Maintenance of Swivel Shears

June 27, 2022

Shear maintenance is such an important part of our job! We invest so much in to our hair cutting shears we have to make sure we take great care of our expensive tools. Proper maintenance can make all the difference in our shears. Swivel shears, like all shears need to be maintained. They are one of our many high quality tools that require high quality care! Your swivel shears will need a little extra love as well !

Cleaning and Oiling

The first important step to shear maintenance is cleaning and oiling. Cleaning your shears and oiling them should be done at least once a day. We know that at the end of the day it is easy to forget this step, but it is most important in maintaining your shears.

All of our scissors come with a cleaning cloth made from soft microfibers. This cloth is there to help clean your shears safely, thoroughly and easily. At the end of the day it is important to use this cloth to help remove hair and any other build up on your scissors. Simply wipe each blade of the scissor from the middle outwards to prevent from cutting yourself. With your swivel shears check the screw on the thumb handle for any hair left behind.

Now that your shears are clean you will need to oil them. Open the blades of your shears to 90 degrees and place a drop of oil on the two blades at the pivot point. This helps to push any hair or dirt left behind. Build up of hair and dirt in your scissors can lead to dull blades and not so smooth cuts. Check your swivel thumb and add a tiny drop of oil there to help remove any hair. It is recommended that you oil your shears everyday at the end of your day.


The next step in maintaining your swivel shears, is checking and adjusting their tension, everyday. What is tension ? It is basically how tight and close together your blades are. Having properly adjusted scissors is important to help maintain the blades sharp edge.

Every scissor has a pivot point with a screw. This screw is used to adjust how tight your blades are. Every scissor bought from us will include a tension adjuster, to help you keep your shears aligned correctly. Swivel shears have another screw, for the swivel thumb. It is important to check the tension of this screw as well.

How to Check Tension

To check the tension of your shears, after cleaning them, hold them by the finger side and move the thumb hole to move the blades open completely. Once the blades open completely, let the thumb handle go. Your shears should fall to about 20 percent closed. If they do not fall enough they are too tight, if they close all the way, they are too loose. Loose shears can result in pushing and bending of hair when you are trying to cut it.

Now check your swivel thumb. You want the thumb hole to move easily, after all that's the point of these scissors. However you want to make sure they move freely but are not too loose. The screw of the swivel thumb will loosen over time so you must make sure you check it often, if it is too loose it is possible for the screw to come out and the thumb hole to come off, which no client wants to see that! If the swivel thumb moves when you remove your remove your thumb, it is too loose. It is important to check your swivel thumb regularly and keep the tension adjusted to make sure you are getting the best control of your shears.

How to adjust tension

Most scissors will either have a screw or a clicking screw ( or knob). A regular screw will need a tension adjuster. Simply tighten the screw using the adjuster, only slightly, to make sure you don't over tighten. If your shears have a raised clicking screw simply turn the screw slightly one or two clicks. After you adjust your shears check the tension again and adjust accordingly.

Protecting your shears

In order to maintain your shears it is important to make sure you protect them from damage. When placing your shears down you must remember to make sure you close them completely. With the two blades closed they are protecting each other from any dents or nicks. Hair cutting shears are made from strong metal, but nicks and dents can happen when they come in to contact with hard surfaces. An open shear does not have the strength of the two blades together to protect them. We also recommend using a scissor mat or holster to prevent from bumping your shears on a hard surface, causing damage or misaligning your blades.

It is also important to store shears correctly. This is why each of our shears comes in a scissor case. These cases are perfect to store your hair cutting scissors and prevent any damage to them. You will want to keep your shears dry, so a case will help protect them from moisture.

Sharpening your shears

As a professional stylist, sharp shears are important to keep your haircuts looking sharp. When blades begin to dull they will push the hair instead of cutting it. This can lead to uneven and uncomfortable cuts. Have you ever tried slide cutting hair with dull blades? OUCH! This is why it is so important we maintain our shears. If you feel your scissors are pulling, pushing, bending or folding the hair it is time to find a blade smith!

We recommend doing your research and finding a reputable, well known, well liked blade smith aka a scissor sharpener, to make sure your shears are well looked after. One bad sharpening can take years off your shears life.

A quality pair of shears will beed to be a service and sharpen every 6-12 months. If you are a barber or you focus only on cutting, it may need to be done more often. You will find if you do not shampoo your clients before cutting their hair, your shears will need repair and sharpening more often. Product, dirt, sand and other build up in clients hair can damage and dull blades quicker. Maintaining sharp hair shears is a must !

Finger Holes

All the scissors bought here at Scissor tech will come with finger hole inserts. These are there to help you adjust the size of your finger holes. This is important with all shears, but especially the thumb of your swivel shears. It is important that you are able to move the thumb freely to make the best out of your shears. If it feels to loose you can always add a finger insert to help you control your shears better. Finger inserts can wear over time so make sure you check them often to see if they need replacing!

Now get to cutting!

You have finally bought those swivel shears, learned how to use them, and now you know all there is to know about getting the best cuts out of them. If you remember to keep them clean, oiled, dry and sharpened... these new shears will be giving you the best results possible for years to come!

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