.

Their primary designs were used to make shears for trimming sheep wool and were named handpieces or machine shears.

8.Medical Scissors Types

Bandage Scissors

Also known as the nurse’s scissors, these snips are small-sized and short-bladed and come with long handles. Out of the two blades, the top one has a blunt edge, and the bottom one has a sharp and pointed tip.

They have taken up the name “nurse’s scissors” because they used to be used by nurses during medical practice, allowing them to cut open a bandage by slipping these scissors under the bandage without actually slicing or harming the patient’s skin.

Trauma Shears16 Different Types of Scissors (9)

Trauma shearsinformally referred to as tuff cuts, are a category of scissors that are chiefly used by paramedics, medical practitioners, and other emergency medical personnel to swiftly and carefully cut clothing off injured patients.

These shears have a plastic handle, a long lever arm, and metal blades, with the blades usually bent at an angle of 150 degrees. This orientation of the blades gives them an odd appearance compared to other, more conventional scissors.

These shears feature a wide, blunt tip, which allows the user to slide across the skin, reducing any injury risks to the patient while cutting off their clothing.

These shears were specially designed for external use and are strictly prohibited for any surgical or invasive procedures.

These shears are particularly efficient because of their jagged construction, allowing them to pierce through strong fabrics like seat belts, denim, leather, and even light metals, as well as through other tough surfaces.

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They are also widely popular with fishermen, soldiers, and scuba divers as better substitutes for knives.

With all this knowledge in your back pocket, the next time you come across a pair, we are sure you will be able to identify them in the blink of an eye.

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How many different types of scissors are there? ›

There are types of scissors for every need. Many industries found that if they tweaked the design of common shears, they could work faster, more accurately, and more easily. There is a perfect pair of scissors for almost every task that requires you to use one.

What are the four types of scissors? ›

Some of the popular types of scissors include:
  • Tailor scissors.
  • Kitchen scissors.
  • Designer scissors.
  • Cutting scissors.
  • Zig zag scissors.
  • Pinking scissors.
  • Paper Cutting scissors.
  • Fabric scissors and many others types.

What are scissors used for? ›

Scissors are a small tool with two sharp blades which are screwed together. You use scissors for cutting things such as paper and cloth. She picked up a pair of scissors.

What are 5 blade scissors used for? ›

The 5 blade herb scissors are perfect for delicate fresh herbs as dill, parsley, basil, chives, etc. Ideal to make everyday cooking easier for you ! Chop your fresh herbs very fast with your 5 blade kitchen scissors.

How many types of scissors are used in tailoring work? ›

You must have visited a garment creation shop or a designer and wondered why there are scissors of multiple sizes and sharpness. That's because you need the right tool for each fabric job.

What are 3 blade scissors used for? ›

The 3 blade mini herb scissors are perfect for delicate fresh herbs as dill, parsley, basil, chives, etc. Ideal to make everyday cooking easier for you ! Chop your fresh herbs very fast with your 3 blade kitchen scissors.

How should a 4 year old hold scissors? ›

Generally, younger children, or those with poorer skills, need to put both the index and middle fingers through the same hole. Older or more skilled children can use scissors with small holes for the thumb and middle finger, with the index finger on the outside to help stabilize the scissors.

Who made the first scissors? ›

The invention of scissors is frequently attributed to Leonardo DaVinci (maybe Mona Lisa just needed her hair cut?), but scissors were around long before DaVinci's time (1452-1519) and the actual person who invented scissors is not known.

Why are they called scissors? ›

The current spelling, from the 16th century, is due to association with Medieval Latin scissor (“tailor”), from Latin carrying the meaning “carver, cutter”, from scindere (“to split”).

What are Dragon scissors? ›

Description. Hand created using 440C steel from Japan, the Matakki Dragon hair cutting scissors are stylishly created with a hand cut mythical dragon engraved into the handle making these scissors absolutely one of a kind! They are super smooth, amazingly sharp and superbly balanced when cutting.

