Scissor Knowledge


Scissors can often conjure up some mixed feelings of dread, panic, and excitement amongst most of us. Why are there so many? What do all the different levels mean? What is the difference in steel types? The list of questions goes on and on.

But not to fear, we have the answers to your questions to make sure you get the right scissor for you,

and also important tips on how to care for your scissors to get the most from your purchase.

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COMFORT

Ensure the fit and weight of the scissor is comfortable. This is completely personal, and hard to judge on others' reviews.

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QUALITY

Selecting the best quality you can afford is a worthwhile investment. Higher quality scissors, if maintained correctly, need to be sharpened less and last longer.

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LEVEL

It is important to take into consideration your skill level and what use the scissors will have.

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The perfect entry-level scissor if you are a start-up groomer or student

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Work-horse scissors for everyday professional use and as a next step as you gain experience.

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Fantastic for professionals who take scissoring seriously and will last several years if correctly cared for

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Fantastic for professionals who take scissoring seriously and will last several years if correctly cared for

KNOW YOUR STEEL

In our range of scissors at Christies Direct we have models developed from German steel, Japanese steel, and most recently Chinese steel.
As a common occurrence, German steel scissors are a popular choice among students and start-up groomers as they tend to be more durable and tough for heavier work. We also recommend a German steel scissor to be a staple in every scissor collection, no matter the level of experience, for all-day bulk cutting.
Japanese and Chinese steel scissors are designed to leave a finer, sleeker and overall smoother finish, so are a popular choice amongst experienced groomers. They are also available in a range of hardness ratings, and the better the steel, the better they last.
If you are moving from German Steel to a Japanese or Chinese steel scissor, it is important to note that due to their lighter feel the holding and care techniques may differ.

German Steel Product Image

- Durable and tough enough for heavy-duty work on the likes of matted, thick coats.
- Tend to be a staple work-horse scissor.
- Can leave a harsher finish.
- Can feel heavier and “tighter”.

Japanese Steel Product Image

- A softer and lighter steel.
- Designed to leave a finer, sleeker, smooth finish.
- Not ideal for tough, bulky work on matted or dirty coats.
- Come in a range of hardness levels which reflects in the level, quality and price.

Chinese Steel Product Image

- A softer and lighter steel.
- Designed to leave a finer, sleeker, smooth finish.
- Not ideal for tough, bulky work on matted or dirty coats.
- Come in a range of hardness levels which reflects in the level, quality and price.

Thinners vs Blenders vs Chunkers

  • THINNER

    True Thinners

    Double notched blades making them very popular for thicker coats

     

    What are they for?

    Will take less hair per cut than blenders but brilliant for bulk thinning and removing hair closer to the skin.

     
  • BLENDER

    Blender

    Single notched blade and a straight blade, typically 40+ teeth for a smoother result.

     

    What are they for?

    Smooth result: Blending shorter hair into longer hair and blending away harsh scissor lines or clipper blade tracking lines

     
  • CHUNKER

    Chunker

    With larger teeth and spacing between them than blenders. Typically 20+ teeth. Chunkers leave a much softer and natural finish

     

    What are they for?

    Soft / natural textured result: Blending shorter hair into longer hair and blending away harsh scissor lines or clipper blade tracking lines

     

Thinners - Double notched blade

this type of scissor has two notched blades and are a preferred option for use on thicker coats to thin the hair in a quicker timeframe.

Blenders - Single notched blade

this type of scissor has one solid blade and one notched blade. A popular choice for blending different lengths of hair and smoothing any track lines or uneven areas left behind after clipping. The most common and popular type of thinner.

Chunkers - Large single notched blade

this type of scissor has one large ‘fish tail’ or ‘T’ shaped teeth notched blade and one solid blade. Chunkers are commonly used to give a very natural texture to the coat and for subtle blending for finishing work.

Cutting Edge

Different scissors have different edges so this is important to note when purchasing your scissors as it will affect the finish of your cut.

Bevel illustration
 
 

BEVELLED EDGE

have a flat angle shape to them. This angle can vary between scissors but it leans to a more durable scissor and an easier option to sharpen. However, they tend to have a less ‘smooth’ cutting finish compared to other options. Commonly found of your German steel scissors.

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CONVEX EDGE

are found on your Japanese and Chinese scissors. These blades have a curved shape tip, making them sharper and leaving that smooth, sleek finish to a cut. They need careful maintenance and care as they can be easier damaged but allow for a more advanced cutting technique.

Semi-Convex illustration
 
 

SEMI-CONVEX EDGE

are a hybrid of the two versions above. They are sharper than a bevelled edge blade but have slightly less risk of easy damage than a true convex edge.

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MICRO-SERRATED EDGE

have grooves that are cut into the edge of the blade to help give the scissor more grip to catch the hair, rather than have the hair ‘slide’ as easily off the blade.

MAINTENANCE IS KEY

Your scissors can quickly become the most used piece of equipment in your salon and one of the most personal, as a result, they become priceless so you will want to ensure you take care and maintain them properly. Whether it’s your straights, curves, thinners, or chunkers, caring for them correctly will help them to last as long as possible and give you the best cut every time.

Check the tension before use - If the tension is too tight you will impose unnecessary wear on your scissors and it will make them harder to work with which could cause hand or wrist injuries. If the tension is too loose the scissors will not cut hair and instead may just fold it. Having the correct tension on your scissors will also prevent catching. It is worth practicing with your scissors before using them to familiarise yourself with the correct resistance to help avoid catching teeth. To test the tension, you should lift one of the blades to a 90-degree angle and let it drop, if the scissor is at the correct tension the blade should only fall to 2/3 closed position.

Barbicide product image

Sanitise between grooms - It is important to remove any loose hairs from the scissor blades and disinfect between grooms to avoid any bacteria being carried from one dog to another. Placing your scissors in Barbicide Solution for no more than 10 minutes in between grooms and fully drying again before use will ensure they are safely disinfected. Cleaning your scissors in between grooms will remove any debris that may work its way into the pivot section and reduce blade mobility.

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Oil regularly - A little drop of oil to your scissor blades will help stop a build-up of scissor sprays, moisture, bacteria and dirt protecting the metal from rusting.

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Store your scissors safely - Make sure to safely store your scissors in a case or cylinder when not in use. A simple knock or bump to your scissors can not only damage them but also knock the alignment out causing unnecessary friction which can blunt your blades. Remember to never store your scissors near magnets as this can affect their magnetism and cause them to attract dust. Correct storage will protect your scissors from dirt and debris in your salon and help prolong their lifespan.