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Choosing Quality Scissor Steel

November 13, 2008 by  

When it comes to buying hair shears or scissors do you know what you’re doing? Sure, if you’re a professional stylist you should have a pretty good handle on this already, but do you know how to choose quality scissors? What type of steel should you choose and how often should you have your scissors sharpened? Your scissors or shears are the single most important tool that a hair dresser has, and all too often, stylists don’t pay enough attention to this very important tool.

 

What did you learn at your beauty school, or the salon where you trained? Did you learn the difference between the types of steel that are used in scissors and shears? Unfortunately, too many stylists don’t learn the necessities when it comes to shears and scissors.  And don’t you think if it’s the most important tool in the salon, you should pay closer attention to it?

 

When it comes to the steel that you use, you are going to want to choose a material that is strong and resilient because this will determine how often you have to sharpen your scissors. There are two types of stainless steel shears, 440 and 420 which is sometimes known as J2. The differences between the two types are dependent on the amount of carbon and chromium in the metals. A higher quality of stainless steel will have a good amount of both carbon and chromium because the carbon makes the steel strong while the chromium gives it resistance to rusting. So you may want to choose scissors that are made with a good combination of both.

 

Of course there are differences between these types as well. When it comes to 440 steel there is a rating system from A to C. 440A is the cheapest and isn’t very strong, 440 C is the most expensive steel but is also the strongest, and 440B falls in the middle of the category.

 

The other stainless steel J2 has a lot of chromium in it but has very little carbon which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Because the steel is soft it can be sharpened to a razor sharpness giving you a very accurate cut. This is often the steel found in Japanese style manufactured shears. These shears will often have a convex edge on them as well which gives the scissors an even sharper performance. Some shears have a titanium coating on them which increases the strength and also creates a sharper edge for cutting.

 

Be careful when you are choosing scissors and shears and ask questions about the steel type of the tool you are considering. You will have to weigh the benefits of a less expensive pair that you will have to sharpen more frequently versus a bigger cost up front. In fact, a cheaper pair of scissors will often cost you more in the long run because of the extra sharpening you will have to do. Start with a quality pair of shears and not only will your clients be happy with their cuts, you will be happy with their performance. 

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