Scissors University©

Making Scissors - Standards of Material

What You Need To Know About Scissors©

Dongho Jun and Sunjoo Park, a premier team in the scissors industry are presenting some insight to the Making of Scissors as a guest lecturer at Scissors University.

Stainless Steel Has Standards

Today, I will talk about the material or standards of stainless steel, as it is the most commonly used for beauty shears. Steel standards vary by country and different in criteria, making specifications complicated. There are international and national standards, and individual company standards as well. The international standard for steel is not even unified in the USA, Japan, Korea, or Pakistan. Knowing what country is manufacturing the shears allows an understanding of the consistency or inconsistency in the standards.


1. China

In China the steel technology was transferred from East Germany a long ago, so the Chinese Steel Standard was fundamentally based on German Institute for Standardization.


Recently, China has made their own standards according to the International Standard, such as the GB/T 20878 which was made in 2007. According to GB/T 20878-2007, the standard numbers listed below are interchangeable.  30CR13 - 420J2  68CR17 - 440A  108CR17 – 440C'.  Today Chinese Standards are called:   GB/T 国家标准/推荐 (China, Guo Jia Biao Zhun/Tuijian, meaning "Recommended Standards", “tuījiàn” means "recommended"


I heard some of Chinese factories claim with fake certificates that they are using Japanese Hitachi or Aichi 440C. However, as we checked with a Hitachi agent in Japan, both Hitachi and Aichi Company have not exported 440C to China so far. We suspect that they used 108CR17 which has the same chemical composition with 440C.


2. Pakistan

Pakistan’s steel technology was transferred from the Soviet Union, but their standard management system is similar with Great Britain. Strangely, there is a clear standard for mild steel, but there is no real standard for stainless steel used for scissors. Overall, the manufacturing and management system for stainless steel is very ambiguous. We could imagine that it might be difficult to find the high quality stainless steel for making scissors in Pakistan.


3. Korea / Japan

Korean steel companies do not manufacture a quality 440C steel for making scissors. Therefore, many Korean companies import steel, but not from China since its quality is remarkably low. Japanese factories use the most refined steel from Hitachi and Aichi .


Dongho Jun's note :

Within my factory I designed and crafted scissors with numerous types of steel, the differences between Hitachi 440/ATS314 and steel from any other company are enormous.  

These are the ideas of JP Plan, others with different opinions may think otherwise.

Comparison Table of Stainless Steel by Country
  • AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute)

  •  ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)

  • DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung, German Institute for Standardization)

  • EN (Euro Norm, European Standard)

  • GB 国家标准 (China, Guo Jia Biao Zhun, meaning the “National Standards”)

  • GB/T 国家标准/推荐 (China, Guo Jia Biao Zhun/Tuijian, meaning "Recommended Standards", “tuījiàn” means "recommended"

  • ISO (International Organization for Standardization)

  • JIS (Japan Industrial Standards)

  • KS (Korean standards)

  • PSQCA(Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority)

The Unification Codes if etched on the scissors can help idendtify the Country of Origin.