Adjustment dial or screw? Which is better?

For adjusting your salon shears there are several different fastener systems, which hold the two blades of your shears together, and allow you to tighten and loosen them.

This post will describe the three main types of fastener systems, and give pros and cons of each. This should help you pick the best shear for you next time you're in the market for new shears.

1. Screw (usually a flat-head screw, but occasionally can also be a Philips-head screw)

  • Low profile
  • Many can be adjusted with a coin, so no special tool is required
  • Can be infinitely-adjusted. That is, the stylist can tighten and loosen the shear so that they're exactly the right tension


  • Some flat-head screws and all Philips-head screws require a special tool (a screwdriver) to adjust
  • Screws eventually work themselves loose

Adjustment tools for a standard screw

2. Clicker- or finger-dial


  • Easy-to-adjust. A stylist just needs their fingers to adjust their shears
  • More designs. Finger dials and clickers are made in many more colors and designs ("jewels", embossing, cut-outs, etc.) than screws


  • Higher profile. Screw and specialty fasteners seat down into the shear, leaving only a small bit sticking up. The finger dial, by comparison, sits on top of the side of the shear. This means the dial can occasionally catch on your comb, or your client's hair while cutting.
  • While finger dials, which don't click when you tighten and loosen them, may be infinitely adjusted like a screw, ones that click, click, click as you tighten and loosen them cannot be. This generally means the stylist will find one click will make their shears a little too tight, and a click looser will make them a little too loose. Since the proper adjustment of your shears is critical to them functioning properly, this is important.

Specialty fastener system


  • Generally low profile like a screw-set


  • A special tool is needed to adjust your shears. If you lose the tool, adjustment of your shears is difficult, if not impossible

Adjustment tools for a specialty fastener 


Overall, each of the fastener systems described above has advantages and disadvantages. When selecting a shear, the stylist should be aware of these pros and cons to help them select the shear, which is right for them.

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