You can’t go wrong with KitchenAid Classic Shears ($11). We loved the soft-grip coating on the handles, which offers control when slicing through everything from leafy greens to pizza. Neatniks and parents of small children will appreciate the plastic sheath that covers the blades when not in use.
“Sharp and precise—and they feel substantial,” said our tester of Henckels International Take Apart Shears ($15). The all-purpose pair killed it in our kale-cutting test and handled chicken bones like a champ, too. The blades come apart for quick cleaning; the serrated part near the handles serves as a bottle opener and nutcracker.
Break out Zyliss Shellfish Shears ($20) for your next clambake or lobster boil. The slim, curved blades snipped right through crab shells without damaging any meat. And we’re all for a multitasker: The handles have both an integrated cracker and pick, so you can go ahead and ditch those extra tools.
For the Birds
If you cook a lot of chicken (who doesn’t?), then try something specialized and heavy-duty like OXO Good Grips Poultry Shears ($25). The micro-serrated blades made easy work of slippery chicken skin and tough-to-cut bones. The only downside? The cost.