Introduction: Ukrainian Scissors

Picture of Ukrainian Scissors

When cutting hard cardboard or like haven't you ever asked yourself:"Why isn't the biggest mechanical advantage of the scissors where it's needed most of all - at their tips?"

The Ukrainian Scissors leave the above question in the past.

This invention is especially great for craft, DIY, repair, home improvement, and other applications (e.g. science, medicine, even a manicure) where precision, easiness, and convenience when working with tough materials are critical.

Compared to regular scissors (the least mechanical advantage is at the tips) and the "Swiss scissors" (mechanical advantage along the blades is all the same 1:1, seemingly not enough for the hard cardboard), the Ukrainian Scissors' principal innovation is the biggest mechanical advantage being available where it's needed most of all - at the scissors' tips. This is a huge advance by itself.

The main features of the Ukrainian Scissors are the following:

1. The biggest mechanical advantage (7:1 in the working prototype) is where it's needed most of all - at the tips of the scissors as a virtual fulcrum is in front of them (unique ergonomic feature, great for precision work like craft, etc.);

2. Minimal slipping risk due to a narrow gap (small cutting angle) all along the blades (safety and convenience);

3. Much shorter than regular scissors with same maximum mechanical advantage and blade length, user's hand is much closer to the working area (precision, convenience, storage);

4. The tips are the slowest moving parts of the scissors what is great for precision work.

Watch an animation above and see the steps below to better understand the idea behind the Ukrainian Scissors and possibly to make a pair of them for your personal use.

Step 1: Make the Blades, Guides, and Washers

Picture of Make the Blades, Guides, and Washers

The drawings above are for guidance only and can be adjusted for your preference (all dimensions are in millimeters). In this embodiment all the paired parts of the scissors are identical for simplicity. The blades can be laser-cut from 3mm steel. The springs can be cut from any appropriate spiral spring (either round or rectangular). You can also use any appropriate screws (M3x0.5 in this case) from the box to attach the guides to the blades. For simplicity, the guides can be made cylindrical, btw.

Step 2: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Assemble the parts as shown on the image above. To provide better contact between the blades' edges the contact elevations can be formed on the blades by removing some material from the adjucent areas, as shown on the image above.

My first (very) rough prototype is shown on the photo and video. Yours can be much better!


gm280 (author)2017-07-20

Didn't mean to open a hornet's nest with my left-hand comment.

If you watch how scissors actually work, when you apply closing pressure on the scissors, you are actually applying two directional forces at the same time. A closing force but also a side to side force. Your thumb and fingers are closing up the blades, but also squeezing the two blades against each other at the same time. It is how they work properly. When a left-hander uses the same scissors in their left hand, they are still applying closing pressure, but are now applying pressure to open the blades from each other instead of closing them against each other. And that makes the scissors not cut like they are designed. So there are left-handed scissors to solve that problem. I do remember seeing a left-handed shop one time that had so many daily items made specifically for left- handers. We are not a majority force in the population, buy there are tons of left hander people in the tech and STEM field that seem amazing to me. While the percent in everyday left-handed population is around ~10%, the STEM tech fields have nearly 40%. Why, I don't know.

MichaelAtOz (author)gm2802017-08-12

gm280 (author)2017-07-16

I guess you would reverse the diagram to make left-handed scissors. So many wrongly think that left-handed scissor are not needed. But when a left-hander uses a right-handed scissor, the forces applied actually separates the cutting edges instead of forcing them together. And for that reason, left-handers can't cut a lot of different materials as well using typical scissors. Yes there is a difference.

tsallgood (author)gm2802017-07-16


As a rather observant person who has a lefty for over fifty years I can honestly say I have never seen a left-handed person use left-handed scissors in anything beyond grade school. And even more to the point as lefties are generally somewhat ambidextrous, they generally use right-handed scissors better than right-handed people. Draw a circle on a piece of paper sometime and ask a right-handed person to cut it out. As a lefty it is absolutely hilarious to watch.

Jeff79breck (author)tsallgood2017-07-19

No love for the left handed scissors?!?

Not sure how you have never seen this. Many specialty scissors are available in left hand models they are just not normally stocked by companies because we lefties only make up a small portion of the population. If you ever get a chance to use a pair of left handed scissors you will find they work very well.

To the original comment I would love to see a left handed version of these.

MichaelAtOz (author)Jeff79breck2017-08-12

My best find is a left handed utility knife, with slide out snap-off blades. It is actually a convertible design, the blade is inverted to change it over. I can adjust the blade with my left thumb. I highly recommend them.

ksexton1 (author)tsallgood2017-07-19

As someone with left handed relatives, I've seen that they do use left handed scissors. Particularly for cutting fabric.
I've also seen some "left handed" scissors that were badly designed.

With a normal right handed pair, used in the right hand, to the right side of your line of sight, while cutting, the lower blade is to the left, and the upper blade is to the right, so you can see the cutting point in the material. Also, pulling your fingers towards your palm while pressing outward to the left with your thumb tends to press against the handle in a way that presses the blades together into tighter contact. More important if the pivot is loose.

Using the same scissors in the left hand, the upper blade obscures the material being cut, and your hold on them tends to separate the blades.
This is aside from the fact that if they have molded handles, it can be painful to hold them in the wrong hand.

The badly made pairs I mentioned, use right handed blades, in left handed molded handles, so they can't be used right handed, and left handed, you can't see what you are cutting, and natural squeezing motion separates the blades, so they don't cut well.

