General Purpose Styling Shears
The vast majority of hair cutting techniques call for a shear that is sharp, has a 40 degree convex edge (for a sharper cleaner cut) and an 800 mm radius (the slight curve in the blade from hilt to tip) to hold the hair in place so you don’t have to keep chasing the hair when cutting it. The best tool for these jobs is a high quality General Purpose Styling Shear.

Keep in mind that there are only 3 basic types of shears.

  • Your workhorse – the General Purpose Styling Shear
  • A Specialty Shear – The Dry Finish Shear
  • Blending Shears – or Texturizers
General purpose styling shears are designed, as the name suggests, for use in most haircutting techniques. Musashi General Purpose Styling Shears are all high-quality Japanese style shears. This means they all have a 40 degree convex edge for a cleaner sharper cut and are designed (as are all Japanese style shears) with an 800 mm radius to hold the hair in place when cutting.

A properly cared for and sharpened General Purpose Styling shears can be used effectively on both wet or dry hair but are specifically designed for wet hair cutting techniques.

The differences you’ll find in general purpose styling shears are then all associated with length and handle design. When we custom fit a shear to you, we take you through a process similar to that used by optometrists when testing your eyeglass prescription. We take you through 10 basic handle designs to find the one that is the most comfortable in your hand and fits your cutting techniques best. Then you, the stylist, decide on what length you prefer.

Here are the handle designs we use:

  • Straight
  • Semi-offset
  • Offset
  • Wide Stance Thumb Swivel
  • Narrow Stance Thumb Swivel
  • Tri-hole Thumb Swivel
  • No-ergonomic twist
  • Slight ergonomic twist
  • Aggressive ergonomic twist
  • Combinations of the above

What determines the proper length?

One of the questions we hear all the time is, “how long a shear should I buy?” Again there are no hard and fast rules but we do have several suggestions:

  1. You don’t want the tip of the blade to extend past your middle finger’s knuckle where the finger attaches to the hand when blunt cutting. The most common sizes are 5.5” – 6” depending on the size of your hand.
  2. Scissors over comb and cutting in the line on long hair. This is where longer shears, 6.5”-7.5” inches in length work best. But again be careful – if you have small hands the longer shears will be “tip-heavy” and can cause repetitive motion injuries.
  3. If you’re the rare stylist who palms their shears by flipping them you’ll want shears that are semi-offset and have little or no ergonomic twist to the finger holes and do not have a camel design in the handle.
  4. Cutting kids hair. Usually stylists have found that shorter shears 4.5”-5” in length are the best for this application.
  5. Point cutting. This is truly the stylist’s choice. I’ve had stylists who want a longer 6.5” shear specifically for point cutting because they want their hands to be as far apart as possible, usually you’ll want your main shear to be the one you use for point cutting.
  6. Slide cutting. I’ll talk about thumb swivels on another page but when point cutting or slide cutting using a thumb swivel makes the whole experience much more comfortable. You’ll want your favorite shear to be the one you use for slide cutting.

Most stylists who own more than 5 pair of shears have purchased essentially the same shear each time. Different lengths – perhaps occasionally different handle designs but almost invariably they will have multiple general purpose styling shears.
Musashi Shear Advantages
Lifetime warranty against any factory defect. The comfort and quality of the Musashi Shear is a delight for any professional hair stylist. A properly fitted shear reduces fatique and makes cutting a joy. Check out the links below for the best shear to match your cutting needs.
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