The Science and Art of Sharpening

Is hairstyling scissor and shear sharpening a science, or an art?

Both are true: Science is the goals that need to be achieved. Art is how to reach the goals.

Are all sharpeners the same? Definitely Not! 3 things make a hairstyling scissor cut well

1. The sharpened angle should be a minimum of 45 degrees and much sharper for advanced styling methods. I’ve seen many sharpeners who don’t even come close.

2. The honeline – the flat line on the front inside edge of the blade must be thin and smooth. A thin correct honeline allows the scissor to open and close smoothly. It keeps the edge sharp.

3. The “balance or set” of the blades. The scissor blades must be bent slightly towards each other. This is the most difficult to accomplish. If the blades don’t meet properly, the scissors won’t cut well, especially towards the tips.

I do these things very well. I make scissors incredibly sharp. I can create an edge designed especially for Point Cutting or Blunt Cutting or Slide Cutting & Slithering. The right edge design makes great haircuts easier and more precise.

Getting technical:

There are two forces acting on the hair as a scissor closes-one to cut the hair, and one to push the hair out of the scissors. Forty-five degrees is the angle at which the cutting force becomes greater than the pushing force. While there is more to sharpening a hair styling scissor than getting the correct angle, you can see why your scissors will not perform its best if it isn’t sharpened at 45 degrees and 32 to 40 degrees for slide & slithering.

A scissor becomes dull for a variety of reasons. You may have done a lot of haircuts. The scissors may have fallen on the floor. There could be a nick in the blade, the scissors will not cut properly past a nick. Perhaps one of the blades got bent. Misaligned blades won’t work. The screw could be misaligned or too loose or too tight. The washer might be damaged or missing. Or a bad sharpener mangled the edges. These are the most obvious problems, but I can think of lots of other reasons a pair of scissors cut poorly. There are specific remedies for each problem. The trick is to know which ones to apply.

Since I began sharpening scissors in 1981 I have successfully dealt with all kinds of damage. I do all the things you hope a scissors sharpener is capable of doing. I restore the cutting edge, remove nicks in the blade, fix bent scissors. and align handles.

I am an expert. I use a state-of-the-art, water-cooled, five-head honing machine. I have more tools than I want to count. If your scissors can be renewed, I have the equipment, and the expertise to do it right. I work in my van or by mail order.