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Hair Shears:  How do I determine the best hair shears?


The following facts are for information purposes and should not be construed as endorsement for any particular hair shear product. 

There's an ongoing discourse surrounding the manufacturing of shears. The following information is designed to give the stylist a yardstick by which they can choose a shear that will best meet their needs. Buying shears (as you well know) can be an expensive proposition.


As a shear sharpener I speak from personal experience.


Certain techniques of manufacturing steel (made for scissors) are better than others. We believe a well informed stylist can always make a better decision than one who is uninformed. Quite often this subject is a well guarded secret that manufacturers would prefer not to discuss. Reliable, well informed companies will be open and helpful in sharing all available information regarding how their product is made.
If your shear salesperson does not know the difference between a forged and cast shear I would suggest you search for a more knowledgeable company to deal with.


Forged Versus Cast Hair Shears

When purchasing a new shear, it's a good idea to be informed about the differences between a cast/ shear which is made by poring the (particular steel used) into a mold at high temperatures and a forged/ shear which is made by heating the metal up to a "cherry red" state, striking the metal to move the molecular structure around and then rapidly cooling the metal to compress the molecular structure which produces a stronger, more dense metal. 


Higher quality shears generally have a 2 part welded construction, welding together 2 pieces of steel (the handle and the blade) thereby creating a much stronger, durable shear.

The process of forging a shear is very arduous, time consuming and labor intensive.  Lower priced shears costing between $50.00 - $200.00 are not generally forged, but cast. However, there are exceptions. You have to be very careful when purchasing shears, because some companies are charging $250.00 to $500.00 for cast shears. There is no guarantee that a higher priced shear is forged.  However, an informed stylist may want to ask these questions….


  • What are your hair shears made of Cast or Forged Metals?
  • Is there a difference in price for each type of shear?
  • How long do they last without being sharpened?
  • Do you perform sharpening services?

Cast shears are generally more brittle and often will not hold their edge as well. Please note that there are exceptions. The edgework and quality control have to be factored in.

High quality forged hair shears are structurally stronger and generally have a longer lifespan. In order to offer a lower priced shear to their customers many major manufacturers have switched over to cast shears.  In my opinion the Japanese hand- made cobalt shears are still considered the best money can buy. We at TNS prefer to recommend these shears.

Many shear companies from countries like Pakistan, Taiwan and China have popped up at the IBS hair show in New York. They are scaring away the legitimate companies selling hand crafted shears who cannot compete with the low pricing of these scissor manufacturing companies. In some cases these shears will not hold their edge and are difficult to re-sharpen. Also, quite often the quality control is lax.


Be cautious about buying a shear with no company insignia and no country of origin. A company who is proud of their product will boldly display their name.


While we realize comfort is a big factor in choosing a new pair of scissors we suggest you consider the following…


If your highest priority is a pink or purple glitzy looking shear and you're thinking about price versus quality hair shears this may be the best solution for you. However, I use the barometer "If it looks too good to be true" It probably is.

Article Written By: Irv Hendel – Owner of

Do you want to see our selection of high quality forged hair shears?  Visit us at:

Irv Hendel has over 30 years of hair salon experience as a hair stylist and over 17 years in helping hair salon stylists purchase high performance hair shears.


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