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Best Hair Cutting Shears: Updated Comparison of Cutting Scissors for 2019

Neck and back problems, arm and shoulder pain, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. These are the symptoms you can suffer just because of one purchase:

Wrong hair cutting shears.

As many as 75.6% of stylists are already suffering from chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. 1

You need to keep one IMPORTANT thing in mind to avoid INJURY. I’ll tell you what after this:

So, many hairdressers suffer from work-related injuries. The situation is quite grim.

But it gets better:

You too can overcome the pains in your hands, shoulders, and back. Just like many people before you.

EASHW has a report for the hairdressing sector that says: 2

  • Appropriate work practices. For example switching between different tasks and taking breaks, and
  • a good work environment design. The tools should be easy to reach and ergonomic. This includes hair scissors.

Your new shears need to be — first and foremost — comfortable. Even during prolonged use.

Test them out before you commit. They need to feel natural. Your scissors should follow your hands and not the other way around. They need to feel balanced and weigh just enough for your liking.

buying hair shears

You can return any of the following hair cutting scissors for free. Test them and if they don’t fit, send them back.

But that’s not enough …

There are thousands of hair scissors available. How should you make your pick? Let’s have a look at the full list of criteria.

You’ll soon be able to narrow down the search to your dream shears.

Hair cutting scissors types and tips for getting just the right pair

Home and professional shears are split into several types. Each type is suitable for different hands and uses.

You’ll need to consider:

  • the size of your scissors,
  • the type of blade,
  • the type of handles,
  • and high-quality material.

It’s what we looked at before listing the Top Pick and others below. We looked at what the buyers think: is the pricing really fair? Is the value you’re getting worth it?

But first: let’s take a look at what you should be mindful of.

What size of hair cutting scissors should I get?

Shears range in length from 4.5″ to 8″. 3

This is quite a range, so how do you know which to get?

The rule of thumb is: your scissors should be as long as your extended palm. This makes a perfect main tool for all home or professional hair styling.

hair cutting scissors length measured against a palm

Looking to only cut your own hair at home? The same rule applies.

Anything longer than that is suitable for specialized cutting techniques. These are the “scissor over comb” work, slide cutting, or deep point cutting. Using longer scissors, you will need fewer cuts to finish a line.

Finger holes and finger rests are another factor. Using shears that are too big will put more strain on your hand. This can expose you to injury with prolonged use. If the holes fit more snugly, your hand muscles will be able to relax more.

There is a simple rule to follow:

As you hold the scissors, the holes should not go past your knuckle. 4

If it does, and you’re happy with your shears otherwise, don’t fret!

Order some cheap finger sizers, the small plastic removable finger rings. These get affixed to the insides of the finger holes to make them narrower.

Many hairdressers use them to get rid of hand cramping. It will allow you to work much more easily.

Types of scissor blades and what to get

The ergonomic design is going to make a difference, sure …

But you know what else will? The blades.

Japanese steel is the most coveted. The Japanese steel is very strong, and they forge it into razor edge sharpness. 5 Now you can get a piece of this epic tradition in a pair of shears.

Don’t get conned!

Some makers of shears will imprint words like “Hitachi Steel” on normal steel blades. They can also imply was made in Japan just to sell their products.

In many cases, these are simple stainless steel scissors. You’re being ripped off! 6

Professional barbers pick their shear blades depending on their:

  • budget,
  • experience level, and
  • preferred sharpness.

Yes, there is a huge price difference between the two main blade types:

hair scissor blades convex bevel

The cheaper one is the beveled edge. It is more durable. However, its serrated cutting edge is not suitable for sliding. These are better for beginners, home use, and dry cutting.

The convex blade is more expensive. Barber scissors with this type of blade are more sensitive to damage from drops. However, they are sharper and more precise. Cutting with the convex edge requires less effort. It’s suitable for advanced cutting hair techniques. 7

What handle is right for you?

hair scissor handle types: offset, crane, opposing, swivel

We know three basic types of handles: 8

  • Opposing grip is only suitable for cutting with thumb and middle finger. It’s far from ergonomic for those who use the thumb + ring finger combination.
  • Offset grip was an improvement of the opposing grip design. The ring finger hole is pushed backwards.
  • Crane grip is another iteration. The fit of the hairdressers’ hands is even better.

Out of the three, we recommend the latter one for professional use.

There is also a new thumb design out that you see on the far right:

The swivel.

