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Most of us take for granted the ability to pick up a pair of scissors and cut. But the fine-motor skills needed to use scissors are learned through practice, and often children need extra support while mastering this important skill. Adaptive scissors are designed with that in mind, requiring less strength to work and featuring important safety features. They help ensure that young children gain skill, strength, and confidence while they learn to cut. While many are made for small hands, you can also find scissors for adults who experience weakness in their hands or want to reduce hand fatigue. Adaptive scissors are also an ideal option for special needs users or those with physical impairments. To choose the best pair of adaptive scissors, peruse our roundup of favorites below.
1. School Smart Loop Scissors
These high-quality and long-lasting scissors are designed for use by both adults and children at least of kindergarten age. Measuring eight inches long, they cut with just a gentle squeeze then spring back open for the next snip. This reduces tension in hands and fingers while helping users cut with accuracy and confidence. The three-inch blades remain sharp and withstand heavy use; blunt tips provide safety—an especially important feature since these scissors stay open when not in use. Since it has a symmetrical design, this ergonomic tool rests comfortably in right and left hands.
2. Maped Koopy Educational Scissors
These spring-assisted scissors are five inches long—the perfect size for preschool children. Featuring kid-friendly colors and patterns, they make learning to cut both safe and fun. They have been designed by ergonomic experts to sit snugly in small hands and are sturdy enough so young artists can cut through most everyday materials such as paper, fabric, and cardstock with ease. We especially like that these scissors grow with the child: Flipping a switch disables the spring so the scissors work like traditional ones when the user is ready. Constructed from brushed stainless steel, the blades are rounded with blunt tips for safety.
3. Fiskars Preschool Training Scissors
Similar in design to Maped’s scissors, this option from popular scissor brand Fiskars is intended for preschoolers and looks like traditional scissors with the addition of key safety details. The blades have blunt tips and can cut paper only, but they slice through sheets without fail. Instead of a spring, they feature a training lever near the hinge that opens the blades after each cut; you can flip the lever to traditional mode as children gain confidence in cutting. Sold in an economical pack of six, this is a particularly smart choice for classrooms.
4. Fun and Function Mounted Table Top Scissor
This tool features a plastic base that mounts to a tabletop and a pushdown mechanism to slice the attached scissor tool through paper. Ideal for people of all ages with limited strength or users who are one-handed, it provides a stable cutting line since the blades are attached to the base. All you have to do is align your material and press the handle to trigger a hidden spring, which makes a clean cut. This spring will reopen automatically for the next snip. The stainless steel blades are sharp all the way to the tip, and the base features non-slip strips to keep the tool steady as you work.
5. American Educational Products Mini Easi Grip Scissor
Yet another great pick for preschoolers, these 5.25-inch loop scissors are smartly designed from end to end. The blades cut with a light squeeze and spring open smoothly when released. They also feature rounded tips and a sturdy blade guard to keep little fingers safe. The easy-to-spot red handle has a textured grip to prevent the tool from slipping, helping to ensure precise cuts. Finally, these scissors work in either left or right hands. They are quite expensive compared to the competition but are a durable, solidly constructed option.