What’s the number one thing you must have in your shears?
Without sharpness, nothing else matters. Not name brand. Not stylish colors. Nothing. Dull shears can fold your clients’ hair, pull it, or fray the ends, all resulting in a very bad hair day—for the client and you.
So, sharpness is a must. But you also want that sharpness to last a long time. It’s a pain and a waste of valuable booking time if you have to keep sending the shears in for sharpening a number of times each year.
What’s the answer?
It starts with the steel you choose—and follows with the skill of the manufacturer. We’ll talk about manufacturing in another post. But since steel is at the very heart of the quality of the shears you use every day, let’s start there; because don’t have to be a steel nerd to see why the steel in your shear matters.
First, some background:
The main material in steel is iron, a natural element found in the earth. To make steel, the iron is refined and mixed with another natural element, carbon. These two elements combine so that the atoms of one occupies the spaces between the atoms of the other so that the materials are permanently joined. It’s what makes steel so strong.
But steel manufacturers don’t stop there. Most steel has additional ingredients to enhance specific characteristics. For example, the reason why stainless steel can be polished to a high shine and resist staining—that is, rusting—is that it contains a high level of the element chromium. Other steel ingredients add different characteristics, some very important to the quality and sharpness of your shears.
The Japanese tradition of fine steel
Japanese steel makers have been perfecting these steel formulas since before the time of the first samurai swords. In the spirit of this ancient tradition, today’s manufacturers perfect their steel, too, using the most advanced technology to bring a new level of precision and quality to the premium steel they make.
The steel KASHO uses and why
KASHO uses several main types of Japanese steel. They are chosen for a variety of reasons, from performance characteristics like the ability to take and hold an edge to affordability. As you might imagine, the more complex and high performance the steel, the higher the cost. And considering these are lifetime tools, they’re worth every penny.
Many KASHO shears are made from a steel known as VG-10W. The “G” in this steel stands for “gold.” It doesn’t mean that gold is added to the steel; instead, the term “gold” is used in Japan to indicate high quality. Developed by the Japanese steel manufacturer Takefu, VG-10W also has molybdenum, tungsten (also known as wolfram, which is where the “W” in VG-10W comes from), vanadium, and cobalt. All these elements contribute in different ways to creating an ideal steel for crafting hair shears.
Combined with KASHO’s quality manufacturing, VG-10W enables KASHO to make this premium steel exceptionally hard. This means it can take a very, very sharp edge—and can hold that sharp edge for a long time. More hair styling. Less shear sharpening.
The next level in shear steel is a steel called ATS-314. You’ll find it in the KASHO Silver and Sagano series. This ultra-premium Japanese stainless steel is made by the Hitachi steel company. It has very high levels of cobalt, titanium, and vanadium. This means it can be sharpened to an even finer edge and hold that edge even longer. It is more difficult to deal with in the manufacturing process, but when you use Silver and Sagano to cut your clients’ hair, you’ll think it’s definitely worth it.
KASHO’s flagship Millennium series shears are made from SG2 (“Super Gold 2”) stainless steel. This is a top-of-the-line stainless steel made in a process called powder metallurgy. In short, the ingredients of the steel alloy are “atomized,” then turned into steel under enormous heat and pressure. This makes the steel very high quality—and the products made from it amazingly durable. This ultra-premium steel means Millennium shears can take an exquisitely sharp edge and hold it longer, too. With SG2, our Millennium series is so good you just might get obsessed with the perfect performance of your shears.
For premium quality and eye-catching beauty, treat yourself to a pair of VG-10W/Damascus shears. Our Damascus shears are formed by layering different types of steel alloys together, then forging them into a single piece. The cutting core of the shears—the part that cuts hair—is premium VG-10W stainless steel for top performance and an incredibly long-lasting edge. The Damascus micro layers form the beautiful, rippling patterns you see on the shear blades.
This Japanese steel is a very popular choice for many shears manufacturers. It not only offers a professional grade edge, but does it at a very affordable price. You’ll find this steel in our Design Master texturizing and thinning shears.
So, if sharp matters to you—and it should—then the steel in your shears matters, too. Choose KASHO and you’ll always know you’ve made the right choice.