Swivel scissors is a variation of the crane grip. It allows the thumb to stay put while the blade is free to move around. This allows the stylist to drop the elbow and shoulder. Relaxing these areas helps prevent injuries.

The swivels are great but some hairstylists are unable to get used to it. For those, experts recommend the “bent down thumb” design. 9

Best hair cutting shears

Before we begin: how did we pick these hair scissors?

Let me guess. You’re currently thinking:

Why on earth should I trust this internet opinion to pick my scissors?

And that is fair. You shouldn’t trust just anyone on a pricey product like hair scissors. But let us explain why you should trust our picks:

We’ve been writing reviews for people who cut their own hair and barber shops since 2014.

This is the longest of all websites on hair stuff. We cover hair scissors, clippers, and other hair products.

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot. We know what people are really looking for in hair cutting shears.

Let me give you an example of what we found. There is a big divide between scissors for home and salon use.

A typical hairdresser makes a living with their scissors. They will happily pay a few hundreds of dollars for a high-quality pair. To recommend a $15.99 pair to them as a worthy product is almost an insult.

Some people come to this website just to find good Japanese-steel hair shears. Overwhelming them with other options? No bueno.

We simply know you — our readers.

Let’s now get to our picks.

Best hair cutting shears (Top Pick)

Criteria: price, ease of use, ergonomics

Cricket Roc-it Dog Rs550

BrandCricket
Length5.5″, 6″
BladesConvex
PriceCheck price
What we love most about it:

Best hair scissors to fit most needs basically needs to have it all. They need to be affordable and high-quality. They should also offer a good set of features.

The Cricket Roc-it Dog does all that and more. Even the customers are surprised. These scissors tick so many boxes for the relatively low price.

Our favorite feature is the swivel handle. It will save you from overexerting your shoulder. You’ll finally be able to cut hair in a relaxed posture.

And just in case you were wondering:

The name “Dog” has got nothing to do with dogs. These shears are for human hair.

Bottom line:

The Roc-it Dog Rs550 is a professional hair shear with the swivel. Get it if you:

  • are a hair dresser but can’t afford out professional picks, or
  • are a DIY stylist and want something more.

Buy online



Also good: Suvorna Zircon Z30 6”

This is a slightly cheaper option from the one above at a round $100.

It is an excellent pick for a moderate amount of money. Convex blades, Japanese steel, and a few ergonomic bonuses thrown in. This makes the Zircons a fair second-best pick.
Read more

Best professional scissors

Criteria: quality, ergonomics, warranty


Shark Fin Rainbow

BrandShark Fin
Length5.5″, 6.25″, 7″
BladesConvex
PriceCheck price
What we love most about it:

Shark Fin is known for their focus on ergonomics and high quality.

These barber shears come with the superior crane grip and a swivel. They include a special patented finger-fitting system. This will allow you to get a much better grip on your shears while you work.

Quality wise, they’re: 10

  • forged from 440-A or higher Hitachi Japanese steel,
  • have convex blades for dependable sharpness,
  • and the handles are made separately from the steel blades for better alignment.

“Our goal is to produce the highest quality shears at any price!! I personally guarantee it.” — Randy Ferman, CEO of Shark Fin Shears

They also offer a lifetime warranty. If all goes well, these are the last pair of shears you’ll ever need in your life.

With the shears, you get a storage case, and some lubricating oil. Plus a polishing cloth. Of course, you’re also getting the finger-fitting system. It consists of several sizes of finger-rings for your scissors. These ring can be attached and removed as you please.

These Rainbows have a nice titanium coating. It will be an epic conversation starter for your salon.

Bottom line:

This may not seem significant. But the position of your fingers actually hugely affects your posture. This is where Shark Fin excels, but it doesn’t end there. They tick all the boxes: quality, sharpness, warranty, and they’re good to your hands.

These Shark Fins are definitely the best professional hair cutting scissors.
Buy online




Cheaper: Washi Knockout

Injuries are super common with professional hairdressers. Washi know this. This is why they also supply you with finger rings with their super-sharp shears.

The only thing missing with these is the swivel thumb design. If you can live without it, then get these Knockouts. They’re much cheaper than our Top Pick.
Read more




Longer alternative: Kamisori Typhoon 7″

Need longer-blade shears and the Knockouts aren’t cutting it?

