Types of garden shears


Difference Between Shears and Scissors

Scissors and shears are different instruments designed for different applications, but are often thought to be the same by many. For better understanding, in this HomeQuicks article, we shall highlight the main differences between these two via a shears vs. scissors comparison.

Did You Know?

The earliest known pair of scissors are believed to have been used in Mesopotamia, 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

Would you use a gardening shear to cut your nails or a pair of manicure scissors to prune weed? Of course you wouldn’t. They are different instruments, meant to be used for different purposes.

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However, you will find that many people often confuse shears and scissors for each other. The upcoming sections are meant to dispel this common misbelief.

Here are the main differences between shears and scissors, and their individual applications.

What are Scissors?

Hairdresser Scissors

Kids Scissors

Office Scissors

Scissors are multipurpose cutting tools that are found in almost all homes and workplaces.

They are characterized by two small blades (less than 6 inches long), which are riveted together.

The blades are brought together or separated with the help of handles in order to cut through various materials.

While scissors are typically used as multi-utility cutting tools, some are designed specifically for certain unique applications. They are distinguished based on their size, quality, cost, and design modifications.

For example, hairdresser’s scissors usually have sharper blades and a finger rest protruding from one handle. This construction allows for a clean and precise cut.

Another good example are the kid’s scissors, which have a plastic safety coating over the blades, and are made to be less sharp to ensure that they are safe in the inexperienced hands of children.

Applications of Scissors

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1) Scissors are used at homes, schools, or offices for applications such as cutting parcel twine, embroidery threads, paper crafts, etc.

2) Modified scissors are used for cutting and thinning hair, trimming nails, eyebrows, and other grooming and beautification applications.

3) Specially designed scissors are used in medical applications, such as for surgeries.

What are Shears?

Fabric Shears

Hedge Shears

Pruning Shears

The term shears is used to describe scissors that more than 6 inches long. Shears can therefore be thought of as large scissors, which are designed for specific applications.

One common design difference between a scissor and a shear is that, typically, a shear has a larger handle on either one side. This is so that the user can accommodate more fingers into it, and apply more force needed to cut harder materials.

Some shears, such as gardening shears, have large handles that can be gripped with the entire palm, making it possible to gain a greater amount of cutting force.

Dressmaker shears usually have handles attached with adjustable screws for precision cutting. They may even have a bent beak type shape, making the task of shearing fabric easier.

Applications of Shears

1) Shears are used for trimming hedges, grass, and other gardening activities.

2) They used in dressmaking for cutting fabrics.

3) They are used for cutting animal’s fleece to make wool. Some shears are also used to cut cooked poultry.

4) Larger, sharper, and specially designed shears are used in industries for cutting wires and metals sheets.

Thus, scissors and shears, though appearance-wise may look similar in many cases, are actually two distinct types of tools meant for different applications. Hence, one must choose the correct instrument that is most appropriate for a particular application.

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Using Garden Shears – How And When To Use Shears In The Garden

When it comes to using garden shears, choosing the right pair is essential. Unfortunately, selecting from the many different kinds of shears on the market these days can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure exactly what type you need. What are garden shears and how do you select a pair to get the job done? Read on for a few helpful tips.

What are Garden Shears?

Basically, garden shears are used to cut branches and stems up to about ¾ inch in diameter. Don’t attempt to use your garden shears on larger branches because you risk ruining the blades. (You need a different tool for that job.)

There are two basic types of garden shears, although they come in different models and sizes. Knowing when to use shears depends on the type you have and the task at hand.

Bypass shears work much like scissors with curved blades. The upper blade of the shears is sharp and cuts the branch while the lower blade works much like a hook, holding the branch in place to prevent it from sliding.

Anvil shears have a sharp upper blade and a flat lower blade. Anvil shears cut branches much like using a knife on a cutting board.

Choosing and Using Garden Shears

Although the type of shear depends largely on personal preference; most gardeners opt for bypass shears. Here’s why:

  • Bypass shears make clean cuts while anvil shears tend to crush stems and branches.
  • Bypass shears are better for getting into tight spots and allow closer cuts than anvil shears.
  • Bypass shears are good for cutting flowers or softer, tender branches without harming the tender tissue.

On the other hand, anvil shears may be better for dead or dried out branches. Some garden experts use bypass shears for live growth and anvil shears for dead growth. Others say they would never use anvil pruners under any circumstances.

Once you’ve made your decision, buy the finest garden shears you can afford. They aren’t cheap, but with proper care, they will last for many years.

Hold the shears in your hand and try them out to be sure they’re comfortable. Ergonomic shears and shears for smaller hands are available. Some companies manufacture left-handed or ambidextrous garden shears.

Be sure the shears can be dismantled for easy cleaning. Look for a pair that that has a lock or catch to keep the blades safely closed when not in use, especially if you have young children.

Scissors are multipurpose cutting tools that are found in almost all homes, kitchens and workplaces. They are characterised by two small blades (less than 6 inches long), which are riveted together. The blades are brought together or separated with the help of handles in order to cut through various materials.While scissors are typically used as multi-utility cutting tools, some are designed specifically for certain unique applications such as kitchen scissors. They are distinguished based on their size, quality, cost, and design modifications. For example handforged Japanese scissors are known to be extremely sharp and durable as their blades are often forged the very same way as the katana ones.Another example, a hairdresser’s scissors usually have sharper blades and a finger rest protruding from one handle. This construction allows for a clean and precise cut. Or, when it comes to the kid’s scissors, such tools have a plastic safety coating over the blades, and are made to be less sharp to ensure that they are safe in the inexperienced hands of children.

Most of our testing was on standard bypass pruners, but we also tried pruners with rotating handles to reduce fatigue, as well as ratcheting pruners that make large cuts with less force.

The Felco 6 model is a smaller version of our top pick. It has the same sharp blades, but with slightly shorter handles (7¼ inches, not 8½), a lighter weight (7.5 ounces, not 8.5), and a smaller blade capacity (0.8 inch, not 1 inch). If you have smaller hands, this pair is a great option.

The Tierra Pro 38-1713 7.5″ Bypass Pruning Shears and the Tierra Pro 38-1710 8.5″ Bypass Pruning Shears failed to cut one of the 10 scallion samples, they slightly crushed raspberry canes and dowels, and they needed extra force to close around a ¾-inch buckthorn branch. But the cuts were clean, and the blades didn’t strip bark from live branches. Look for the 7.5-inch model first—the 8.5-inch type was similar but felt rougher to close, and it tore some bark from raspberry canes.

The Okatsune 101 7-inch Bypass Pruners are a favorite among bonsai enthusiasts. They’re made of “Izumo Yasuki Japanese steel to deliver a Rockwell hardness of 60 +/-1,” which means that they’ll stay sharp longer than pruners with softer steel. Slim and short, they open very wide (6 inches across at the base), making it hard for users with smaller hands (like me) to grasp them, and the handles feel slightly slippery in damp conditions. They cut live branches and dowels perfectly—really, perfectly—with little torn bark and smooth, flat cuts, but they failed to cut through scallions on three out of 10 attempts. They last, too: Owners on BladeForums make comments such as “I have used the same pair of 8″ pruners professionally for the last 9 years and they will definitely outlast me.” Wayne Schoech at Stone Lantern said his firm carried replacement Okatsune springs.

If you live in the UK, the Burgon & Ball Professional Compact Bypass Secateur GTO/PRL performed almost as well as the Okatsune in testing, though it felt slightly more rough and jangly, and the force of closing the pruners made cut ends go flying. No US merchants currently offer this model. I hope that either Burgon or Ball takes care of that soon.

The Tierra Garden 35-1731 Ergo Forged Bypass Pruners don’t perform quite as well as the Tierra Pro models. The Ergo model cut scallions perfectly but tended to crush the dowels and Norway maple branches, and it required more force to close around live branches than the other Tierra models did.

