Adam Savage's Guide to Workshop Scissors

Joylandi 25-May, 2021
For 50% off your first month of any subscription crate from KiwiCo (available in 40 countries!) go to

One of the most important tools in any workshop are a good pair of scissors, but it's also a category of tool where you'll find many different types, styles, and variations to suit different making needs. Adam gives an overview of his favorite scissors he has in his workshop collection, from essential all-purpose scissors to specialty cutters for specific materials and cut patterns. And keep in mind Adam's most important rule for scissors when it comes to maintenance and proper use!

Full shopping list here:
Kai 7280 11-Inch Professional Scissors:
Tailor Scissors:
Milwaukee Heavy Duty Scissors:
Wiss Utility Shears:
EMT Scissors:
Clauss titanium snips:
Westcott titanium scissors:
Mundial 10" trimmers:
Gingher spring-action dressmaker shears:
Right Shears:
Basic Scotch scissors:
Good Grips kitchen scissors:
Kraft Edgers scissor set:
Micro Mark Tight Spot scissor:
Tin snips:

Disclaimer: Tested may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through the links here.

Shot and edited by Norman Chan

Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks:

Tested Ts, stickers, mugs and more:

Subscribe for more videos (and click the bell for notifications): uzfire.info_c...
Twitter: testedcom
Facebook: testedcom
Instagram: testedcom
Amazon Storefront:
Savage Industries T-shirts:

Tested is:
Adam Savage donttrythis
Norman Chan nchan
Joey Fameli
Gunther Kirsch
Ryan Kiser ryan.kiser
Jen Schachter
Kishore Hari sciencequiche
Sean Charlesworth cworthdynamics
Jeremy Williams jerware
Kayte Sabicer kaytesabicer
Bill Doran chinbeard
Ariel Waldman
Darrell Maloney
Kristen Lomasney krystynlo

Intro bumper by Abe Dieckman

Thanks for watching!


  • Next week: Adam Savage's Guide to *Running* with Workshop Scissors

  • Dork......the worst thing to do with scissors is to take them on an Airplane....everybody knows that

  • Please wear a mask when using Acetone, folks!!!

  • Vocabulary Unlocked: ✨Panoply✨

  • Was there a "Do not speak of Edward" in the production meeting?

  • I'm commenting on impulse. I have not looked it up. I would use those right-angled, yellow-handled scissors on silk/sheets of silk.

  • I had one of those wescotts for years, loved them, the handle eventually broke

  • A design detail about good pairs of scissors is that the inside surfaces which slide along each other aren't perfectly flat but curved towards each other very slightly. It essentially causes the two scissors to behave like spring tensioners which keep the two faces as close as possible through every part of the cut.

  • I've used Cutco scissors to cut through those flexiple mesh "pipes" in car exhaust system...better than all the tools I had. You cut pennies into corkscrews in class/EVERY demonstration, so I figured it was reasonable.

  • Adam: "I'm a high functioning hoarder." Also Adam: "somewhere here in the cave is a set of 23 scissors, but I don't know where."

  • The bottle cap on those triage scissors is probably for opening medical bottles and not beer. But I'm sure saving lives is thirsty work too.

  • sticky velcro is the worst!

  • Tin snips are more appropriately called “aviation snips.” I think the handles are color coded for right/left (starboard/port) and straight snips. My favorite are old fashion lightweight large aluminum snips with smooth blades to leave the metal without marks. 😉

  • Yeah, I remember getting caught cutting paper with my grandma's "good scissors". She wasn't happy.

  • I believe those yellow right angle scissors are meant to cut fabric, but specifically with use for a trough

  • So many magical scissors! ✂️ How about electrical wire cutters or are those in a different category?

  • Hey Adam, your scissor collection is bereft without at least a few pairs from Ernest Wright. Also Nakabayshi scissors have a model that specifically come with a coating to prevent sticky residue from gumming up the blades.

  • Cutting your clothes off...and drinking beer? Military? Someone's a lil kinky and drinky. 🍺& ✂....M.A.S.H. @ 13:50

  • Going postal with the Scissors...✂ @ 12:00 A paper cut, is not a very fun kraft injury.

  • So is it one scissors, or one pair of scissors? And if 'pair' refers to one functional unit, then why? What good would just half a pair of scissors be?

  • I really like that acetone dispenser. Is that an older thing or are those commercially available?

  • Gingher has such nice scissors

  • ADAM!!!!!! I have to know what that device you used to dispense acetone is!!! PLEASSSEEE!!

  • The bottle opener scissors are used to open ampoules, etc.

