Scissors are hand-operated cutting instruments. They consist of a pair of metal blades pivoted so that the sharpened edges slide against each other when the handles (bows) opposite to the pivot are closed. Scissors are used for cutting various thin materials, such as paper, cardboard, metal foil, thin plastic, cloth, rope, and wire. Scissors can also be used to cut hair and food. Scissors and shears are functionally equivalent, but larger implements tend to be called shears.
There are many types of scissors and shears for different purposes. For example, children's scissors, used only on paper, have dull blades and rounded corners to ensure safety. Scissors used to cut hair or fabric must be much sharper. The largest shears used to cut metal or to trim shrubs must have very strong, sharp blades.
Specialized scissors include sewing scissors, which often have one sharp point and one blunt point for intricate cutting of fabric, and nail scissors, which sometimes have curved blades for cutting fingernails and toenails.
Special kinds of shears include pinking shears, which have notched blades that give cut cloth a zig-zag edge to prevent raveling, and thinning shears, which have teeth that cut every second hair strand, rather than every strand giving the illusion of thinner hair.
Scissors are now normally designed ergonomically with composite thermoplastic and rubber handles which enable to user to exert either a power grip or a precision grip.
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