What are child safe scissors? ›

Safety scissors, which are also called children's scissors, kid's scissors, children's craft scissors, or children's plastic scissors, share several features: They have a blunted end to prevent puncture accidents. They are small, with handles designed so they are easy for little hands to grip and maneuver.

What is the use of zigzag scissors? ›

The primary purpose of these zigzag-tooth shears is to trim fabric and keep it from fraying. When you cut a straight-grain line with the shears, each of the little zigs and zags has bias edges, and bias doesn't fray or ravel under normal conditions.

What is a scissor maker called? ›

The name says it all: a scissor putter-togetherer is someone who makes and puts together scissors and shears.

Why are scissors a lever? ›

In a pair of scissors, the fulcrum is present in between the load (the cutting blades) and the effort (the handles) which make them a class I lever.

What scissors are used for school? ›

Safety scissors are scissors designed for children, and used in other applications that have a rounded or blunt tip.

What is a short scissor cut? ›

Short hair cutting shears measure between 4.5 and 6 inches. If you know you won't be using longer scissors, you can determine the length you'll need by measuring the length of the cutting blade against the second knuckle of your middle finger.

How many simple machines are in scissors? ›

Scissors are made of two kinds of simple machines: the blades are wedges, and the handles of the scissors are levers. The place that they cross is called the 'fulcrum.

What are dress scissors? ›

Dressmaker's scissors are characterised by long blades. These long blades have a purpose, since they make it easier to cut fabrics.

What makes a good scissors? ›

A great pair of scissors will be very sharp. They will cut through paper, fabric, and any other material the manufacturer states they are suitable for. The best quality scissors have blades made from tempered or stainless steel and will be totally resistant to rust and corrosion.

What is the shape of scissors? ›

In the Classic shape, the lower and upper blades are identical. The Chiro shape is characterised by and optimised blade/shank proportion with the leverage. In the various versions of the Offset shape, the angled handle position or the shortened thumb blade ensure natural handling and relaxed operation.

Are there different handed scissors? ›

Left-handed scissors have the blades reversed so the top blade is always on the left so that you can see your cutting line and the natural squeezing action of your hand pushes the blades together so they can cut like a guillotine rather than pushing them apart so the paper bends between the blades.

What is the 3 cutting tools? ›

A list of commonly used cutting tools is provided below.
  • Single point turning tool—cutter for turning operation performed in lathe.
  • Drill—cutter for drilling operation performed on drilling machine or lathe or milling machine.
  • Milling cutter (or mill)—cutter for milling operations performed on milling machine.

What are German scissors? ›

German-style shears have non-honed, beveled blades which are serrated to grip hair. "German-style" and "beveled" are interchangeable terms. Beveled shears produce a crisp cut, are durable and exceptional for dry and taper cutting, pretty good for wet and point cutting, and poor for slide cutting.

What are butterfly scissors used for? ›

Butterfly Scissors - Stainless Steel: These are super cute, with golden or bronze butterfly shaped handles. These little shears are very sharp – perfect for cutting thread, ribbon and other textiles, without becoming dull. Also make them ideal for embroidery!

What are double scissors? ›

Double scissors is a pair of double-edged scissors that accommodates both left-handed and right-handed users. You need only switch the direction of the blade.

What age teach scissors? ›

Cutting skills take time for children to develop. Being able to use scissors to cut well is important for many preschool and school activities including art and craft. Children may have the skills to use small scissors by three to four years of age, but scissor skills are not fully developed until 6 years of age.

Can you buy left handed scissors? ›

The good news for left handed scissor users

The good news these days is that it is really easy to purchase LH scissors. They also don't just come in children's sizes, you can purchase adult sizes as well. It is highly recommended that a child who is LH is provided with and encouraged to use left handed scissors.