The Burgon & Ball RHS GTO/SC Bypass Secateur is like the Royal Horticultural Society that endorses it: respectable. It opens wide and snaps shut hard, but it could cut a ½-inch dowel or ¾-inch buckthorn branch only if I forced it with two hands. It tended to crush the dowels, but it did sever them, and it made good, flat cuts in live branches.

The Fiskars Quantum Hand Pruner is not made to slice scallions, and it left dangling onion bits on more than half the cuts. The Quantum also cut the ⅜-inch Norway Maple branch unevenly and tore bark. The tool’s plastic latch extends out slightly beyond the level of the handles, which can be irritating if you’re using the pruners without gloves.

According to Fiskars, the Fiskars PowerGear2 “multiplies leverage to give you up to 3.2x more power on every cut.” However, power is not the same as finesse. In testing, the PowerGear2 tended to crush live branches and dowels slightly, and it required more force to close than other pruners. I needed to reopen and squeeze the PowerGear2 pruners three times to cut through a ¾-inch buckthorn branch. The blades also didn’t close especially smoothly.

The Gardena 8757 Classic Vine Bypass Hand Pruner required more force overall to close than other bypass pruners. Although it’s supposed to cut materials up to 20mm (.79 inch) thick, cutting the ½-inch dowel and the ¾-inch buckthorn branch with this pair was challenging. There are better options.

The Tierra Pro 38-1707 7″ Bypass Pruning Shears cut through scallions only half the time, and could barely cut through a ¾-inch buckthorn branch, leaving cuts with torn bark and an uneven surface.

The Corona BP 3350 Bypass Pruner with Adjustable Grip is economical, and you can buy replacement blades. However, I needed to use two hands to force it to close on the ½-inch dowel and the ¾-inch buckthorn branch, and both the ⅜-inch and ¾-inch branches were slightly crushed in the process.

The Corona BP 6310 had a hard time cutting scallions, and required significantly more force to close than most other bypass models; I needed two hands to cut the ¾-inch buckthorn. For $30, the Okatsune 101 is a better deal.

The Kenyon Forged Bypass Pruner 41406 did a decent job on scallions and raspberries, but it required more force to cut through wooden dowels and live branches than most other pruners in my sample.

The Zavaland Pruning Shears were the only pruners in my sample that were completely incapable of cutting through scallions. They could not cut anything without hard squeezing, even raspberry canes, and they just barely cut the ½-inch dowel and ¾-inch buckthorn branch. Do yourself a favor and get the ARS HP-VS8Z or Okatsune 101 instead.

For a slightly lower price than the Felco 2 pruners, you could get the AM Leonard 1286 Traditional Bypass Pruners—and keep them for the long term, since AM Leonard also sells a replacement-part kit for about $8. AM Leonard pruners are almost as comfortable as the ARS HP-VS8Z, though this model required two hands and force to cut a ¾-inch branch. These pruners shut more roughly than the ARS, Felco, and Bahco models.

The Fiskars 7936 PowerGear Pruner required more force than other pruners to cut scallions and raspberries, and cut the ¼-inch dowel inconsistently, but then it cut through the Norway Maple branch with just one hand. The clasp, the handles, and the gear housing are all made of plastic.

A rotating handle can reduce hand and wrist fatigue, but it can be awkward and reduce your power per cut. The ARS HP-VS8R Signature Heavy Duty Rotating Handle Hand Pruner resembles the ARS HP-VS8Z but has one handle that swivels on a pin in a 90-degree arc as you close your fingers. Otherwise, it features the same smooth, perfect action, and has the same sharp blade, as the ARS Signature Heavy Duty Pruner. The rotating sleeve did reduce the amount of power I could put into a cut: I needed to use two hands on the ¾-inch buckthorn to force the blades closed, whereas the non-rotating handle could do it one-handed.

The Felco 7 is similar to Felco’s other pruners but has a rotating handle coated in a stickier, rubbery material. Its blades’ action felt slightly rougher than that of the silky-smooth ARS HP-VS8R, but almost anything would.

The EZ Kut Heavy Duty Ratchet Pruner used to be a pick. In our tests this pair sliced through ¼-inch raspberry canes easily without ratcheting, and it ratcheted through ½-inch dowels and ¾-inch branches with no fuss and little force, but it could barely cut two out of 10 scallion samples. Ultimately, we think the flaws in the construction—riveted connections, plus an anvil-style blade that mashes green stems—overshadow the advantages of the ratcheting mechanism.

The Gardener’s Friend Ratchet Hand Pruners were the easiest-cutting ratcheting pruners we tested—and the second most expensive. Cutting through ½-inch dowels and ¾-inch branches with the Gardener’s Friend requires significantly less force than doing so with most other ratchet pruners, even though it takes the same number of ratchets for each pruner to cut through (two to three for the dowel, three for the ¾-inch branch). The Gardeners’ Friend pair also comes with a little mineral-oil-saturated sponge embedded in the handle for cleaning and oiling the blade, which saves you the bother of getting a rag out.

The Corona RP 3230 Ratchet Action Anvil Pruner is an economical choice. It’s lightweight, and it ratchets easily through thick branches, but it can also cut delicate scallion tops. However, the handles spread very wide, and the anvil blade is broad as well. When I tested the Corona RP 3230 on berry canes, I could not get it to cut ¼-inch canes without engaging the ratchet—and in the time it took to make three ratchets, the canes were well mashed by being held under pressure against the anvil blade.

The Flexrake LRB205 Ratchet Anvil Pruner did a mediocre job of cutting scallions, tearing four out of 10, and it could not cut through raspberry canes without engaging the ratchet. When I used the ratchet, it crushed and tore the canes on a majority of cuts. It worked better on dowels and branches, though, cutting the Norway maple and the buckthorn flawlessly.

The Gardena 8798-U SmartCut Ratchet Pruner is far more expensive than anything else in the category, mostly because it has an unusual feature: a lever to switch the pruners from plain bypass to ratchet mode. Unfortunately, the ratchet action doesn’t improve the Gardena’s performance except on the thickest branches. It failed to cut scallions six out of 10 times. It also crushed the raspberry canes, crushed both dowels, tore off some of the outer layer of the ½-inch dowel, and left strips of wood hanging from the Norway maple cuts.

The Flexrake CLA349 Classic 8-Inch Ratchet Pruner required more force to close than any other ratchet pruners when cutting every material except scallions. Since the point of ratchet pruners is to use less force, I can’t recommend this model.

I was unable to complete testing for the Flexrake LRB168 Ratchet Anvil Pruner because a tiny screw that holds the ratchet to the blades popped out and disappeared.

The Gardenite Ratchet Pruning Shears are slightly larger than other pruning shears, and they require a second squeeze at the end of every snip to engage the ratchet for a clean cut—even on soft scallion tops. That final squeeze makes cutting feel somewhat clunky compared with the EZ Kut’s smooth action. The Gardenite also required more ratchets to cut through branches: four to cut the ⅜-inch Norway maple branch, five to get through the ¾-inch buckthorn.

For every skilled gardener, they would inform you that a good pruning shear is very essential when it comes to taking care of your garden. With good pair of shears, you can trim bushes, flowers, shrubs and even trees that have overgrown and this trimming is done in a more simple process as a good garden shear won’t cause any form of strain or fatigue on the hands.

It is quite important that you have the necessary and vital information before you purchase a garden shear today.

If you want to know more about identifying a quality garden shear then come with us and meet the best products which we have rounded up just for you.

5. HyleJhJy 8″ Bypass Pruning Shears With Stainless SK5 Steel Blades + Straight Tip Pruning Shears

Comfort is of the essence when it comes to pruning and when pruning with the TaoTronics garden shears, optimal comfort is guaranteed as it features cushioned, well-shaped and non-slip grip handle which helps to get rid of stress during use.

Unlike other low-quality shears out on the market, the TaoTronics professional pruning shears would deliver precise cuts with fewer efforts thanks to its sharp and hardened blades that deliver healthy and clean cuts.

This shear is well designed to cut through thicker and smaller branches and thanks to its Teflon, non-stick coating, the TaoTronics garden shears stays resistant to rust and holds up really well which also guarantees that it lasts for a long while.


