What Angle Do You Sharpen Hair Scissors? Best Angle to Sharpen Shears - Japan Scissors

What Angle Do You Sharpen Hair Scissors? Best Angle to Sharpen Shears

In the world of hairdressing, scissors are more than just tools; they are an extension of the artist. To ensure top performance and precise cuts, these instruments must be maintained, especially through proper sharpening. This process, though it may appear simple, demands precision and understanding of the scissors' unique angles. Moreover, incorrect sharpening can significantly impact the scissors' performance and even damage them. Here, we delve into the fascinating world of hair scissors sharpening, shedding light on its intricate details, and explaining why professionals are needed for this crucial task.

Understanding the Anatomy of Hair Cutting Scissors

A professional sharpening service

Every type of scissor blade edge is different, but the most common sharpening angle for the blade's edge that cuts hair is 45 degrees. There are three main angles on a hair cutting scissor blade:

  • The cutting edge (angle around 45 degrees)
  • The middle edge (angle around 60 degrees)
  • The upper edge near the hinge (angle around 90 degrees)

Each pair of scissors should be sharpened to the angle and steepness of the blade. It is essential to sharpen your scissors at the correct angle so that you can maintain optimal sharpness and performance.

The Art and Science of Scissor Sharpening

Sharpening scissors is a delicate process that must be done with precision and caution. You must think of a pair of scissors as a machine designed to make one cutting edge ride exactly on the other. They cut with a shearing action and can cut materials like cloth and hair, which a knife cannot cut. As such, the sharpening process needs to ensure that these edges meet perfectly.

Inspect the inner side of each blade. You should see a shiny line right along the edge, known as the ride line. If it's severely damaged or worn, your scissors may need professional intervention for sharpening. Any work on this inner surface must be carried out with factory precision, as careless sharpening can render scissors useless, with the two sharp edges just passing by each other with no shearing action.

Notably, if your scissors don't open more than 90 degrees, they need to be disassembled for sharpening. Also, there are exceptions to the general sharpening process. Convex salon shears used for cutting hair, for example, are sharpened differently from regular scissors.

Sharpening angles are measured from square, which is called 0 degrees. This table illustrates various angles for sharpening different types of hair cutting scissors:

Type of Hair Cutting Scissors Sharpening Angle
Regular hair cutting scissors 25 - 35 degrees
Thinning scissors 30 - 35 degrees
Convex hair cutting scissors 38 - 42 degrees
Semi-convex hair cutting scissors 42 - 45 degrees
Standard (conventional) hair cutting scissors 45 - 50 degrees
Bevel edge hair cutting scissors 75 - 80 degrees

Please note: For the most accurate sharpening angles, always contact the scissor manufacturer. This information is intended as a general guide only.

Improper sharpening practices may result in a negative angle, significantly affecting the scissors' performance.

Why Professionals Matter in Scissor Sharpening

Professional scissor sharpeners have the expertise and the right tools to accurately maintain your hair scissors. They understand the intricacies of different scissor types, the correct sharpening angles, and the risk of damaging the scissors or blades during the process. While some manufacturers offer sharpening services, many independent sharpening professionals are also capable of doing the job accurately.

The Right Angle for Sharpening Hair Scissors

Getting the right angle for sharpening hair scissors is crucial. It affects how the scissors perform, how long they stay sharp, and their longevity. The correct angle for sharpening hair scissors usually lies between 25 to 35 degrees. However, some special scissors like convex hair cutting scissors require a steep angle, around 70 to 80 degrees.

Tips for Effective Sharpening

Once you've sharpened the scissors, ensure that you remove the burr that forms on the inner edge. You can do this by carefully closing the scissors without letting the blades touch, then pushing the blades apart and opening the scissors. Repeat this a few times. This process will move the burr outside the ride and burnish the ride line, ensuring the blades operate properly without cutting into each other. Alternatively, you can use a very fine hone to polish the inside surfaces.


Sharpening hair cutting scissors is both an art and a science. It requires precision, knowledge of the right sharpening angles, and understanding of the scissors' unique structure. With professional sharpeners at your service, you can keep your hair cutting scissors in top condition, ensuring they continue to serve as an effective extension of your creativity and skills.

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