The 7-inch Typhoons tick all the same boxes. Because of their length, they are going to be best for experienced hair stylists.
Read more

These are also more expensive. The price comes with the trusted brand of Kamisori. This brand actually won our Top Pick for Japanese hair scissors below:

Best Japanese hair shears

Criteria: Japanese, sharpness, quality




Kamisori Black Diamond

BrandKamisori
Length5.5″, 5.5″, 6.0″
BladesConvex
PriceCheck price

What we love most about it:

Kamisori is a trusted hair scissors brand. They say they’re the most popular of all in the world. 11

They build each handcrafted pair of scissors through a series of 93 steps. This is to ensure the superb quality of each pair.

Kamisori also offers a lifetime warranty. They also have a special 1-year “drop” warranty. 12 They will replace your shears if you damage them by mistake.

The Black Diamonds are one of the best they have to offer. It features a cool black design. And everything you would expect from this level of shears:

  • a crane handle,
  • convex blade with an insanely sharp edge,
  • and a removable finger rest.

They claim these will last 20—25 years, though it depends on the use. With light usage, these will keep their original form for much longer.

kamisori black diamond
Photo used with permission by Kamisori.

Kamisori recommends it for cutting wet or dry hair. The Japanese stainless steel will stand up to any hair cutting challenge.

Bottom line:

This is a good pair for barber hair cutting. High quality costs, yes. But these Kamisoris will definitely deliver on all their promises. They are everything you’d expect and more.
Buy online




Also good: Kashi C-505E

A much cheaper pair of Japanese scissors are these Kashis. They are fine for slide cutting, as well as dry or wet hair. They also come with a lifetime warranty. However, they seem to be not as sharp. This is why we can’t recommend them as our Top Pick.
Read more

Best hair thinning scissors

Criteria: quality, features




Jaguar White Line Silver Ice 46

BrandJaguar
Length5″, 6.5″
Weight1.2 oz / 35 g
PriceCheck price

What we love most about it:

These German-made thinning scissors have 46 teeth with fine V-serration. This ensures a nice, precise hair cutting.

We love the huge amount of value you’re receiving out of these. That is, if you can get them — they’re made in Europe. It’s sometimes difficult to get your hands on them if you’re from the states.

Click to quickly check whether they are on stock right now.

The Silver Ice 46’s have a classic symmetric design. With regular scissors, this would be an ergonomic problem. But since thinning scissors get used so much less, we’re giving them a pass.

The ball of the scissors have a standard VARIO tension screw. With the use of a coin, you’ll easily adjust the tension. Read more about adjusting tension on hair scissors here.

We have a dedicated list for hair thinning scissors. If you don’t like these, have a look at our full list by clicking here.

Bottom line:

These are the Top Pick of our separate hair thinning scissors list. They offer great quality which is why we picked them to be here.

However, I am a little concerned about Jaguar’s warranty. There is no information about it on the web.




Alternative for lefties: Jaguar JP 38

This is a left-handed variation of a different Jaguar model. If you’re looking for left-handed hair thinning scissors, this is your best bet.
Read more

Best hair cutting scissors for home

Criteria: price, ease of use




Equinox 6.5″

BrandEquinox
Length6.5″
BladesBeveled
PriceCheck price

What we love most about it:

What we love most are the reviews on Amazon.

Have a look here. People are raving.

These inexpensive hair shears have bevel blades. Bevel blades are typically a little less sharp than the convex ones. Don’t worry, because they are thoroughly sharpened to be razor-edge sharp.

Why is this even important?

Well, if you cut hair with dull scissors, they will fray, split, and damage hair. Not with these.

Other notes on these:

  • the crane design supports a good, natural grip,
  • the scissors’ tension Is easily adjustable with a twistable knob,
  • they are a good middle-ground length making them pretty versatile, and
  • they are very lightweight (only 4.8 oz).

If you’re looking for something cheap and dependable, do consider these.

Do get your hands on the Equinox Professional Shears. We just don’t recommend using them in an actual salon.

Bottom line:

The quality vs. price ratio of these home-use scissors is great. It’s what made us rank this Equinox as the Top Pick. This pair is a top seller on Amazon. We think this is a worthy choice in the budget price range.
Buy online




Also good: Utopia Care

Even cheaper but with similar features is the Utopia Care. These come with a bonus — finger inserts. They let you adjust the finger holes for a better fit.
Read more

Best left-handed hair shears

Criteria: left-handed, quality, sharpness




Washi Lefty Cotton Candy

BrandWashi
Length5.5″, 6″
BladesConvex
PriceCheck price

What we love most about it:

Buying left-handed shears is hard, isn’t it?

Most of the tools available cater to the right-handed majority. If you’re unlucky, you’re only getting slightly adjusted right-hand scissors.