  1. Extremely sharp and fantastic
  2. Delivers clean cuts
  3. Great quality tool which is very easy to use
  4. Comes with a nice feel and weight
  5. Well designed to fit the hands perfectly

4. Professional Titanium Pruning Shears by V-Garden- Top Bypass Clippers, Secateurs, Tree Trimmer

If you need a good pruner that would easily cut through branches, is durable and also easy to use the this professional titanium pruning shears is one you can rely on as it is specially designed to fit the bill.

This shear would deliver precise cuts when it comes to cutting flowers, hedges, vines, shrubs and most kinds of tree branches while its cutting blade can be easily adjusted thanks to its hardened nut and bolt design.

This high-quality shear can also be used for a lifetime as it is coated using top quality aluminum material while one impressive feature is its sap groove which ensures that sap doesn’t stick to the blades during use.

  1. Very easy to use
  2. Can be used as a gift item
  3. Comes well packaged in a box


  1. sticks together when not cleaned properly

3. Pexio Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears

The Pexio premium titanium bypass pruning shear is one of the best that you would come across on the internet when searching for a good and quality shear today as it boasts of a low friction coating which guarantees that its blade would glide easily through the wood as well as staying resistant to rust.

Durability was also taken into consideration when designing this shear as it comes with a sap groove which prevents sticking of the blades during use and this, in turn, helps to extend product life.

Ideal for use by men and women and also designed to fit even smaller sized hands, this pruning shear would deliver precise and accurate cuts thanks to its top quality carbon steel titanium blade and one impressive feature of this shear is its spring action which makes working so much easy.

Its drop forged aluminum handle and body also guarantees long-lasting use and safety is also essential as it comes with safety which helps to lock its blades when not in use.

  1. Extremely sharp and works great too
  2. Sturdy and cuts deep
  3. Lightweight but yet amazing
  4. Comes neatly packaged
  1. Not considered to be the best

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2. Gonicc Professional Micro-Tip Pruning Snip (GPPS-1008)

You would find this pruning shear lightweight, strong and comfortable to use thanks to its well designed non-slip handles.

Unlike other pruning shears available on the market today, the Gonix professional micro-tip pruning snip is one that would last for a long time as it is resistant to water, fights against rush oxidation and doesn’t require much oiling for maintenance.

Delivering effortless cuts and staying sharp for a very long time is also one of the benefits that come with using this highly rated pruning shear thanks to its superior coating while its top quality stainless steel blade would stay sharp and deliver precise cuts as well as withstanding vigorous use.

  1. Comes with great spring speed and stays sharp
  2. Top-quality product
  3. Quite comfortable during use
  4. Also ideal for use for females

1. TABOR TOOLS S3A Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears

Using this well-shaped, durable and good looking shear makes pruning quite fun as it is designed to work effectively on flowers, plants, grapes and shrubs without causing any form of pain or fatigue to the hands and it would also deliver razor-sharp and precise cuts as it boasts of a chrome-plated, carbon steel stainless blade which makes pruning effortless and quite easy.

Eliminating fatigue is one of the main aims while designing this shear as it boasts of a spring that bounces while cutting to get rid of hand fatigue and optimal comfort, as well as a satisfying performance, is guaranteed as its handle comes with a soft grip cover for better pruning performance.

Storing this shear is quite easy thanks to its open and close clip found at its upper for convenient hanging or storage.

  1. Very easy to use
  2. Durable product
  3. Fast delivery service
  4. Cuts through with ease
  1. Shear breaks easily after several uses
  2. Its springs loosen occasionally

Other Quality Products Include

1. Mockins Professional Garden Bypass Pruning Shears, 8 mm Cutting Capacity

The Mocking professional garden shears are one that is designed for use by professional pruners and gardeners for pruning bushes, flowers and plants and it is one which will deliver top-class cutting or pruning performance thanks to its extremely sharp and stainless steel blades which helps in delivering pleasant cutting results.

Unlike other low-quality garden shears which are known for causing the hand severe pains during use, this top quality garden shear from MOCKINS is one that won’t make the hand feel that way as it comes with well-shaped rubber handles which helps in promoting maximum comfort as well as making this tool quite easy to work with and this, in turn, helps in ensuring a pain-free pruning or cutting experience.

It is also specially designed for use by small hands as it also comes with a safety lock design which helps in preventing unwanted injuries and making this garden tool totally safe for use.

  1. These shears work quite well
  2. Attractive
  3. High-quality product
  4. Well constructed
  5. Recommended for use in floral design classes
  6. Affordable
  1. Handles fail to close fully after use

2. Fiskars All Steel Bypass Pruning Shears

Whether you want an ideal garden shear for lightweight chores in and around your home, for cutting down light branches or even for cutting of stems then the Fiskars all-steel bypass pruning shears is all that you need as it comes with a well hardened, stainless steel blade which is designed to stay extremely sharp and deliver great cutting results irrespective of how tough or vigorous one makes use of it and it comes backed with a lifetime warranty as it is made using high quality and premium materials which helps in ensuring that this garden tool lasts for a long time.

Specially designed to cut through a diameter of 5/8 inches, the FISKARS all-steel pruning shears also boasts of a low friction coating which enables its blade cutting easily and thoroughly through wood without sticking onto debris or sap and this in turn also helps in preventing the risks of getting rusty and one other impressive feature that makes this blade stand out from the rest today is the fact that it comes with an easy-open lock design which provides maximum protection for the blades whether when you want to store or transport this garden shears.

  1. Good quality shears
  2. Extremely sharp
  3. Quite easy to use
  4. Comes with comfortable handles
  5. Solidly constructed tool
  1. Turns dull easily and quickly
  2. Handles aren’t well-shaped

3. Gilmour Basic Hedge Shears Green Black 8 inch Coated Blades 840501-1001

This is one unique and exceptionally made tool that is designed bearing precision and accuracy in mind and it comes with an 8-inch coated non-stick blade that is designed to deliver top-class performance and durability in delivering superb and clean cuts. One feature that gardeners and pruners love about this well-designed tool is its handles which despite made using solid steel still provides the hands with a firm grip and this, in turn, helps in providing great comfort and strength during use.

When it comes to using a garden shear in cutting from small-sized branches to medium-sized branches then this is one tool that is designed to rise to the occasion and one notable feature of this tool is its shock absorber bumpers which help in absorbing high impact and minimizing vibrations during use. It is also made using premium materials which help in ensuring that this garden tool lasts for a long time.

  1. Recommended for use in flowers and vegetable garden
  2. Blades are extremely sharp
  3. Very easy to use
  4. Does the job
  5. Affordable
  1. Not durable as it bends easily
  2. Edges chip easily
  3. Also gets broken easily

4. Gonicc 8″ Professional Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears (GPPS-1003)

This garden shear and pruner are made using top quality stainless steel material which helps in promoting durability for long-lasting use and it is also coated using titanium and this also helps in extending product life as well as making it withstand tough and vigorous use. One feature which gardeners love about this garden tool is the fact that the materials used in making it also helps to ensure that it doesn’t get rusty easily compared to other low-quality products and its ability not to get rusty are quite important when it comes to pruning wet and live branches.

Users would enjoy a firm and comfortable grip when using this well-designed garden shear thanks to its foam-padded handles which helps in preventing unwanted hand fatigue while another notable feature that makes this tool widely used and popular among many gardeners is its bypass blade design which helps in making cutting branches with moisture less stressful but convenient.

  1. Stays sharp
  2. Quite comfortable
  3. Good quality product
  4. Sturdily constructed
  5. Delivers smooth cuts
  6. Well-cushioned handles
  1. Quite heavier than expected

5. TABOR TOOLS S834 Bypass Pruning Shears, Secateurs

Featuring a modern design, the TABOR TOOLS S834 bypass pruning shears is one that gardeners can comfortably work with while working on their flowers, plants, grapes, shrubs and more and it comes with a well-shaped handles combined with clip open and close design which helps in promoting comfort as well as making this tool safe for storage and transportation.

