Albeit being used interchangeably, poultry shears are not the same as kitchen shears. They are usually curved, like plant shears, and have a bone-cutting notch. This tool guarantees your poultry will be cooked evenly, with crispy skin and legs that are fully done. To achieve this, you need to cut out the backbone. This is where poultry shears come in real handy.
This tool is handy when you want to do a barbeque or when you want to have smoked food using the right electric smoker. Poultry Shears helps you to cut the pieces into your desired shape. As birds grow, its bones get bigger, and cutting them out becomes increasingly difficult. It can be hard to remove the bone of larger hens using simple kitchen shears, not to mention turkey.
For this task, you need poultry shears — specialized tools designed to cut through bird bones effortlessly. That’s why you should look for the best poultry shears on the market.
What Are The Best Poultry Shears?
J.A. Henckels offers the best poultry shears, given that this product offers serrated blades for use with tough materials. Additionally, the blades lock for safety when stored away. With a special handle, you’ll be able to break down poultry in no time.
What Are Poultry Kitchen Shears?
Poultry shears are a specially designed piece of kitchen kit you can use to cut whole birds into individual pieces. Poultry shears can be used to cut through the bones of larger chickens, and turkey. Larger birds have stronger bones and are more difficult to cut through.
Similar to garden shears, poultry shears are sharp scissors-like gadgets and have a bone-cutting notch. Kitchen shears have curved blades that allow you to access hard to reach places. They are also spring-loaded to prevent hand strain. Poultry shears are particularly useful for spatchcocking birds for even cooking. Poultry shears are not just strong. They are also super sharp, so they easily deal with poultry skin as well.
Comparing The 5 Best Poultry Shears
1. J. A. Henckels International Poultry Shears — Best Overall
These shears from Henckels are extremely powerful and feature an adjustable hinge nut, so you can quickly tighten them back up if you have a pair of pliers. They also have an adjustable pivot screw for secure and precise cutting. The shears are 8” long, and their blades measure 3”. The blades can be taken apart for cleaning and sharpening, but they’re not the type you lock in with a single click.
They are very reliable. You can use them easily with either hand, and the clean blade edges will remain sharp for a long time. We also like the steel tooth jar opener and a built-in bottle opener.
These high-carbon stainless-steel shears are dishwasher-safe. Nonetheless, hand washing is a safe bet. They are made in Germany and come with a lifetime warranty against defects. Another big plus of these poultry shears is that they never pop apart when cutting. That is because they are robust and well constructed, and boast an excellent stainless steel finish.
- Durable, lifetime warranty
- Excellent size handles
- Adjustable hinge nut and pivot screw
- Will need tightening to snip skin well after a while
2. OXO Good Grips Spring-Loaded Poultry Shears — Safest Grip
OXO’s poultry shears offer several key features that make them stand apart from the crowd. This includes a locking mechanism that’s easy to operate (engage and disengage) and will not be an inconvenience. They also come with a well-designed looped handle to prevent sliding.
That amazing feature is important because hands can get greasy from poultry fat and slip when squeezing hard. The adjustable hinge enables the thorough cleaning of all hard-to-access spaces. These poultry shears perform two important tasks effortlessly – cleaving through bone and cutting through squirmy skin. This is something all pairs of poultry shears should be able to do and do well. If they don’t, that means they’re pretty much useless!
These shears also come with the OXO better guarantee. This means that if the user experiences an issue with an OXO product they have purchased, they need only get in touch with OXO and the company will replace or repair the item.
Thankfully, the company commits to improving each and every product.
- Blades separate for thorough and easy cleaning
- Handle lock keeps blades closed for safe storage
- Blade notch securely holds bones when cutting
- Spring loaded handle prevents hand strain
- Curved, tapered blades reach hard to access areas
- A very limited number of users say the item rusts
3. Weston Butcher Saw With 16-Inch Stainless Steel Blade — Most Ergonomic Poultry Shears
When it comes down to getting hard work done, you can’t do better than this butcher saw. To cut through the thick thigh and hip bones of a 10-pound turkey, you’ll need two hands and a good deal of forearm strength.
If you have a 13 to 25-pound turkey on your hands, your chances of breaking through the bone with shears are pretty slim. You need either qualified assistance (a butcher), a sharp cleaver (and face the risk of hacking your fingers off), or a saw – what butchers use.
The Weston is the best choice for anyone who needs a tool that can literally cut through any bone, no matter how large. It is stable, sturdy, and well made. The product is quality and performance-driven and tested for safety and health.
