How To Extend The Life Of Your Scissors

September 08, 2021 5 min read

How To Extend The Life Of Your Scissors - Scissor Hub Australia

After investing into a good quality pair of hairdressing scissors or barber shears, the next big question is “how can I look after my scissors?”.

Some pairs of scissors can last months and others can last for years! In this article, we are going to cover how to extend the life of your scissors so they last for years or decades!

What is Scissor Tension?

Prolong your scissor life by adjusting the tension between blades

This is the tension of the screw responsible for holding the scissor blades together. Tension simply depicts how loose or tight your scissor is. Although the tension of a scissor is mostly dependent on personal priority, there are still some general guidelines you should adhere to.

Never forget that shear are instruments used for precision. And all of such instruments has to be taken care of properly, not living out the alignment and tension adjustment. For optimum performance, the tension between the blades need to be properly adjusted and aligned.

How Can I Check My Scissor Tension?


Person thinking how to change their scissor tension

The design of scissor blades have come with a little curvature, this way when they are screwed together there is a degree of spring force that ensure the cutting edges stay in contact all through the cutting stroke.

This is referred to as the set of blades. If scissors are very loose, there will be no spring force and the edges will lose contact with each other. The moment this happens you can no longer cut properly and the hair will bend instead of cutting.

Scissors that are extremely loose with no proper adjustment are mostly seen or referred to as bland. Brand new professional scissors of premium quality will seem bland and even bend hair if the tension of the blade is very loose. Conversely, if the tension is extremely tight it can result in untimely wear of the blade’s edges and tire out the user.

A wonderful thumb rule is one where the scissors are held with the tips upwards, the shears is then opened with one blade at right angles to the other and then the raised handle is dropped. As the handle is dropped it will fall, but won’t close entirely, until it kind of caught right before it closes entirely.

If the blade is quick to close completely, then it is probably because the tension is extremely loose and if the blade cannot move then it is too tight.

Endeavour to adjust the tension of the scissors immediately you lubricate them, or when they feel very loose or tight. Be careful so you do not over loosen or tighten the adjuster so you don’t end up damaging the scissors. The screw should be adjusted 1/16th successively until it is properly adjusted.

Types of Tension Adjusters

There are different types of tension adjusters found on hairdressing scissors and barbers. The most popular types of tension adjusters used on modern hair scissors are:

  • Dial-spring Tension: this is a very popular model that makes it easy to adjust notched increments without the need of a tool and grips the desired tension firmly.
  • Simple Screws: this model need a screw drive with the correct head size to adjust the tension. Once the screw gets loose it can’t hold a setting. To correct this, during servicing the screw has a slotted shank that you can re-gage to get more resistance to movement immediately you set it. This system is used by the Dark Stag D51.
  • Dark Stag: has a keyed screw tension and requires a special tool to turn the screw. It is standard for all Dark Stage shears to come with its adjusting tool.

What Could be Damaging Your Scissors?

Can you recall the last time you checked the tension on your scissor? You can’t remember right? This can shorten the lifespan and further damage it sooner than expected. So we have prepared a step-by-step guide for you to follow and learn how to maintain and preserve the lifespan of your scissors for as long as 25 years.

Reasons Why Scissors Gets Damaged and How to Prevent It

There are several reasons why scissors get damaged sooner than expected. Below are ways to identify the issue and sort it out;

Scissor Damage Issue:

Damages can be occur as a result of poor quality metal and improper process of manufacturing, frequent sharpening of the scissor, being careless with where you keep your scissor, and inappropriate or loose/tight tension

Scissor Damage Solution:

Ensure that the scissors you are purchasing is produced using quality steel like the PHANTOM 6 scissor from ARC, made with 100% Takefu VG-10 Japanese steel.

The right tension makes it possible to sharpen and still preserve the lifespan of the scissor but when the tension is loose it causes early damage. Small nicks are then formed that causes the hair to bend rather than getting you a clean cut.

How Loose Tensions Damages Scissors

It is possible that your scissors are not bland but loose and poorly adjusted. The best quality scissors used by professionals will look bland and will bend hair if the blade tension is very loose.

The design of scissor blades come with a little curve so that on screwing them together a degree of force is formed that keeps the cutting edges in steady contact when cutting. When they are too lose, there’s no force and the edges lose contact. It ends up bending the hair instead of cutting it

How to Check Scissor Tension

  1. Hold the thumb blade in a 12 o’clock position such that the tip is facing the ceiling.
  2. Lift the finger blade to take the 9 o’clock position and the let go gently, observe that the finger blade stops between 10 and 11 o’clock.
  3. Adjust the tension screw by loosening or tightening a little (one click after another) and the repeat steps 1 and 2 till you get the right tension.
  4. Texturizers and thinners are best adjusted a little tighter, around the 10 o’clock position.

Conclusion: how to prolong the life of your hairdressing scissors

There are plenty of ways to clean and maintain your scissors, but the primary way of extending the life of your hair scissors involves maintaining the best tension of the blades.

The most common way that scissors get damaged over time is by having poor tension and this slowly breaks the blades.

Make sure to follow this guide and how to maintain the tension between your scissor blades to ensure that you prolong the life of all of your hairdressing scissors!

This article was researched and referenced from the best sources:

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