Every industry has its own jargon and specific terms for important aspects of its business. And that’s a good thing. It helps us be accurate when we’re talking about something as important as our tools and our craft. Today, we’re looking at some of the terms used to talk about the hair shears we use every day we’re on the job.
Of course, you’re already familiar with the two main sections of your shears: the blades and the handles. Yet each of these main sections is made up of a number of sub-sections that are worth understanding as well.
Blade hollow, concave—This is one of the most important aspects of your shears. The concave blade hollow reduces contact between the blades, reducing friction and making the shears highly responsive as you cut.
Blade exterior/outside—In precision hair shears like KASHO, this is convex or semi-convex. This rounded or semi-rounded blade exterior maintains the rigidity of the blade for precision cutting. Cutting hair is always smooth and easy. Some shears, like KASHO’s Sagano series, with its “samurai sword-shaped” blade, also have a defined back of the blade.
Edges—This is the sharpened part of the blade. Where the two razor-sharp edges of the shears meet, every hair is cut quickly and easily, with no tugging or folding.
Points—These are the tips of the blades, usually rounded slightly for the safety of you and your clients.
Dynamic blade—This is the blade connected to the thumb ring of the handle; it’s the one that moves as you move your thumb back and forth to make the cut. Unsurprisingly, this is also sometimes called the thumb blade.
Static blade—This is the blade connected to the finger ring of the handle; it’s the one that stay stable as you cut. And of course, this is also sometimes called the finger blade.
Ride—This is also sometimes called the half moon. This area is behind the pivot (see below) where the two blades touch as you open and close the shears. It is important to keep your shears oiled in this area so their operation remains smooth. KASHO Millennium and Xtreme Perfection series do not have a ride; instead, they feature KASHO’s Disc Operation System to maintain smooth operation. With the Disc Operation System, you do not need to oil your shears.
Joint—This is where the blade is connected to the handle. The joint is where the premium stainless steel of the blade is permanently welded to the high-quality stainless steel of the handle.
Pivot—The pivot is where the two blades are physically joined together. KASHO shears are joined by a variety of tensioning systems to enable the stylist to adjust the shears with precision and ease.
Finger rings—Also called finger bows, this is where you place your thumb and ring finger when cutting with the shears. The outside and inside of the rings are obvious. The inside ring is also where you can add finger inserts for comfort as well as to adjust the size of the inside ring to suit your fingers.
Finger rests/tang—There are several places to rest the fingers of your dominant hand as you cut. The pinkie rests on an extended piece of metal on the upper finger ring. This is also called the tang. This finger rest can be part of the handle or a separate piece that screws into the handle. Some stylists remove it, but it is intended to relieve stress on your wrist and shoulder and provides additional leverage while cutting. The middle finger and forefinger rest on the shank (see below) of the static blade. There may be curved indentations to cradle the index and middle fingers, or those fingers may simply rest on the handle shank.
Bumper—This is a small piece of rubber on the dynamic blade that acts as a shock absorber as you open and close the shears. The bumper, also called a stopper or silencer, ensures shear operation is quiet, too.
Shank—This is the connector between the blade and the finger rings.
Neck—The neck is the connector between the shank and the finger ring. It is slightly wider than the shank to curve around the finger ring for strength and comfort.