Scissors Buying Guide
While scissors come in many forms and are made for a wide variety of purposes, all scissors can be described as an implement made up of two opposing but attached blades. While today's scissors are fairly utilitarian in appearance, ancient scissors could be very ornate, with handles that were decorated with pearls, enamel, and gems. The earliest scissors, which were operated via a spring, date back to the Bronze Age, while cross-blade shears were made as early as the first century by Greeks and Romans. Initially, scissors were used by factory workers to facilitate cutting, as well as by barbers who used scissors to improve the hair cutting process. It wasn't until mass-produced cast steel scissors were first introduced in England in 1761 that the tool became cheaper and much easier for the general public to acquire.
Today, there are a wide variety of scissors available, depending upon what you are cutting. Different types of scissors are commonly used to groom or cut hair, do crafts or hobbies, manufacture clothing, or perform medical procedures. They can be used for children's projects, to cut flowers and plants, and to make working in the kitchen easier. Special scissors are also made for left-handed scissor users.
Selecting the right scissors for a particular task is not only important for the best results and a cleaner edge, but it also ensures that the scissors will last a long time. Scissors can range in price from just a couple of dollars to more than $100. As a general rule, high quality scissors are more comfortable and durable than budget quality scissors.
There is a vast array of scissor styles. Hobby and craft scissors come with a variety of blades, some used for cutting decorative edges on paper. Scrapbookers frequently use this type of scissor. Safety scissors or children's scissors usually have blunt tips. They may even be made of nylon or plastic for younger children. Sewing scissors are used to cut fabric or thread. They should not be used for paper or they will lose their sharp edge. And there are special styles of embroidery scissors that have offset blades so you can clip close to the surface of the fabric.
Gourmet cooks and chefs often use kitchen scissors for cutting foods such as herbs and poultry. Barbers and hair stylists use specially designed scissors for trimming or thinning hair. Electricians, carpet installers, and florists each use scissors that are engineered for their occupational tasks. There are even gold-plated scissors that are used for ceremonial ribbon cuttings!
Basic medical scissors found in first aid kits are often used for cutting bandages. A wide range of special surgical scissors are used while performing various operations, suturing wounds and removing sutures. Scissors for surgery allow a surgeon to have fingertip control during surgical procedures. Each task has a specially designed scissor with its own shape and sharpness.
Shears are also used to cut things. While many people make the mistake of thinking that scissors and shears are one and the same, they are different in one way: scissors have handles that are the same size, while shears have one handle larger than another.
To keep scissors in good working order, they must be properly cared for. Care should be taken so that scissors aren't dropped, and they should be carefully stored in a protective case. Scissors should also be sharpened by a professional when they become dull. Dull scissors don't perform well, they slow down the cutting process, and can cause wrist and hand pain.
History of Scissors
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