At HUDSON, we provide sharpening services for grooming scissors, and are often asked about the best use and care of scissors. We hope the following information helps, but please contact us if you have any further questions or need to have your grooming tools serviced.
Scissors are the most personal tool a groomer owns and it takes a little time for groomers to get used to the feel of each scissor they use. These tools require special care from storage at your place of business to protection during transportation to where they are serviced.
When you purchase your scissors, they usually come wrapped in a cloth, plastic of leather sheath. This sheath acts to keep the blades from opening and being damaged in transit. It also keeps oil the manufacturer or sharpener has applied to the blades in place so they will not tarnish and rust while in storage. Remember to use this sheath when shipping your scissors for servicing or wrap them in a protective covering to prevent them from opening while in transit.
It is a good habit to replace the scissors in this sheath at the end of your workday after wiping your scissor blades clean and applying a light coat of petroleum based oil to the scissor blades and pivot screw. This will lessen wear in the pivot of your scissor while they are in use the following work day and will prevent rust,giving you longer use of this tool.
Q: how many times a pair of scissors can be sharpened?
The answer depends on several factors:
- Blade Thickness
- Scissor Use
- How dull scissors are allowed to be become between sharpenings
- If the blades have nicks or chips
- Sharpening techniques used
Whenever a pair of scissors is sharpened, some of the metal from the blade is removed. There is no other way to sharpen scissors. Blade thickness is important because the thicker the blade, the more material that can be removed over time.
A thicker blade offers more stability at the scissor tip. As the scissor blade is ground down during sharpening, there is less metal near the tips of the blades causing them to flex and "skip" over hair. There are three ways to correct this problem. One is to shorten the scissor blade to a point where they no longer flex and will cut through hair to the scissor tip. The second is to re-curve the blade so there is more pressure applied at the scissor tip. The third is to replace the scissor.
Take the time to adjust the tension properly or have it adjusted for you. Your scissor should open and close with little effort and feel smooth during the process. If your pivot screw is set too tight there will be excessive wear on the inside of the blade and pivot area as well as extra stress on your scissoring hand. If your scissors are too loose you exert side pressure on the blades to make them perform. By adding pressure to the inside of the blade, pushing the thumb guard of the scissor away from your wrist while pulling the finger guard towards your wrist, the inside edge of the scissor is rounded off requiring additional removal of metal to make the scissor work again. This reduces the working life of the tool.
Your scissor has a simple fulcrum and lever. The further your work is from the pivot screw, the more pressure is needed to make contact with the opposite scissor blade. Each scissor blade is curved to enable this pressure to be applied so you can cut through to the tip of the scissor. Each manufacturer uses a varying amount of curve in their blades, depending upon the length of the scissor and its style. When you hold your scissors up to the light, a gap should be visible between the blades when they are closed. There should be no gap between the scissor tips when they are closed.
When To Sharpen
A scissor is a very personal tool. What works for one person may not work for another. A good rule of thumb is to service your scissors when they start to feel like they are not cutting properly and are slower in giving you the results you want. The longer you use your scissors without having them serviced means that more metal may have to be removed to bring them back into working shape. We suggest retiring a scissor that has had 1/4 of its blade depth ground away by sharpening for this tool can no longer give you the service needed to perform your work efficiently.
Nicks, Pits and Chips
Those annoying little dings on the inside of your scissor blade can be a real problem. This may cause added damage to the blades if you continue to use a scissor that has a nick. Each time the scissor is opened and closed it adds depth to the nick on both blades. The deeper the nick, the more metal must be removed to get to the clean steel below. The corresponding metal must then be taken from the opposite blade to insure the scissor remains balanced. Unfortunately this extra metal removal shortens the life of the scissor. Nicks should be dealt with as soon as possible.