Scissors University©

Trouble Shoot Malfunctions

What You Need To Know About Scissors©


Keep It Simple as 1-2-3

1. Check tension before you start your work day.

2. Always clean your scissors before adjusting.

3. When making adjustments the blades need to be closed.

Trouble Shoot Scissors Malfunctions With Basic Maintenance


Scissors bend or push hair.

This is a symptom of a loose tension setting; If your scissors are loose, they will have excess wobble, forcing you to place thumb pressure on the ring. This spreads the blades apart causing the blades to bend hair instead of cutting it. Go to Tension Settings  

Scissors still bending or pinching hair after they have been adjusted.

Adjusting scissors places the correct pressure on the blades to assure a good cutting performance. Thumb pressure flexes the blades enough to cause them to separate or pull together resulting in this malfunction. You are not alone with this common over compensation. When you hold the scissors weight on the thumb instead of distributing it across the upper hand,

physical forces work against their ability to close properly.                     

Go to Thumb Pressure

Scissors feel rough or have a bound up resistance when being closed.

When the blades are pressing together and struggle to cut hair, the reaction is to think that the scissors need to be sharpened. Stop using them, loosen the tension, apply liberal amounts of a light oil, thoroughly clean and wipe clean with a chamois. When wiping down with a chamois, us pressure going from pivot to point, never go point to pivot. Once clean, reset the tension and they should function much better. Do this on a regular basis.


Another option is to disassemble and clean the scissor. Follow my instructions and watch my short video for the complete process. Go to Scissors Assembly Video.

Scissors that pinch hair while cutting.

This can a symptom that the tension could be to tight, just reset the tension. Go to Tension Settings

Another cause can be that you are pushing on the outside of the thumb ring. Often this is most noticeable when cutting on the skin; the neck line or around the ears.Twisting or rolling your wrist back with thumb facing toward your body places more pressure against the ring and the blades, pinching the tip of the scissors just like tweezers pulling on a hair. See supporting picture and Go to Thumb Pressure & Upper Hand Control.  Correct tension is built into the scissors when it is adjusted, that means your hand should be relaxed.


The tension setting just does not ever seem right even though you follow instructions.

Your individual adjustment can vary "slightly" from the recommended settings.  Scissors have individual personalities that varies from when it is new to becoming older; balance can change as they wear and when weight has been removed from excessive sharpening. The settings I recommend are exact and certainly can vary slightly based on physical factors, weight of handle, design of handle, failure of tension systems, worn parts, etc. Go to Adjusting Scissors Video.


Your scissors repairs service should be advising you on all the subjects at Scissors University and assisting you with extending your scissors performance life. Most issues like this are repairable when using a reliable repair service. Average life of scissors should exceed ten years when everyone involved with your scissors is doing their part of the required maintenance.