Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's the difference between scissors and shears?

It happens to everyone. You walk into a store looking to buy a nice pair of scissors, and you stop dead in your tracks. On one side, you see 8-inch straight scissors with stainless steel blades. And right next to it, 8-inch straight shears with titanium blades. They look almost identical, but the scissors are more expensive. Which one is the wiser purchase? What the hell is the difference?

I had this problem today, and I couldn't tell which one was more my style. The scissors had orange handles with some gray, and the shears had black handles, with some red. The scissors were pointier, and the shear blades were darker. The price difference didn't help me at all. Because if one is more expensive, then that must be the better one. But if the other one is cheaper, then a cutting novice like me could jump at the bargain and still get my money's worth. The thing that really made this a pain in the ass is that Office Depot didn't think they needed to put any description on the products telling me what made them different. I actually had to research this.

From what I gather, shears are essentially the same thing as scissors, but have double ground edges, useful for cutting heavier material. So if you only cut normal things, like gift wrap and construction paper, you could probably do all right with scissors, which is what I ended up buying. But if you feel like one day you might get the irrational impulse to cut through some hard plastic object that was never meant to be cut, I guess go for the shears. It doesn't hurt to be prepared.


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