Shear Care Tips
Understanding Shears
Shear Sharpening Basics

Salon Shear Care Tips

Once you have your shears sharp, taking the time to do the following steps will keep them sharper, longer:

  • The main cause for premature dulling of precision hair shears is cutting oily/dirty, gelled, or "gunked" hair. If at all possible, suggest to your client with dirty hair that a shampoo would highlight their new cut and if they don't want to pay, offer it as a freebie (the cost of resharpening your shears is more expensive than the time it takes to shampoo).
  • Keep your shears clean. It is very important to keep your shears as clean as possible. Use a toothbrush to clean hair and debris from under the pivot screw. Use this schedule to get the most from your newly sharpened shears:
    Daily… Spray water on your shears and gently wipe with a clean towel or paper towel
    Weekly… Rinse under warm to hot running water opening and closing the blades and gently dry with a clean towel or paper towel
    Weekly… After cleaning, apply a few drops of oil to the screw and pivot area of the shear. Massage out the length of the blades. Gently wipe with “clean” towel or paper towel.
  • Oil your shears with clipper oil or commercial scissor oil. Do not use sprays as some of the propellants can slowly dissolve nylon and plastic washers. If significant rust spots develop in the “ride line” (the thin shiny line that should be along the inside edge of the blades), they may be ready for the archives and you are ready to contact your friendly sales person. Don’t let it happen…..oil is way cheaper than new shears!!!
  • How often should I clean and lubricate? Daily is optimal, but is often not possible. A minimum of once a month and once a week is a good compromise.
  • Should I take my shears apart to clean? I recommend that you leave this to the Pro. There are very tiny parts that can be hard or impossible to replace if lost.
  • Keep all corrosive materials off of your shears. Letting permanent wave solution set on any part of your shears will pit the surface, even stainless steel can be corroded by strong chemicals. Be sure to rinse any chemical solutions from your shears immediately. This will help avoid extra charges for re-hollow grinding the inside of pitted blades. If your shear blades do become damaged by mishandling, they can be restored to like-new condition! The cost is minimal compared to replacing fine hair shears. Repair prices vary based on the level of damage.
  • Never cut anything other than hair. Especially do not cut the top off perm bottles. Keep your shears put away safely when not in use. People who don't have a clue as to how precious and expensive your shears are may use them to open packages, cut cardboard, trim their fingernails, accidentally drop them, etc.
  • Proper lubrication keeps the metal parts that contact and slide against one another from wearing out prematurely while it gives the hair shear that smooth effortless feeling you liked so much when the shear was new. This is because lubrication reduces the friction and drag between the contacting surfaces. Lubrication also aids in preventing rust and corrosion of the metal. YOU DO NOT NEED TO LUBRICATE THE NEW RIDELESS BALL BEARING PIVOT HAIR SHEARS.
    • Put a drop of light oil or silicone lubricant between the blades at the "ride" (the crescent shaped area behind the pivot screw near the handles) and wipe the excess off with a cloth.
    • You may then wipe down the shear blades with the cloth (VERY CAREFULLY HAIR SHEARS ARE RAZOR SHARP!) to coat the blades with a thin film of lubricant.
    • Do this at least once a week but preferably at the end of each day.
    • An aerosol silicone lubricant has the advantage of blowing out hair and debris from the pivot area of your hair shears as you spray it on. Silicones are preferable to oils as hair does not stick to the dry silicone film as it does to oil.
  • How often should I have sharpening done? Usually about every 3 to 4 months or 600 to 700 hair cuts. Let’s do the math, and this comes out 4 to 5 cents a client. How can you not afford to do this?
  • I have little nicks in my blades that I can feel when I cut. What should I do? Stop using immediately. To continue will cause further damage and require additional metal to be removed for correction.
  • Do not place your shears on top of your station or lay a towel on top of them. This is the number one cause of them ending up on the floor, the washing machine, or the garbage can. At least put them in a drawer if you are not going to put them in a case or styling apron.

