A Short Commentary on the Modern Use of Scissors

1 minute read

Scissors were created and finely tuned for one purpose: To cut paper. They are a wonderfully simple and elegant design for this single task. A good pair of scissors is self sharpening, sturdy and long enough to cut straight lines in almost any type of paper. The problem is that people just don't have a need for this anymore. Out of all the things in my house that I use scissors for, cutting paper is the last of them. In order of usage, we use scissors for:

  1. Opening packages by slicing the tape on the box
  2. Cutting the plastic wrapping off of those crazy-hard-to-open product wrappings.
  3. Popping balloons or the air cushions found in packages


…None of which are the intended use of the product. I know that household with kids probably have more uses, even for cutting paper, but do adults ever need to have scissors at all? Any paper that I would need to split or separate already comes perforated. If I need a piece of paper for my printer, it already comes in a convenient size for my printer. I literally have no use for scissors in my home, other than opening packages, but for this purpose, scissors are actually pretty dangerous. When I slice something, I have to open the scissors completely, then actually hold the blade as I run the other end down the package. I know I could just get a box knife but that is not the point. I am just curious as to why nobody has invented a smarter, modern pair of scissors.

Has the primary use case for scissors been altered in the modern world? If so, why hasn't anybody rebranded to capture the evolving usage. Why hasn't the tool evolved at all? I think a tool with a single, semi-dull blade for slicing, a scissor-like, non-opening grip for familiarity, and a pointed end for any stabbing would go a long way in reinventing the scissor as a safer, modern package opener. If Amazon made one, they could probably make a fortune selling to their customers alone. If they gave a branded one away for free, it would probably be a massive success story.

Maybe I am over thinking it but seriously, when was the last time you used scissors for cutting paper?

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