How to choose the best Barber scissor

Barber Scissors – a buyers guide on how to choose the best barber scissor.

Click to view the full collection of Dark Stag barbers scissors.


Your professional barbering scissors must feel comfortable.  Comfortable barber scissors will reduce strain on hand, wrist and elbow. Reduced strain minimises risk of developing Repetitive Strain Injury.  This is a common complaint for barbers.  To choose best barbers scissors it is important to hold your hairdressing scissors correctly.

How to hold a barber scissor

Your little finger sits on finger rest. Next finger in top finger hole.  First 2 fingers along stem with your thumb in thumb hole (see images)

Which Style Of Barbers Scissor – Straight v Offset

Professional barbers scissor styles

Click to view the full collection of Dark Stag barbers scissors.

When you choose best barber scissors there are endless styles and shapes available.  The main layouts of scissor handle are straight scissors (also known as ‘level set ’, ‘level scissors’ or ‘even handle’) and offset scissors (add the DSO black sally scissor but available soon from Sally Salon Services) .  Straight scissors are a traditional layout with finger and thumb holes set in a straight, level line (see graphic).  With offset scissors thumb hole is moved inwards towards the screw of scissor.


Straight scissors are often popular with barbers. (For independent advice on choosing hairdressing scissors visit our parner:  London School Of Barbering – choosing a scissor.)  They are often supplied in college kits to barbering students in their barber kits.  Crane handle scissors are more curved so are an exaggerated version of an offset scissor.  Some scissors feature rotating thumb holes for additional flexibility.  A straight scissor   is a more basic design with which barber’s elbow works from a higher position.  An offset scissor enables barber’s elbow to work in a lower and more natural position.  This reduces risks of RSI (see video below for demonstration).  The main thing if you want to choose best barbers scissors is to choose a scissor that feels comfortable.

When I choose best hairdressing scissors – what Size  Should I Choose?

Measuring a barbers scissor

When you choose best barbers scissors the size is mainly down to personal preference.  The longer the blade, quicker you can cut hair.  A barber scissor is often larger than
regular hairdressing scissors.  Partly down to speed of the haircut and partly down to average size of a barber’s hand compared to average hair stylist.

There has been a move over the last few years to bigger barber scissor sizes overall.  Size of a hair scissor is measured from blade tip to end of the furthest finger hole (not including the finger rest). For example this is a 5.25” scissor:

Barbers scissor fitting

A common method of choose best hairdressing scissors is to place the finger hole at the base of your thumb and the tip of the blade should reach the last section of your middle finger.  See image.

When I choose best barber scissors – What Cutting Edge Should I Choose

Serrated scissor edge

Serrated scissors or micro serrated scissors:  One of scissor’s blades will feature serrations.  These grip hair and allow a straight cut with no hair slipping through scissor blades.  Serrated scissors are often used by barber students as they are easy to cut and learn with. In order to choose best barber scissors it is important to consider how it will be used.  For example barbers often use serrated blades because they last long without sharpening. (Think bread knife!).  But – it is not possible to use them for slice cutting or chopping in as they will grip the hair.

Diagram showing the difference between bevelled edge and convex edge

Convex edge scissors:  These are the sharpest and smoothest cutting blades.  They provide a cleaner, crisper cut.  To choose the best barbers scissors for slice cutting and chopping in you can’t beat a convex blade!

When I choose best hairdressing scissors – Should I choose Right Or Left Handed Scissors?

Right handed scissor

Around 12% of UK hairdressers are left handed but the percentage of left handed scissor sales are much smaller.  In order to choose best barbers scissors it is recommended to choose one suited to your strongest hand. if you are left handed and want to choose the best hairdressing scissor – choose a lefty!

Left handed scissor

This is because many left handed barbers use right handed scissors and just get used to them. This is not best practice.  A left handed barber should use left handed scissors because the blades are set up to make cutting easier and reduce strain on the hand.  Also offset left handed.

For inspiration on the latest hair styles visit:  Hairdressers Journal gallery.

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