Understanding Your Salon Shears

Understanding Your Salon Shears

"Why Are Salon Shears Tempered?" What does Tempered Mean?

In order to form the shape of scissor blades through hot forging or cold stamping, steel must be in a soft state (called annealed steel). Once all the holes are drilled and the machining processes are finished, the steel blades need to be hardened.

The hardening process is called heat treating. The blades are subjected to very high temperatures (up to 2000 degrees F.) for sustained periods together with prescribed cooling off periods. Heat treating transforms the internal molecular structure of the steel to a denser and more uniform state called "martensitic". The martensitic steel then has very evenly distributed hard particles called carbides dispersed throughout it. This hardened state of the steel is the best for edge holding durability.

This hardened steel is, however, very brittle and breaks very easily. To add flexibility and strength, the steel shears blades are subjected to controlled re-heating and cooling, but at much lower temperatures (approximately 400 degrees F.) This procedure is called TEMPERING. Tempering serves to add toughness and makes the blades more easily sharpened to a keen edge; although it does slightly decrease the hardness at the same time.

Obtaining the optimum balance of hardness and toughness is an art and is subject to many differing opinions. Each manufacture strives to achieve what he feels will be the "perfect hair cutting shears/shears" There is, however, no single standard of perfection. Hair Stylists have many individual preferences concerning the feeling and performance of their hair shears.

How does the hardness of the steel affect the performance of haircutting shears?

Many manufactures of shears will advertise that their shears are very hard, and therefore are of the best quality. Usually they will state the Rockwell Scale measured hardness of their steel or they may refer to the inclusion of a hardening element in their steel such as Cobalt or Tungsten. The hardest steel may not, however, make the best shear for your personal requirements.

Typical stainless steels used in shears range from about (Rockwell Measurement Scale) Rc 48 to Rc 62. High quality precision shears generally range from Rc 54 to Rc 62 (shears softer than Rc 53 tend to be lower quality economy shears). Generally the harder steels are more resistant to wear and therefore will hold their edge longer. However the harder steels are often more brittle and will tend to chip and nick along the edge more easily when dropped or roughly handled.

The softer steels are more flexible giving the blades a toughness that resists chipping and nicking. The softer steels also have the potential to be sharpened to a sharper edge (good for slide cutting) even though that sharper edge may not last as long as the less keen edge on a very hard blade. The less keen but more durable edge on a very hard steel blade will tend to give a more "crisp" feeling to the cut and will usually cut with more noise than the very quiet and smooth cutting typical of a good edge on a softer steel shears.

So far there is no one steel that gives both the ultimate smooth quiet cut and the longest lasting edge together in the same shears. There is a balance that you must choose for your self to suit your own style.


Shear Sharpening Basics

Hand Honing The Inside Line

We know that shears are the most important tools of professional hairstylists, barbers, and groomers. Your reputation depends on how well they perform. The reputation of Absolutely Sharp depends on your satisfaction with our service. We sharpen all Precision Shears using the Ookami Gold Sharpening System. This system combines cool, precision diamond sharpening with gentle hand honing to provide you with the sharpest shears available. The Ookami Gold Sharpening System gently removes nicks and wear without damaging your shear blades and restores your shears to their original factory condition.

Why hone the inside line of beauty shears ?

  • Removes burrs
  • Strengthens cutting edge
  • Silky smooth feel
  • Makes shears quiet

This honing process removes the burr from the blades and creates a lined inside edge which strengthens the cutting edge.

This process of hand honing makes the shears silky smooth and quiet. and is very important to be done by hand.

This is because shears can be sharpened with too coarse an abrasive, then polished too much to restore the smooth finish. The result is an edge that cuts well but doesn't last.

Improper adjustment of the arch of the blade can cause too much pressure on the cutting edge and shorten the life of the edge. Too little pressure and the shear can pull or drag the hair.

Alteration of the inside blade surface can adversely affect performance and is impossible to correct.