Thanks to its shock-absorbing system, the TABOR TOOLS S834 garden shear is one that is designed get rid of unwanted impact action by bringing a comfortable bounce action which helps in eliminating hand fatigue while another notable feature that makes this tool widely used and popular among many gardeners is its bypass blade design which helps in making cutting branches with moisture less stressful but convenient.

  1. Delivers clean cuts
  2. Good quality products
  3. Recommended for big hands
  4. Extremely sharp
  5. Easy to use
  6. Delivers quick cuts and makes the job less stressful
  7. Lightweight
  1. Only for lightweight chores

Final Verdict – What You Should Know

Now that you have gone through this review and carefully seen the features, benefits, pros and cons of each and every one the five products listed above then we can say you are ready to find the garden shear that best suits your gardening needs or meets your gardening requirements.

In my own opinion, the TABOR TOOLS S821 Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears is the best as it is well designed to cut with ease is extremely durable and also very easy to use.

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Make sure you’re using the right pair of gardening shears. Get to know the different types and see which of these pairs will make the cut for you.

Gardening shears should be part of your essential gardening tools. Aside from suiting your personal preference, you know you have the right pair because they fit your hands and feel comfortable. Note that there are shears especially made for the left-handed, ambidextrous or people with smaller hands.

Knowing the different types of gardening shears is also important because the right pair depends on your gardening task. Not all types are created equal and some are better at specific tasks.

A. Types/Designs

1. Basic Pruning Shears

Pruning shears are also called hand shears, and their main responsibility is to cut through small branches, stems, and twigs. When you’re pruning a tree or a bush, having the right pruning shears is important, and since you can prune all types of small plants that are up to ¾” in diameter with them, including vegetable plants and roses, basic hand shears are appropriate for nearly all pruning jobs.

Pruning shears have two blades that are used at the same time, and they are the most common type of shears used by gardeners of all experience levels. Since you are unable to cut anything too thick with them, these shears should only be used to cut and trim plants such as thin branches, twigs, offshoots, and sick leaves. You can also use them for fine grooming work when you have manicured shrubs and hedges, but for any type of shrubbery that has branches more than ¾” in diameter, you will need another type of shears.

Stores such as Home Depot have dozens of pruning shears available for purchase.

2. Thinning Shears

This type of shears is extra small and is made to cut small, delicate plants and small trees such as Bonsai trees. They are a scissor-like tool that is very small and can be used to cut a variety of spent flowers and other shrubbery. The blades themselves tend to be short in length, although the instrument itself is an average size for pruning shears, in part because it is specially made for use on small trees and shrubbery. Thinning shears have an adjustable pivot to make them easier to use, and their steel blades are guaranteed to last for a very long time.

Much like thinning shears that hairdressers use, thinning pruners utilize a scissor-like action that is easy for anyone to perform. They usually have non-slip handles that are cushioned and which allow you to grip the tool securely, as well as blades that are narrow and straight enough to get into even the smallest of places. Perfect for detailed work, thinning shears are very reasonably priced – usually under $30 – and are built to last, meaning you can count on having them around for many years to come, regardless of how much gardening you do.

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Thinning pruning shears can be found on websites such as Houzz.

3. Bypass Pruners

These shears have two blades – a top blade that is extra sharp and a lower hook that is unsharpened. When you complete the cut, the upper blade passes by the lower one, hence the unique name. Because of the way the blades are shaped and positioned, the plant you’re trimming ends up with less crushing damage and with a much cleaner, even cut. Bypass shears are easy to use and make it easy to get great results, which is why many novice gardeners use them to perform various gardening tasks.

In addition to ease of use, bypass pruners are good for cutting any type of green, live growth, and they are made to suit both left-handers and right-handers. The handle is soft molded and easy to grip, and they can have handles that are fairly straight or slightly curvy. They are also very affordable, which makes it easy to buy more than one of them to keep in your gardening shed.

Bypass pruners can easily be found at stores such as Home Depot.

4. Anvil Pruners

If you picture a sharp knife coming down on a cutting board, you’ll understand what anvil pruners are. These shears have a sharp blade that comes down on a flat, heavy edge. They are made for cutting thicker branches, especially if you apply even pressure on both sides. Anvil pruners make contact on both sides of the branch you’re working on, and once you learn to work with them, you’ll truly appreciate their advantages.

When it comes to cutting thick branches, anvil pruners are the best type of shears to use. They also tend to be lightweight and small, meaning you can reduce the strain on your hands by using them, and if coated with titanium, these shears will not suffer from sap and other debris getting stuck to them while you are cutting.

Anvil pruning shears can sometimes be found where you least expect them, including on Hayneedle.

5. Needle-Nose Pruners

Needle-nose pruners are great for pruning small, thin branches, and can usually accommodate branches up to approximately ¼” in diameter. Their straight blades have a double-ground cutting edge, their handles are usually ergonomically designed, they are very easy to use, and their handles ensure a perfect grip every time you use them. Needle-nose pruning shears are comfortable, easy to use even for novice gardeners, and are typically a low-cost item, usually costing less than $20.

One of the biggest advantages of purchasing needle-nose pruning shears is that they have a variety of uses, so they are a great multi-purpose tool to keep in your garden shed. They are great for people who have small hands, perfect for pruning fruit bushes, and great for use on small plants, fruits and vegetables, and even herbs.

Companies such as Hayneedle make several excellent, high-quality needle-nose pruning shears.

6. Lopping Shears

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These are often simply called loppers, and they can cut stems and branches that are up to 1-¾” in diameter. They come in handy on trees such as crepe myrtles, which can have unusually large branches, and they can be utilized as both bypass and anvil pruning shears. In addition, lopping shears have very large handles and give you more reach and leverage, making it much easier to cut large, thick branches.

It usually takes two hands to operate lopping shears, and if you have a lot of trees in your yard, using lopping shears makes it easy to trim away decay and stray branches. When regular pruning shears aren’t strong enough to do the job, you can usually trust loppers to do it instead.

This type of gardening shear can be seen on Home Depot‘s site.

7. Hedge Shears

These shears’ only purpose is to trim hedges. They have long blades resembling scissors as well as long handles, and they can make straight, long cuts that are able to go through more than one branch at a time. If you have hedges that are more formal in shape, hedge shears can shape their new growth, and if you have a hedge of plants such as boxwoods, these shears provide the perfect way to trim them.

Hedge shears have locking pivot bolts and handles that are tubular for better comfort, as well as an ergonomic design that often includes shock absorbers made of rubber. They have hollow-ground blades that enable them to cut very thick branches, and they are well-balanced and usually have serrated edges, which makes them perfect for performing the job they are intended to do.

Home Depot also caters this kind of gardening shears.

8. Pole Pruners

These shears are the toughest type of shears when you’re looking for something to trim and cut your trees. Operated with a control rope, these shears have long handles which allow you to reach high trees and shrubbery without having to get on a ladder. Because of their complexity and extra-sharp blades, it is recommended that only experienced gardeners use them, so if you’re a beginner gardener, always start with another type of pruning shears.

If you regularly work with fruit trees or your job includes thinning woods, pole pruners are the tool for you. You can easily cut branches from the ground without the awkwardness and potential danger of using a ladder, and there are even electric pole pruners that can complete their job without making any noise.

Home Depot sells this type of shear in different colors.

9. Parrot Beak Shears

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These shears are so named because they have two blades that resemble a parrot’s beak, and they work by trapping branches between the blades, which is similar to how birds such as parrots crush their food. This type of shears has been around for a very long time, so they are very reliable and dependable. In addition, parrot beak shears are perfect for cutting flowers to put in a bouquet or flower arrangement. With this type of shears, there is usually one convex blade and one concave blade, and they work well together to do the job they are created to do. Parrot beak shears are very similar to bypass shears, and their thin blades enable them to work perfectly with roses, dense foliage, small branches, and various types of vines.

