July 7, 2012

To Cut or Not To Cut

  Yey! My MOD article for July 2012 is out in their website, thou this is only one part of the article (part 2 is all about interviewing different professionals whose work involves the use of scissors - and can be only read in the magazine, so buy one :) 

*Also, Im very happy because this is the first time they used my own title . . . ♥

To Cut or Not To Cut

ASIDE FROM CUTTING paper, a pair of scissors is probably one of the most helpful cutting tools around. This handheld cutting tool with two blades is derived from the Latin word scissus meaning ‘having been cut.’

        The known use of a blade cutting tool was found in ancient Egyptian ruins dating around 1500 B.C. This type of scissor was used by barbers and cloth makers. Early scissors were made from one piece of metal unlike modern scissors which are made from two cross-blades which pivot around a fulcrum. Modern cross-bladed scissors were invented by Romans. It is in A.C.E. (After Common Era) 100 that such tool was invented in ancient Rome.

        Today, there are a variety of scissors for specific purposes.
        Here is a rundown of the types available:

Grass and hedge shears. Used for trimming grass and hedges
• Pruning shears (secateurs) and loppers. Used for cutting through branches of trees and shrubs
PRICE: P150 to P300
WHERE TO BUY: Hardware stores such as Handyman, True Value, and Ace

Used in food preparation like cutting of chicken or meat into smaller pieces. Sometimes, these scissors are used in place of a knife.
 • Kitchen shears. For cutting, trimming, snipping vegetables, ‘chopping’ dried fruits or herbs,  mincing, ‘slicing’ crusts
PRICE: P120 to P200
WHERE TO BUY: Gourdo’s, Alessi, Muji, Victorinox
 • Multipurpose scissors. Lighter duty scissors for cutting paper or other office activities
PRICE: Ranges from P30 to P90 depending on size and make
WHERE TO BUY: National Book Store, local markets, arts and crafts shops, department stores
 • Craft scissors. For artwork and detailing
PRICE: P60 to P150
WHERE TO BUY: National Book Store, Office Warehouse, arts and crafts stores

Scissors for cutting fabrics:
• Fabric or textile shears. Long blades with uneven-sized handles and are used for cutting yards of fabric
• Pinking shears. Saw-toothed blades instead of straight which leave a zigzag pattern instead of a straight edge. They have a serrated cutting edge and are used for cutting cloth so that the fabric does not fray.
• Machine embroidery scissors. Used when working machine embroidery. They have a curved blade, which makes it easier to cut the thread close to the fabric surface while in a machine embroidery hoop.
PRICE: P130 to P220
WHERE TO BUY: Local markets, vaciador, and stores that provide tailoring needs

Scissors or Shears?
Scissors are generally multipurpose and have similar small ‘handles’ with sharp blades that are riveted together. Scissors come in various sizes, some with design enhancements for specific tasks, such as for cutting hair, embroidery threads, or crafts. One may use a pair of household scissors to cut parcel twine, paper, light card stock, or food  packages.
     Shears, on the other hand, have a noticeable design difference — one side (or both) has a larger handle
to accommodate a couple of fingers (thumb in the top and fingers in the bottom). The handles are often attached with an adjustable screw for precision cutting such as a dressmaker’s shears. 
Shear Thing
When buying a pair of shears, look for these features:

• Serrated and notched blade. Many shears have one blade that’s serrated, which helps when gripping slippery items. It’s handy for trimming fish and cutting out the back of a chicken. A notch near the fulcrum is useful for breaking through small bones.

• Break-apart blades. Many shears let one separate the blades at the fulcrum, which is incredibly useful for cleaning.

• Rounded handles. Too many shears have plastic handles with edges that aren’t rounded and they can be downright painful to use. Look for rounded edges.

• Snug handles. A smaller circular hole for the thumb is helpful when pressure is applied.

Scissors used for cutting hair:
• Thinning shears/Texturizing shears/ Chunking shears. Used to remove ‘bulk’ from the hair without altering the hairstyle. These scissors have ‘teeth’ as opposed to ‘blades’ and remove less hair with a single snip.
• Hair clippers. Used for cutting hair by hairdressers, barbers, and pet groomers
PRICE: P150 to P360
WHERE TO BUY: Solingen, Hortaleza, Quiapo, and Divisoria/Baclaran

Scissors for trimming and cutting nails:
• Nail scissors
PRICE: P30 to P100
WHERE TO BUY: Local markets, tiangges, beauty section of department stores, Watsons, HBC, Solingen, Hortaleza,
and other beauty shops

• Trauma shears or ‘tuff cuts.’ Robust scissors used in emergency medical response and rescue to cut clothing from injured people. They usually consist of a plastic handle with a metal blade, which is traditionally bent at about 150 degrees, giving them an unusual appearance as compared to normal scissors, and also a longer ‘lever arm.’
• Bandage scissors. Angled tip scissors, with a blunt tip on the bottom blade, which helps in cutting bandages
without gouging the skin
• Surgical scissors. They include bandage scissors, dissecting scissors, iris scissors, operating scissors, stitch scissors, tenotomy scissors, Metzenbaum scissors, and plastic surgery scissors. Surgical scissors are usually made of hard stainless steel for ongoing toughness.

• ‘Jaws of Life.’ Hydraulic rescue tools for cutting heavy sheet metal
• Tin snips. For cutting through sheet metal. The most popular type of snips, they are defined by their long handles and short blades. They usually have extra wide jaws and are made of drop forged carbon steel. Depending on the size of the blade, tin snips can cut between 23 and 16 gauge cold rolled low-carbon steel. There are two main types: straight-pattern and duckbill-pattern. Straight-pattern are best for straight cuts, but can handle gentle curves. Duckbill-pattern snips, also known as trojan-pattern snips, have blades that taper down from the pivot to the tip of the blades.
• Throatless shears. For cutting complex shapes in sheet metal
– Ma. Janine Bianca A. Romero

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