February 01, 2019 4 min read

Looking to upgrade but unsure where to start?

It's shopping time, and time to improve your hairdressing with a brand new pair of scissors. Looking online you find countless brands and each pair looks amazing, but how can you tell them apart?

The $150 cutting pair looks the same as the $500 cutting pair.

How did scissors get so expensive?

What's the difference between Japanese brands and German brands?

What's an offset scissor and what's a regular scissor?

Sharpening of Japanese Hair Cutting Scissors

No need to worry! We aim to answer all your questions about the differences in these professional scissors.

It is really difficult to tell the quality of a pair of scissors by looking at a photo, as you can't pick them up, feel the weight and balance, and try a quick cut to see how it performs.

But there are ways to tell the important differences to make sure that your online purchase is the right one to suit your needs.

Japanese Hairdressing Scissors

Japanese Scissor Brand Yaska SK
Over the past 20 years, Japan has taken the hairdressing industry by storm. With their simplistic design, high-quality steel, great engineering, and long life.

Yasaka Scissors, based out of Nara Japan, is the most well-known and oldest Japanese Scissor manufacturer to deliver consistently high quality at affordable prices.

They are designed to have beveled and convex edge blades to make cutting effortless, so no tugging or pulling. 

Sarah Luther, a hairdresser in a Melbourne salon for over 15+ years says "I started buying scissors based on what I could afford and what would get me by day to day. This changed when I used my coworkers Japanese shears and found out how amazing they are compared to anything else I have used before. I now use Yasaka, cut better, have more confidence and have actually saved money because I don't need to replace them for a very long time" on January 25th.

How can you tell if they are Japanese Scissors? The best scissors from Japan use either Hitachi Steel440 Japanese Steel, VG10 Steel or Cobalt Steel. Japanese steel is the best in the world and is resistant to corrosion and rust etc.



German Scissors

German Scissor Brand Jaguar

German brands have been leading in quality, engineering, and design for a very long time, with famous car brands like BMW and Audi. The well known Jaguar brand is one of the oldest scissor manufacturers with over 100 years of experience. This is seen in their vast range and reputation in the hairdressing and barber industry.

Similar to the above picture, a lot of Jaguar scissors have a unique opposing handle, or their offset is very small. They are favored by some and disliked by others. 
The Jaguar German steel is the hardest of any other brand, and they design their pairs with a very robust edge for a sharp cut.

Thomas McLachlan a barber from Brisbane said this about Jaguar "I have been barbering on and off for a few years and I always found the bevel edge of a German scissor blade amazing because it catches hair as you cut. I always recommend students and hairdressing apprentices to use bevel edge German blades on the hair cutting scissors as when you close the blades, any hair that falls is caught and cut as well. " on January 10th.


Barbers in particular like this for rough and coarse hair. Some of their cheaper models, such as the Jaguar Pre Style Ergo, Pre Style Relax, and Satin Plus scissors are excellent for any hairdresser, as the serrations provide grip and keep cutting nicely even as they begin to go blunt.



Offset Handle Scissors

Yasaka Offset Handle Scissors


There are two similar looking handles - The Offset handle and the "Opposing" handle.

The opposing handle is why many hairdressing today suffer from repetitive strain injury (RSI) and carpal tunnel because of bad ergonomic, as it forces your hand into an unnatural detrimental position.

The offset scissor handle is ergonomically safer than the opposing handle, as it keeps your hand and thumb in a natural position while you cut. The thumb is naturally closely aligned with your index finger rather than your ring finger. So the further forward your thumb is in the scissors, the more natural your movement is with each cut and the less strain it puts on your arm.

There are varying angles of offset scissors, but you will notice that most Japanese brands have similar or the same handle styles. The German scissors, tend to have less of an offset and may feel less comfortable.
The perfect blade makes for a perfect cut, but the perfect offset makes for the perfect hairdresser.



Regular Handle Scissors

Yasaka Japan Regular Handle Scissors
The traditional style scissors use a regular handle, as seen above in the picture. These are very common in German scissors and widely used. You will find that it is so common that it begs the question "Why use any other handle?".

Well, if you choose this handle then most cutting techniques require you to raise your arm to a horizontal position. When doing this for a prolonged period of time, puts stress on your elbow and is quite detrimental.

Unlike the offset handle, the regular handle puts your thumb back to a point that aligns opposite with your ringer finger. As this is an unnatural position, you will notice it becomes stressful on your thumbs tendon and this can have a negative effect on your health.

For the best and safest pair of professional hairdressing or barber scissors, look out for the best steel and most ergonomic handle!



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