10. Ratchet Pruners

If you don’t have much strength in your wrists or you are trimming thick stems and branches that other shears cannot handle, ratchet pruners are a great option. These shears make tough jobs a lot easier because they contain an extra part that allows you to chop and trim the branch in steps whether than in one smooth action. Once you squeeze the shears, they latch and allow you to release and then squeeze again. This is slightly different than simply performing one straight cut, but these shears work wonderfully and are great for people with injured or weak hands and wrists. In addition, many ratchet pruners have “D” handles that allow you to grasp them perfectly, and they often include a safety latch so that you have extra protection while using them.

Home Depot has several types of rachet pruners.

11. Specialty Pruning Shears

Specialty pruning shears are made for very specific, detailed tasks that include snipping or clipping fruits and vegetables, among other items, which means that the companies that make them provide dozens of tools for each specific task. These tools can include the following:

  • Pruning snips: good for making fast and precise cuts; for example, they can be used to shape and trim smaller plants or for deadheading
  • Pruning saws: these come in all sizes and several shapes, and they can even be extendable; they are perfect for lopping off tall or high branches without having to climb a ladder, and many of them are so compact that you can collapse and store them easily when they’re not in use
  • Floral pruners: these are perfect for tasks that include removing thorns, deadheading flowers, and cutting stems
  • Floral snips: these offer great precision and comfort for tasks such as cutting herbs, deadheading flowers, and much more
  • Veggie and herb shears: these shears are great for cutting vegetables or trimming herbs, and they work on herbs and vegetables of all sizes and types
  • Multi-snips: this is a multi-purpose snip that can handle tasks such as cutting open burlap sacks or fertilizer bags, sawing through light ropes or twine, cutting through wire, deadheading flowers, and performing general light pruning tasks; you can think of them as an all-purpose utility knife because they are that versatil

B. Features

1. Stems and Small Branches

You can choose the right features for your pruning shears by taking into consideration the type of trimming and cutting that you need to do. For example, for small branches and stems that are no more than ¾” thick, you should choose tools that have excellent maneuverability and which do a great job of cutting at awkward angles. Basic pruning shears are good for this purpose, mainly because they come in so many different sizes, and ratchet and bypass pruners will also work well.

2. High and Thick Branches

For branches that are unusually high or very thick, tree pruners and loppers should be used. Loppers can cut through branches that are up to two inches in diameter, which is quite thick, and if you choose loppers with extendable handles, the job will be a lot easier on you. In fact, any type of lopping shears will likely do for high trees or extra thick branches, but be on the lookout for special features that can make the task even quicker and simpler to perform.

3. Shrubs and Hedges

Hedge shears are specifically made for use on all types of shrubs and hedges, in part because they have long blades that cleanly cut all the way through to the tip. They are also perfect for cutting back grasses that are either decorative or very tall, giving your hedges an attractive shape, and trimming all types of ornamental shrubs. Hedge shears are usually over 20 inches long, and you can even purchase replacement blades for them to save yourself the expense of buying new shears. Many of them also have adjustable blades that make all of these jobs a lot easier to perform.

4. Plants, Herbs, and Flowers

Specialty shears and snips make working with plants, herbs, and flowers a very simple thing to do. These tasks are typically very detail-oriented and involve fine motor skills, so you’ll need products specifically designed for these purposes. In these and other situations, choosing tools such as pruning snips, floral pruners, floral snips, and veggie and herb shears is always a smart option. If you regularly snip herbs, deadhead flowers, or harvest vegetables, it is good to know that there are pruning tools that are designed with these tasks in mind.

5. Pruning Shears for Special Needs

There are numerous pruning shears, ratchet shears, anvil shears, bypass pruners, and many others specifically designed for people with osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other mobility conditions. If you are elderly or suffer from any of these problems, there are many types of pruning shears made specifically for you, and their features include the following:

  • A body and handles that are drop-forged
  • The ability to channel off sap so that it doesn’t get stuck in the tool and therefore make it more difficult to operate
  • High-carbon steel blades that are ultra-shined to perfection, making them much easier to use
  • Non-slip handles that are lightweight, comfortable, and strong, not to mention ergonomically designed
  • Locks (when applicable) that are extra safe and made to keep the shears securely closed when not in use
  • Handles that feel like they are massaging your hand while you use them, giving you the comfort you need to complete your gardening tasks pain-free
  • The fact that they are manufactured specifically for people with arthritis and other muscle and joint problems, particularly when it comes to comfort and ease of use in completing the task at hand, so that your hands don’t have to work any harder than needed
  • Blades that are made to stay sharp for a very long time, meaning you don’t have to employ extra force or effort to make them work

If you research this topic, you’ll notice there are dozens of brands and models of pruning shears recommended by medical associations and nonprofit organizations that specialize in helping people with arthritis or other mobility problems. These companies’ websites contain the details of these recommendations, so if you love gardening but hate what it does to your weak or arthritic hands, this is a great place to start so that you can feel better very soon.

6. Electronic Pruning Shears

Source: Amazon

Yes, there are now pruning shears of all types that are electronic and can be recharged over and over again for more efficient and reliable use. Generally, they include strong and reliable batteries that are often made of lithium. In addition to regular pruning shears, electric shears come in styles that include grass cutters and hedge trimmers, as well as many types of pruning shears. Most of these shears are under $100, and many are under $50, which means that nearly anyone can afford them, and they save both time and money in the long run.

They usually come with one lithium ion battery, an excellent warranty offered by the manufacturer, a weight of no more than a few pounds, and numerous other advantages. Rechargeable pruning shears are great for performing all types of gardening jobs, as well as for completing numerous arts and crafts projects that are often enjoyed around holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, and even Valentine’s Day.

Often, electric pruning shears come in kits that have everything you need to enjoy your new tool, including more than one type or size of blade, one or more batteries, a charging cord, and even a convenient case to keep everything in one place, should you decide to transport it for use at another location.

The wireless design greatly increases the ease of use of these tools, and since the batteries can last for up to five hours or more, you should have no problem being able to complete all the tasks you had in mind for that day. In addition, electric shears are very user-friendly, so even if you’ve never used one of these tools before, it will be simple and fast for you to start using it shortly after you receive it. Electric shears are great for people with weak or sore hands because the job of pruning, trimming, or cutting is made much easier, thus saving you valuable time in the garden.

C. Sizes/Materials

Pruning shears are usually made out of one or more of the following materials:

  • Blades: hardened or stainless steel or titanium; low-friction coatings that reduce rust; high-carbon laminated; many are serrated; some have a closing mechanism that includes a spring so that it is easier to open and close them; many blades are also non-stick
  • Handles: soft-molded but hard plastic; some are ergonomically designed; non-stick and low-friction coatings
  • Springs and other inside parts: usually made of high-quality stainless steel and coated to make them last a lot longer

The standard sizes for pruning shears include the following:

  • Basic pruning shears: since these cover so many types of hand shears, they can range from 5 to 9 inches in width, sometimes longer
  • Thinning shears: typically 7 to 8 inches long
  • Bypass pruners: typically around 4 to 5 inches in length
  • Anvil pruners: typically around 15 inches long
  • Needle-nose pruners: typically around 8 inches long
  • Lopping shears: typically around 20 to 25 inches in length
  • Hedge shears: typically around 23 inches long
  • Pole pruners: because they must be able to reach high trees and shrubbery, these pruning shears can be up to 10 feet in length
  • Parrot-beak shears: typically around 8 inches long
  • Ratchet pruners: typically around 8 inches in length

Stores such as Hayneedle feature a variety of high-quality pruning shears.

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Types of Barber’s Shears

Hair cutting scissors are the most basic and essential tool for every barber. This is regardless of whether they are a professional or simply an amateur. Apart from the regular hair cutting shears, there are a few other types of barber shears. These are used for different hair cutting techniques. Since these scissors are a hairstylist’s artistic tool, they must be different to achieve different ends. For example, there are different shears for cutting, thinning, texturizing, and styling.

