What are Electric Scissors?

J. Beam

Electric scissors are a type of hand tool suitable for a variety of cutting applications. They are essentially battery-powered shears that cut without manually moving the blades. Electric scissors may also be known as power scissors or cordless scissors. They mostly resemble a utility knife with dual crossing blades on the end rather than a single blade, but a few models are designed slightly different. Most varieties are powered by alkaline batteries, but a few are powered by rechargeable batteries.

Electric scissor may not be as effective as kitchen shears.
Electric scissor may not be as effective as kitchen shears.

Electric scissors have a variety of practical uses. They can be a very efficient cutting tool for people suffering from arthritis or other joint or muscle condition that makes manual scissors difficult to operate. Electric scissors can cut most anything manual scissors or shears can, including fabric, craft materials, cardboard, paper, and plastic. While electric scissors are particularly useful for opening retail packaging that is sometimes difficult to open with manual scissors, they are not effective as kitchen shears. This is due largely to the lack of space between and shorter length of the blades, making it more difficult to cut thicker objects or bunches. For instance, cutting multiple slices of bacon or bunches of green onion may be more easily accomplished with traditional kitchen shears.

Electric scissors are often used to cut wrapping paper.
Electric scissors are often used to cut wrapping paper.

Being relatively inexpensive to purchase, with an average price of $20 (USD), electric scissors make a nice addition to a crafter or sewer’s artillery. They also come in handy for wrapping packages during the holidays. When precise cutting is not important, but large quantities of items or multiple, repeated cuts need to be made, electric scissors can be more productive than the manual counterpart. However, for detailed or precise cutting, such as curves or intricate patterns, manual scissors will most likely prove to be easier, faster, and produce better results. Electric scissors are also not recommended for cutting hair.

One thing to keep in mind if purchasing electric scissors is safety. If you have small children in the home, be sure the scissors have a locking safety feature that disables the scissors when the button is pushed should a child accidentally get a hold of them and store them out of reach when not in use. Supervise children using electric scissors for school or craft projects, as the blades can be sharp and move very quickly.

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