What to look for when choosing the best shears for you

October 11, 2023

It’s A Decision Worth Splitting Hairs Over. Every hero needs a sidekick. And, as a hairdresser, your trusty sidekick is your shears. They defend against injury, protect damaged hair, and bring your vision to life. So not just any old pair will do. 

But there are tons of different shears on the market. And we feel ya! It can be pretty overwhelming to figure out which ones to keep by your side. Luckily, we’re here to save the day. Here’s some pointers to keep in mind when you’re choosing your perfect pair.

Types of Shears

First things first. Different haircutting shears are used for different techniques, hair types, and styles. Many professionals rely on at least four pairs of scissors, while some boast a toolbox that rivals that of a seasoned carpenter. 

Here are some of the basic types of scissors you’ll want in your kit:

  • Short-bladed: These are often the favored scissors of female stylists and those who specialize in cutting women’s hair. Shorter blades are ideal for more precise and detailed styling.
  • Long-bladed: Often used in traditional barbershops, scissors with longer, heavier blades are great for cutting large sections with one straight snip.
  • Thinning: Want to take some weight off? Reach for thinning shears, which have small teeth that’ll help you create soft, blended lines. 
  • Texturizing: Scissors with wider teeth are perfect for creating a cut with a lot of movement and dimension – without a lot of bulk.

While shears vary in size, shape, and purpose, there are three major factors to consider when you’re choosing any pair of shears: comfort, control, and quality.


It’s not uncommon for professional stylists to do 100 or more haircuts in a week. That’s a lot of time spent doing tiny, precise movements with your hands. The last thing you want to worry about is cramping, fatigue, and discomfort that prevent you from doing your job effectively. 

Even worse? Hairdressers are one of the highest risk groups for repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you plan to cut hair for years to come, it’s important to have tools that allow you to do your job comfortably and protect you from injury in both the short and long term.

One of the best ways to protect your hands and joints is by choosing shears with a handle that offers support and allows you to maintain good posture when cutting.

There are three common types of handles:

  • Straight: Classic hairdressing scissors usually have two identical blades and ring handles that are stacked symmetrically. While some hairdressers still prefer these scissors, we don’t recommend straight scissors for prolonged use because they require you to hold your arm in an unnatural position which can cause discomfort over time.
  • Offset: One of the most common handles found in shears today, the offset handle, has a thumb ring blade that’s shorter than the finger ring blade. This handle helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome because it alleviates pressure on the thumb tendon and allows you to hold your hand in a more natural position.
  • Crane: Like the offset handle, the crane features a shorter thumb ring. The main difference between these two is that the crane handle is not centered on the blade, allowing the elbow to drop into a more natural position. Some of the most ergonomic scissors include a crane handle and stylists who are suffering from repetitive strain injury and general hand discomfort often prefer them.

Other personalized options to increase comfort include shears with a swivel thumb, lighter-weight blades, and removable thumb gaskets to help handles fit your fingers better. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to comfortable shears. When you’re starting out, it’s worth trying out a few different types to find what works best for you. 


Along with comfort, it’s vitally important to have shears that allow you to maintain the appropriate level of control while you’re working. This is where weight and length come into play. (So you can wield your shears like a boss!)

  • Weight: If your shears are too light, they may not have the power to cut through thick or coarse hair. If they’re too heavy, they may force you to work harder and cause hand pain. Like Goldilocks, you want to choose a weight that’s just right – so you don’t adopt poor posture or cheat your hands (which could impact the quality of your cut and even cause you injury). 
  • Length: Most shears range in length from 4.5” to 8”. The length you choose is really a matter of personal preference, but many stylists choose shears ranging from 5.5” to 6.5". A good rule of thumb is to find shears that start at the corner of your wrist and end at the tip of your pointer finger.

Shorter shears give you more control and are great for fine-tuning complicated hairstyles, and trimming small areas like bangs. Longer shears are great for thick hair and simple mens’ cuts, but allow less control for detailed work. Think about the clients you serve and the styles you prefer to cut – that’ll help determine the length you choose.


Shears can make or break a cut. That’s why having a quality pair pays off. Since we know that quality often comes with a price, how can you be sure you’re getting a great return on your investment?

Here are a few things to look for when you’re shelling out for quality scissors:

  • Materials: Dull-bladed and inferior shears make cutting difficult, damage hair, and impact the style. Choose shears made of high-quality steel that will maintain sharpness and durability over many cuts.

The best shears available are made from high-quality, hard Japanese steel that's often blended with elements, such as cobalt and molybdenum, to ensure greater strength and a longer lifespan, and reduce the need for frequent sharpening.

Aside from the blades, the tension system and screws that hold your shears together need to be able to withstand necessary adjustments and hold up to frequent maintenance.

  • Brand: If you’re planning on going with higher-end shears, you want to know your purchase is backed by a company that believes in its product.

Anyone can make false claims about the quality of a product, but luckily there are a few easy ways to know you’re getting the real deal.

Look for shears that are well-reviewed and backed by reputable salons and scissor distributors. A good reputation is earned by offering products that consistently produce excellent results. 

Even better? The best scissor manufacturers and distributors offer excellent customer support and long-term warranties.

We know it can be overwhelming to choose the right tools for your job. That’s why we’re here to help. Shop with us and be confident you’re getting the best scissors on the market. We care about our customers and about the products we promote. That’s why we offer top-notch customer service and support, as well as warranties to back up what we sell.

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