The quality and result of a haircut depend on more than the quality of the barber’s scissors. It also depends on how well the shears match the hair type, hair texture, and the purpose of haircut. An especially creative and complex haircut may require various types of shears. Even the simplest and the most basic haircut demands tools which can provide an accurate and clean cut. To put it bluntly, the use of inappropriate or poor-quality hair shears usually results in a defective haircut. This is because dull blades or other faults greatly impact the quality of the haircut. Improper tools can even damage the hair, causing split ends. It is worth investing in more expensive, appropriate shears rather than lose clients because of an imperfect haircut.

Types of Hair Scissors

When shopping for hair scissors, you can find ones that are for cutting, thinning, texturizing, styling, or even left-handed versions. It is clear that there are a lot of scissors out there, but which are which and what are they used for? Let’s find out!

It is easy to understand the difference between all of these scissors at a glance. They differ quite a lot in appearance and each is designed to perform a specific task. Some are perfect for basic haircuts while others add special effects to a haircut. Hairdressers choose their shears based on several criteria. These criteria include, for example, the style which they are specialized in and the way they usually hold the scissors. Needless to say, the price of hair cutting scissors can range from quite low to surprisingly high.

It should be mentioned that professional barbers usually have all the types of hair cutting shears they may need. But you can also get along using just with the basic set of hairdressers scissors.

Hair Cutting Shears

Regular shears, also known as hair cutting shears, are used for most haircuts. These shears are universal, perfect for both salons and households. These scissors have a handle with holes for the thumb and index finger and two blades which meet during cutting. The styles and designs of hair cutting shears may vary, but they usually have a simple, traditional design. They often have rubber finger inserts to adjust the size as well as finger rest for comfort. Most hair cutting scissors are about 4.5 to 6.5 in. (11 to 16 cm) long.

Thinning Scissors

Another type of hairstylist tool is thinning scissors. These are sometimes called texturizing or chunking shears, but they are not the same. Texturizing shears are mainly meant for styling hair rather than thinning it.

The base of thinning scissors is similar to that of regular hair cutting shears with loops for the index finger and thumb. However, their blades vary greatly. The top blade has teeth which remove only some hair with each cut, to thin the hair without changing the haircut itself. It should be mentioned that hair thinning scissors are only used for sections of hair that tend to get thicker when compared to the rest of the head. That means, for example, the back of the head.

Razor Shears

Razor shears are another tool for texturizing. Razor shears have one loop for the index finger and a single blade for texturizing. For that reason, razor shears are not used like other shears. There is no cutting motion. Instead, to use razor shears, the barber holds the hair in one hand and the single blade in the other hand. They then use the razor to create small texturized cuts which give the hair natural texture.

Differences Between Hair Cutting Scissors

Cutting and thinning shears may differ from each other in many ways.

For example, blades can be beveled or convex. Beveled blades have one serrated edge. They are perfectly suited for layered and tapered cuts. Convex blades have razor-sharp edges which promise smooth, precise, and flawless haircuts. These are ideal for slide cutting.

Blades differ from each other in length as well. Short blades are usually shorter than 5.5 inches (14 cm) and are useful for detailed cuts such as around the ears. Long blades are generally longer than 5.5 inches (14 cm). These are perfect for cutting thick hair and for slide cutting.

Haircutting scissors also differ in their grips. These can be opposing, offset, or crane. Opposing grips feature handles which are equal in length and symmetrical to the center screw. Offset grips have a long finger handle and a shorter thumb handle. Crane grips offer an angled thumb handle and a long finger handle.

The handles may also be different. Standard thumb scissors have removable or reversible finger rests. These can be attached to one grip or another. Cutaway thumb scissors do not have a finger rest but still provide excellent comfort. Anatomic thumb scissors ensure freedom of movement and great radial movement thanks to their curved design. Rotating thumb scissors are a new advancement in the hairdressing industry. These have an open hand grip design which stabilizes the thumb, thus improving comfort and reducing wrist and hand strain.

What’s In a Pair of Salon Shears?

The secret of sleek and beautiful hairstyles lies not only in the artistic abilities of expert hairstylists but also on the type of professional shears and scissors that they are using. A hairstylist is often judged by the tools that he employs in his trade. A good hairstylist should know what he needs in order to deliver superior service and keep his clients happy and satisfied with their hairstyles.

Since salon shears and scissors can grab a hefty share of your investment, this Buyer’s Guide will attempt to help you delve through the intricacies of picking out “your” very own scissors and shears. While there are many high-end well-known brands of shears and scissors that stand out, it is not enough that you dive right in and part with your hard-earned money. A good hairstylist knows that quality and durability always come first when selecting salon tools…

Contents at a Glance

  • Types of Salon Shears
  • Blade Types
  • Blade Lengths
  • Tension Systems
  • Differences in Material
  • Handle Designs
  • Thumb Grips & Finger Rests
  • Important Considerations

Types of Salon Shears

The type of salon shears can often spell a world of difference between a disastrous haircut and a fabulously-styled mane. With so many brands of shears in the market, it is no wonder that many become overwhelmed and clueless on what would be the best value-for-money salon tools that will fit their needs.

Texturizing Shears

Texturizing shears are the best tools for bangs and wisping. It enables you to get rid of hair bulk from the inside and edge of the haircut. In doing so, the cut will facilitate movement and position of hair. This type of shear also helps create body for clients with thinner hair. Although some companies may use texturizing and thinning shears interchangeably, the two shears vary in the amount of hair that is cut. Texturizing scissors take hair out in large sections to create noticeable amount of lift and movement while reducing bulk. Most texturizing shears possess between 13 to 16 teeth and are used in feathering bangs and provide texture to a hairstyle.

Thinning Shears

Thinning scissors are a stylist’s favorite tools for removing hair volume without a drastic change to the hairstyle. Instead of blades, thinning shears have teeth that permit lesser amount of hair removed with each snip. The shears’ teeth separate hair better than blades thus it can also be used even on wet hair. It’s the best tool for creating feathering, adding volume, and giving the hairstyle an overall soft finish. This type of shears is excellent for thick hair which is often hard to style. Thinning allows you to keep the hair’s length while adding soft texture and even layers.

View our Top 10 Best Rated Texturizing & Thinning Shears

Titanium Shears

Titanium shears are so-called because they possess a Titanium coating rather than being made of Titanium. Coatings come in different colors that can last for a long time. Many hairstylists love the shears’ pretty surface because it does not easily chip or peel off. Being coated with Titanium, the scissors are more resistant to corrosion brought about by the use of acids or chlorides.

Examples of Titanium Coated Shears:

Kamisori Black Diamond Shears
Kamisori Rosa Shears
Joewell Cobalt Shears
Kamisori Jewel Shears
Kamisori Cahira Swivel Shears

Tempered Scissors

Tempered scissors have been subjected to a process called Tempering. It involves subjecting the steel blades to control re-heating and cooling process at low temperatures. Tempering reinforces the steel structure thereby adding toughness. The tempered blades of the scissors can also be easily sharpened and are rust-resistant.

Left-Handed Scissors

Left-handed scissors are designed for the lefties. The only difference it has with regular scissors is the orientation of the blades. You can tell that a pair of shears are truly left-handed when the blade on which you position your finger is always on top. Beneath the finger hold blade is the blade where your thumb is placed. You can easily see this orientation when you view the shear straight down. Styling tools designed for left-handed hairstylists enable them to serve their customers with the same ease and comfort.

View Lefty Shears

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Important Features of Salon Shears

Although salon shears share a common purpose, they possess different styles, handles, colors, edges, shapes, blades, and the material with which they are made of. Different hair types, customer preferences, ease of use, usability, and durability call for different types of salon shears. Each shear is tailored to achieve a specific task. For professional hairstylists, outstanding work is achieve not only by one’s skill but by his choice of tools. As advancements in the hairstyling industry grow by leaps and bounds, manufacturers have come up with designs which are not only useful and durable but also user-friendly. If you are looking for the best professional scissors that will perfectly suit your needs, here are the most important factors that should help you decide.

Blade Types

Different types of blades allow different haircuts and styles. Shears are made up of blades which are either convex or bevel.

