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Ole Larsen Test Sharpness
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Ole Larsen has been in the scissors business since 2002, trained in Asia to learn Japanese sharpening techniques, and the fine art of making handmade Japanese scissors.


Later he returned to Asia for almost 5 years, refining his skills as a master craftsman. Today, now living in Denmark, Ole is the only Japanese taught Scissor Smith in Northern Europe.

Comments From Ole Larson of Yamamoto Shears

Testing of scissors after sharpening.


A sharpened hairdressing scissor should be tested on hair as that is the medium that it will be used, anything other than hair is completely useless and shows nothing. There is so much more to evaluating a scissors edge other than making a quick cut in a bunch of hair.


Scissors are designed to be used with specific cutting techniques.


There are 6 basic haircutting techniques and 3 unique blade types (Chokuba, Yanagiba and Sasaba) that are defined by the radius of their edge. These specific designs have centuries of historical significance, in the evolution of quality Japanese ingenuity, and still represent the highest standards used today. These different edges are not tested in the same way, because they do not respond the same while cutting. 


Chokuba is a straight blade with an edge radius of 1000-1200 millimeters for blunt cutting. When testing, I cut very slowly into the hair to see how it performs and reacts. It is important to see the hairs roll backwards and not be pushed forward. If the scissor does these different tests correctly, it is perfect for blunt cutting.


Yanagiba is an all-round blade with an edge radius of 800 millimeters and is the scissor that most hairdressers use. This blade is made to do most cutting techniques acceptably, but not perfect.


So, when I test this – in hair – I want to see the hairs roll backwards and being pushed just a little forward at the same time. Again, in various positions and angles.


For thinners it is the same – we test the cutting performance in many different positions and angles to see how it is cutting the hair to the different cutting techniques. These tests will reveal if there is a nick, burr, or something else wrong on the blades; but if you have learned proper sharpening there will be no such things in the finished blades.


Sasaba is a slice cut blade with an edge radius of 600 millimeters and it is completely different – both sharpening and testing. This scissor should slice cut with a 30-degree angle to the hair. That is the technical definition of slice cutting. To obtain a slice cut, the hairs should be pushed forward along the edge!


A slicer should push the hair forward on the blade in order to slice the hair at a 30-degree angle. To test this scissor, I slice at a 30-degree angle slowly, to see how the edge performs and use a variety of methods and various positions. This scissor cannot cut straight as it is not designed to do so.


“If you cut scissor over comb it will simply push the hairs completely out to the tip

because it is designed to do so”.


Testing an edge on various wet papers, or other non-hair mediums is useless, as it tells me absolutely nothing about how the scissor will respond while cutting the hair with the technique it was designed for.


Thanks for taking the time to read my comment, please visit Yamamoto Scissors.Com, to learn more about how Japanese Scissors are manufactured.