6 Signs Your Hair Shears Need A Sharpen

November 14, 2022

Feels like just yesterday you sent your shears in for a sharpen! We always recommend getting your shears sharpened at least 1-2 times a year, but sometimes our shears will tell us it is time. Here is how our scissors tend to tell us it’s time for a sharpening!

You've Dropped your scissors! 

The dreaded drop! Unfortunately this happens to all of us at some point in our career. You accidentally drop your beloved scissors during a haircut, or maybe they fall off your station between clients, either way this means it's time to let a professional take care of them! It is easy to look past this, you may inspect your blades and feel that they are still doing well. Or sometimes it may be really obvious that they are in need of a fix. Either way, time for a sharpen and a service!

You may notice that after you have picked them off the floor that they are out of alignment, or you pick them up, wipe the blades and see a nick or a dent. A shear sharpener will be able to help. After they inspect your shears they will get to work restoring blades, fixing the angles and the edges. A good service should leave your shears feeling like new!

They feel dull already!

Now we hope this never happens to you , but if it does hopefully we have helped prepare you for it. Unfortunately sometimes your shears will return from being sharpened and within days feel dull again. Common signs that your shears haven't been sharpened properly are having to work harder to cut hair, pushing, bending and folding hair. If any of these things happen a short time after a service you may need a new sharpener and another service. After a service your shears should last as long as they originally did. So if you find you had them sharpened after 6 months, they should last you about 6 months again. This is why it is important to find a professional blade smith, or certified sharpener who you trust with your shears!

Your wrists and hands are sore!

You've invested time and money into purchasing the best ergonomic shears you could find. You want to protect your wrists and hands for as long as possible. However, if at the end of the day you are beginning to feel strain on your wrists, it may be time for a sharpening. When your shears have dulled blades you will find you have difficulty cutting sharp, straight lines and working harder to achieve these lines. The constant motion of opening and closing your shears will leave your wrists feeling tired and sore at the end of your day. We do recommend you check your tension first before rushing to send your shears out as this could also be a sign your shears are too tight.


You are trying to cut a blunt line and you just can't seem to get it right. Your hair cutting shears are most likely pushing the hair. Dull blades with push hair and will make straight cutting a real pain! We all know that great feeling of sharp scissors cutting through hair like butter, so cutting with dull scissors will be frustrating and uncomfortable. So if you find you're struggling to get that perfect blunt line, do a quick shear maintenance and then call your sharpener!

Pulling or Grabbing

Cutting hair should not be painful for you or your client. You may be slide cutting and the hair pulls, causing your client to flinch, this means your shears have been sharpened wrong or they are dull. These are some of the most obvious signs it's time for a service. Your haircutting shears should glide through hair easily, slide cutting should not be an unpleasant experience for your client. The sharpness of your hair scissors is so important for your cutting !

Crunchy cuts

It is only normal that our tools begin to dull over time. It means we are working hard, and so are they. If your shears begin to feel funny to you they may need a bit of maintenance, or they may need sharpening. However, You may find that your haircuts begin to feel crunchy, this means there is damage to your blades. There may be nicks or dents on your blades causing them to "crunch" the hair. This could happen from dropping or hitting them against a hard surface, or maybe they weren't sharpened correctly last time, either way crunchy is not a good feeling. Quality shears should always feel smooth when cutting through hair. 

Keeping your tools feeling good!

Our scissors are our most essential tool so it is important we take good care of them. Proper shear maintenance will help protect them for the long haul. If your shears begin to feel funny to you here's what to do!

We first recommend you switch to a different scissor as soon as you feel your shears are cutting wrong. Continuing to use the same shear that may be dull or damaged will not only make your haircuts suffer but can cause more damage to your blades.

Next, take the time to wipe and clean your blades. Use a soft cloth ( yes all our shears come with one!) to wipe the blades clean of any hair or build up. You can use a little rubbing alcohol to wipe the blade, so it will be nice and clean. Once clean it is time to oil your shears. Place a drop of shear oil at the pivot point of the scissor ( where the screw is and the blades meet). Oiling the shears will help remove any leftover hair. Wipe off any excess oil.

Now check your tension. Sometimes what we think may be a sign of dullness, is actually just a matter of tension. If hair is pulling, pushing, bending or folding your tension may be wrong. Simply hold your shears by the finger hole and move the thumb hole up to create a 90 degree angle. Drop the thumb hole. If your shears stay above a 45 degree angle, they're too tight and may be pushing hair. If they close more than 45 degrees, they are too loose and may be bending the hair. Adjust the tension and test them out.

If none of these seem to help, it is time for a sharpening. Make sure you call your professional bladesmith to come have a look! A quality pair of shears need sharpening every 3-6 months. Barbers may find they sharpen their shears more as they are usually doing more cuts and are a bit harder on their shears. It is worth spending money on a good pair of shears, and a good bladesmith to keep your hair cutting shears doing their best work!

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