How, What, and Where

3 things to know when investing in shears

You may purchase shears several times throughout your career, and the purchase will likely require a substantial investment. We want you to have the education you deserve so you can differentiate between a $100 shear and a $800 shear.

These are three things to know when investing in shears:


Cast: Cast shears are made from a mold. Metal is melted down to liquid and poured into a mold. A few things you should know about cast shears: when metal hardens from liquid form, it forms air pockets. Think of an English muffin; when you cut it in half, there are all those little air pockets. This makes the shear more fragile and easier to damage. Cast shears are also much less expensive to make. The process is shorter and less time-consuming.

Forged: Anyone familiar with forging? Think of a blacksmith . . . in this case; the shears are handmade. The artist takes a piece of metal, sticks it in a fire until it is glowing orange, and forges or hammers out what they are making. It is then quenched or “cooled” (generally in oil), and the metal cools and hardens. This makes a much denser metal that results in a stronger, longer-lasting shear.

Forged/Hand-welded: Some forged shears have handles that are welded to the blades. These shears undergo the same forging process, but usually the blades are made with a harder metal than the handles. The benefit of this construction is the shears can be repaired and adjusted easily by a certified technician if they are dropped or become dull.


All professional haircutting shears are made of steel. Three countries are primarily responsible for manufacturing the steel used to make professional shears: Japan, Germany, and the United States. Shark Fin uses Japanese and Japanese Hitachi/Achi steel in all their shears.

The four main Japanese metals used for making professional hair cutting shears: 440-a, 440-c, VG-10, and Ats-314. The better the metal, the better a shear performs. Specifically, how well the shear performed doing dry cuts and slide cuts, and how long the shear stays sharp in between sharpenings when maintained properly. Also, the better the metal, the more expensive the shear.


There are three major countries that manufacture shears (four, if you include Pakistan). Japan is known for making the best. The main reason companies manufacture or finish shears in these countries is because it is less expensive. Shark Fin Shears use Japanese metal and components, but the shears are finished in Korea and China. It just like a Toyota that is made in Michigan, it is still a Japanese car.

When making one of the most important investments of your career, keep in mind the how, what and where of shears.



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