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Barnel Stainless Steel Floral Shears

Reported by Heather Strenzwilk

Barnel is a 25 year-old company which specializes in gardening and horticulture tools. The company is based in Portland, Oregon but aside from their line of loppers and a few other items, their products are manufactured overseas. I have been using their 8″ Stainless Steel Floral Sheers (B20 SS) for several years.
I originally bought them because the package said they were good for bonsai and I thought they would be a good substitute for Kai scissors, which I wanted for trimming unmounted rubber stamps. They weren’t good for cutting rubber, so instead I used them for cutting artificial flowers, lightweight plastic stuff (for crafting) and for anything else that I didn’t want to risk with my Fiskars Bent Scissors ( my favorite scissors because they are so comfortable). Years later, I bought Tim Holtz Non-Stick Micro Serrated Scissors and they can do as much as the Barnel scissors.

The one thing that you have to get used to with this style of scissors is the shorter cutting edge. Although these are considered 8 inch scissors, the actual cutting edge measures 2 inches. Because I was trimming shorter items, this wasn’t too much of an issue for me, although it might be for others.

This is a dollar store hat adorned with ribbon and dollar store flowers.
I was able to trim the blossoms very closely using Barnel shears.

As I prepared for this article I came to the realization that the best way to use scissors is to use them in everyday projects- and not pre-arranged tests. For the last few weeks, I have used the Barnel scissors to trim artificial flowers to decorate a hat, and to create a flower arrangement (with lots of help from my mother!) Cutting artificial flower blossoms off their stem was easy, trying to cut through their plastic coated wire stems was not. The scissors were fine with a pipe cleaner, thin twigs on an outdoor bush and trimming some lightweight vinyl stencils. My favorite use for them was to venture into my yard and use them to trim some small (1/8-1/4″ diameter) twigs from a small bush. The cuts were clean and nothing stuck to the scissors.

The plastic filler pieces in this arrangementwere trimmed usingthe Barnel shears.
I forgot to photograph the cut ends before the arrangement was completed.

I had two issues with the scissors: The first is that the package describes the grips as “cushioned” but I found them uncomfortable with prolonged use. This was one of the reasons why I stopped using them to trim rubber stamps (the blades also stuck to the rubber.) My second issue with these scissors is that they do not come with a case or sheath. The tips are sharp and if dropped they will make a nick on your brand new office floor. Tim Holtz scissors come with a very handy cover.

Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Sharp tips let you cut with the entire length of the blade
Cons:
  • No case or cover- beware of the sharp tips (although the company does sell leather sheaths)
  • Most of their product line is not manufactured in the US

So in summary, these are pretty good scissors and would probably be better if I used them exclusively for bonsai or fresh flower cutting. I own at least 15 pairs of scissors and the Barnel shears are definitely among the sharpest. But because they lack a protective case and comfortable grips, I prefer my other scissors. I rate the Barnel Stainless Steel Floral Shears as 8/10 for gardening and 7/10 for regular crafting.

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One Response to Barnel Stainless Steel Floral Shears

  1. Avatar
    StampinCathy May 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Great review on the shears. I would like to try these. I need some little sharp scissors.