Shear Education Booklet Online - Which Blade Type is For You?
Section 2: Which Blade Type is for You?
A critical factor to take into consideration when choosing your professional hair shears is blade type. A hair shear's blade type will have a direct effect on its performance and cutting ability. Often thought of as one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing haircutting shears, this decision should not be taken lightly.
Scissor manufacturing techniques have evolved tremendously over the last few decades. Innovative new forging and crafting techniques have been developed leading to a variety of hair cutting scissor blade types being released into the market. Below we explain the blade types that you are most likely to encounter when purchasing a new pair of beauty or barber shears.
Beveled Edged Blades
The beveled edge blade design is one of the oldest and most commonly used in hair shear production today. This blade type can cut well but requires considerably more force and pressure than convex blades currently on the market. Although predominantly the least expensive blade type, a major drawback of the beveled edge for hair shears is that it can't be used for advanced cutting techniques such as slide cutting.
Serrated or Corrugated Beveled Edges
This type of blade has fine lines or grooves cut into the surface of the beveled edge. The purpose is to hold the hair from slipping on the edge. This is typically done on inexpensive hair cutting shears to help otherwise blunt edges cut straight.
In the context of professional shears, this type of edge tears the hair off against the serration as it meets the opposite blade. This edge will cut straight for a long time, but it requires much more force to cut and it can be damaging to the hair ends.
Convex Edged Blades
This type of hair shear blade design is extremely powerful and facilitates smooth and sharp cutting. As the outer face of the blade is curved, this blade type is especially suitable for slide cutting and allows for more advanced cutting techniques to be used. The sharper angle of the cutting edge on a convex hair shear makes them cut smoother and stay sharp longer. Due to these attributes, this blade type is harder to make than others, so professional hairdressing shears with convex edges are usually more expensive than a comparable beveled shear..
Other Terms Associated with Blades:
Hollow Ground - You may hear hair shear blades referred to as hollow ground. This refers to the inside of the blade. Nearly all higher quality hair cutting shears are hollow ground, meaning the inside of the blade is concave. In other words, it is lower in the center of the blade and get higher as it moves to the edge or to the back of the blade. This allows the edges to contact, but then the edge is not forced to drag against the inside of the blade as it closes.
Honed Edge is a term that is used by some to describe a smooth finish beveled edge. In reality all high quality edges are honed which is a sharpening methodology.
Semi-Convex Edge is a term used to describe a narrow beveled edge but it is not the same as a true convex edge.
Sword Blade Sword Blade describes a blade that has it’s peak or highest point, in the center. This blades slopes in both directions from that ridge line, toward the back of the blade and toward the edge. It makes the blade stiffer and some argue better for cutting thicker sections. The cut from a sword blade is not quite as soft or effortless as a convex edge because the angle of the edge is more blunt.
- Scissor Education (Section 1)