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Investing in higher-cost poultry processing shears means greater efficiency and safety on your line.

Understanding the Total Cost of Lifetime Ownership for Poultry Shears

While cut-price scissors might get the job done, dull poultry shears are likely costing you more than you think. We take a hard look at the real lifetime ownership costs of professional poultry shears compared with cheaper alternatives.

Cutting Costs or Cutting Corners? The Real Lifetime Cost of Professional Poultry Shears

Commercial poultry processing is hard on cutting tools. As a large-scale producer, you are almost certainly scrapping more scissors every week than you’d like, but probably consider it an unavoidable fixed input cost.

Taking this “line item” approach to something as important as cutting equipment might be costing you more than you realize. While purpose-designed professional processing shears don’t come cheap, there are real downstream costs to using inferior quality shears or even general-purpose scissors for industrial-scale poultry processing.

While every plant is different, most operators expect premium purpose-made poultry shears to last 2-4 times as long as cheaper alternatives. Is the up-front investment worth it? Let’s compare the lifetime costs of lower-quality cutting tools with those of shears designed and built for professional plant floor use.

Low-Quality Scissors

Cheaper processing shears or general-purpose scissors might seem sharp enough out of the box, but do they really make the cut? Here’s why you should take a closer look at your low-cost “consumable” cutting tools:

Frequent Replacements

Does it matter if your blades are dull if you simply replace scissors more often? High burn rates might make sense if you can source “adequate” shears at a significant discount, but what about the costs of checking, scrapping, and ordering new shears every two weeks?


Cheaper shears or general-purpose scissors are harder to sharpen, especially if your sharpening team is not professionally trained. Trying to wring more life out of poor-quality blades with repeated sharpening takes longer and can permanently damage your blades and your sharpening equipment.

Poor Yields

Even with frequent sharpening and replacements, choosing shears that blunt quickly means using dull blades on your line for longer. Making your team work harder to debone product means fewer birds processed per minute and a lower overall yield per bird. That’s just two of the ways dull blades slice into your competitiveness.

Line Injuries and Lost Time Incidents

A busy production line can make 25,000 cuts a day. Dull blades or tools are harder to control, resulting in more injuries and “buddy pokes” on the line. That means more shutdowns, paperwork, and contamination headaches. That may be hard on you, but it’s even harder on the people you rely on most.

Long-term Injuries

The real threat to your staff, however, is from soft tissue damage or repetitive motion injuries (RMI), the result of long hours spent cutting with dull shears or cheap scissors with poor or inappropriate handle design and excessive blade tension.

RSI is a particular problem in poultry processing, with long-term injury rates well above those in the wider U.S. manufacturing and processing sector. Chronic injuries can result in permanent disability and loss of income for your employees. It also means more lost shifts for your already stretched team and more health insurance and compensation costs for your company.

High Staff Turnover

Poultry processing work is hard enough without having to struggle with inferior equipment or risk serious injuries, and skilled dedicated workers are difficult to find and replace. Take care of both your team and your product quality by giving your people the professional equipment they need to do their jobs well.

Contamination Risks

Cheaper shears are often made with non-food-grade materials containing dangerous chemicals or other potential contaminants. Even the mineral oil used on many general-purpose scissors can pose a potential health hazard, leading to plant shutdowns or even product recalls. 

Inferior-quality scissors are also more difficult to sterilize. For example, poorly fitted plastic handles can often leave a hard-to-clean gap where bacteria can grow.

Lost Scissors

Finally, consider the cost of using cutting equipment that is not designed for industrial use. Cheap tools that are not valued by your workers are more likely to be lost or misused, increasing the risk of contamination and foreign material. Meanwhile, general-use scissors lack basic safety and tracking features like unique serial numbers.

High-Quality Shears

Professional-grade cutting equipment like Wolff Industries’ purpose-made poultry shears cost more up front but are designed to save you money and add value to your product over the long term. Here’s how:

Longer Lasting  

Wolff Industries’ shears are made to last longer, cut better, and reduce the need for frequent replacement. Every Wolff blade is:

  • Made from heat-treated stainless steel to hold an edge longer than inferior materials
  • Precision-sharpened on our Twice As Sharp® process before leaving the factory
  • Designed to be resharpened multiple times using our best-in-class equipment

Better Cutting

Wolff shears are designed specifically for use in the poultry industry to allow your team to work faster and more effectively, boosting both yields and efficiency. Our poultry scissors are available in a variety of designs and sizes to suit your application, including:

  • Straight and serrated edges
  • Custom curved blades to allow closer-to-the-bone slicing
  • Ball tips to help stop blades from going too deep

Safer and More Comfortable

Wolff shears are designed for long hours of safe, professional use. Our scissors feature:

  • Ergonomically designed angled and straight handle designs 
  • Our trademark soft-grip plastic handles
  • Left and right-handed handles, plus true left-handed scissors
  • Perfect blade tension to reduce fatigue
  • Blunted tips to minimize cuts and pokes

More hygienic 

All Wolff poultry processing equipment is designed to minimize the chance of product contamination. Our products include:

  • Food-grade materials and lubricants
  • Chemically bonded handles to prevent bacteria build-up


Wolff equipment comes with a host of value-added features and services to help you protect and maximize your investment in quality cutting equipment:

  • Metal detectable blades plastic handle materials (on selected models)
  • Unique laser-etched serial number on every pair of shears
  • Matching laser-etched barcode for quick, automated check-in and out
  • WolffTrax® end-to-end blade-tracking and asset-management software

The Cost of Poultry Shears: Invest Up Front, Benefit Down the Line

Wolff poultry shears are designed to cut better and deliver more safety benefits over a longer lifetime than cheaper competing products. That’s why investing in Wolff Industries’ dedicated poultry processing scissors makes sense. 

While you may spend more upfront, high-quality cutting equipment will deliver measurable results in safety, quality, and yield for your company, month after month.

Contact us today to arrange an onsite visit by our knowledgeable sales team or click below to learn more about our high-quality, long-life products.

Poultry Processing Shears
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