This tool really helps provide a better standard of living thanks to the amazing quality. Struggling with bone becomes a thing of the past. It is made of robust, reliable stainless steel. The blades are fast and easy to clean and change. The handle is high impact. It is easy to clean up after using the tool.
- Easy to use and clean
- Attaches to the table very easily
- Stable and sturdy
- Replacement blades available
- Heavy (this can be expected from any butcher saw)
- The screws holding the head become loose quickly
4. Shun Kitchen Shears — Best Poultry Shears for Right-Handed Users
Shun’s professional-grade shears have an overall length of 9” and 4” blades. The blades come apart for easy sharpening and cleaning, and there are full tang extensions into the handles.
They are made using composite VG-10 super steel for crisp and precise cutting. Moreover, they have one micro-serrated edge for best results.
The large D-shaped bottom handle is comprised of composite rubber for safety and comfort. Unfortunately, it’s only suitable for right-handed use. The pivot stays put while cutting, and the product also has a bone notch.
Happy users like the heavy-duty capabilities of cutting through cartilage and bone, the robust construction and heft, the sharpness, comfortable handles, and smooth cutting action. The product is dishwasher-friendly, but still, hand washing is recommended.
Other Useful Features to Check Out
These shears are an excellent partner to have in your kitchen, from cutting twine to binding roasts or hen’s legs, trimming and deboning a chicken. There are countless ways to use these shears.
The handles are made of strong stainless steel with a guaranteed slip-free grip. The blades are made with molybdenum-vanadium, high-carbon stainless steel for lasting quality.
The shears are made in Japan, one of the countries with the highest quality standards in the world.
You can cut your poultry and put it in the fridge so, you just came home, hungry and spending a long day. It’s better to take some cut pieces from your refrigerator, make dinner, and have them. So you need a quality refrigerator as it will keep them fresh and stay longer.
- Made of high-carbon, molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel
- Handles are made of strong, stainless steel
- Rubber on the grips contributes to stability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Only for right-handed users
5. Wüsthof Stainless Steel Poultry Shears
These stainless steel poultry shears by Wüsthof is a premium instrument produced by the famous German brand. With it, you can practically manage all poultry cutting, trimming, and shearing work in your kitchen for personal or professional use.
The high-end blade has a spring hinge to ensure superior cutting without any discomfort or slipping. Furthermore, the curved edges have tapered ends to dig through the toughest of skins. The addition of the blade notch ensures a quick cut while holding the bones tightly. Wüsthof offers a lifetime warranty on these shears because of the top-grade stainless steel material of construction, which will ensure hygiene, rust-resistance, and secure hold for years.
- Spring hinged for more control
- Stainless steel
- Lifetime warranty
- Curved blade
- Blade notch
- Exceptionally sharp
- It does not have a rubber grip for comfort.
Why Use Poultry Shears?
There are alternatives to poultry shears, but none are as effective. You can, of course, use a sharp knife but this takes a lot of skill and effort. You could also use kitchen shears; however, these are also not as effective.
They are smaller, and while they can be used for smaller birds. Kitchen shears will struggle to cut through the harder, stronger bones of larger hens. There’s no need to spatchcock a chicken that you are roasting. However, if you want to broil or barbecue a chicken, it’s best to spatch cock the bird. This is the only way to ensure that the legs are cooked quickly along with the breast.
Spatchcocking is a simple process with a pair of poultry shears. They will make light work of even tougher backbones in larger birds. Poultry shears can also be used to completely joint all types of poultry into pieces. The pieces can then be cooked evenly in hundreds of different recipes.
What To Look For When Purchasing Poultry Shears
There are quite a few factors to take into account when shopping around for poultry shears, as one should, because they can make the difference between a hearty, pleasant meal and a dinner gone completely wrong.
We’ve listed (and explained all about) them below. Let’s take a closer look!
Adjustable Screw To Regulate Tension
Unless they’re professional class, most poultry shears don’t come with an adjustable screw for increasing or reducing tension. Without an adjustable screw, you could have loose blades at the pivot that will fall apart in your hands as you exert a bit more pressure.
Lower Pivot Point
Placing the pivot point further down the blade allows you to achieve greater leverage when cutting through bone, cartilage, or other dense material. On a set of poultry snips, the blades will be shorter than scissors to enable the user to exert the necessary force.
Tang Extending Into Handles
Shears with a tang extending into the handles will offer better balance if you hold them on one or two fingers around the middle point. Shears without a tang may tip toward the blade end, with the light handles cracking or breaking as a result.
