What Is The Best Metal For Hair Cutting Shears?

The different kinds of hairdressing scissor steel

The main difference in the quality of hairdressing scissors is the metal (stainless steel) used and the overall craftsmanship. 

The difference between cheap metal and expensive metal used to make hair scissors could mean the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here we will explain the best metal for hair cutting Shears and breakdown the quality of the most common steel used for scissors.

The Best Steel For Hair Cutting Scissors

All scissors are made from stainless steel, but the best steel for hairdressing scissors is from Japan.

The Japanese steel used for scissors gives sharper edges, requires sharpening less often, and a lighter balance that makes for perfect ergonomics. 

The most popular Japanese steel for scissors are 440C, VG10 (VG-10), VG1 (VG-1) and Cobalt ATS314 (ATS-314).

Better Metal Better Blades

Japanese scissors use sharp convex edge blades that require hardened premium steel. This keeps a sharper edge on the blade for longer.

This improves all blades, but most professional Japanese shears with premium steel use Convex edge blades.

You will also require sharpening less often due the premium hardened steel.

Better Metal Better Ergonomics

The higher quality steel is surprisingly light. This lighter steel takes pressure off your fingers, wrist, elbow and shoulder while cutting.

Better Metal Longer Scissor Life

The higher quality Japanese steel means the scissors will be more resistant to corrosion, rust, and other general issues.

Japanese steel shears are expected to last between five to ten to twenty years, or longer if well maintained.

Where Does The Best Scissor Steel Come From?

All scissors are made from stainless steel, but the highest quality and best scissor metals are made in:

  1. Japanese Steel: Highest Quality In The World!
  2. German Steel: Best Quality Steel From Europe
  3. Korean Steel: Second Best Steel From Asia
  4. Taiwanese Steel: High Quality Steel
  5. Chinese Steel: Great Quality Steel

The worst steel is made in India, Pakistan and Vietnam. These Indian and Pakistani scissors have blunt edges and can typically only be sharpened once or twice before they break.

The Top 10 Best Hair Scissor Steel

With so many metals available, how do we know which is the best for professional hairdressing and barber Shears?

Here is our top 10 best to worst hairdressing scissor steel:

 Steel Rank Name Description
#1 Best Steel ATS-314 (ATS314) Pure Japanese steel with the highest levels of Cobalt, Titanium and Vanadium.
#2  VG-10 (VG10) Gold High quality Japanese steel with very high levels of Titanium and Vanadium made for the best scissors and knives.
#3  V-10 (V10) High levels of Titanium and Vanadium that gives extra strength to cutting blades.
#4 V-1 (V1) Entry-level Titanium and Vanadium steel shears made for sharp cutting blades.
#5 S-3 (S3) High Cobalt steel for sharp cutting edges.
#6 S-1 (S1) Entry-level Cobalt steel for hardened cutting Shears.
#7  440C Hardened Japanese steel that's popular for premium hair scissors. 
#8 440A  Standard stainless steel used on most basic blades.
#9 420 Cheap stainless steel used on the most basic of scissors and knives.
#10 410 The cheapest commonly used steel that isn't recommended for professional scissors.


Vanadium and Titanium increase the hardness and toughness of your scissors. These also make the scissors lighter so they are easier to cut with.

Cobalt steel is used to make your blades lighter and stronger. Cobalt steel gives your Shears a sharp cutting edge and holds it for longer, meaning you do not need to sharpen your scissors as often.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scissor Steel

Here we have compiled a list of the most common questions about steel and metals used to make hairdressing scissors and barber Shears.

 Question  Answer
What is the most common hairdressing scissor steel? The most common metal used to make hair scissors is the 440C stainless steel.
Which hairdressing scissor steel is best for professionals? The recommended metal for hair scissors in the 440C Japanese steel.
Which metal is best for student or apprentice hairdressers? The 440A steel is perfect for entry-level hair scissors.
Does pure 100% titanium scissors exist? 100% Titanium is not used for scissors, but you can get Shears with 2% to 10%.
What is stainless steel? Stainless steel is the metal used for all blades. It comes in various types with the higher quality versions being harder.
What is the best metal for hair Shears? ATS-314 or VG-10 premium scissor steel from Japan.
Does Damascus scissor steel exist? Damascus steel hasn't been made for over 300 years. The Damascus steel used for hair Shears is just a design.
Are Titanium scissors better? Titanium is added to scissor steel to increase the toughness and strength of the blade. Titanium is only found in premium shear. Titanium scissor blades are sharper, lightweight and are higher quality.
What is 6cr stainless steel? The 6CR, otherwise known as "6CR13MoV"steel, has a 0.66 carbon additive component to the metal and is used for basic cutting tools.
What is 9cr stainless steel? The 9CR, otherwise known as "9Cr13MoVCo" or "9Cr18MoV", is a higher quality Chinese steel used for hairdressing and barber scissors.
What is Titanium coated scissors? Titanium coating on hairdressing scissors is just for styles and does not improve the performance or sharpness of the hair shear.
Is Powder Steel for scissors any good? Powder steel is a high quality metal forged with a unique process. Powder steel shears feature high quality sharp blades, a lightweight design and are resistant to rust and corrosion. The Powder Scissor Steel is comparable to Japanese Hitachi ATS314, and Takefu VG10 shears with their excellent edges and ergonomically lightweight design.

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