Convex Blades

Shears with convex blades are designed for slide cutting and precision cutting. Styling is easier because the razor-sharp blades don’t need too much force to use thus it is ideal for those who spent most of each day cutting hair which increases the likelihood of suffering from muscle strain. Compared to the bevel blades, convex blades have just been recently introduced and used in the industry. These type of blades have been popularized by the Japanese. The blades’ design protects hair strands from friction while allowing you more power behind each snip, producing a smooth and flawless cut. Convex blades are harder and a bit more expensive compared to shears with bevel blades. Additionally they may require more frequent sharpening.

Beveled Blades

Shears with beveled blades have been used for a long time. The Germans were the first to use and introduce these shear blades into the hairstyling industry. In fact, these type of blades were the only ones which were used in the past. The serrated edge of beveled blades is perfect for layering, tapering, and “shears over the comb” cutting style which is popularly associated with barbers. To prevent hair from sliding towards the front, you will find that one edge of the shear is serrated.
These scissors require considerable effort to use particularly when working on achieving a closely cropped hair. In fact, scissors with this type of blades have often been associated with work-related issues including strained muscles in the fingers and hands. Beveled blades should never be used for sliding cuts because it can result in a choppy and gapped appearance. Compared to Convex blades, Beveled blades are harder and eventually lasts longer. It is also less prone to nicks and damages. However, you need to exert more effort when cutting and that can increase chances of work-related strain or injury.

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Blade Lengths

The length of blades to use will depend highly on your own personal preferences and styling techniques. There are blades of different lengths which are available but whatever you use, it should be “friendly” to your hands and fingers.

Short Blades

Less than 5.5 inches and ideal for intricate cutting styles and when cutting hair close to the ears or skin. They are also excellent for meticulous touch-ups.

Long Blades

Long blades on the other hand are highly versatile. They are used for bobbed cuts, slide cutting, “scissor over comb” cutting style, and for cutting thick hair. Some of the cutting styles that are much easier to accomplish with long blades include bob lines, cutting on the skin, scissor over comb, slide cutting, and when cutting around the face.

Finding the Right Size

Many hairstylists still lay the scissors on the palm of their hands to determine if it is the right size for them. The “Palm Sizing Method” has been commonly used to measure sizes of scissors and involves resting the shear with its finger rest on the base of your thumb with the tip of the shears falling between your middle finger’s first knuckle and end of the finger. However, more and more hairstylists now prefer following their instincts when selecting the perfect size of shears. Their choices will mainly depend on several important factors including the way that the stylist is using the scissors and the ease with which they can carry on their work. Since most schools use the 5 ½ scissors for instruction and training, many hairstylists have become used to this specific length. Generally, hairstylists choose scissors that allow them to have more control without sacrificing comfort and balance.
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Tension Systems

A shear’s tension system allows easier adjustments and better accuracy. It can also enable the hairstylist to make adjustments on the degree by which the shears will open and close. An over-tight tension system can result in a poorly cut hair while a too-loose tension system won’t cut but will simply bend the hair. There are five types of tension systems which are found in professional hairs scissors today.

Coin Adjustable Tension System

This is considered the oldest type of tension system in the business. It is often viewed as an industry standard and is still one of the favored tension systems because of its reliability. As its name implies, it can be adjusted using a coin.

Examples of Coin Adjustable Shears:

Joewell Cobalt Offset Series
Joewell K1 Series
Kamisori Teuton Series
Kamisori Paladin Series
Joewell Pro 600 Series

Round Click Dial Adjustable

This type of tension system shares the same features with the coin adjustable system but it also allows a hairstylist to easily determine the tension based on whether there is a need to increase or decrease associated with each click.

Examples of Round Click Adjustable Shears:

Kasho Green Series Shears
Joewell FX Series Shears
Joewell S4 Series Shears
Kamisori Black Diamond Shears
Bonika Silk Scissors

Leaf Spring Assembly

The leaf spring assembly permits a hairstylist to have more control and consequently accuracy when doing adjustments. Shears with this type of tension system often lasts longer because of the balance and stability that the blades possess over a wider area.

Examples of Leaf Spring Assembly Shears:

Joewell JPS Series
Kamisori Rosa Shears
Bonika Mama Series
Bonika Baby Shears

Ball Bearing Pivot System

The ball bearing pivot system has ball bearings which are sealed and embedded into the shears’ handle. This feature allows better thumb rotation compared to other types of tension systems. The ball bearings also reinforce the strength and durability of the shears.The ball bearings which are designed as sealed rings promote stabilization of the pivot action. This type of tension system has been proven to be durable and can last years of constant use by professional hairstylists.

Examples of Ball Bearing Pivot System Shears:

Leader-Cam Kiss Series
Joewell Pink FX Pro Series
Kasho Green Series
Joewell Cobalt SCC Series
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Differences in Material

The type of stainless steel shears will determine the strength and resilience of your scissors. It will also help determine the rate or frequency of sharpening your professional shears. It should be noted that the amount or combination of carbon and chromium is responsible for the quality and durability of a pair of shears. Carbon is responsible for the strength of the material while chromium protects the shears from rust. Metals such as Cobalt (prolongs and strengthens) and Molybdenum (increases flexibility and strength) are used to prevent corrosion. While shears coated with titanium tend to be more durable as the coating makes the scissors stronger and creates a sharper cutting-edge. You can count on steel shears to take you through thousands of cuts and still maintain thier strength and cutting edge.
There are various recognized types of stainless steel shears which are used in the hairstyling industry. The main difference between the steel types is the amount of carbon and chromium present in the material.

Rockwell Hardness Rating

One important factor when it comes to determining the durability and quality of professional scissors is the hardness rating of the steel. The Rockwell Scale, otherwise know as the HRC measures the hardness of the particular steel. Generally speaking, good quality steel will have a Rockwell Hardness rating of between 58 – 59. However higher quality scissors made with top grade steel should have a rating of between 60 – 64. This is particularly important with Japanese style shears as they tend to have an extremely fine edge which means they must be very hard in order to maintain a sharp edge. While the hardness rating is important in choosing your next pair of shears, there are other factors that ultimately determine the quality of a pair of hair cutting scissors – namely the various types of steel alloys from which they are constructed.

420 or J2 Steel (Surgical Steel)

This type contains negligible amounts of carbon but lots of chromium in the material thus making it very soft and very resistant to rust. Being soft, it can easily be sharpened, making it ideal for surgical use. It can also be re-sharpened easily and sanitized for reuse. This is the type of steel which is often used in shears manufactured Japanese style.

440 Steel (Cutlery Steel)

Shears with 440 steel often possess a convex edge that enables sharper performance. A rating system or grade system (A-C) classifies the quality and stability of 440 steel shears.
440A: Least expensive and not as strong; it contains the lowest carbon-chromium combination among the three.
440B: Possess intermediate qualities of the 440A and 440C
440C: Most expensive; strongest; contains the highest carbon content among the three. Most shears with a 440C rating often have a sign of quality on the back.

Examples of 440C Steel Shears:

Bonika Rainbow Disco Series
Bonika Jazzy Series
Bonika Rocker Series
Kamisori Rosa Series
Kamisori Jewel Series

Cobalt Steel

There are two types of Cobalt Scissors—the Powdered or Sintered Metal and Forged Steel. Powdered or sintered metal cobalt alloy known for a shears’ outstanding cutting performance and exceptional mechanical properties. However, shears made of this type of material are very much susceptible to breaking. On the other hand, forged steel metal cobalt alloy are much tougher and don’t break easily yet they have a Rockwell rating of around 58Rc, which is way below the ideal which is between 60-64 Rc.

Examples of Cobalt Shears:

Joewell Cobalt SCC Series
Kamisori Kaos Series
Kamisori Parana Series

V-10 Steel

V-10, (also known as VG10) is a superior grade stainless steel for cutlery that is produced in Japan. This specialty metal is a unique formulation of steel with a high carbon content along with a significant amount of Cobalt. Also known as “super steel”, V-10 is an exceptional material used in top-quality professional grade scissors. Specifically designed to maintain durability and sharpness, V-10 provides a huge advantage of not becoming brittle over time, which is a major flaw normally associated with exceptionally hard steel. In situations where an extremely sharp edge is desired, these are ideal attributes as most other steels will not take or maintain the edge of V-10.