This is why we chose these “true left-handed shears” as our Top Pick. These are completely reversed (including the blades).

This means they follow the natural left-handed cutting motion. You will be able to see what you’re doing much better.

Washi is a well-known company that produces high quality hair scissors. Just like you’d expect, these have stainless steel convex blades. Plus an offset handle for a better fit, and a tension adjuster.

Bottom line:

Great option for lefties. Strongly recommended!
Buy online



Alternative: Kamisori Black Diamond

Not too keen on the Cotton Candy (or if you want something higher-grade)? Get the Kamisori Black Diamond we reviewed above.

This professional hair shear is available in a true lefty variation.




Cheaper lefty design: Shears Direct

For less than half the price, you can get these scissors from Shears Direct. They are semi-professional. A good choice for a budding home stylist or a beginner hairdresser. They come in several sizes that will fit any hand.
Read more

4 essential tips for using hair scissors

Forget about the stuff you learned from your old hairdressing books.

Have you learned in your training that you should sharpen the blades yourself?

That is nonsense, don’t even think about it!

In this section, we’ll take a look at the common mistakes people make. You’ll learn how to properly use shears. Plus you’ll learn some tips to keeping them in a top-notch shape.

Ready?

How to properly hold hair cutting scissors

Still suffering from hand cramping, even after all our tips above?

It’s time to mix it up.

And by that I mean: switch up the positions of your hand as you work.

There are two main types of hand positions used by barbers. Each is best for certain techniques: 13

  • Traditional / Western
  • European / Eastern

If you don’t know what we’re talking about, don’t worry. Here is which is which:

eastern and western hair scissor grip

Western grip is more common. It’s the natural way to hold hair scissors. The thumb in the larger hole and the rest of the fingers laying on top.

The Eastern grip is similar, but the scissors are pointed in the other way. This is a good technique for point-cutting on the top, for example.

In both cases be sure to only move the thumb to operate the scissors. Let your hand relax as much as possible.

How to adjust scissors’ tension

In the first 2 months of use, you need to check and adjust tension every day.

Does that seem a little much for you?

Failing to do so could cause you to damage the sharp blades!

This is because you’ll push them together to get them to cut. You spent a lot of money on hair cutting shears. Now take the time to check and adjust the tension. It will pay off.

It’s actually really easy!

First, here’s how to quickly test whether you need to adjust:

Position the scissors horizontally, with the thumb hole up. Open the scissors and remove the thumb. Let the handles fall and close the scissors.

checking the hair shear tension

Now look at the blades.

Did the blades close half way or entirely? That means there isn’t enough friction between them. Your shears’ tension needs to be adjusted. 14

This is very easy to do. Most scissors have either an:

  • adjustable tension screw, or an
  • adjustable tension knob.

The former can be adjusted with a simple coin. The latter can be simply turned by hand. Turn clockwise to decrease and counter-clockwise to increase tension. 15

How to sharpen hair scissors

Are your scissors getting dull? Want to sharpen them?

Well, here’s the thing …

You’re actually not supposed to sharpen hair shears yourself. Even sending them off to unofficial sharpeners is not great.

At least if we trust the shear makers.

Do you have lifetime warranty or a different guarantee on your shears? Then we advise you ask the manufacturer to sharpen your hair scissors.

You’ll pay from $25—$45 for scissor sharpening.

We found a few sharpening providers that accept mail-ins: Washi, Kamisori, and Stay Sharp. There are more out there. Get a backup pair to use while the primary ones are in sharpening.

How often should you sharpen them?

There is no rule to how often the scissors should be sharpened. It depends on how they’re used.

It matters on what kind of hair (wet or dry, thick or thin). It also depends on how well they’re looked after. High quality shears will typically need less sharpening.

How to take care of hair scissors

Some basic maintenance is going to keep your cutting tools in a great shape.

First rule:

Do not use the shears for anything other than hair. This includes wigs, animal hairs, and everything other than clean human hair.

Got it? Good.

Now moving on to cleaning.

Cleaning the shears between cuts is essential. The product and chemicals from the hair will build up on the shears. If you don’t clean it, it will gradually affect its performance.

Simply use a soft cloth towel to wipe the shear thoroughly after every cut. Don’t forget to disinfect with alcohol.

How should you oil your pair of scissors?

Here’s what to do at the end of every day:

how to oil your hair scissors

Lubricate the pivot with a few drops of oil. Then open and close the shears a few times to help it distribute.