  • Black panthers are my goto scissors

  • These are the real deal... handmade scissors from Sheffield England:

  • *cries in left-handed*

  • Scissors are one of those tools I didn't pay much attention to until I got a good pair of titanium scissors for my shop. Wow! I upgraded my kitchen scissors as well and am now looking for more for my maker space. Thanks for the "rabbit hole" enablement! :)

  • Ha ha ha... That's not a pair of scissors... (draws gigantic tailor's scissors) THAT'S a pair of scissors

  • the 90 degree scissors are meant for when you need to often cut fabric. they are more ergonomic for that purpose. they also make it easier to get into that beautiful feeling when you get the scissors to slide cut.

  • Not once do you mention the scissors that come on a Swiss Army Knife, of all of the multi-tool scissors I've used, they seem to be the nicest.

  • You think scissors are a rabbit hole, try work holding.

  • We have the titanium Wescott scissors, I’m the only left handed person in the house and usually I have force righty scissors to work for me, which is not the best. These, the hinge is so tight, I don’t have to fight with the scissors. Also have the OXO scissors for the kitchen (I’m also the cook), and again the machining on the hinge is amazing considering it comes apart.

  • Many years from now at an auction I’m gonna buy his scissor collection and cut cardboard with them.

  • I don't want to be mean but my inner "murphy's law" i guess, kinda really hopes that when you need the right angle scissors you need the version that bends in the opposite 90 degrees haha

  • I have those same kia scissors some the best thos and heritage make good ones

  • Baliscissors, look them up there not a product, YET, but the design and machining process is really interesting.

  • Working in composites and cutting carbon fiber and Kevlar everyday mean s a pair of good scissors is invaluable. Kai and Wiss are the two that have stood out to me over the years. Also, Double curve embroidery scissors are really useful when you need to flush cut something on a flat surface. Kai makes a pretty good and affordable pair.

  • Did he...did he say he flattened that pair of tailor’s shears?? That sure explains why he struggled to cut that fabric. A beautiful antique totally ruined.

  • My grandma had scissors, shears and secateurs all vintage passed down they last decades and decades, not to mention her carving knives and kitchen tools which were also decades and decades old

  • Anybody know the word Adam said around 1:22?

  • what i that acetone pump??


  • Those Westcott scissors are not made from titanium, they are steel covered with titanium.

  • What is that acetone bottle????

  • When I worked at a pharmacy warehouse, we dispensed cloth gauze by the foot and had a dedicated pair of nice Fiskars scissors for it (the kind you see in a locked case at the fabric store). Every time a new person came on board, I hammered into them to NEVER use those scissors for anything other than cutting the gauze.

  • Thank you for being the Mr. Wizard of Making.

  • i don't have scisors in my workshop, i don't know why...

  • That acetone container he uses at 7:27. Where can I get that?

  • My two favorite pairs are a 3" Gingher sewing kit scissors and a super generic pair of EMT scissors (can confirm the penny). That being said, the pair I most often use (edc) is actually a Leatherman Micra

  • Tin snips top tips from roof plumbers: left handed tin snips and right handed tin snips exist. When used together let you nibble out a strip, or cut all the way into a sheet of tin.

  • You know you enjoy a creator when you can sit down and listen to them explain the use of each scissor in their scissor collection.

  • What type of cloth rag is that? I've been looking for something good to keep in the shop that isn't as soft as a microfiber, but not as rough as a "shop rag" Maybe a video on rags/cloths and solvents/chemicals to have around the shop could be in the future!

    • he actually did do a video on the cloths

  • Try these:

  • I spy gaps in your collection - aramid shears, and the remainder of the set of aviation snips (what you called tin snips). They come in sets of three - see Ron Covell's video on the differences and their uses.

  • I feel vindicated. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hello

  • What was the acetone dispenser?

  • Adam there aren’t many people that could make an almost 20 minute video about scissors interesting, but I’m pleased to say you’re one!

  • Which ones do you chop up with tho ?

  • "Cloth or Die"

  • I clicked off one video sponsored by kiwico as he was talking, and then clicked into another and immediately here the same pitch from a different person😂😂

  • Did google give you my search history? I've been trying to find good scissors suitable for cutting rubber things.

  • Growing up in a Southern, rural household, cutting paper with Grandma’s fabric scissors got you in big trouble.

  • I used to keep 5 or 6 pairs of scissors in my pencil case at all times when I was in highschool.

  • If you've never had your mom or grandma LOSE THEIR SHIT over someone using their cloth scissors for cutting paper, then I don't know what kind of childhood you had but I want nothing to do with it lol

  • "Turn of the century? Whoa, that's like 20 years ago" - Some teenager, probably

  • Huh, no mention of Japanese scissors. He is missing out on a whole new world of scissors craft

  • I really like my Engineer branded scissors. Slices through everything like butter

  • That first pair looked like a Hellboy prop. 😄

  • Makes me want to prank Adam by "stealing" his cloth scissors and then mailing him images of entire an newspapers coupon sections cut out.

