Scissors University©  

What You Need To Know About Scissors ©

Tension Settings & Video 

Tension Settings Intro
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Checking the tension on your scissors is second to no other function, it even supersedes the importance of sharpness. Every aspect of a scissors performance depends on the quality of materials that the tension system is made of and then your vigilance in respecting its purpose.

 

When purchasing a scissor special attention should be spent on examining, testing, and understanding the new tension system. Despite the tension’s importance to a scissors function, many scissor brands have been known to use defective parts.

 

Do not forget to bring your scissors to this class.

Adjusting scissors is your daily responsibility.

Checking and then possibly adjusting the scissors tension setting, is your daily responsibility. Yes!  I really did say that this routine is a daily commitment. Always clean & oil every scissor before attempting to adjust them, to assure your effort was worthwhile,

 

Tension is the ability of the blades to gently press against each other, this allows the blades to cut hair effortlessly, and with precision. Choosing to ignore the importance of this daily maintenance, will cause premature dulling, or damage to the scissors edge, and it will hinder your ability to create precise cutting results.

 

Each pair of scissors has one correct tension setting. The type of tension system that is on your scissors, determines that setting, and there are only three. Your scissors tension system will match one of the three types described.

 

What type of tension system is on your scissors?

 

System A

Sometimes called a click or ratchet system, is quite common and reliable. Tension systems that has any type of external, or recessed nut, and clicks when turned with your fingers, or when using a special tool. Again, what is important about this system, is that the tension nut clicks when it is turned. The other two system types do not click.

 

System B.

This system is also called a standard screw tension, it is dependable and has been universally used for centuries. A very common tension system that has a screw with a slot, and will fit a flathead screwdriver, or a coin if the slot is wide. This screw system does not click.

 

System C.

A pressure type tension system, and it is not as common on newer scissors. A tension system with any type of external, or recessed nut, and it does not click when turned. Many of these systems will have, a metal umbrella shaped washer connected to the tension nut, or a rubber washer, embedded in the tension nut to create resistance. It is not recommended to place oil directly under this type of tension nut, as the oil will cause the nut to loosen easily. System C, in my opinion is not the best option.

 

Now that you have determined your scissors tension system, follow the steps provided for that system. Once you become accustom to this routine, setting the tension takes about 5 seconds, and then the same amount of time is needed, to clean and oil them. Remember, only clean scissors will adjust easily.

 
Tension Steps 1 and 2
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Each time you set the scissors tension system start with Step 1 & 2. Then finish with each scissors appropriate setting.

 

Step One

Tip points to 12 o'clock

Step One: Always start by holding your scissors straight up by the thumb ring, with the tip positioned at12:00 o'clock; the finger ring blade position is at the 9:00 o'clock.

Step Two

Balanced 9:00 0'clock

Step Two: Gently release the finger ring blade checking to see if it will close, or balance at the 9:00 o'clock position. The scissors needs to feel smooth and move freely before attempting to set the tension 

 

You are now ready to make your final tension adjustment for either system A, B, or C.

 

Be sure that the scissor blades are closed when adjusting the tension, this is important. Always adjust in small increments, and test frequently.

System A: First Follow Step 1 & 2.

 

For tension systems that click when you turn it, the finger ring blade should balance lightly at 9:00 o'clock. Once the finger blade is balanced at 9:00 o'clock, make a slight straight downward hand movement, the blade needs to close easily and stop at 10 o'clock.

System A
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When the blade closes at 10 o'clock you are done. Test the scissors for a smooth closure. If the blade feels too tight, does not close smoothly, or if it is too loose, close the scissor and readjust until it is correct. Always start this process with Steps 1 & 2. See the picture examples of System A. 

9 o'clock

System A

BalancedLightly

System A

Stops at

10 o'clock

System A

System B. First Follow Step 1 & 2.

For a tension system that needs a screwdriver or a coin to adjust; gently release the finger ring blade that is balanced at 9:00 o'clock and it should easily stop at the 11:00 o'clock. 

System B
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When the blade closes at 11 o'clock you are done. Test the scissors for a smooth closure. If the blade feels too tight, does not close smoothly, or if it is too loose, close the scissor and readjust until it is correct. Always start this process with Steps 1 & 2. See example of System B. 

System B

Balanced 9:00 0'clock

System B

Stops at 11:00 o'clock

System C: First Follow Step 1 & 2.

 

This setting is for a tension system with any type of external, or recessed nut, and it does not click when turned, gently release the finger ring blade that is balanced at 9:00 o'clock and it should easily stop at the 10 o'clock.

System C
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When the blade closes at 10 o'clock you are done. Test the scissors for a smooth closure. If the blade feels too tight, does not close smoothly, or if it is too loose, close the scissor and readjust until it is correct. Always start this process with Steps 1 & 2. See example of System C. 

Balanced 9:00 0'clock

System C

Stops at

10 o'clock

System C

 
Watch video of scissors Adjustment A
See external & recessed click system, using chamois, adjustment key, and many useful tips.
 
Watch video of scissors Adjustment B
See the adjustment process for a  standard screw system and many useful tips.

Edge Shadow Part One  60 sec

If you ever needed visual proof to be the incentive to check and adjust your scissors tension system on a daily basis this video will help with that. This is a short close up slow motion video of the cutting edge contact point on both blades of hair cutting scissors. With the correct tension setting the contact point appears as a small black dot moving up and down the blade like an elevator.

 

Edge Shadow Part Two 60 sec

 

This is a short close up slow motion video of the cutting edge contact point on both blades of hair cutting scissors. With the correct tension setting the contact point appears as a small black dot moving up and down the blade like an elevator. In this video there has been thumb pressure applied. You can easily see the blades separate and then compress with the flexing of the thumb.