When I was in fifth grade, my teacher distributed a list of school supplies every student needed to bring for the year. They included the basics like pens, pencils, paper, a gluestick, and a box of tissues for the classroom. I also had to purchase some oddities, like a pack of origami paper the teacher collected on the first week and I never saw again.
But the thing I remember the most was his insistence on not buying just any pair of scissors, but Fiskars. Fiskars, he told us, were really, really good and would last us many years, so it was pointless to buy anything else.
I didn’t end up buying Fiskars scissors at the time. My parents, quite reasonably, thought it was weird that my teacher asked every student to bring high-quality scissors to school.
But years later, when I got an Amazon Prime account and the majority of my purchases came wrapped in plastic and in a cardboard box, it was time to buy some scissors. Having a good pair makes more sense than stabbing my pen into the tape and dragging it, tearing things with my bare hands, and getting frustrated with clamshell packaging. So I remembered my teacher’s enthusiasm and bought (on Amazon, naturally) a pair of stainless steel Fiskars scissors, with a sharp blade and a soft grip.
It transformed my life.
The scissors are sharp, well-built, and feel sturdy in my hand. Using them is immensely satisfying. Until I had scissors I loved, I didn’t realize just how useful scissors are. I use them to open packages of food I’d otherwise tear open with my hands, cut threads when I need to sew a button back on a shirt, precisely size pieces of tape, and everything else.
I’ve had other scissors before, of course, but they weren’t like this. My older, cheaper pairs weren’t as sharp or strong, and using them would result in jagged edges, require greater force, and just didn’t have that satisfying snip. With my Fiskars, cutting is a joy. The imperfect results I used to get are now only perfect, but easy.
Fiskars is really good at designing scissors because they’ve been good at designing household items for about 400 years. The company was founded in 1649 in its namesake Finnish village, first as an ironworks shop. By the early 1800s, they had machines manufacturing everything from cutlery to steam engines. Its scissors are its flagship products.
Their most celebrated design element is the orange handles, first created in 1967 when they acquired a surplus of plastic left over from a juicer production. They’ve sold more than a billion of them since. My scissors are grey instead of orange, but it cuts just as well.
Fiskars also makes more specialized scissors, like ones for fabric and table-top cutting. But the standard eight-inch stainless steel softgrip scissors are so good, I can’t imagine needing anything else.
By Jacob Shamsian for www.businessinsider.com