All In One
You should look for a model with handles and blades all in one. High-quality tools will feature a blade and tang made of one single piece to keep the handles from breaking or twisting out of shape when cutting through thick material.
Poultry shear blades should be detachable for cleaning. This is crucial to your and your loved ones’ health because any food particles remaining in the pivot screw will attract bacteria. What is more, they are much easier to sharpen if you can separate the blades.
Stainless Steel vs. Carbon
Professional quality cutters usually include carbon steel, and it does have some advantages over common stainless steel such as 404. It is easier to sharpen and tends to be much sharper. These shears often have a coating of stainless steel, chrome, or nickel because carbon can rust.
Stainless steel is stain and rust-resistant, but the common alloys dull very easily. VG10 and other special stainless steels can imitate (and often are an improvement on) the edge retention and sharpness features of carbon. But this type of steel is expensive. Some of our more affordable choices do not feature this coverage.
We always recommend looking for rubber or synthetic grip because it is usually more comfortable when cutting through bone and cartilage. What is more, these materials reduce the slippage of wet hands. Since working with poultry involves wetting and slippage, your best bet is to buy poultry shears with rubber synthetic grip.
A small serration on the edge of one or both blades enables better gripping. This useful feature comes in handy when working with slippery materials such as poultry. For that reason, you will need to look for shears that come with a small serration.
This one should be a no-brainer, but still – lots of shears have not been designed with the right balance for ambidextrous use. Watch out for this if you or someone else who’ll be using the shears is left handed.
Size Of The Handles
Trying to determine the right size of shear handles can feel daunting. This is because there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to poultry shears. Choose a pair of shears that will be the most appropriate for your hand shape and size and that will allow for a roomy grip.
Albeit not needed for cutting poultry, many shears have additional features. For example, these extras include a center toothed grip for cracking nuts and bones, a bottle opener, a screwdriver tip, or notches on the handles to open jars.
These can come in real handy in the kitchen, both literally and figuratively. However, keep in mind that these extra features will add to the cost.
A drop of sunflower or olive oil on the screw will help keep the shears in good operating condition if you decide to get a set with an adjustable pivot screw as we recommended. If you have non-serrated shears, sharpen them with a whetstone. Remember that only edge needs sharpening.
Serrated edge blades may require professional handling. Each edge needs to be honed individually. Ask your local butcher or fabric shop if you’re not sure where to get this done. Some culinary supply stores offer a mobile sharpening service over a specific interval of time.
Poultry Shears FAQ’s
Q: What Are Poultry Shears Used For?
A: There are quite a few benefits of using poultry shears, such as:
- Removing bottle caps and glued-on lids. Thanks to a plier-like grip, kitchen shears give more leverage while making it easier to get rid of lids.
- Cracking nuts. Most of these shears come with an indent that allows you to crack nuts and lobster shells.
- Bottle opener. Poultry shears prevent you from getting stuck with a beer bottle that is difficult to flip open.
- Herb stripper. It comes in handy for removing very delicate leaves when using fresh herbs.
- Screwdriver. Some handles of poultry shears come with a built-in screwdriver attachment.
Q: Are Poultry Shears Dishwasher Safe?
A: Most poultry shears are constructed from stainless steel to be corrosion resistant. Aside from this, steel blades are proven to cut better. While these shears are dishwasher safe, you are advised to hand wash them, just in case.
That’s because most shears are prone to rust, especially after frequent dishwashing. This should not come as a surprise given that the steel used in their construction is stain-resistant, not stainless indeed. So be sure to not overpack your dishwasher and rinse off any acidic food prior to washing.
Q: Are There Poultry Shears for Left-Handed People?
A: As stated earlier, most shears provide the right balance and are intended for right-handed people. But what about left-handed people?
Luckily, some poultry shears are designed in such a way to be suitable for both right-handed and left-handed people. Well-balanced shears work well regardless of the force direction. If you’re left-handed, this design is ideal for you.
Ready To Buy The Best Poultry Shears?
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for the best poultry shears, it is time to declare the winner. We think the Henckels shears are the best pair of shears for getting through bone and enjoying delicious chicken dishes.
The shears are well balanced, very sharp, and of very high quality. Furthermore, they are very adept at making even the most difficult of cuts. Of course, you can buy another model if you find it more suitable for you.
Anyway, you can’t go wrong with any product on this list! All of them are reliable, adjustable, easy to clean, and durable. Finally, remember that the blade should be sharpened once in a while, so you need the best knife belt sander to do it.