Scissors University©  

What You Need To Know About Scissors ©

Tension Settings & Video 

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.

System A.

Also called a click or ratchet system, it is most common and reliable because it has a spring washer or plate to secure the setting. These tension systems can have a variety of external, or recessed nuts, and click when it is turned with your fingers, certain systems will require 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 a standard screw tension, it is dependable, and has been universally accepted for centuries. A popular tension system with a slotted screw that matches a flathead screwdriver, or a coin if the slot is wide. This screw system does not click.

 

System C.

A unique pressure type tension system, it is not as common on newer scissors. This system can be any type of external, or recessed nut, and it does not click when turned. Many of these systems have a metal umbrella shaped washer connected to the tension nut, or a rubber washer embedded within the nut, it creates an adequate resistance. When cleaning it is not recommended to place a disproportionate amount of 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.

 

The recommended tension settings can vary slightly especially when the scissors are brand new or excessively worn. Using the proposed setting for the type of tension system on the scissor will deliver the best performance. As the tension loosens or is over tightened, it is instinctive to overcorrect with unneeded force.

This can result in premature dulling of the blade, making it challenging to produce a precise haircut. Once you determine your scissors type of tension, the setting remains the same and needs to be checked daily

 
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Step One

Tip points to 12 o'clock

Once you determine the scissors tension system, clean and oil them to ensure that they can be adjusted correctly. Whenever adjusting the scissors tension repeat the same guidelines to secure identical results.

 

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

Begin adjustment with Steps 1 & 2.
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Step Two

Balance at 9 o'clock

Step Two: Gently release the finger ring blade, checking to see where it closes. The scissors need to be able to glide smoothly before attempting to set the tension. Depending on the scissors type of tension you will be looking for the finger ring blade to balance lightly at 9 o’clock for System A, stop at the 11 o’clock for System B, or stop at the 10 o’clock position for System C. 

Pro-Tip: Once you believe the setting is correct, open the blades and gently rock them back and forth for a second or two.  Follow-up with a quick retest of the tension setting to confirm that the adjustment has held the set properly.  If it loosens or feels tight reset the tension , you might not have adjusted it properly.  The appropriate tension setting will hold up under this test. If the set continues to loosen or feel tight, it is possible there is a worn or a missing part and you should contact your service provider or the manufacturer for assistance.

 

You are now ready to go to the specific instructions to complete the tension adjustments on System A, B, or C.  Always close the blades when turning the tension nut or screw, then reposition the finger ring blade to 9 o’clock and release it to reveal the new modification.  Adjust in small increments, test, and release only from the 9 o’clock position for consistent findings.

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Balanced  lightly 

9 o'clock

System A

System A: Tensions that click.

Once you have completed Steps 1 & 2. Allow the finger ring blade to delicately balance at the 9:00 o'clock position. Make a slight straight downward hand movement, the blade needs to close easily and stop at a strong 10 o'clock position. Make incremental adjustments until it is correct. When the blade easily stops at the 10 o’clock position after performing the slight downward hand movement, you are done.

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Stops at

10 o'clock

System A

 

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System B

Release from 9 o'clock

System B: Tensions with a standard screw.

 

Once you have completed Steps 1 & 2. Hold the finger ring blade at the 9 o'clock position.  Release the blade, without using any downward hand movement, and it needs to stop at a strong 11 o'clock position. Make incremental adjustments until it is correct. When the blade easily stops at the 11 o’clock position when it is released, you are done.

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System B

Stops at 11 o'clock

 
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Release at 9 o'clock

System C

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Stops at

10 o'clock

System C

System C: Tensions with external or recessed nut that does not click.

 

Once you have completed Steps 1 & 2. Hold the finger ring blade at the 9 o'clock position.  Release the blade, without using any downward hand movement, and it needs to stop at the 10 o'clock position. Make incremental adjustments until it is correct. When the blade easily stops at the 10 o’clock position when it is released, you are done. 

 

Introduction to your Tension System  7 Minutes

 

Without standards for daily maintenance, upper hand control, thumb pressure, and then supported with reliable knowledge, how can a scissors performance or even your own skills be evaluated properly. PowerPoint Presentation Narrated.

 
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.