Scissors are hand operated cutting instruments consisting of a pair of
metal blades connected in such a way that the blades meet and cut materials placed between them when the handles are brought together. They are used for cutting various thin materials, for example paper, cardboard, metal foil, thin plastic, cloth, ropeand wire. Scissors can also be used to cut hairand food.
Scissors and shears exist in a wide variety of forms depending on their intended uses. Children's scissors, used only on paper, have dull blades to ensure safety. Scissors used to cut hair or fabric must be much sharper. The largest shears used to cut metal or to trim shrubs must have very strong blades.
Specialized scissors include
sewingscissors, which often have one sharp point and one blunt point for intricate cutting of fabric, and nailscissors, which have curved blades for cutting fingernailsand toenails.
Special kinds of shears include
pinking shears, which have notched blades that cut cloth to give it a wavy edge, and thinning shears, which have teeth that thin hair rather than trim it.
The noun "scissors" is treated as a plural noun, and therefore takes a plural verb ("these scissors are"). Alternatively, people refer to this tool as "a pair of scissors", in which case it (a pair) is singular and therefore takes a singular verb ("this pair of scissors is"). (In theory each of the two blades of the tool is a "scissor" in its own right, although in practice such usage is seldom heard.)
The word shears is used to describe larger instruments of similar kind. As a general rule:
*scissors have blades less than 6 in (15 cm) long and usually have handles with finger holes of the same size.
*shears have blades longer than 6 in (15 cm) and often have one small handle with a hole that fits the thumb and one large handle with a hole that will fit two or more fingers.
It is most likely that scissors were invented in 1500 BC in
ancient Egypt. [ [http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blscissors.htm Who Invented Scissors ] ] T
The earliest known scissors appeared in the
Middle East3,000 or 4,000 years ago. These were of the 'spring scissor' type comprising two bronzeblades connected at the handles by a thin, curved strip of bronze. This strip served to bring the blades together when squeezed and to pull them apart when released. Cross-bladedscissors were invented by the Romans around AD 100. Pivoted scissors of bronzeor iron, in which the blades were connected at a point between the tips and the handles, were used in ancient Rome, China, Japan, and Korea. Spring scissors continued to be used in Europe until the sixteenth century and the idea is still used in almost all modern scissors,
Middle Agesand Renaissance, spring scissors were made by heating a bar of iron or steel, then flattening and shaping its ends into blades on an anvil. The center of the bar was heated, bent to form the spring, then cooled and reheated to make it flexible.
Pivoted scissors were not manufactured in large numbers until 1761, when
Robert Hinchliffeproduced the first pair of modern-day scissors made of hardened and polished cast steel. He lived in Cheney Square, Londonand was reputed to be the first person who put out a signboard proclaiming himself "fine scissor manufacturer". [http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~exy1/fh_material/18C_sheffield/ch4.txt]
During the nineteenth century, scissors were hand-forged with elaborately decorated handles. They were made by hammering steel on indented surfaces known as bosses to form the blades. The rings in the handles, known as bows, were made by punching a hole in the steel and enlarging it with the pointed end of an anvil.
In a part of
Sweden(now in Finland) an ironworks was started 1649 in the hamlet "Fiskars" between Helsinkiand Turku. In 1830a new owner started the first cutlery works in Finland, making, among other items, scissors with the trade mark Fiskars. Fiskars Corporation introduced new methods in the manufacturing of scissors in 1967. [http://www.fiskars.fi/pdf/Fiskars_history_eng.pdf]
Description and operation
A pair of scissors consists of two pivoted blades. Most types of scissors are not particularly sharp; it is primarily the shearing between the two blades which cuts.
Children's scissors are even less sharp, and the blades are often protected with plastic.Mechanically, scissors are a first-class, double- leverwith the pivot acting as the fulcrum. For cutting thick or heavy material, the mechanical advantageof a lever can be exploited by placing the material to be cut as close to the fulcrum as possible. For example, if the applied force (i.e., the hand) is twice as far away from the fulcrum as the cutting location (e.g., piece of paper), the force at the cutting location is twice that of the applied force at the handles. Scissors cut material by applying a local shear stressat the cutting location which exceeds the material's shear strength.