Can a 2 year old use scissors? ›

But developmentally, she is also at the age when children start to develop scissor skills as part of their fine motor development. Yes, that's right, 2-year-olds should be able to start using scissors to makes snips on paper. Most parents are anxious about teaching their kids how to use scissors.

What are Chinese scissors? ›

The blades are based on an ancient sword-making technique, giving them a hard, sharp bite. These scissors look different from most Western brands—the blades are shorter, the handles bigger—but they are precision instruments, versatile, reliable, and comfortable in the hand. About 7" long. Made in Hangzhou, China.

What 3 simple machines are in scissors? ›

However, three simple mechanisms are used in scissors, each with its unique function. Simple machines like the wedge, screw, and lever are included. A wedge is a tool that assists in getting between two objects. Scissor blades with pointy ends are referred to as wedges.

Is it called scissor or scissors? ›

In Modern English, scissors has no singular form. A pair of pairs of scissors. Scissors is an example of a plurale tantum, or an English word that only has a plural form that represents a singular object.

When did scissors start? ›

Apparently, the first scissors were used somewhere around 3000 - 4000 years ago in Egypt! They were made with 2 bronze blades connected by a thin, curved bronze strip at the end of the blades.

Where are scissors invented? ›

About 400 BC the mechanical genius of Italy invented the shears, that in two or three centuries more were fitted to the fingers, and thus started the scissors.” However, more recent research attributes an earlier origin, though not in Egypt but in the Middle East.

What is scissors called in English? ›

scissors. / (ˈsɪzəz) / pl n. Also called: pair of scissors a cutting instrument used for cloth, hair, etc, having two crossed pivoted blades that cut by a shearing action, with ring-shaped handles at one end.

What is 2 pairs of scissors called? ›

Scissors has no plural form. We put pair of or pairs of in front of the word scissors to give it its plural form.

What were scissors first used for? ›

But it was the ancient Romans who designed what we'd recognize most as scissors: almost like modern shears, they were crafted to create clean and neat haircuts.

What is the oldest pair of scissors? ›

The earliest scissors we know of date to the Middle East up to four thousand years ago. They consisted of two blades made of bronze connected by a thin and curved bronze strip at the end opposite the blade tips. Squeezing the blades brought them together, and releasing them opened them up.

What are the weird scissors called? ›

What Are Duckbill Scissors? Duckbill scissors are a pair of funny-shaped scissors with a wide flat blade and a slightly angled handle so that your hand is lifted from the fabric while you cut.

What are 3 bladed scissors used for? ›

Details. The 3 blade mini herb scissors are perfect for delicate fresh herbs as dill, parsley, basil, chives, etc. Ideal to make everyday cooking easier for you ! Chop your fresh herbs very fast with your 3 blade kitchen scissors.

Who is father of scissors? ›

The invention of scissors is frequently attributed to Leonardo DaVinci (maybe Mona Lisa just needed her hair cut?), but scissors were around long before DaVinci's time (1452-1519) and the actual person who invented scissors is not known.

Why is 1 scissor called a pair? ›

We began calling an individual scissors a pair to emphasize the matched cutting blades. There's precedent for it. Before we called them scissors, we called them shears, and pair was used with shears for about 100 years before scissors arrived on the scene.

What are flower scissors called? ›

Pruning shears, also called hand pruners (in American English), or secateurs (in British English), are a type of scissors for use on plants. They are strong enough to prune hard branches of trees and shrubs, sometimes up to two centimetres thick.

What are nail scissors called? ›

A nail clipper (also called nail clippers, a nail trimmer, a nail cutter or nipper type) is a hand tool used to trim fingernails, toenails and hangnails.

What scissors are best for kids? ›

The Contenders (from left to right and color coded)
  • Up & Up (Target brand) 5 inch blunt tip scissors.
  • Fiskars 5 inch blunt tip scissors.
  • Fiskars Pre-School Spring Action Scissors.
  • Up & Up Pre-School Training Scissors.
  • Faber-Castell My First Scissors.


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