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Kitchen/poultry shears

  • m

I recently saw a review of kitchen/poultry shears but can't remember where I saw it, or what the recommendations were. Would love any suggestions on the best / most durable / easiest to use shears (or thoughts on where to find reviews).

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  1. I've had my Henckel shears for about 10 years; it works great.

    Amazon's got reviews, if people have given their opinion.

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=b...

    1. I have some Italian ones that work pretty well, though there are little details that can annoy (like, if you open them too wide the spring falls out!). When I replace them I'll look first at what Oxo has in their GoodGrips line - I'm fast becoming an enthusiast for their products, and for their commitment to constantly improving those.

      One of the first thigs I'll look for, after checking out how well they fit my cranky old hand, is serrations in one of the blade edges. Those enable the blade to get traction on what's being cut, instead of letting it slide away, which is what my old shears did. With those, I had to cut with one hand and hold the carcass with the other, and if I wanted or needed to use both hands on the scissor handles I had to find something to push the carcass up against...no fun at all.

      You'll also want the shears to be as heavy as you can comfortably handle. Light cutting implements are remarkably wearying to use - it's like trying to chop logs with a little hatchet.

      1. Cook's Illustrated has consistently liked the Messermeister Take-Apart Kitchen Shears:

        3 Replies
        1. re: coeuralacreme

          Those look like good all-purpose shears, so long as one of the purposes is not cutting birds apart. They aren't curved right, there's no spring to push the blades back open, and they're too lightweight. That said, I don't use my poultry shears for anything BUT poultry; I have a pair of Fiskars for cutting everything else, which I could quite happily replace with the Messermeister ones, if only for all the extra doodads, I mean FEATURES... and the price is right.

          1. re: Will Owen

            I have a pair similar to the Messermeister, and do not use them for poultry, they are not heavy enough, just for other kitchen stuff. I use a knife for poultry, as I always had difficulty cutting through poultry, mostly duck, with shears; it's just my hands.

            That said, if you like features, get kitchen shears that 1. come apart for proper cleaning, 2. have a bottle cap or jar lid opener attachment, 3. a flat screwdriver attachment on the bottom and 4. a rubber coated screwcap bottle opener, or a plier-type grip, between the handles. You could probably crack nuts with this as well.

            It's amazing how many times I've used the screwdriver attachment and the screwcap opener as tools, rather than dragging the toolbox out, all for about $20-$30.

          2. re: coeuralacreme

            The Messermeister Take-Apoart Shears are no longer Cook's Illustrated shears; Shun is now CI's favorite shears while Henckels is their best buy.

            After all these years, the Messermeister went from being CI's highly recommended top pick to now only being CI's fifth choice and recommended with reservations. CI dinged it for being limited for only right handers and for not having serrations. CI was looking for the most versatile tool that everybody could use but I would have placed more emphasis on how well it cut chickens. Versatility is great, but you could use regular scissors for some of those other tasks.

            And, maybe its just me, but I think its suspicous the way so many of Cook's Illustrated equipment reviews go out of date like this where something that used to be rated very highly by them is now lowly rated and recommended only with reservations.

            It means CI didn't do a good job in the first place evaluating them or a flood of better options came onto the market since the first testing.

            Or, to put my tin foil hat on, its another way to keep people renewing their subscriptions because those old equipment reviews are going to be out of date. If the same equipment kept on winning their tests, then people would stop reading those reviews because the reviews would become redundant.

          3. I second the Henckle as a kitchen shear. I even got mine discounted at a very low price. But I use them as kitchen shears, not poultry shears. On the odd occasion, I need poultry shears, I had a garden branch shear/trimmer in my kitchen tool kit. Since it could take on a 1/2 inch tree branches it worked great.

            1. I really like the Tojiro PRO kitchen shears. Good steel, very sharp, don't rust. They have one serrated-edge blade, several types of bottle openers, and handy lift tabs. All-steel construction. They also separate for easy cleaning. I like their super-sharp edges and smooth, silky action.

