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Tips for Hair Cutting Shears and Tools

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Adjust tension with the blades closed

A. shears closed B. shears at 9 o'clock

D. shears at 10 o'clock C. shears at 11 o'clock

Offset Shears ~ Why are so many haircutters using them?

image of carpal bones

Tens of thousands of hairdressers suffer unnecessarily from the effects of cutting hair. That's because the repetitive wrist motion required to open and close shears causes the Median Nerve in your hand to rub against a narrow space in the underside of your wrist called the Carpal Tunnel.

Repeating this movement thousands of times, day after day, can damage the nerve and cause tingling, numbness or pain to the areas it supplies: the thumb, index finger, middle finger and ring finger. The resulting condition is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Shears designed with offset handles help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and increase comfort by relaxing your elbow downward, leveling your wrist in a more neutral cutting position and limits flexing of the wrist; thereby reducing wrist motion and the pressure on the Median Nerve.


Showing angle of offset in handle design

Handle designs

(A) Straight (B) Semi-offset (C) Offset

Crane Handle

crane_handle_close crane_handle_far

The crane handle is also offset but it has one significant difference. If you hold the blades of crane shear horizontally, the handle will angle downward instead of being centered on the blades. This dramatically improves the ergonomics because it relieves and prevents stress on the thumb, arm and shoulder by allowing the hairdresser to cut with their elbow in a lower position. The same angle of the handle also moves the stylists hand away from the body when cutting on the skin allowing for a freer more open cut. For most stylists, a crane handle shear is recommended to relieve stress and minimize risk of Repetitive Strain Injury, or Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Some Crane handles also have an anatomical thumb as well.

Typical Cutting Positions

Using Professional Hair Styling Shears

straight handle semi-offset handle offset handle

Handle Grips

Anatomic Grip

anatomic grip
Anatomically curved for greated freedom of radial movement

Cutaway Thumb

cutaway thumb
For greater comfort

Standard Grip

standard grip
Removable / reversible finger rest can be attached to either side for left or right handed sylist compatibility

Anatomic Thumb

anatomic thumb
For maximum comfort

Blade Designs

There are only two types of shear blades. Choose the performance you need.

Beveled Edge

Beveled edge
The oldest blade design. Can cut well, but requires more force than the convex blade.

Convex or Hamaguri Edge

Convex edge
State of the art, smoother cutting blade. A must for slide cutting. These are harder to make and therefore more expensive, but worth it.


Which shears are best for me?

Which steel sheer quality is better, those made in Japan, Korea, or Germany?

Japan has the highest standards for workmanship and quality with steels in hair cutting shears.

Many shears made in Korea which can save some costs on labor, and still maintain good quality.

Use steels from Japan. Look for Japanese Steel.

What metals are used in my scissor?

YIron, Carbon, Nickel, and various other alloys like cobalt, and manganese. When using stainless Steel Chromium is added to make steel Stainless, and prevent rust. Handles are welding to the blades and not constructed using the same quality steels. This is not necessary and would add to the cost.

What are the different categories of stainless steel used to produce hair cutting scissors?

Steels are important to a point in a scissor, and when combined with high-quality machining and design you have a beautiful cutting shear ready to provide excellent performance for many years or career depending on the quality of service the shear receives.

You should never purchase a scissor with a stainless steel rating of less than 440C. This is an industry-standard for stainless steel in hair cutting shears. There are a few entry-level shears made using 410, and 420.

Cobalt Alloy Steel is abrasion resistant and will give increased blade retention, and a longer last edge. These shears can also be machined to a finer edge and have the steel hold the edge the result of adding Cobalt Alloy.

They often cost more due to the increased labor costs of finishing and polishing and extra abrasives used in the finishing process.

Cobalt does have some categories and some companies use there own. They include Cobalt Alloy, ATS-314, V-1, V-10 and now they are using a powered Sintered Cobalt Alloy that is expensive but has excellent performance, and with the use of the sintered powered steel process has great quality control when producing it.

Is there a scissor that never needs to be sharpened?

This is fiction, and simply not true. There are high-quality steels that can hold an edge longer than others with the use of Cobalt Alloys but the longest we can see a shear used everyday cutting hair to last is about 18-24 months and most need to be serviced in about 12 months.

This depends some on the use of the shear how many cuts per day.

The wear resistance when cutting strands of hair is the same as cutting equal diameter strands of copper..! Hair is Keratinized Protein, soft and pliable with strong resistance to cutting.

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