Expert advise

How to choose the right grooming scissors

How do you choose the right grooming scissors? Choosing the right scissors is one of the most important decisions a trimmer has to make. Which scissors you choose has a big influence on the speed and quality of your work, on the health of your hands, and on your wallet! Before you buy dog grooming scissors, it is best to fit them in real life. Your choice depends on different factors: the quality of the metal, the size of your hands and fingers, the size of the dog, the price, and left-handed or right-handed.

Quality of the metal

If you wish to buy a pair of grooming scissors that you are going to use regularly, it is important that you choose scissors made from good metals.

Scissors made from a soft metal are usually cheaper. They are also automatically thicker and heavier because the cutting edges must have a correct angle. Scissors made of softer metal must be sharpened more often, which entails costs and waiting time.

Scissors made from a hard metal are usually more expensive and of good quality. They cut without burdening the muscles and you can work longer and more efficiently because they do the work automatically. Because of their sharp cutting edges, there is no stress on the muscles or hands and you work faster. They are made of harder steel, the blades are thinner and lighter and yet they have an angle that is sharp and stays sharp so you can better cut through thick coats, like with a knife through butter.

Size of your hands and fingers

A pair of grooming scissors has to feel good in your hand and shouldn’t be too heavy for you. The screw should be in the right place so that the scissors balance well in your hand and don’t tilt too much forward or backward. Dog grooming shears exist in all different sizes and short shanks and long shanks.

A person with long fingers should choose scissors with a long shank (1). This is comfortable for the thumb and you can fully open the hand while cutting the dog’s coat. Scissor types Europe and USA have a normal to long shank.

A person with short fingers should choose scissors with a short shank (2). If you were to cut with scissors that have too long a shank for you, you will have to open your thumb too wide. This movement is overloading for the fingers and the hand. Especially if you are a professional trimmer and are working with dogs for several hours a day.

Size of the dog

Scissors exist in different lengths. The shear blades can be very short or very long. Grooming scissors vary in length from 4” to 10”. Choosing the right blade length depends on the size of the dog or the size of the surface you are cutting.

For large dogs or large surfaces, you should use scissors with a long blade. Most of the cutting with long blades is done on curly coat such as: bichons, poodles, Ihasas puppies, etc.

For small dogs or small surfaces, you should use scissors with a short blade. Places like the inside of hind legs, precision work around the eyes or the tips of the ears are easier cut with short blades.

Price

The price of grooming scissors depends heavily on the material, the finish or the brand.

Cheap grooming scissors are often made out of softer metals, these can be damaged more easily. Because of this they have to be sharpened more often and you will have to wait until you can use the scissors again. The cheap price can also depend on a minimalistic finish or cheap packaging.

Expensive grooming scissors are often made of harder metals, they keep the sharp cutting edge longer and have to be sharpened less. The high price can also be because of an expensive finish, for example with gold or precious stones, the packaging or an expensive accessory.

Left-handed or right-handed

There are adapted scissors for left-handed people. These left-handed grooming scissors can be distinguished from right-handed grooming scissors by placing them on a table with the screw at the top and looking at the finger ring for the thumb. In the case of left-handed scissors, the finger ring for the thumb is on the right. With right-handed scissors this is on the left.

When using scissors, you push with the thumb and pull with the rest of the fingers, this way the blades are pulled close. If a left-handed person has been forced to use right-handed scissors, they have a cutting technique where these actions are reversed: they pull with the thumb and push with the rest of the fingers. As a left-handed person it is very difficult to unlearn this self-taught technique once you cut with real left-handed scissors.

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