              I've never used them on poultry, but use them all the time for cleaning and cutting the heads and tails off trout.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tanuki soup

                Reviving this thread to say I considered the above to replace my second pair of shears; my first, Victorinox, lasted a long time, but that coiled flat metal springy piece rusted in all that time, and also frequently detached from the little nib it rested on in the handle. My Wusthof, purchased a couple of years ago, just broke a blade that flew a few feet while merely trying to cut a wing tip off a turkey wing, a small one.

                So back to the pictures and reviews I went and rejected the Messermeister due to the same flat coil that rusted and detached on my victorinox and bought this: Kershaw 1120M TaskMaster Kitchen Shears with Magnetic Plastic Sheath. It's a shear from Shun's manufacturer and has a bone notch and great reviews.

                I spatchock and section a lot of chicken, especially, and I need something strong and well designed specifically for bones.

                1. re: angelsmom

                  Those are perfect for removing a chicken or duck backbone or just spatchcocking same, among other heavy duty cutting needs.

                2. I have 2 pairs of kitchen shears from the commercial kitchen aisle of Samsclub
                  I'm sure there are fancier ones, but these are sturdy, they come apart for easy cleaning, and don't need babying. While I mostly use them for things like snipping bacon into bite size pieces, I have removed the backbone from a chicken.

                  1. Late addition.

                    Take a look at the Cutco Super Shears. <Visit Cutco.com >. We have a couple of food shears - a Heckels, a Kershaw TaskMaster, and a Cutco's. The Cutco have become the Go To First Shears.

                    We were sold this by the of a friend trying to make his way through college and the shears demo is one of the highlight of the presentation. He cut a penny in half with the thing!

                    They are expensive compared to the Top Rated Shun/Kershaw (which are more versatile). But the Cutco are more comfortable and feel stronger.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Auguste_Franc

                      Hi, A-F:

                      These look to be the ones I have had for 25 years, and I can't say enough good about them. http://www.cutleryandmore.com/miu/sta.... The only discernible difference is that mine say "Dovo" on them, and the return spring is a coil, not a roll spring.

                      Mine were a gift from a departed gourmet friend, and they are one of the VERY few culinary items for which I've never found an improvement. They have all the features I want: curved blades, tight tolerances, easy to clean/separate, one serrated blade, great ergonomics and a bone/tendon notch.

                      Dovo is a Solingen company purveyor of excellent scissors since 1906.

                      I can't emphasize enough the importance of the serrations and the notch--these shears grip what you're cutting, and are basically slip-proof.


                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        Hi Kaleo,

                        I looked at those poultry shears. They look like a serious mechanic's I mean chef's tool. ;-)

                        In the past I've opted for well made versatility over the better but dedicated tool. Thank you for pointing them out.

                        Especially because I've been cutting and deboning up a lot of chicken lately mainly usinga honesuki (Japanese boning knife for chicken). (Strange activity for a hobby, eh?

                        The price is right for those poltry shears. If I place an order on CutleryandMore in the near future, I'll probably add one on.

                        Best Regards,

                        - AF

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          Have you had to replace the spring often?

                          1. re: mcf

                            Hi, mcf:

                            Not so far. The spring (remember, mine is a coil) comes out for cleaning, so it would be easily lost.


                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Is it the wide coiled type that fits in rather than attached, or a traditional wire spring? The picture is unclear. I had a pair I loved from Victorinox, but the spring came off, needed replacements (which they sell) and was the shape shown in that picture, which leaves out any spring detail.

                              I'm interested in a second pair to my Kershaw, esp at that price but want to avoid those issues.

                              1. re: mcf

                                Hi, mcf:

                                I call a coil spring a traditional wire spring, and that's what I have. The photo shows a roll (old-style nail nipper-type) spring. I could not find a new ad for the Dovo model I have; this may be a knock-off at $10.

                                I now remember that Wahine kinked the original spring somehow, and I easily replaced it at a (good) hardware store with what appeared to be the identical SS spring.


                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  I guess at $9 I'm not taking a huge risk, though I think it may be a bit slippery and hard on my hands, but time will tell. It looks like a pair my ex's mother has had forever that powers through everything.


                      2. I purchased a pair of Joyce Chen scissors like this from Amazon because someone on another thread here recommended them. They look kind of flimsy, but do a much better job at spatchcocking a chicken than the tinsnips I had been using. Much easier to handle, too.