Scissors, consisting of a pair of metal blades connected so that the sharp edges slide together, are hand-operated cutting instruments. They are used to cut various materials including paper, hair, food, plastic, rope, and much more. They come in a wide variety of forms depending on their used. Children’s scissors have dull blades and rounded corners to ensure safety while hair and fabric scissors must much sharper. The largest shears, used to cut metal or shrubs, must have very strong, sharp blades.
There are also specialized scissors for sewing and nails. The sewing scissors have one sharp edge and one blunt, while the fingernail scissors have curved blades for cutting nails. When using a similar instrument of larger size the tool is called shears. The earliest appearance of scissors was in Mesopotamia 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. The scissors were made of two bronze blades connected at the handles by a strip of curved bronze. The strip acted as a spring and brought the handles together when squeezed and apart when released. The Romans later invented Cross-bladed scissors around 100 AD.
In 1761 Robert Hinchliffe produced the first pair of modern-day scissors made of steel. During the nineteenth century scissors were often elaborate and hand made. The steel was hammered to form the blades and then a hole was punched in order to make the handles. In general the cutting edges of the blades are not particularly sharp, however, the shearing action between the blades usually cuts the material.
There are even scissors for those with no use of their hands as well as for paraplegics. There are kitchen scissors on which the fulcrum is located farther from the handles to provide more leverage, thus, more cutting power. They also make scissors for those who are left handed.