We report theoretical integral and differential cross sections for electron scattering from hydrogen cyanide derived from two ab initio scattering potential methods. For low energies (0.1-100 eV), we have used the symmetry adapted-single centre expansion method using a multichannel scattering formulation of the problem. For intermediate and high energies (10-10 000 eV), we have applied an optical potential method based on a screening corrected independent atom representation. Since HCN is a strong polar molecule, further dipole-induced excitations have been calculated in the framework of the first Born approximation and employing a transformation to a space-fixed reference frame of the calculated K-matrix elements. Results are compared with experimental data available in the literature and a complete set of recommended integral elastic, inelastic, and total scattering cross sections is provided from 0.1 to 10 000 eV. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.