Tools & Equipment

The parts of your scissors

  1. The points of the scissors – used for point cutting or chipping techniques and freehand.
  2. The cutting blade edge is used for all club techniques, scissors over comb and some free hand angles.
  3. The blades – outside of blade edges.
  4. The Heel – the strength of the scissors.
  5. The pivot – an adjustable screw to loosen or tighten the movement of the blades.
  6. The shanks – give the length from the blades to the handles.
  7. The handle – thumb and finger holes.

Maintaining and using tools and equipment

You must always use your tools correctly. Scissors are extremely sharp and accidents can occur. Always carry your scissors with the blades closed and keep them safe from harm by storing them in a cutting case. Your scissors are likely to be the most expensive item in your tool collection, and dropping them with the blades open or pointing downwards can be very costly and affect the position of the blades.

Care of scissors should include:

  • Using them only for their intended purpose – cutting hair
  • Carrying them in a safe manner and storing them after use
  • Ensuring they are fit for purpose
  • Cleaning and sterilising them after use
  • Removing all hair cuttings and oiling them regularly
  • Having them professionally sharpened when required

Choosing suitable cutting tools

For most basic cutting techniques you will use scissors with an average blade length of 5 inches (or 12.5 cm), depending on the size of your hands. Choosing the right scissors for you to work with comfortably is important. 


As you become more experienced you are likely to want a selection of scissors for a variety of techniques, and you’ll probably buy more expensive scissors as your skill level increases.


Although at a glance all scissors look the same they can be very different. They can vary in size and weight due to the metals they are made from, and the type of cutting blade may also vary. At varying costs, you can purchase scissors that have a different thumb area referred to as ‘offset’ thumb area, which can make it more comfortable for you to cut baselines and achieve exaggerated angles. Scissors are available with serrated or straight blades.


Off-Set Scissors

Off-Set Scissors

On-Set Scissors

On-Set Scissors

Serrated scissors are most suitable when you first start cutting hair as they aid control and grip the hair as we cut. However if you which to use texturising techniques and slide or slice cut the hair, these will not be suitable as they pull the hair affecting the cut and may cause discomfort to your client.

Straight scissors or non-serrated blades are the sharpest for cutting, slicing and chipping. You can use these for most techniques and can buy them from  up to a few hundred pounds.

Thinning scissors are used to remove bulk at the end of the haircut and have ‘teeth’ or ‘notches’ all the way up one or both blades. Thinning scissors with notches on both blades remove less bulk than those with only one notched blade.