5 Things To Consider When Buying Hair Cutting Shears

shear sharpening

If there is one tool that is crucial to a professional hairdresser or barber it’s hair shears. The performance of this key piece of equipment can have a big impact on the work that you do, as well as your experience of it. If you want to find the perfect pair of hair shears then there are a few things that you’ll need to consider first.

1. There is no one size fits all

Don’t be fooled by folks who measure the length of the shear against your hand.  There is no logic to that method. The reality is you will be best served by one shear for cutting hair in hand, or palm to palm, and another longer pair for techniques where you don’t hold the hair in hand.  

2. Getting the right handle matters

There are thousands of shears on the market.  It can be confusing. But the good news is they all fall into one of three general designs. Opposing grip shears have both the finger and thumb hole directly opposite each other.  These strain your thumb and force you to raise your elbow. Offset handles have a shorter thumb side so you don’t have to pull the thumb back as far but you still have to raise the elbow. Crane handles are offset and sometimes even have rotating thumb holes. They reduce stress on the hand and they allow you to lower your elbow which helps with your neck and shoulder comfort.

3. Buying from a well established company is safer

There are so many people selling scissors these days, but many haven’t got much history.  Buying from unknown or newly established brands is risky as they may not be there for you when you need service or support.  Also, high prices don’t always mean better quality. Many times high prices just mean the seller is either marking up the scissor too much or they are buying the shear at a high cost to start with and marking it up again.  If the shear has a high price, look to see if it has high end features like ball bearing tension systems and polymer inlays in the pivots. These features should be found on high end shears.

4. Think about what is you are doing in the salon

Are you spending a lot of  your day, point cutting? A shear that can create that type of texture, can be a real time saver.  Is the elbow of your cutting hand raised most of the time? Maybe it’s time to consider a rotating thumb shear? Does your thinning shear leave lines that you then have to fix, does it pull at your clients hair? A seamless blending shear could solve both of those issues.  Do you finish your haircuts dry? A scissor designed for dry cutting could make that easier and improve your results.

5. Know your blades

What kind of blade are you looking for? A clamshell or convex edge will give the smoothest, softest cut.  It will also go longer between sharpening. Special versions exist like Sword blades, where the blade is stiffened by a ridge down the middle.  These can have a little stiffer cut but they can be great for working in thick sections, like for dry cutting.

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