Did you all see JetPens’ video about “over-engineered Japanese scissors”? Even as I chuckled at the irreverence, I found myself becoming increasingly fascinated by so many scissors and cutters that I didn’t know I needed! I managed to resist the Sun-Star 7-Blade Shredders (which look like they belong on the ends of Johnny Depp’s wrists), but I thought two other products would meet practical needs on my desk. The first is the Nakabayashi Sakutto Cut Hikigiri Scissors ($8.50) (the second will be coming up soon).
I chose the non-stick, fluorine-coated pink pair. It’s available in several other colors, with basic stainless steel blades ($7.25) and with titanium-coated blades ($10.50). The pair comes with a safety cap.
The packaging information is all in Japanese, but according to JetPens’ product description, the scissors feature “a distinctive curved upper blade similar to those found in pruning shears. This lets you cut more cleanly while exerting about a quarter of the force you would need to use a pair of conventional scissors. Because the curved edge is longer than the straight edge, it pulls along the surface of what you’re cutting.”
I didn’t really understand the benefits of this feature when I first read it, but the package shows an illustration of a kitchen knife’s curved blade, and suddenly it all made sense. Not that I know anything about cooking (my culinary expertise ends at avocado toast and the same artichoke dip I’ve been making since the ‘80s), but all the chefs on TV advise using a “rocking motion” with a curved blade, which does make it easier to chop vegetables quickly and efficiently.
In action, the Sakutto Cut Hikigiri scissors do cut very smoothly and comfortably. I don’t know how to measure whether I’m using only a quarter of the force I use with my conventional Scotch brand scissors (purchased years ago at Costco, I think), but the Sakutto pair definitely feels like it requires less effort.
Where the Sakutto scissors really shine compared to my old Scotch pair is the non-stick fluorine coating. They cut through a piece of masking tape as if it were ordinary paper (the same tape stuck badly to the Scotch pair’s titanium blades).
My only complaint about the Sakutto scissors is that the handles are not as ergonomically comfortable as they seem like they should be, given the emphasis on comfort otherwise. I think the handles on my old Scotch pair are more comfortable, with appropriate shaped holes for the thumb and fingers. The Sakutto handles are the same shape for both.
Nonetheless, I’m happy to replace my old scissors with the Sakutto Hikigiri (which means “cutting while pulling” in Japanese). They may be over-engineered by big-box scissors standards, but they do the job better, and that’s good enough for me.
By the way, if you’re wondering why a lefty like me is using scissors for righties, it’s because when I was learning to cut, all scissors were made for right-handed people. Now it’s fairly easy to get lefty scissors, and I’ve tried some, but like the time I tried a left-handed pencil sharpener, after a lifetime of using righty scissors, it felt too weird and unnatural to use my “correct” hand. I gave them up quickly. (I wonder if Ana and Laura feel that way about using lefty scissors? — Ed. Note: Yes, I use right handed scissors because lefty ones are weird.) If nothing else, lefties are the most adaptable people in the world because they have to use all these instruments that have been made for their wrong hand.