Why It's Important to Find the Right Shears - Sam Villa

Why It's Important to Find the Right Shears

If you’re looking for a new pair of shears, we’re detailing exactly what you need to look for from craftsmanship to materials, shape, length and ergonomics. Because finding the right fit is key to success behind the chair. 

Why is it so important to find the right pair of shears? Because using the wrong shear can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis, rotator cuff, and other RSI symptoms that affect your hand, arm, shoulder, neck and back.

However, using the right ergonomic shear can prevent, or even eliminate pain throughout your body. This is why, with the hairdresser in mind, Sam Villa has invested a great deal of time designing his tools to be ergonomically correct. Take the Sam Villa Shears as an example, Villa consulted a doctor to ensure that they actually feel good in the hand and reduce and eliminate pain — something that is essential to every hairdresser. 

To learn more about why it's important to find the right pair of shears keep reading. 

Protect Your Body & Extend Your Career

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Eliminate Neck & Shoulder Pain

Do you feel pain or soreness in your neck or shoulder while cutting hair? For many stylists this happens because traditional shear handles force you to raise your elbow while cutting hair.


Other Shears

Imagine cutting hair pain-free! It's possible with Sam Villa shears. The ergonomic thumb position on Sam Villa shears forces your elbow down while you cut, eliminating neck and shoulder pain.

Sam Villa Shears

We feel your pain

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What To Look For When Buying New Shears


One important way that shears differ from one another is in the way their handles are designed. The three most common handle designs are opposing grip, offset grip and crane grip. What are the main difference and why does the handle design matter?

Opposing Grip Shear

When cutting with an opposing grip shear, the cutting finger and thumb are in alignment (in a stacked position). Since the thumb is being forced back slightly, many stylists find these shears to be less comfortable that offset grip and crane grip shears.

This cutting position forces your elbow up while you cut and also requires more thumb movement to open and close the shear. Also, notice how the wrist is bent in an unnatural position, placing additional strain on the hand and wrist.

Offset Grip Shear

Offset grip shears are a much more common style of shear, because many stylists find them to be more comfortable than opposing grip shears. Why? Because the thumb does not need to travel as far while cutting as it would with opposing grip shears.This reduced distance of travel reduces stress on the thumb tendon, and helps reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

While this handle design provides more ergonomics and comfort compared to opposing grip shears, this design still forces your elbow up while cutting and also requires significant thumb motion when opening and closing the shear.

Crane Grip Shear

Crane grip shears are the most modern and ergonomically healthy design that offers the most benefits. The extreme offset thumb opens the hand and forces your elbow into a dropped position. This design relieves stress on both the shoulder and wrist for stylists who use the classic palm-to-palm cutting technique.

The crane grip design is the most ergonomic of the three handle designs, allowing you to cut in various positions with your hand relaxed and your elbow in a lowered position.


The material your shear is made from will determine how long it can go without sharpening and how fine the edge can be (sharpness). There are other factors that impact the lifespan of your shears such as how often you clean them and check that you're using proper tension. If you are unwilling to maintain your shears on a regular basis, then no matter how much you pay for your shears and/or the quality of the blade material, they will not perform as well as they could.


What is Casting
In this casting process, liquid metal is poured into a mold and then allowed to cool and harden into one piece. The downside to casting is that as the metal cools in the mold, it expands leaving the molecules more separated. This can allow the shears to become brittle and chip or nick more easily.

What is Forging
During the forging process, the handle and the blades are made separately, often in different grades of steel. They are then welded together. Compression force is used to shape the metal pressing the molecules closer together. This process creates a longer lasting edge.

It is virtually impossible to tell the two apart by sight. Both types of shears can be made poorly and end up in your drawer never to be used again. This is where the integrity and reputation of the company you are buying from comes into play, since there is no way of knowing exactly what it is that you are buying. You have better chances of buying quality shears when you buy them from a reputable company that has been around for many years. Also, be sure to check out the reviews and what people are saying about how they perform.

All Sam Villa shears are compression forged to ensure excellent balance, proper blade alignment and a sharper and longer-lasting edge.

What Size Shears Should I Use

Many new haircutters and even some experienced stylists are under the common misconception that the length of their shears should be determined by the size of their hand. In reality this is simply not the case.

Different sized shears are used to perform different cutting techniques. See below for our shear recommendations based on the technique you're using.

Why do you swivel?

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Choose Your Shears

Signature Series Swivel Shears

Signature Series Swivel Shears

AVAILABLE IN 5.5”, 6” & 7”


Streamline Shears

Streamline Shears

AVAILABLE IN 5.5”, 6.25” & 6.75”


Signature Series Shears

Signature Series Shears

AVAILABLE IN 5.75”, 6.25” & 7”


Essential Series Shears

Essential Series Shears

AVAILABLE IN 5.5” & 6”


Artist Series Shear

Artist Series Shear



Artist Series Slide Cutting Shear

Artist Series Slide Cutting Shear