2023, 2022 & 2021 Reader’s Choice Awardee in Best Shears Beauty Launchpad Magazine. Read more
best hair cutting shears
Hattori Hanzo Shears

High Quality Shears vs. Low Quality – Should You Invest In Higher Priced Shears?

Read Article

High-Quality or Low Quality – Which Are The Best Hair Shears?

What’s the most important tool for a barber? It’s unquestionably their shears. 

Hairstyling shears come in various shapes and sizes. You can find budget-friendly shears for as low as $10, or you’ll come across high-end ones that cost around $1000. This raises a simple question: why such a big difference in price when both do the same job – cutting? 

In this article, we’ll explore the qualities that make a shear exceptional and justify its premium price. We’ll delve into factors such as shear materials, edges, blades, and more. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a solid understanding of which shears to consider and why Hanzo shears should be your top pick.

Let’s begin with a quick trip to Hanzo’s shear collection – Visit Now. 

Now what makes a shear great and why high quality shears have a big price tag?

Good shears are not a cost; they’re an investment.

Material Quality Of Shears

best shears for cutting hair
Hanzo HH2T Hirami Shears

Materials play an important role in the build of a cutting shear. Different steel types and varieties are available in the market but German and Japanese steel shears continue to be the top choice for best hair shears. Both German and Japanese steel is durable and hard – perfect for cutting hair. All high quality professional shears are made from either of the two steel types. 

Shears Made From Japanese Steel

Japanese steel is hard and lightweight. The metals are treated to have certain anti-corrosive properties and expert craftsmen carefully sharpen it so it stays sharp for as long as it can cut. Professional hairstyling shears are known to maintain their sharp, convex cutting edge for a long time. Hanzo uses high quality Japanese steel for the manufacturing of its shears.

best professional hair cutting shears

There are sub-categorizations and grades in steel as well which are based on the level of hardness. Following are some of the top choices in steel:   

  1. 440C steel is hard, durable and commonly used for mid-range professional shears. 
  2. VG10 steel  is considered as the gold standard of Japanese steel which is used to create only the top quality shears.
  3. ATS 315 steel is quite similar in its properties to the VG10 except for its ability to cut anything – wet, dry, thick and coarse hair. 

When 10 layers of VG10 are folded together, we get Damascus steel which is a very high end steel – amazing quality, lightweight and ultra durable. 

Shears Made From German Steel

German steel is no lesser than Japanese steel. It is not only hard but also durable and lightweight. Beveled edges are characteristic to German blades which maintain their sharp cutting edge for a long time. 

Cheaper shears are made using inferior grade materials and although they might look fairly identical to high end cutting shears, they will not maintain their sharp cutting edge for a long time. Furthermore, the low grade steel is prone to nicks and breaks in case of a fall. 

When looking to buy the best hair shears for your saloon, opt for Japanese steel shears as they have a convex edge which is slightly easier to handle. It is highly recommended to go for something high carbon because it stays sharp for a long time and delivers exceptionally clean cuts every time. Buying a high quality shear would be an investment towards building an amazing clientele and enjoying hairstyling. 

Edges and Blade Quality of Shears

Let’s dig deep in the physics of shear blades. 

qualities of best hair shears

Japanese steel shears are particularly esteemed for their convex edge blades, cherished for their unmatched cutting precision. These blades, meticulously crafted from the hardest and highest-quality steel, offer an unparalleled cutting experience that is essential for advanced hair cutting techniques such as texturizing, slide cutting, and point cutting. It’s important to handle convex edge blades with care, as they may require periodic sharpening if not used correctly, which is why shears with this blade type are often considered an investment.

For those seeking a budget-friendly option, Japanese steel professional hair shears often come with semi-convex edges. These edges are slightly thicker but still exceptionally sharp and offer precision cuts. The advantage of semi-convex edges is their ease of sharpening, making them a practical choice for both high-quality and more affordable Japanese steel shears. The key difference lies in edge durability, with well-crafted semi-convex edges maintaining their effectiveness over an extended period.

In contrast, German shears are recognized for their beveled edges, which are sturdy and maintain sharpness over time, making them ideal for various hair cutting needs. Beveled edges securely hold hair within the scissors, ensuring a smooth cutting experience, which is why many barber hair cutting scissors feature this edge type, offering a harmonious blend of quality and affordability.

Some shears with beveled edges also incorporate micro-serrated features, consisting of tiny serrations along the blade’s edge. These serrations enhance grip on the hair, preventing slippage during cutting. Micro-serrated edges are particularly useful for precise haircuts, such as blunt cuts and scissor over comb techniques, ensuring clean lines and professional results. It’s worth noting that using serrated edges in conjunction with a beveled edge is not recommended for certain cutting techniques, as it may not provide the desired results. Hanzo has a comprehensive shear guide that helps you choose the perfect shear for each type of haircutting technique – Check here

In summary, when seeking top-quality hair shears, understanding the distinctions between Japanese and German steel and the various edge types can help you make an informed choice based on your specific hair cutting needs and preferences.

Best Hair Shears Have These Additional Features

best hair shears

Material is just one of the many factors contributing towards the higher price tag of a top-notch hair styling shear. Some other contributing factors are as follows: 

  • Ergonomics 
  • After sales services 
  • Finish quality and expert craftsmanship 

Various handle types are available for shears, and advancements in scissor handle design have alleviated wrist and hand discomfort. The introduction of ergonomic handles, which may feature an offset handle, crane handle, or swivel thumb, has revolutionized the industry. These handles are typically found on higher quality shears and may come at a slightly higher price point compared to traditional, classic handles.

Another consideration is how frequently you’ll need to sharpen or replace your shears. A high-quality shear retains its sharpness for an extended period. With a durable, well-crafted scissor at your disposal, you should only require sharpening every 6-12 months. These shears don’t tug or push hair like lower quality alternatives. In contrast, lower quality shears may necessitate sharpening every 1-2 months due to excessive hair pushing.

Investing in expensive, high-quality shears should provide longevity, typically lasting 5-10 years, contingent on your sharpening frequency. It’s important to avoid over-sharpening, especially with premium shears, to ensure their extended lifespan.

Furthermore, high-quality shears offer several advantages, including a superior, ergonomic handle design, improved finger placement, meticulous craftsmanship, access to after-sales services, superior materials, and precise tang placement. These features collectively contribute to a more comfortable and efficient cutting experience, making them a worthwhile investment for professionals. 

For instance, Hanzo has a Stay Sharp and Inshearance programs which help expert hair stylists keep their best hair shears in perfect condition. 

Curious about how investing in a quality shear can actually boost your earnings? Learn more!


Professional hairstylists should never compromise on the quality of their tools and always opt for the best hair shears to meet their hair styling needs. Owning top-quality shears offers a multitude of advantages. These shears provide unmatched precision and performance, ensuring flawless hairstyling results. Their ergonomic handle designs minimize discomfort and strain during long styling sessions. With a longer lifespan and reduced maintenance requirements, high-quality shears are a wise investment that not only enhances customer satisfaction but also increases efficiency. By prioritizing quality, hairstylists elevate the quality of their work, saving time and money. Invest in Hanzo shears for a world-class hair styling experience.

Checkout our complete collection of best Japanese steel hair shears

Related Artciles