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How to Sharpen Thinning Shears

Updated February 21, 2017

Thinning shears are a necessity in hair salons. They are used to thin the hair without altering the initial style desired by the customer. A pair of thinning shears is easily recognisable, as it may look like an ordinary pair of scissors, but instead has a metal comb-like blade, which performs a thinning function. These shears, especially when used often, need frequent sharpening. The best way to sharpen a pair of thinning shears is by using a scissor sharpening device.

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  1. Place the flat blade into the scissor slot on the sharpening device. All scissor sharpeners operate a bit differently, but are basically universal in design. Simply slide the flat blade into the slot, and adjust the blade sizing knob so that it fits tight.

  2. Turn on the grinding wheel. Select the hone and de-burr setting to sharpen the flat blade. Let the machine run its course; turn the grinding wheel off.

  3. Use a wand sharpener to sharpen in between the comb blade. Slide the wand sharpener in and out of each comb slot, on the angle of the comb blade. Each blade should be stroked four to six times to remove any burrs, and achieve the desired edge.

  4. Rinse the shears with cold water. Apply a light coat of lubricant or honing oil to the shears. Wipe them off with a rag to remove any debris from sharpening. Ensure that you apply lubricant to the centre screw, to keep it good working condition prior to storing your shears.

  5. Tip

    The flat blade can be sharpened using a manual scissor sharpener, if you don't have access to an electronic sharpener.


    Use caution when sharpening scissors, and ensure that you keep your fingers away from the grinding wheel when in operation.

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Things You'll Need

  • Electronic scissor sharpening device
  • Wand sharpener
  • Honing oil or lubricant

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