Examples of V-10 Steel Shears:

Kamisori Black Diamond
Kamisori Serenity
Kamisori Revolver

Hitachi ATS-314

Hitachi ATS-314 steel is known for its high wear resistance, corrosion resistant, hardness and strength qualities and capable of attaining the highest of hardness ratings. Imported from Japan, ATS314 is a specialty steel and considered to be one of the best quality steel alloys in the world. Forged in Japan, the inner-structure is extremely stable giving hairdressing scissors crafted from this highly durable metal a smoothly polished surface and razor sharp edges. Widely considered to be among the best scissors available with the promise of the longest life compared with most other shears.

Examples of ATS-314 Shears:

Kamisori Kaos Series
Kamisori Teuton Series
Kamisori Paladin Series

Damascus Steel

Damascus steel is a rare stainless steel and considered the best material for shears . It is forged from 2 kinds of cobalt stainless-steel alloys which have been repeatedly folded and tempered, the same painstaking process used in the ancient tradition of sword making. The result is a beautiful steel blade with visible marble lines running through the entire structure of the metal. In addition to being one of the hardest materials around, Damascus steel shears possess both extraordinary hardness and pliability which helps to absorb the vibration caused by closing the scissors to create an extremely soft cutting sensation for superior performance. Moreover, the hardness will keep the edge sharp to allow smooth cuts while remaining pliable enough to keep the blade from breaking. Although quite expensive, shears made of Damascus steel will last you many years of cutting-edge work performance.

Examples of Damascus Steel Shears:

Kamisori Emerald Series
Kamsiori Champion Series
Kamisori Frost Series
Kamisori Smoke Series

Handle Designs

Offset Handle

Hairstylists who are at ease with a natural handle on their professional scissors would prefer an ‘offset holding’. Its short thumb handle coupled with its longer finger handle enable you to execute natural fluid movements with your hands. A barber will also prefer offset holding handle for its ergonomic design. The shears’ short thumb handle decreases the tendency of over extension of the thumb and allowing you to cut hair with a more open and flexible hand.

Examples of Offset Handle Scissors:

Kamisori Paladin Series
Kamisori Revolver Series

Crane Handle

Hairstylists love shears with an angled thumb and long finger handle for it exerts lesser strain on their shoulder and wrist. The handle design also permits you an open cut with less restrictions. Shears with Crane Finger Patterns are perfect for hairstylists who frequently use the the palm-to-palm classic cutting technique.

Examples of Crane Handle Scissors:

Bonika Silk Crane Series
Kamisori Black Diamond Series

Opposing Grip

Unlike the first two types of handles, the handles of opposing grips are of the same length. This is considered as the oldest handle design of shears but hairstylists who prefer working with the thumb and middle finger will find shears with opposing grips perfect for the job.

Examples of Opposing Grip Scissors:

Bonika Silk Series
Leader-Cam Venezia Series

Thumb Grips & Finger Rests

Finger rests are important considerations when you are looking for professional shears that offer comfort and stability. While there are hairstylists who prefer shears with finger rests, some are perfectly as ease without them. This is the reason why there are shears that are available with finger rests while others don’t have any. For versatility, there are professional shears with removable finger rests to cater to different preferences. Using shears with finger rests have also been shown to lessen muscle stress while preventing job related injuries particularly Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Repetitive Strain Injury.

Standard Thumb

Professional shears with standard thumb are highly versatile. They are fitted with a finger resting attachment that can be removed or reversed. The attachment can also be fixed on either of the shears’ left or right side. Another added bonus–you can use this type of scissor on your left or right hand. With these features, you can decide whatever works best for you without compromising the results.

Cutaway Grip

Professional shears with a cutaway grip is the most comfortable shear grip in the industry. Unlike other shears, the finger resting piece is fixed and not reversible thus your thumb has more moving space which equates to lesser or no cramps.

Anatomic Thumb

Shears with anatomic thumb grip has a rounded design that gives your thumb more freedom to move around. It’s curved design allows your thumb to fit it naturally for greater radial movement. This type of design offers the same flexibility with shears having cutaway grip. The grip’s design gives you lesser restrictions and more movement to get the desired cut.

Rotating Thumb

Shears with rotating thumb grips are perfect for reducing stress and strain of the hand and wrist. This type of shears which offers an open hand design is the latest in the industry. The design offers more comfort because it reduces thumb movement.

Examples of Rotating Thumb Scissors:

Kamisori Revolver
Bonika Rocker Shear

Other Important Considerations When Buying Professional Shears

Safety and Well-Being of Hairstylists

As professional hairstylists become more aware of work-related stress and injuries, the need to invest in the right cutting implements is of utmost importance. This need has also been recognized by manufacturers for there are continually coming up with designs that can reduce or altogether stop the incidence of work-related injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Repetitive Strain Injury. Ergonomic shear handles, lightweight shears, and thumb openings have all been designed with only the hair stylist’s comfort in mind.
Left-handed hairstylists can now perform better without being hindered by shears designed for right-hand users because they now have a variety of shears which have been specifically designed for “south paws”. Gone are the days when lefties are forced to use right-handed shears causing them to pull with their thumbs in an effort to bring the blades together. Repetitive hand movements will eventually cause fatigue and stress in left-handed individuals.

Scissor Maintenance

Without question, properly maintaining your cutlery investment will extend the life of your scissors. Because perming, color, or other hair products can be extremely corrosive and can cause permanent damage to the blades, it’s important to keep your cutting tools clean. It’s recommended that you wipe hair and dirt from the blades after each use with a tissue or soft cloth. If you notice an increased build up of hair products on your scissors, you should wash them with either HOT water or surgical spirits and dry them with a soft chamois cloth. It’s very important to never use detergent when cleaning your scissors, as this can damage the integrity and overall quality of the metal.
Another important aspect of maintenance is lubricating your scissors on a regular basis. To properly lubricate them, fully open the blades and apply a small amount of scissor oil to the inner part of the blades right behind the center screw, then evenly apply the oil along the blades with a cloth or tissue and remove the excess. It’s also recommended that scissors are stored in a safe place, mainly their original box or a good quality scissor pouch or holster.
Additionally scissors should be serviced regularly. How often they should be serviced largely depends on how many haircuts you perform on a daily basis and the type of hair that you are cutting i.e. coarse or ethnic, short, long, wet, or unwashed. While intervals of 3 or 4 months is considered average, if you feel the need to have them sharpened it’s likely they need to be. One method to determine whether sharpening is needed, lightly moisten a piece of single ply tissue and attempt to cut it with your shears. If the result is a clean cut, sharpening is not likely needed. Whereas if the tissue tears when attempting to make the cut then it’s probably time to have them serviced.


Price and quality always go hand-in-hand. If you are just starting out, there is a good number of high quality but budget-friendly shears that you can buy to practice and hone your skills. As you become more adept and competent at what you are doing, you can now choose to make a big investment for one of the most important tools of your trade. Your budget will certainly have a big say on what professional shears you will finally buy however be sure you’ll be getting your money’s worth. Don’t forget to ask about guarantees and warranties to ensure that your consumer rights are protected.

Product Reviews

Other people’s opinions and feedback are important when you are in looking for your very own professional shears. These product reviews matter because they come from people who have used and assessed the product for themselves. Oftentimes, we can be carried away by the manufacturer’s extensive marketing campaign and too many times, we forget that they are out to get our money. When you are reading product reviews, take particular notice on these important points: a product’s durability, efficiency, flexibility, durability, comfort and ease of use, care and cleaning, etc.
Hair shears are the most important and most fundamental tool for cutting hair. Whether you are a budding hairstylist or an accomplished one, a good pair of shears will help you work your magic and accomplish your full potential.

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