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Convex hair shears, thinning shears - how sharp?

Discussion in 'Razors, Scissors, & Personal Grooming' started by HeavyHanded, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. HeavyHanded

    HeavyHanded KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 4, 2010
    Recently came into a couple of thinning and one convex hair shear.

    I've always considered trying my hand at these but have been too cheap to buy any to learn on. Ran into an old friend who has a salon and what he calls the "crypt" of old or less expensive shears he either didn't like enough and/or they were inexpensive enough he never bothered to have them resharpened. He was nice enough to loan me some in the $100-200 range, understanding I am a novice on these tools - he wants them back but "I don't care if you grind them into stubs".

    Since two were never resharpened I only have the factory finish to go by, so I dup'd that as close as possible. I have zero idea how to test for sharpness on these.

    I have the thinning shears to where they cleanly perforate a piece of toilet tissue stem to stern (and thin my hair out no problem). The convex shear cleanly snips wet or dry toilet paper and I nearly cut myself just wiping them off. Don't know what the "standard" is - suspect its the cut test and I'm no stylist...

    Was hoping to have a better idea of what some folks use for testing (I don't have any disposable neck wraps) before I sent them back home for a real test.

    Any ideas or insight appreciated.

    Martin

    ETA: With the convex shears I was able to slide cut a paper towel with no snagging and the blades individually will cleanly shave hair off my arm. If this isn't sharp enough I'm gobsmacked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  2. cap'njake

    cap'njake

    197
    Aug 15, 2016
    My wife works in a salon and it sounds like you have them as sharp as I get them and she has never complained and the gals she works with haven't complained about any I have sharpened. Did you do them free hand? Because if you did well done! I am not brave enough to try it free hand yet.
     
  3. HeavyHanded

    HeavyHanded KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 4, 2010
    I did the thinning shears freehand. I also did the convex shears freehand initially, and they turned out very sharp - shaving armhair and drawslicing wet paper towel with no snag. But...the cosmetics were not good enough for commercial work. I would up doing them on a 45 and 9 micron diamond belt followed by leather and compound. The ride and final deburr I did by hand on an 8k waterstone.

    I still haven't heard back, but then I might never...

    I also recently was able to test my rig for doing curved shears - I have a friend who used to do dog grooming and had a big pair or curved ones. They had always been sent out to a service, but the grinds were terrible - did not match up at all. I was able to do them perfect - in this case for poodles and such I left them with a 125 micron edge with a little microbevel freehand and just enough on the ride to remove the burr - micro and deburr done on a 2k waterstone.
     
    Chris "Anagarika" likes this.
  4. cap'njake

    cap'njake

    197
    Aug 15, 2016
    I usually take the ride line as fine as I possibly can. Right now that is a 30k shapton pro. I saw a video of a pro doing that way and that's what I started doing now. Seems to work really well. I have been considering doing the outside edge on a slack belt. I will have to try that. Sounds like you have taught yourself a new skill tho that very few are brave enough to try. Congrats. If word gets out to some hair salons around you might become pretty busy.
     
    Chris "Anagarika" likes this.
  5. HeavyHanded

    HeavyHanded KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 4, 2010

    More side work would be great!
    I almost need to buy a mid range convex shear - something in the $2-300 dollar range. Ultimately you can only learn so much on new shears tho.

    I run the diamond belts on a hard platen at relatively slow speed, then buff at high speed with leather. The shears with a flat cutting bevel I've just been deburring with an 8k and hitting the ride with same. Only the dog shears left off at lower grit.

    I recently upgraded my guided jig so I don't have to freehand the microbevel/deburr anymore, which is a nice relief. I'm ready to hang a shingle.
     
    Chris "Anagarika" likes this.
  6. cap'njake

    cap'njake

    197
    Aug 15, 2016
    You can buy practice shears for pretty cheap from twice as sharp and I think sharpening supplies too. If I remember right they was around 60-70 dollars from somewhere.
     
    Chris "Anagarika" likes this.
  7. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    The 'ride' you guys are calling is it the flat inside blade.? Excuse me for not knowing your term. DM
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  8. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have now looked at dozens of scissor diagrams and the area that is labeled as the 'ride' is usually not sharpened.? DM
     
  9. G-son

    G-son

    28
    Apr 26, 2016
    The ride line is the area on the inside of each blade, that rides against the other blade. It is usually not sharpened per se, other than you may lay the blade flat on a very fine stone and draw it across a couple of times to remove the wire edge after sharpening the "outside edge".

    The inside of the blade is hollow ground, excessive flattening of the inside would create a wide ride, more friction, and possibly reduced performance in other ways. Any damage to the inside of the blade, such as pitting from rust (common on old neglected tailors shears) is a huge pain to fix - if it can be fixed at all. The outer edge, no problem as long as there's enough metal left to grind, but any damage (including incorrect grinding) on the inside can make it FUBAR very easily.
     
    coldsteelburns likes this.
  10. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I suspected that but that is not where diagrams show. Dm
     
  11. Spideyjg

    Spideyjg

    77
    Nov 7, 2017
    The test of a shear is how they cut hair assembled. If I do lots of shears, my arms look like I have mange.

    Get some 100% natural hair extensions to have as test media.
     

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