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Designing scissors that worked equally well with either hand would probably require some sort of three-blade arrangement.  (Although I confess I can't see how to do the job.)

Symetrical handles will do the trick. Chinese scissors are often made this way. Some examples googled up at random: http://homeharvest.com/propagationtools.htm http://hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/exhibitions/previous/jim-dine/scissors.html http://www.action-electronics.com/scissors.htm

The mechanical problem doesn't lie in the handles. It's to do with the top handle being connected to the bottom blade, and the thumb tending to push the top handle to one side during the cutting action. This pushes the bottom blade in the other direction.
In right handed scissors, the bottom blade is on the left at the pivot, so the right-hander's thumb push to the left urges the blades together when they close. The same scissor action using the left hand urges the blade apart.
The only way to make a pair of scissors work well for the handedness for which they weren't designed is to curve the blades towards each other and give them enough spring not to mind the abuse. If you look at a good pair you should see that, when closed, there is a gap between the blades except at their tips where they touch.

Paul
In bocca al Lupo!
The mechanical problem doesn't lie in the handles. It's to do with the top handle being connected to the bottom ... you should see that, when closed, there is a gap between the blades except at their tips where they touch.

The two parts of good scissors are connected with a screw. The two parts of cheap scissors are connected with a rivet. Rivet-connected scissors cannot be sharpened.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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The mechanical problem doesn't lie in the handles. It's to ... between the blades except at their tips where they touch.

The two parts of good scissors are connected with a screw. The two parts of cheap scissors are connected with a rivet. Rivet-connected scissors cannot be sharpened.

I don't get that. Of course they can be sharpened with a file or stone (assuming they are of metal, not placky). They can even be tightened by means of a hammer and hollow punch, against an anvil.
Paul
Experto credite.
The only way to make a pair of scissors work well for the handedness for which they weren't designed is ... you should see that, when closed, there is a gap between the blades except at their tips where they touch.

Hmm. Didn't most of us learn to cut the nails on our right hands while wielding the scissors with the left (and vice versa for the sinistral-handed)? And don't we do it pretty well by now?

Katy Jennison
spamtrap: remove the first two letters after the @
The only way to make a pair of scissors work ... between the blades except at their tips where they touch.

Hmm. Didn't most of us learn to cut the nails on our right hands while wielding the scissors with the left (and vice versa for the sinistral-handed)? And don't we do it pretty well by now?

"Hmm", eh? But I'm man enough not to be unsettled by that. Clearly, most of us being of mature years (caveat: quoted posters herein are ever young), nail-scissors were of the superior kind in our youth, when we learned our superior ways.

Paul
In bocca al Lupo!
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The only way to make a pair of scissors work ... between the blades except at their tips where they touch.

Hmm. Didn't most of us learn to cut the nails on our right hands while wielding the scissors with the left (and vice versa for the sinistral-handed)? And don't we do it pretty well by now?

I use nail clippers. Can't imagine trying scissors. It's just not right. Not right at all.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
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The two parts of good scissors are connected with a ... are connected with a rivet. Rivet-connected scissors cannot be sharpened.

I don't get that. Of course they can be sharpened with a file or stone (assuming they are of metal, not placky). They can even be tightened by means of a hammer and hollow punch, against an anvil.

When you sharpen scissors you remove metal. If the scissors are sharpened with the blades connected, you don't remove the metal where they join. The blades never really meet right again. When good scissors are sharpened, the blades are separated and the metal is removed evenly all the along the edge.
I said "good" scissors. You don't go whacking good scissors with a hammer to make the blades line up.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
Agreed. I can use scissors with my left hand, but ... feels to be an unnatural grip to make them work.

Exactly the same 'unnatural hold' is required in using a right-handed bread knife - as a result of this effort ... of bread and was very annoyed by lazy right-handers who mashed the loaf, and the slices, into extremely uneven messes.

There are left handed bread knives.
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The only way to make a pair of scissors work ... between the blades except at their tips where they touch.

Hmm. Didn't most of us learn to cut the nails on our right hands while wielding the scissors with the left (and vice versa for the sinistral-handed)? And don't we do it pretty well by now?

I don't know. Wherever I've lived, nail clippers have been used for that, and they are symmetrical.
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