Do My Shears need Sharpening or Service?

Rule of Thumb: Every 700 cuts.

This number is a good gauge for every stylist to start thinking of having their shears serviced.  Just like maintaining your automobile with oil changes, if you service your shears at regular intervals, it will extend the life of your shears.  Another benefit of regular service include less stress on your hand because less pressure by the thumb is needed to cut hair.

Pushing/bending/folding the hair:

This is most often caused by one of two things:

  1. Tension is too loose. If, when you check the tension, the scissor is closing halfway or more, the tension is too loose. This means that the screw in the pivot area is loosening and the blades will start to come apart. When this happens, because the blades are coming apart, the scissor will "bend" the hair rather than cut it. Most people who do not check tension or check it incorrectly will start using their thumb to PUSH the blades together to get them cutting again. When they do this, they are "grinding" the blades together and will dull them very quickly. NOTE: You should adjust the tension daily and lube drop of scissor or clipper oil at the pivot is enough.
  2. The scissors are dull. They could have been dulled by cutting with the tension too loose (as described above), by applying too much thumb pressure (pushing), or if you're cutting hair with product in it or dry hair (this will actually cause a lot of small nicks that "dull" the blade and cause "bending" and occasionally "pinching".)

Pinching/pulling the hair:

This is caused by a nick on the blade. There are several ways that a nick can occur. The following are helpful tips.

  • Be careful you don't hit your scissor on a comb or clip.
  • When you set your scissors down, they should be completely closed.
  • Cutting anything besides human hair will cause damage to your blade. Even wigs labeled as being made of human hair are often treated with chemicals so we don't recommend using your scissors on this either.
  • Dropping your scissor.
  • Lots of small nicks can build up if you are cutting lots of hair with product in it or if you are cutting dry hair. These small nicks don't usually cause pinching as much as they cause "crunchiness" and "bending".

It feels "crunchy" not smooth:

"I can hear the scissor"

This is usually because the blades have a lot of nicks on them (see above) and/or the scissors have become dull. These are just possibilities. Each scissor is different and the way you use your scissor and take care of it will greatly affect its performance. We have found that when scissors do not cut properly, 99% of the time it is due to improper care and maintenance. Failure to lubricate, incorrect tension, excessive thumb pressure and nicks due to hitting the blade against combs and clips can cause problems for the most experienced stylist. If you are experiencing problems with your scissor, the best thing to do is to contact Art Downing Edgeworks to have it checked and serviced. 

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