This will clean the scissors and minimize the wear in the moving part of the shears. Don’t worry, the oil will dry before you start work the next day. 16

Of course, properly storing your precious tool while it is not in use is crucial.

Store your clean and dried shears in a safe, dry place. Store them in the closed position. This will ensure that they are as protected from damage as possible.

Questions from our readers

Can you bring hair cutting scissors on a plane?

Traveling somewhere where you’ll need your barber scissor hair cutting set? You’ll probably need to pack a good protective leather case.

Why do I say that?

TSA says that hair cutting scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches (ca. 10 cm) can be packed in your carry-on. Anything longer, and it will have to go to a checked bag. 17

That is in the states … what are the regulations like elsewhere?

In Europe, sharp items of any size are not allowed in the carry-on. You may only pack them into the hold baggage. 18 It’s similar in Hong Kong 19 and Australia.

What happens if you cut your hair with regular scissors?

You technically can cut your hair with regular paper scissors. But we do not recommend it.

Hair cutting shears are designed for sharpness, precision, and stability. Those are all necessary for styling hair.

And I get it …

Salon hair shears can cost a lot.

I suggest you have a look around for a budget option.

For as little as $10, you can get your hands on a shears set. It may not be very long-lasting, but will give you OK results. Definitely better than your trusty old arts and crafts companion.

What’s the difference between scissors and shears?

The main difference between the two is simply: length. Any scissors with the blade longer than 6 inches (15 cm) are technically called shears.

But the usage is relatively lax. Some people call all non-symmetrical scissors shears. Which qualifies most barber scissors as shears because of their offset handles.

In this article, we’re using the terms interchangeably.

Texturizing and thinning scissors: what’s the difference?

There is a difference between the two, and it’s not a subtle one.

  • Thinning shears are meant for removing excess weight from hair. You can use them to blend away any errors in the haircut. This is why they’re a popular tool for cutting long hair at home.
  • Texturizing shears have wider teeth. This enables them to remove larger bits of hair, creating texture. They add volume to hairstyles by layering.

In short, if you’re looking to remove volume, go for thinning. If you want to add volume, get texturizing. 20

Before you go …

Tell us how we did! Did you like our research?

Picking the right picks is difficult. So many options to look at, and different use cases to consider!

Hours of research went into this list. This is why we’re confident these are the best picks out there.

Many review websites copy our picks. We must be doing something right!

Join the rest of our readers in the comments and tell us: which are the best shears in your opinion?

Notes:

  1. Aweto, H. A., Tella, B. A., Johnson, O. Y. (2015). Prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among hairdressers. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health28(3), 545-555. https://doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00291
  2. https://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/literature_reviews/occupational-health-and-safety-in-the-hairdressing-sector (see chapter 2.1)
  3. https://www.scissormall.com/faq-choosing-the-right-shear-for-you
  4. https://www.scissormall.com/faq-choosing-the-right-shear-for-you
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_swordsmithing
  6. https://washiscissor.com/shear-knowledge
  7. https://www.staysharpshears.com/learn/styling-advice/which-is-the-correct-scissor-type-for-you-beveled-or-convex-blades
  8. https://hair.lovetoknow.com/Haircutting_Scissors
  9. https://www.scissormall.com/faq-understanding-the-ergonomics-of-hairdressing-shears
  10. https://www.sharkfinshears.com/why-sharkfin/
  11. https://kamisorishears.com/kamisori-difference/
  12. https://kamisorishears.com/warranty/
  13. https://www.hairfinder.com/techniques/how-to-hold-shears.htm
  14. https://www.hikariscissors.com/maintenance.html
  15. https://www.staysharpshears.com/learn/styling-advice/types-of-tension-systems
  16. https://www.hikariscissors.com/maintenance.html
  17. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/scissors
  18. https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/carry/luggage-restrictions/index_en.htm
  19. https://www.cad.gov.hk/english/for_travellers.html
  20. https://www.staysharpshears.com/learn/styling-advice/difference-between-texture-and-thinning-shears
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5 comments

  1. Thank you so much mate. you are awesome. Please continue with reviews on hair shears. It is nice to read from someone with real opinions as opposed to common customer testimonial.

  2. I personally feel that my money is well spent on any of the Hikari scissors. They may be on the pricier side but I’ve come to learn that the money I spend on Hikaris are definitely well worth it, especially considering they are the tools of my trade.

  3. I absolutley love my Kamisori shears, it’s good to find website with reviews such as this one to help me if I ever need shears that don’t cost an arm and a leg!

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