If you don't like to chop them, it's usually because they make you cry. And yes, they can induce tears. I've wiped my eyes many times.
I think I've also tried just about every trick there is to not tear up when doing the old chop. From cutting the onions under running water, to clamping something between my teeth, I think I even tried goggles once.
None of them worked. Onions emit a gas that reacts with the tears in your eyes. It's called, ready for this?
It's called syn-propanethial-S-oxide. Which basically means it makes you cry.
Science lesson's over.
I like to cut the stem end off of an onion, then the root end off in thin slices. I then cut the onion in half, lengthwise before I peel it. *here's another hint, just go to the end.
I find it irritates my eyes a lot less that way.
Next up, I place the onion, cut side down, and slice it into thin slices lengthwise again.
*Here's the hint. If you wash the outside of the onion in some lightly, very lightly soaped water and rinse it off really, really well, you can use the onions, cut in half or quarters while making a chicken stock. It imparts a lovely golden color to the stock. And a subtle flavor as well.