  • I come from Finland, where Fiskars scissors are ubiquitos. It was genuinely weird for me to hear that Adam has Milwaukee scissors at his house - I was like "what, someone has something else than Fiskars at their house" 😆

  • The ”Ill be glad when I need it” mantra is a very fun, expensive and dangerous mentality. I frequently exersise it

  • You forgot the most important pair, the loaner pair.

  • You didn't mention how you store and access them :-|

  • Another great style of scissors are parrot scissors - they have short, heavy blades (the 'beak') and relatively long handles. They are more nimble than tin snips and have more leverage than regular scissors.

  • It’s miller time

  • I've been wanting to work on a pair of scissors, and seeing this isn't helping haha. Thanks for sharing your collection!

  • That’s not a bottle opener. That’s used to open stuck belts when you have gear on.

  • Alex japanese scissors are excellent better than the Kai scissors i bought.

  • I use wd40 to clean the goo off my scissors.

  • Great video! What is that acetone dispenser bottle? I typically use chemical bottles that are plastic with a long bent spout but they tend to drip or leak when they expand with temperature changes. I would love to use something that positively closes after dispenses.

  • Damn, I was really hoping for a link to those Carlin bottling opening medical shears.

  • I need a cutting tool recommendation for a very specific task. I wear pointe shoes that are just a bit too long in the vamp (the part that covers the toes up to what you might call the neckline of the shoe). This part of the shoe is made of thin layers of cardboard and fabric pasted together with a really hard glue papier mache style sandwiched between a single layer of canvas on the inside and a single layer of satin on the outside. So I cut a slit at the top of the canvas from the inside, peel it away from the hardened part of the vamp, and slide my scissors in between the satin and papier mache-ed bit to cut down the stiff material. I tried with regular "package opening" scissors and poultry shears because I don't have a huge range of scissors at home. I didn't have any of the trouble I expected with the weird angle or accidentally poking through the satin, but the scissors just weren't sharp enough? heavy enough? thin enough? to make a clean cut through that solidified cardboard/fabric material. Any suggestions of a tool I should try out? Bonus points if the blades have a slight curve to the side.

    • I would look at the "EMT shears" and see if they look like a good shape for your job. They will cut through denim and other super heavy fabrics with some effort fairly well. Tin snips are probably too large and unwieldy for you but the mechanism does give you a lot of extra leverage.

  • Does anyone know the name of the acetone dropper bottle?

  • Adam needs to watch Ron Covell's video on Tin Snip/Metal Shears. Why they come in 3 types will probably make his day and put them all on his list. I won't spoil it. Go watch a chill metal worker famous for VHS how-to-videos from the 80s. A master teacher and metal worker and every video will blow your mind with a solution to a problem you couldn't have learned except from his demonstration.

  • The Right Shears pic on Amazon explain their use best. There's leverage in holding them the opposite way, so the cutting face is parallel to the cutting surface and you can use your grip strength to cut. Those don't look of a material quality to get much from that but do like the concept.

  • I should really get something done this morning *watches Adam talk about scissors for 20 minutes

  • I have trouble getting left handed scissors. Those "ambidextrous" pairs, are still RH, because the blades don't overlap the opposite way round.

  • This guy is shadey.

  • I have those Kai in my EDC backpack. They are amazing.

  • And 1/32” of an inch is about .030. Good things to know. Another very useful tip is if you want to know what half of a fraction is simple double the denominator, so half of 3/4 is 3/8. Very useful for layperson.

  • Trauma shears are an inseparable part of my EDC

  • I'd like to know where Adam got his acetone dispenser. All I've ever seen is the quart cans at the big box stores. Hard to pour out of...

  • Fiskars is all you need.

  • Ooo that acetone bottle caught my eye. I could use one of those.

  • That's not what pattern welding means! Pattern welded blades are multiple rods of metal twisted together, leaving a pattern in the metal. They do indeed normally have a separate piece welded on to form the edge, but the pattern welding is the part inside. Having a blade with a softer body and a harder edge is something you'll find in lots of blades historically, many of which have no pattern welding.

  • The only scissors I regularly use are the bandage shears. Dirt cheap and I still haven't found much they won't cut(within reason.) I've got them stashed everywhere.

  • Adam- if you want to frustrate scissors, try Kevlar! Worked in a composite boat shop for years, Fiskars are great but need to have the edges reground to almost square. Files last a short time keeping their teeth on the great material that Fiskars are built of. 80 grit on a 1x42” belt sander is the trick. Fiberglass kills any scissors no matter. Tried carbide with little success. Love the “hoarder “ remark, I qualify also.

  • A lot of the time when we see you cut paper or other thin things, we often see you use disposable exacto knives over scissors anyway. Sometimes use the option that can be thrown away for a few cents when it gets dull instead of scissors which may cost a few dollars.