Tips for Buying Hair Cutting Shears

It’s no secret that shears are the most important tool for every hairdresser. That’s why it’s important to buy scissors that are high-quality, long-lasting, and suitable for each particular hairdresser’s needs and wants. To find out how to orient yourself in the shears market, read on.

The Design

It’s obvious that we pay for many different things while buying hair shears. We pay for the design, material, functionality, and labor as well as many other factors. In terms of all those factors, each manufacturer has its own particular style and focus.

Some manufacturers focus only on design, leaving functionality and durability sharing second place. When you buy shears like these, you only get modern and stylish shears. You have to take this into account because these scissors can end up disappointing you in terms of their performance, comfort, or quality.

Other manufacturers focus only on the quality and durability of the product. These completely forget about their appearance. When buying shears from manufacturers like these, you get high-quality shears with a crappy design. Looking at them, it’s easy to see that no part of the budget was used on adding design elements or making them look good.

The best way to find out which manufacturer to choose it to look at their lower-end shears. If the lower-end shears offer quality, the higher-end shears will as well. If the lower-end shears have a stylish design, the higher-end shears will, too. This comparison method is very useful in cases where you are finding it difficult to choose between two manufacturers. If the lower-end shears are of poor quality, it’s unlikely that the higher-end shears will be of high quality.

Never believe that a manufacturer would make average shears and then – at a certain point – would start making excellent shears. Along the same lines, it’s not a good idea to spend a lot of money on high-end shears from a manufacturer that doesn’t produce any lower-end shears at all.

The Material

You should pay attention to the steel which is used in the manufacturing of any scissors you are considering. The hardness and durability of the final product will depend on the steel.

We should mention that 440C is the bare minimum for good hair shears. 440A and 420 steel will result in successively worse scissors than 440C, so they should be avoided. For this reason, you should consider shears made of 440C steel as the lowest-end option. Keep in mind that shears made of different alloys, such as molybdenum or cobalt alloy, offer a bit higher quality.

You should also know that titanium coatings are often used on cheap shears to make them colorful and stylish. Titanium coatings are how those colorful, rainbow-looking shears are made. These stylish shears sell in higher numbers only because of their looks.

The Hardness

Hardness depends not only on the material used but also on the Rockwell scale. This is a scale based on the indentation hardness of a material. A Rockwell hardness of 55–56 is about average since all scissors have to be hard enough to hold an edge but soft enough not to be brittle. Shears with a hardness below 55 are too soft while anything over 60 will be very brittle.

Softer metal edges are finer but last less time. Harder metal edges last longer but are duller. Thinner blades are more suitable for thin sections and wet cutting. Heavier blades – wider, flatter, and larger – are better suited to cutting large sections and dry cutting.

Many manufacturers now stress that their scissors are forged. This is nothing to brag about because nowadays, most quality shears are forged, not cast. If the manufacturer uses this aspect as its primary selling point, they probably don’t have anything else to offer.

Additional Details

Another thing that is unnecessarily accented is the convex edge. There are many different edges out there and the convex edge is one of them. Nowadays, convex edge blades have become standard.

The elements of shears that fall in or around the gimmick area should not make up part of your decision-making process.

If you do a lot of precision cutting and fine details, you should choose shorter scissors made of lower-hardness steel. If you want to do great cuts, you should buy longer, harder hair shears. If your priorities are design and appearance, titanium-coated and jeweled options are available.


Remember that some shears might not be good-looking, with steel and craftsmanship that isn’t as good as other shears. But these can still be very comfortable to use and perfectly suit your needs, wants, and budget.

If you’re starting out in hairdressing and looking for your first pair of shears, don’t buy the cheapest hair shears out there, which are marketed to beginners. Instead, choose the best quality shears that you can afford. It’s going to take the time for you to develop the taste for how shears feel. That’s why it’s important to have something you know is good.

  • Simon Brooks Reply

    Thanks for the great advice, my wife loves to cut our family’s hair whenever she can get the chance, so I’ve been thinking about getting her a new pair of shears as a gift. However, I had no idea that so much consideration had to be put into picking out a pair, especially with what kind of steel they’ve been made of. I suppose that does make sense though, if you want to get a good cut that doesn’t leave any damaged ends, you’d want the scissors to be made from some high quality metal.

  • Kacey Reply

    Thank you for writing this informative article.

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