Our goal is to educate every stylist and barber about shear sharpening! There are a few different ways to sharpen shears. The most common method is a wheel based system. Do you know which way your sharpener is sharpening your shears? Do you know what is happening to your hair cutting shears when they get sharpened? We sat down with Mike Harrison, our shear sharpening expert, and Department manager, to bring you the information you need to know.
What are the different methods of sharpening scissors, and what is different about them?
Tip: You must be asking your sharper what method they are using. Knowing how your someone is sharpening your shears would be best. After all, you have invested money into them, and a lousy sharpening job could damage your shears forever.
“There are a few different types of sharpening. Most Sharpening systems are wheel based abrasive systems; There are not very many hand sharpeners. Hand sharpening usually will not remove nicks or repair severe damage. Here’s what you may not know, Yes wheel-based systems are the most common, but there are so many different ways a sharpener can use the wheel-based system. The least abrasive way of sharpening is water honing, which we do here at Hattori Hanzo Shears. We encourage you to ask questions before just handing your shears over to someone to sharpen them.” -MH
What sharpening method does Hanzo use on shears?
Tip: Here at Hanzo, we have invested an extraordinary amount of time and effort into having the highest quality sharpening department. We have highly skilled professionals who will treat your shears with care and have been through the best-offered training.
“Hanzo has researched and developed our proprietary sharpening system over the past decade while working with esteemed sharpeners from Japan and the US, including The President of the National Beauty Tool Sharpening Guild. We invest in the highest quality equipment and have a comprehensive training program to ensure the highest quality and consistency level. We use a multiple-step process and treat your shears like they are at the best spa in the world! Our equipment has mild abrasives on the convex edge of the blades to prevent heating. That way, we can avoid heating the metal and oversharpening while maintaining the life of the shears. We use multiple wet honing stones on the blades’ inner edges to create a smooth surface, and our sharpeners take the least amount of metal possible off a blade.” -MH
What happens to hair scissors when they are sharpened?
Tip: Hanzo uses a very detail-oriented approach to sharpening. Not every shear sharpener is going to use the same process as we do. The quality of your sharpening will directly affect your shears lifespan.
“It truly depends on who is sharpening your shears. You may have someone who comes and takes your shear to the wheel without ever dismantling it, which can cause severe problems down the road. At Hanzo, we take the shears apart so that each shear can go through a multistep sharpening process to re-edge or convex the blade to the factory setting whenever possible. If a sharpener poorly sharpened the shear, we may not be able to restore the factory setting. The shear is polished with a proprietary and gel to bring back a mirror-like polish before it goes through the multistep water honing process. The sharpener then reassembles the shear. Once the full sharpening process is complete, the shear goes to the Quality Control Department for final performance testing and approval.” -MH
Why is it important to sharpen hair cutting shears regularly?
Tip: Regularly Maintaining your hair-cutting shears will ensure a longer life for your shear!
“Two primary reasons to keep shears sharpened are to maintain the health of the hair follicle and quality of the haircut, in addition to the health of the hand. It goes unnoticed, but a dull shear will require more pressure and strength from your fingers and thumb on your cutting hand. Dull shears can cause adverse effects on your tendons etc., compromising the health of your hand.” -MH
How often should cutting shears be sharpened?
Tip: A good rule of thumb is to sharpen your shears every 3-4 months or every 500 haircuts.
“There are many variables here, such as the variation in metal blends, the style of cutting (such as wet versus dry cutting), the quality of care given to the shear, and how often you use it. Texturizers need sharpening much less often based on use.” -MH
How can someone tell their scissors are ready for sharpening?
Tip: If your scissors are bending hair, that is a sign they are ready to be sharpened. Another sign to look for is if the shear is pushing hair when you are cutting.
“The best test is to very slowly cut through a wet sanek while the thumb is on the back outside of the thumb hole and not inside the thumb hole to ensure no adverse pressure is applied to the handle and blade as it cuts.” -MH
How can someone tell if they had a lousy sharpening job on their shear?
Tip: Test your shears on a wet sanek strip; if your shear cuts right through the sanek, it is sharp! If your shear bends the sanek, it’s either dull blades or the tension may need an adjustment.
“The edge of the shear may be inconsistent with variations in the angle or convex. Often it takes a professional sharpener to spot any inconsistencies.” -MH
Your shears are your most used tool as a hair professional. Taking care of your shear should be very important to you. We value that here at Hanzo. We have local reps all over the nation to help you take care of all your shear needs. If you would like to find out who your local rep is, give us a call at 916-790-5291. We highly recommend becoming a part of our STAYSHARP program. It’s essential to be enrolled in this program if you own Hanzo shears. It not only serves as a great program to sharpen your shears but also serves as inSHEARance on your Hanzo shears. There are many benefits to the STAYSHARP program, including access to Hanzo Classes for free. Don’t forget to ASK QUESTIONS the next time you get your shears sharpened. Don’t just hand over your shears to anyone. You have invested in them, and trust us when we say one bad sharpening job can ruin your shears. We at Hanzo stand by and guarantee our work.
Written by: Catie Delahanty
Edited by:Torrey Loomis