Maker Saga (author)2017-08-06

I can't wait to see this for sale online someday!

Maker Saga (author)2017-08-06

I hope to see these for sale someday online! Well done!

Dan.Broomhead (author)2017-08-03

Hobbyist metalworker/blacksmith here. Tinsnips come in right-side "junk", left-side "junk", or center-cut. None of which do what would be easiest for a right-hander, which is to control were the "good" cut piece ends up, especially with the tips. It is either bent up or down, which means that you'd need to flatten the piece afterward, and minute cuts are impossible. This design SEEMS like it would solve that aspect. However, real-world tests would be needed.

bazrgoer (author)2017-07-24

And these can be purchased where???

throbscottle (author)2017-07-19

Brilliant invention! Good luck with the patent!

I just wish I had the means to make this :)

VittorioZ (author)2017-07-19

I hope you had this patented!
Please get into production asap :)

Btw what kind of steel you feel would be better?

VitG (author)VittorioZ2017-07-19

This solution is utility patent pending. 300 or 400 series steel should be fine.

ObeyCamp (author)2017-07-18

I wonder if making these with a sort of lightly "hawkbilled" blade shape of some sort could make them cut from the tips back toward the handle instead of from the handle toward the tips. I don't know if that would be a useful design feature or if it's just cause more problems with cutting longer straight lines, but it's where my mind went with it.

ObeyCamp (author)2017-07-18

Wow. These scissors are essentially (literally!) doing a 180° on the current design of scissors. Way to think outside the box and create something super intriguing. This design is pretty ingenious with the (virtual) fulcrum sitting out beyond the tips of the cutting blades. I can't wait to see how they work in practice and what kinds of offset models could be made to work. Congrats on an awesome idea! I would love to be able to buy these on Amazon or something.

teddlesruss (author)2017-07-18

Like it! Very nice 'ible, and the scissors are an awesome approach to an annoying issue. I'd love to have a go at making them but my skills aren't up to it.Might ask a knifemaker friend of mine to make one for me though.

joenoone (author)2017-07-18

Is this an original design? I can't find any reference to "Ukrainian Scissors" on the web that isn't a link back to this instructable.

VitG (author)joenoone2017-07-18

This invention was first published on, then on my Coroflot page. The name of the scissors (it should be named for distinction) comes from the country of its origin. The "Swiss Scissors" (CH636039, mentioned in the Instructable) seem to be the closest solution though they do not have any pivoting parts, thus they don't feature the biggest mechanical advantage at the blades tips (just 1:1 all the way). An official PCT International Search Report doesn't mention anything closer than that.

joenoone (author)VitG2017-07-18

I see. Thanks - great idea...

gromit1943 (author)2017-07-18

I just weant to know where I can BUY several!

relbatto (author)2017-07-18

these look as if they would be great for stamping from sheet materials in a production basis. the real advantage in a sewing kit would be their size, i do think it would improve the design if the length were increased to permit two folds and let the scissors cut along a path where the material rides in a different plane than the fingers, but that might open up a can of worms, either way looking at something common and improving it is wonderful, think of bottled water selling for more than gasoline...,

scarter12 (author)2017-07-18

If this is a "working" prototype, why could you not have added some video of them actually doing "work"?
I mean they look cool and all, and the math is sound.. but, without actually seeing them cutting... Seems a waste of time.

CabbitCastle (author)2017-07-15

While the concept is certainly interesting and more cutting power at the tips is helpful, particularly at steeper cutting angles, if you have a working prototype actually seeing it cut some materials would be more convincing.

That being said, cutting cardboard or similar harder materials with scissors is particularly annoying due to the material getting in the way of the hand and scissors themselves at the more efficient low cutting angles. Imagine cutting out longer pieces where the stiff material stays on both sides of the scissors - it just gets in the way of your own hand and scissors.
I believe your concept of wider (higher) scissors will actually exaggerate this problem and not improve the ability to e.g. cut curves in cardboard by very much, at least not at lower angles. Scissors where the handles are offset from the cutting material plane make this task much easier (see "bandage scissors", "fabric scissors").

I might be wrong, but without seeing it cut something this is what I imagine a problem with such a construction might be.

DejayRezme (author)CabbitCastle2017-07-18

I thought that too! Seeing it in action and offset handles would be great

deluges (author)2017-07-18

Impressive and innovative design. You got my vote

the_3d6 (author)2017-07-18

Great concept! But intuitively I would expect quite a lot of friction in sliders - is it really happening, or intuition here isn't working?

mikg (author)2017-07-17

Sorry, guys, but doesn't anyone see that these scissors open instead of closing when they're used?

CoyaOo (author)mikg2017-07-17

in step two you can see both states of the scissors opened in picture two and closed in picture three. its working differently from normal scissors.

mikg (author)2017-07-15

Since the pivot is in that position I don't think it can cut a a normal scissor would.

CoyaOo (author)mikg2017-07-17

I think you misunderstand...thats not a pivot point, as far as I understand it. The two halves glide over each other along the slids

Kiteman (author)2017-07-16

Interesting concept - were they created with a particular use in mind?

VitG (author)Kiteman2017-07-16

The biggest mechanical advantage at the scissors tips is highly desired in many real-life situations - often there is just no space to move scissors far enough to be physically able to cut something tough, when only the scissors tips can get "there". When the need had been recognized the solution was quite straightforward.

acheide (author)2017-07-15

Weather it works well or not, it is good to see new concepts. Thanks.

mikg (author)2017-07-15

sorry for the typo. "As a normal scissor would"

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