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Scissoring With Mario
Proper care will extend the life of your
QUALITY SCISSORS HELP BUILD CLIENTELE
Exceptional groomings are the
results of two things : the creative
and artistic skill of the groomer,
and the equipment that will
execute that skill on your clients
TAKING CARE OF YOUR SHEARSWith proper care and maintenance, quality shears will last for many thousands of haircuts. Listed below are some suggestions to help you get the longest life and the maximum benefit from your investment.
1. ALWAYS HAVE BACKUPS.Imagine how frustrating it would be if you are in the middle of a cut and your scissors get knocked off of your table. When you pick them up, they won't even close. It can and does happen. Most professionals not only have several pairs of scissors, but, they "retire" aging scissors while they still have useful life left. Therefore, they always have top quality back up equipment.
2. KEEP YOUR SHEARS CLEAN AND DRY.Oil at least every other day. Open the shear fully (X-shaped) and place a drop or two of lightweight shear oil around the screw. Move the blades so that the oil will work into the hinge and on the blades, then wipe off the excess. Store them in leather cases or sleeves, which absorb any moisture, unlike plastic cases, which can produce more moisture.
3. RE-CONDITIONING SHARPENINGBumpers or silencers, the little pieces of rubber or plastic that keep your scissors from clattering in the dog's ear, can occasionally fall out When this happens the blades will also cross when closed. This is a dangerous condition, with the blades exposed to you and the pet. Send the shear in for service. Bad haircuts can be fixed because hair grows back; bad sharpening is forever. Most street "grinders" remove exces metal which shortens the scissor's life. Grinding also overheats the blades which causes them to loose their temper or hardness. bad sharpening is expensive at any price. Precision honing (one of many steps used to sharpen a scissor), is a very exacting water cooled process that removes only a small amount of metal while restoring the edge to factory or better condition.
With the many considerations in purchasing shears, price, style, design, etc. always purchase shears from someone who REALLY knows scissors. Consider shears an investment, and always put quality before quantity in starting or adding to a collection. Don't purchase because of looks or packaging; some inferior shears look great, but their edges won't last like quality shears.
Manufacturers also have improved the types of edges given to cutting blades. Hollow-ground blades are carved out on the inside, reducing the shears' weight and creating a thinner,angled edge that cuts more smoothly Honed edges, found on many hand-crafted shears, are razor sharp. Serrated edges are designed to catch and hold the hair during scissoring, but they have become less popular since the development of the smoother cutting edges.
An important improvement in the design of modem shears is the shortening of the shanks. With a shorter shank you can achieve a more comfortable grip with the index and middle fingers. Also, you do not have to move your thumb as far to open the shears fully. That, in turn, reduces stress on the thumb muscles and wrist tendons. Raised thumb holes (rings) further reduce the distance you must move the thumb to operate the shears. Adjustable tension knobs are becoming a familiar sight on new shears. These dial-like devices allow you to fine-tune the feel of your shears without using shears, pliers or screw- drivers. For example, you might tighten the tension to work on thicker, plush coats and loosen it slightly to work on thinner, wispier coats. When the tension is set correctly, the shears cut smoothly and quietly. To check the tension, hold the shears open as far as your thumb allows. Take your thumb out of the thumb hole and allow the shears to close. When set correctly, the tips of the blades should just barely meet.
Thinning shears, in various lengths and styles, constitute "the shears of the '90s" - and they are a necessary part of any groomer's collection. Thinning shears with a 50-tooth blade (or finer) are excellent for finish work and blending. They give coats a soft-edged appearance and produce Schnauzer and Terrier furnishings that look natural. Used to thin over scissored Lhasas and similar breeds with silky, flowing coats, these shears blend in and remove blunt ends.
Thinning shears with a 35-to-40 tooth blade give breeds such as Scotties and Westies a hand-stripped look. They also give trimmed ears and bangs a natural, smooth appearance. They even thin out heavy coats and help to prevent matting in breeds such as Cockers, Afghans, etc,
Curved shears let you cut corners - literally. They are real time-savers. And, considering that most scissoring is supposed to achieve round or curved surfaces, it seems only natural to use curved shears on dogs ranging from Bichons to Bouviers. Gain experience with these shears by rounding off feet, topknots and tails. Experiment with them in reverse to create angulation above the hock joint. You might even use them to create the arch on some Terriers' eyebrows. Many groomers who have had difficulty shaping round and curved edges seem to have more success when they are using curved shears.
Bent-shank shears appear to be out of line, but they actually help you achieve a straighter line because they keep your hand and fingers away from the coat. Not only do they make it easy to scissor toplines and legs, they also allow you to scissor Bichon-type feet without hitting your fingers on the table.
Directional body scissoring is another area of concern to many groomers. Generally, you want to hold the shears in a horizontal position over most of the dog's body. However, you should scissor in a downward position in the chest, shoulder and hip areas, flowing with the shape of the dog's body. Scissor in a vertical position, pointing your shears up or down, on the legs. Before you lift a dog's leg to scissor, be sure top cut in guidelines with the dog standing in a natural position.
GET A GRIP
The most convetional way to hold a
pair of shears is to put your ring finger
no more than halfway into the lower hole and
rest your little finger on the finger rest hook
(tang). Wrap the index and middle fingers
around the lower shank. Insert only the tip
of your thumb into the thumb hole. To open
and close the shears, move only your thumb.