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What Makes a Shear "Good"?

For an individual shear from a manufacturing standpoint, a good shear is one that is made of high-quality metal, has hardware that is going to hold up over the long haul, and is well-made.

From a broader standpoint, I would call a shear line (the entire collection of a manufacturer's shears) good if the shears in the line have all of the above, except change the last part of the sentence to: "...and are consistently well-made (across the entire line)".

A stylist, is really only interested in how well a shear cuts their client's hair. But stylists should understand that a shear that is correctly made of high-quality metal, and held together with high quality hardware, is probably going to cut their client's hair better than one, which is poorly made, made of low-quality metal, or held together with shoddy hardware.

When stylists ask whether there is a brand that I recommend, my simplest answer is, yes, the ones we sell. I get that this is self-serving, but we've had years of experience testing stylists' shears after they've been sharpened, and have seen lots and lots of shears new out of the packaging. The ones we recommend are the ones that feel and work the best after sharpening or new out of manufacturing. 

We've found that some shear lines consistently have problems with the way the blades have been bowed, or the hollow-grind on the inside of the blade has been done in manufacturing. Additionally, we see lots of shears that are made with sub-par hardware and/or metal (and how these shears have held up over the years). Additionally, we've found shears that, despite the fact that everything looks good from the outside, just don't seem to cut well (they feel crunchy, they push, etc.). Because we've spent so much time working on and playing with such an enormous universe of shears, our advice can be taken with some significant amount of weight. This does not mean we are specifically going to be able to guess how good an individual shear might be from a given company (as the adage goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day), but we are able to make a (very) educated guess about what your chances are that a given shear from a given company is any good. We're going to be more likely to recommend a company's shears if they make them right 99% of the time, and the remaining 1% is relatively easy to fix, than one that gets it right only 40% of the time, and the other 60% is either difficult (or impossible) to fix.

At the end of the day, you should be sure to purchase your shears 1) from someone you trust, and 2) from someone whose neck you are going to be able to get a hold of, if the shears do not function as promised. This is the relationship we at Edgewise have with our stylists at the top salons in and around Chicago, and it is why we are consistently viewed a trusted resource by our stylists.

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