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All Purpose Scissors - You Gotta Have 'Em

Jan 16, 2008
A typical pair of scissors measures from the tip of the blades to the finger ring. The sizes vary by what the scissors are made for. The smaller scissors are usually around 4.5 inches long and the longer ones are about 8 inches long. Children's scissors are almost always dull blades incased in plastic. Kitchen scissors are usually made of durable, black plastic and have a fulcrum - the pivoting point - higher up, near the blades. Regular scissors do and are usually sharp for cutting a wide variety of items such as bags of snacks or carrots and other vegetables or pizza.

The smaller scissors work well for intricate, detailed efforts such as sewing and needle work or cutting out bits of tiny papers. The longer scissors do well for tougher, stronger jobs such as cutting fabrics and cutting heavy paper, stock board or cardboard.

Dissimilar to a knife, the scissors has two blades that pivot and are usually not that sharp. It's the shearing or crossing action between the two blades that manufactures the sharpened cut.

Scissor History -

It can't be proven but scissors were probably prepared in 1500 BC by the Egyptians and in 100 AD. Cross-blade scissors were invented by the Romans. Robert Hinchliffe, of London perfected the scissors in 1761 when he made the first scissors similar to what they look like in today's world.

Scissor Blades -

The blades of some of the scissors are made of stainless alloy, or a composite of various alloys including a non-magnetic cobalt base alloy, which includes carbon, tungsten and chrome. Suitable for blades, cobalt based alloy does not require a heating process, for it already has hardness to it. It is also rust resistant and chemical resistant. The rust and chemical resistors are built into the materials the blades are made of.

Comparing cobalt and stainless: cobalt has a longer wear resistance and stainless has a greater hardness to it. For that reason, based on this evidence, cobalt is the better based material to make scissors blades. To tell the two materials apart, simply place a magnet over the blade, the cobalt is non-magnetic and the stainless alloy is magnetic.

Scissor Handles -

Some companies use the same materials or composites of various materials for the handles of their scissors. Another possibility for the handle could be less than 1 percent nickel or stainless to ensure against allergic reactions people may have.

Beautiful Scissors -

Most barbers and beauticians prefer the longer scissors because more hair can be cut from the more powerful, longer blades. They also prefer the non-symmetrical pair of scissors because it allows them flexibility while cutting. Besides people who work with hair, fabric workers use scissors on daily basis. There are specially made fabric scissors, usually with a plastic handle so the blade can shear the material at a better angle.

How Scissors Work -

By placing the material to be cut as close to the fulcrum as possible, one can exploit the lever's mechanical benefits. The hand is the applied force and if that is twice as far away from the fulcrum as the cutting location, say the piece of paper, then the force at the cutting location is twice that at the applied location.

Left Handed Scissors -

Many scissors are built to be used in the right hand, but for those of you who are left-handed, they make a left-handed scissors; however, because scissors have overlapping blades, they are not symmetrical. Asymmetry is factual regardless of the placement or the figure of the handles.

When closing the hand, the thumb and fingers do not close because the thumb pushes outwards and the fingers pull inward, however the hand is asymmetrical as well. For right-handed people, the thumb blade of the scissors is held close to the body; therefore the pressure is naturally to force the blades together. So if you were to hold a right-handed scissors in your left hand, you would literally be forcing the blades apart as you moved or forced you hand to move.

There are some manufacturers that make ambidextrous scissors which can be used in either hand. Their handles are symmetrical and so there is no distinction for the thumb and finger holes or handles. They come with strong pivot blades that rotate and do not contain any lateral give. Although true ambidextrous scissors would have the hand in an almost 360 degree flip so the bottom blade becomes the cutting edge, for the ambidextrous scissors that are marketed today are really right handed scissors because they block the cutting angle view for the left handed person.
About the Author
William "Cole" Doggett is a knife expert and owns an Internet knife shop, Knife & Supply Company, LLC at Pocket Knife | Hunting Knife | SOG Knife. Come by and look out our large selection of Scissors at massively reduced prices!
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