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Types of Screws for Hair Scissors: Don't Choose the Wrong One!

January 27, 2022 6 min read

Types of Screws for Hair Scissors: Don't Choose the Wrong One! | Japan Scissors

If you are a hairstylist, then you know that keeping your scissors in good condition is important. One of the essential parts of the scissors is the tension system, which maintains the control and tightness of the blades while they cut hair.

The screw is a part of the tension system and is used to adjust the tightness between the blades as they become loose over time.

There are three main types of screws and tension systems: Regular Screws, Thumb Screws, and UFO Screws.

This article will discuss each type of screw and help you decide which one is best for your hair scissors!

Here are some other similar articles you may be interested in:

Why Are Screws Important For Hair Scissors?

The screws are important for hair scissors because they help maintain the tension between the blades. If the screws are loose, the blades will become loose and won't cut as well. It is vital to keep the screws tightened so that your scissors can function correctly.

The Different Types of Screws For Hair Shears

There are three main types of screws and tension systems: Regular Screws, Thumb Screws, and UFO Screws.

We will discuss each type in detail below.

Regular Screws: Most Common Type For Hair Scissors

A picture of the regular screw types that hair scissors use

Regular screws are the most common type of screw, and they are simple to use and can be adjusted with a standard screwdriver or tension key. However, they can be difficult to tighten and loosen, making it difficult to get the correct tension on the blades.

The key features of a regular scissor screw:

  • Regular screws typically feature a slotted head.
  • The shaft of the screw is shorter. This makes the screw hold tension better by opening wider.
  • Easily adjusted with a tension key or similar flat edge tool.

Some features and capability of regular screws vary, but they commonly include most of the above.

Ways to adjust a regular screw:

  1. When the regular hair screw is loose, tighten slightly and try opening and closing the shears. Repeat this process, little by little, until you are satisfied with the scissor tension.
  2. If the tension hasn't improved, you can move the handles a little to move the washer in the tension system into place. Repeat this process, little by little, until you are satisfied with the scissor tension.
  3. Once you are satisfied, try test cutting hair or simply open and close the blades a few times to see if the tension holds. If you find that it loosens with each opening motion, you may have a problem.
  4. If the tension stays, you can rest assured that your regular screw is tight, the tension system is well adjusted, and you are ready to cut hair!

Caution: avoid over tightening regular screws as this can cause issues with the screw or tension system. If you do over-tighten them and find that they are permanently loose, you will need to consult a sharpening service to replace the screw or tension system.

Thumb Screws: Easier To Tighten and Loosen

A picture of the thumbscrew (thumb screw) types that hair shears use

Thumbscrews are similar to regular screws, but they have a thumb screwdriver built into them. This makes it easier to tighten and loosen the screws, which helps get the tension just right.

The key features of a thumb scissor screw:

  • Easy disassembly allows sharpeners or even hairdressers to take them apart for cleaning and servicing.
  • Decorated screw that sticks out of the scissors and usually features a design that complements the look of the hair shears.
  • Holds the tightness and tension better than most other screws.

The thumbscrew is extremely easy to adjust, and you can manage the tension by hand without any tools. You can adjust the tension of thumbscrews on hair scissors by:

  • Using your hand, twist the thumbscrew right (clockwise) to tighten.
  • Using your hand, twist the thumbscrew left (anti-clockwise) to loosen.
  • Try adjusting little by little, then test the thumbscrew's tension by opening and closing the blades. When satisfied with the tension, you are ready to start cutting hair!

Thumbscrews might not always be the most popular for hairstylists, hairdressers and barbers due to the protruding (sticking out) screw that gets in the way of some haircutting techniques. But the ease of managing tension without any tools has made this one of the most popular types.

UFO Screws: Subtle & Hidden Screw That Is Also Tamper Proof

A UFO screw system (tamper proof) used in hair cutting & thinning shears

UFO screws, also known as "tamper proof pivot screws", are a modern type of screw and offer a unique design that sets them apart from other screws.

The UFO screw is a hidden, or internal, screw that doesn't protrude from the blades like thumb screws and regular screws do. This makes it less noticeable and prevents hair from getting caught on the screw.

The key features of the UFO screw:

  • The hidden, or internal, screw that doesn't protrude from the blades like thumb screws and regular screws do.
  • This makes it less noticeable and prevents hair from getting caught on the screw. Dirt and buildup can't get into the screw, which then prolongs your hair shears' life.
  • It offers a unique design that sets it apart from other screws—one of the most fashionable types of screws for professional hair scissors.

UFO screws are not easy to adjust, and you require special tools to modify the flat part of the two-piece UFO screw on the backside of the hair scissors.

  • The UFO screws are adjustable from the back of the shears. Using a tension adjustor tool that comes with the hair scissors you purchased, you can twist the two-piece screw to tighten the tension.
  • Twist the screw right to tighten. Do this little by little, and with each minor tension adjustment, you should test the tension of the shears by opening and closing the blades.
  • Using your hand, twist the screw left (anti-clockwise) to loosen. Follow the same process as above, adjust little by little and test each adjustment by opening and closing the blades until satisfied.

Try adjusting little by little, then testing the tension of the UFO screws by opening and closing the blades. When satisfied with the tension, you are ready to start cutting hair!

UFO screws offer a unique, subtle and tamper-proof design that is becoming more popular among hairstylists, hairdressers and barbers. If you are looking for a new screw tension system for your hair scissors, then UFO screws might be the right choice for you!

Troubleshooting on this screw is easy. First, you must be aware that the side of the head is connected, and I've often seen them placed in reverse. Then, pay attention to the quantity and position of washers. Be aware of the internal clicker plates (see earlier article) to ensure that you don't be able to replace them. I've found that adding a washer is helpful when the screw won't be tight enough.

Summary: What Are The Best Choice of Hair Scissor Screws?

There are three main screws and tension systems for hair scissors: the regular screw, the thumbscrew and the UFO screw. Each has its unique benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before purchasing.

Thumbscrews are easy to adjust and most popular among hairstylists, hairdressers and barbers. They offer a protruding screw that makes it easy to tighten or loosen the blades with your hand. However, this can get in the way during some haircutting techniques.

Regular screws require no tools to adjust and are a more subtle option than thumbscrews. They also prevent hair from getting caught on the screw-like thumb screws do. However, they can be difficult to adjust if you don't have the right tools.

UFO screws are a modern type of screw that offers a unique design that sets them apart from other screws. They are hidden, or internal, screws that don't protrude from the blades like thumb screws and regular screws do. This makes them less noticeable and also prevents hair from getting caught on the screw. The UFO screws are adjustable from the back of the shears, and using a tension adjustor tool that comes with the hair scissors you purchased, you can tighten or loosen the screw to get the correct tension.

Troubleshooting on this screw is easy. First, be aware of which side of the head it's connected to (left or right). Second, pay attention to the quantity and position of washers. Third, be aware of the internal clicker plates (see earlier article) to ensure that you don't replace them.

Each type of screw has its own unique benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before purchasing. Thank you for reading!


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