Specialized scissors, like
bolt cuttersexploit leverage by having a long handle but placing the material to be cut close to the fulcrum.
Kitchen scissors, also known as "kitchen shears", are similar to common scissors. The main difference is the location of the fulcrum. Kitchen scissors have the fulcrum located farther from the handles to provide more leverage and thus more cutting power. High quality kitchen scissors can easily cut through the breastbone of a
Most scissors are best suited to use with the right hand, but "left-handed" scissors are designed for use by the left. Left-handed scissors have handles which are comfortable to hold in the left hand. Because scissors have overlapping blades, they are not symmetric. This asymmetry is true regardless of the orientation and the shape of the handles: the blade that is on top always forms the same diagonal regardless of orientation. Human hands are also asymmetric and when closing the thumb and fingers do not close vertically, but have a lateral component to the motion. Specifically, the thumb pushes out and fingers pull inwards. For right-handed scissors held in the right hand, the thumb blade is closer to the body so that the natural tendency of the right hand is to force the cutting blades together. Conversely, if right-handed scissors are held in the left hand, the natural tendency of the left hand would be to force the cutting blades laterally apart. Furthermore, with right-handed scissors held by the right-hand, the shearing edge is visible, but when used with the left hand the cutting edge of the scissors is behind the top blade, and one cannot see what is being cut.
Some scissors are marketed as
ambidextrous. ) so that the back of the blades become the new cutting edges [http://www.sinistershop.com/c_scissors.htm] . Patents (US patent|3978584) have been awarded for true ambidextrous scissors.
Using scissors designed for the wrong hand is difficult for most people, even for left-handers who have become accustomed to using the more readily available right-handed scissors. They have to unnaturally force the blades together to cut and stretch their necks over the top blade to see what is being cut. This unnatural motion can also cause marks on the hand, sores, and eventually
Although often used interchangeably with "scissors," the term "shears" is reserved by those in the industry for scissors longer than 15 cm. [ [http://www.ariuseickert.com/ScissorTechnicalArticles/DefinitionOfAScissorAndShear.htm Arius Eickert Differences Between A Scissor And Shear Technical Article ] ] Others assert scissors are symmetric whereas shears distinguish between the thumb hole and the finger hole. [http://www.canadacutlery.com/product/facts_on_scissors.pdf] Like scissors, shears combine slightly offset jaws to cut material through physical shear, and combine this with
levers to apply a considerable shear force. Shears are usually intended for cutting much heavier material than scissors.
There are several specialised scissors and shears used for different purposes. Some of these are:
Pinking shearsare scissors with a serrated cutting edge for cutting cloth so that the fabric does not fray.
Tin snipsare scissors for cutting through sheet metallike tin plate, or galvanised iron.
Pruning shears(secateurs) and loppersare gardening scissors for cutting through branches of trees and shrubs.
Trauma shears, or "tuff cuts", are robust scissors used in emergency medical response and rescue.
* Trimming scissors are used for thinning thick hair to avoid a bushy look
* Grass and hedge shears are used for trimming
* Jaws of Life (see
Hydraulic rescue tools) for cutting heavy sheet metal in a rescue response
Throatless shears are used for cutting complex shapes in sheet metal
* Wool shears are used for collecting
woolfrom an animal's fleece
Poultry shearsare to cut poultry.
Hair shears- for cutting hair as a cosmetologist or hairdresser, or for pet grooming.
Bolt cutterscut through heavy wire and bolts.
*Nippers cut small pieces out of
Hemostatresembles a pair of scissors but has a locking clamp instead of a blade; it is used in surgeryand does not cut at all.
Pliersused for holding and crimpingmetal or wire.
* [http://www.wikisurgery.com/index.php?title=Scissors_04_Introduction Surgical scissors] on WikiSurgery.
* [http://www.medical-supplies-equipment-company.com/lab-equipment-supplies/Product/PPF/Param/1172_0_1_0/Products.asp Dissecting & Surgical Scissors] Dissecting & Surgical Scissors.
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