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Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:10 pm

Anyone have any experience/knowledge of sharoening scissors? My girlfriend is in beautyschool and starting on the actual haircutting. Her instructor informed them they will have to send their sheers away to be sharpened, to the tune of ~200 $. Noone in the area offers the service. With knowing how to sharpen knives, can I make the switch to these as well? What's the difference? How would I go about sharpening a pair of 400 $ sheers? I feel like the first time I wanted to sharpen my watanabe lol. Excited and terrified of ****ing something up. Help would be appreciated.


Re: scissors

Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:08 pm

I have slowly moved into this. I had a customer who I sharpened a few knives for ask me . She owns a very large salon in a very well to of area. I didn't want to do it cause I had heard horror stories. I told her I'd rather not. She persisted that I try, so I moved forward by doing one for for free with the understanding that if something was wrong, I would not be held liable. I looked at it a a good learning experience. I used my veho microscope to move slowly, check my work, and try to learn something. Long story short, she was blown away. I have replaced their usual guy who sharpens for them. I just did everyone's shears at her salon again last week. 20 in all.

It is much different than doing knives. Many of the newer Japanese styles have no bevel to follow on them. I have run across some of these that have been re sharpened by someone else using a wolf system and have given them a bevel. Do not try to do this with stones. It's possible to follow that bevel with a higher grit stone if you are careful once it is there. Much can be done just through stropping. I use balsa as a substrate loaded with boron carbide followed by balsa loaded with chromium oxide, followed by bare leather. The convex side of the shear is stripped only a few times to remove small burs that may occur. Somewhat like sharpening a single bevel.

There is much more to say about this, but it's hard to type all of this and read what I've already typed since I'm on my phone.

I would not say its easy. It can be done. However, I don't suggest you commit to anything until you've tried it on one without the pressure of messing it up. I did quite a few for her for nothing until I really felt like I knew what I was doing. That was about a year ago. If you've got any specific questions I'll answer them, or if someone else has experience here , by all means... I know many people think I'm a fool for doing it. I don't really want to mess with it but she's a very good customer of mine and she likes the results. She says by doing them this way, they stay sharper about three times longer than whoever did them before.
Last edited by RedWattle on Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: scissors

Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:35 pm

Just a few more things. . I have never used anything lower than 4000 grit. Only had to do this on two pair. I have used a 16000 grit stone more. If the shears are rounded with no bevel, leave it that way. Lightly strop radius by being careful not to roll it over too far. This is what is the most important. This takes some practice. Start by stropping on balsa first, see where that gets you. Most people don't let their shears get so bad that you need to grind away on them :) . If you try , go slow, pay attention and you'll learn quite a bit.

Re: scissors

Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:37 pm

When I am not half a box of wine deep I will ask you more questions. For now, keep the advice coming.

Re: scissors

Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:48 pm

Lol ! :) I just finished my third Bloody Mary. Cheers!

Re: scissors

Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:26 pm

I've been wanting to learn more about the high end convex shears. I can't get my head around trying to sharpen something round like that on something flat. Makes zero sense to me. I have some ideas on how I would like to go about it but have nothing to experiment with. One of these days. Average cost to sharpen those is in the $25 - $30 range. RW's posts above are some good thoughts on the subject.

Re: scissors

Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:33 am

Okay forgive my ignorance, but why would it be hard to sharpen scissors? I don't think many stylists actually know the precise geometry of the shears they use. Also I searched shear sharpening and all I got were a bunch of a stupid advertisements for sharpening machines...

It would seem like basic honing could easily bring most cutting performance back. I would also think that certain people prefer different types of feedback on the scissors. Some might like a very refined effortless cut but some might actually prefer a more toothy cutting feel.

My guess is that when you have used stropping compounds on the scissors you've aligned the teeth of the blade the same way going over a rod or strop does. I highly doubt fancy machines are needed to maintain the edges of scissors. How many fine pieces of cutlery have been ruined by using stupid sharpening machines?

Now you've got my brain running...If I can learn to sharpen shears for all the hipster salons in San Francisco I might get paid a purdy penny.

Re: scissors

Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:21 am

I think anyone with experience sharpening can do it. I just reiterate the caution because it is easy to mess them up, if you are not careful. What is different, is you have two blades that come together to give you the cutting action. Any misalignment in one, will cause a gap between the two and the hair will get pinched and will not cut properly.

Stylists know more about their shears than you might think. They might not know the technical side, but I assure you I think a lot of them are in a rabbit hole of their own when it comes to scissors. :) think about how we are on this forum with knives. They use their shears everyday, all day and can feel things cutting with them that I can't. Which you raise a good point about high polish vs slightly toothy edge. I've only done high polish so couldn't answer that. I don't think I want to open that can of worms yet. Don't want to complicate things with so many different choices. I think there is some good money to be made here. I charge 20 and think I could bump it a bit, but I'm happy with it now as are they.

I agree about the machines...they have their place, but... Wolf does sell a block to rehone the hollow
Which could be useful.

Re: scissors

Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:18 pm

Does anyone know of a good instructional video I could check out? I'm interested in this.

Re: scissors

Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:19 pm

I usually just throw scissors away when dull but I might have to learn this just to expand my inter cranial inventory, and not throw scissors away anymore.
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