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Different types of Scissors

July 07, 2021

Let’s start this simple. What most don’t know or realize is that there is more than one type of hair cutting scissors. This being said each hair cutting scissor is different because of either the steel used, the shape of the blade or the type of handle designed. Aside from  shears looking cool with awesome colors or designs there is so much more work put into them, hence why they aren't always cheap to buy. You’re not investing in something made to last a short time. Hair cutting scissors are made to last a long time if not a lifetime.

The hair cutting scissor is usually made up of specific steelthat is manufactured in many different countries but generally either Japan or Germany. Japanese steel is usually the more favorable type of steel used as it tends to hold sharp edges far better than any other steel. However, German steel is also a strong high quality steel but can also be quite hard and wont hold a razor sharp edge as well as what Japanese steel would.

So we know that 1. There are many types of scissors in the world and there is only one type for cutting hair and 2. There are different types of steel used to make these scissors, but what’s the next thing? Now we need you to know the different types of scissors that can be created which include the handles. As a general rule we call it ‘different types of scissors’ but we really mean ‘different types of hairdressing scissors and handles’. Sorry for the confusion!

What are the different types of scissors?

To put it simply, there are 4 main types of scissors to choose from but to narrow it down we'd say it's more about the handle rather than the whole scissor itself. One of the most important elements to consider when buying hairdressing scissors is the handle. The four types of scissor handles are Classic, Offset, Crane and swivel. having the different types of handles ensure that there is a perfect fit for everyone. But what exactly is behind these different handles? Cool designs? Comfort? Colors?  Easy to hold? Hard to hold?

When purchasing a pair of professional hairdressing shears, you are not just investing in the quality of the shear. You are also investing your time, money and more importantly, your health. We can't even begin to explain how extremely important it is to find a pair of scissors that comes equipped with features that will meet your requirements or expectations of the right shear, not just a really cool colored hair cutting shear. Let’s look a little deeper into what the different types of scissors are and what they are used for.



The Classic is the one nearly everyone is familiar with, Classic handles are the original handles you would find on older generation hairdressing scissors. The Classic design is best used by people that hold their scissors with their middle finger which if you’ve been taught right, we know isn't the correct way to hold a shear but some find comfort in it. The only downfall is that it leads to early injury in your hairdressing career like RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) or carpal tunnel. The shape of both blades on the scissors are exactly the same and the rings align on top of each other. The design is great for some hairdressing techniques such as deep point cutting as the scissors ensure that the elbows are positioned higher. However, the handles can cause pain to your hands and cause CTS with prolonged usage. 


Offset is a more common handle design amongst hairdressers and barbers. It allows you to have a more natural free flowing position whilst cutting however, you are still required to keep your elbow raised a little and to not completely drop your shoulder while cutting. The offset handle design is great for beginners as it teaches them to not only hold the handle correctly but also how to cut in the correct position for your body so you don’t develop long term bad habits that are hard to get out of. Think of it as eating a block of chocolate - You know it's not good for you but you’ll happily do it anyway without thinking about the consequences, am I right? So you should choose to make the better and right decisions at the start of your career before it's too late.


Speaking of bad habits - The crane handle was designed to help hairdressers that have created bad habits in their career with as said above bad positioning of the body when cutting hair. So how do we fix or help this situation? Bring in the crane design. The crane design allows you to drop your elbow (not your shoulder) due to the arch of the handle which will alleviate your neck and shoulder that may have a cramped up uncomfortable feeling or  from any discomfort you may have created for yourself using the wrong kind of shear for the longest time.


The swivel is for the bold and daring. While you might feel a little out of control with this design it's actually the best to help prevent or help with injury from hairdressing and surprisingly if you can get the hang of it the most comfortable shea you will ever cut with! Why? Well because of the swivel action in the handles (more specifically the thumb hole),  it allows your thumb to open and close in its most natural position possible, this means no sore shoulder, necks, wrist, fingers or hands! It's not restrictive and will always give you comfort - that's IF you can master it. Now I’m not saying it's a complete miracle scissor because nothing is ever that good but if you can master the swivel and find comfort with it then really you can do absolutely no wrong at all when it comes to the perfect shear. 

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is easy. When purchasing your new shears you should be remembering the 4 MAIN types of scissors that are available to choose from. The scissors you choose are either going to cause you discomfort in the long run if you make the wrong handle choice for yourselfor it's going to be the best decision you made for not only you but your career. So choose carefully friends and don't just pick the prettiest scissor (Because we all know how easy that can be) but please do choose wisely and think about how long you want to be a hairdresser or a barber, the wrong handle choice can certainly affect your career. 

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