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by James Adams May 20, 2020 16 min read

Japanese Hairdressing and Thinning scissors are the best and more popular in America, but how do we know which are the best of the best?

Japanese shears are popular for their high-quality steel and unparalleled craftsmanship. 

These scissors typically follow a modest and simplistic design, they dance between Offset and Traditional opposing ergonomics and use sharp convex edge blades.

In this article, we will present you with the best-reviewed, best value, best apprentice, and highest-rated hair cutting scissors from Japan.

Let's jump right into it!

 

Quick Summary

We have chosen these best 10 Japanese haircutting scissors based on America's top-selling pairs, reviews, customer ratings, scissor manufacturer history and reputation, and the best value for money.


The Best Japanese Yasaka Offset Scissors Yasaka Offset Hair Cutting Scissors
  • Made in Japan with a precision cutting convex edge blade
  • 100% Japanese Hardened Hitachi Steel
  • Offset ergonomics to reduce fatigue
View Product →
Joewell SZ Joewell SZ Hair Cutting Shears
  • Conve edge blade
  • Elegant design
  • Lifetime warranty
View Product →
The sharpest barber scissors Kamisori Sword Professional Haircutting Shear
  • Japanese 440c Japanese Steel
  • Unique 3D Ultra-Sharp Convex Edge Blade
  • Offset ergonomics to reduce fatigue
View Product →
The best value hair scissor Juntetsu Offset Hair Cutting Scissors
  • Premium Japanese VG10 Steel
  • Sharp Japanese Convex Edge Blade
  • Premium Tension Adjustor
  • Offset ergonomics to reduce fatigue
View Product →
The best hairdressing scissor set Ichiro Offset Cutting & Thinning Scissors Set
  • Japanese 440C Steel
  • Sharp Convex Edge & V-Shaped Thinning
  • Offset ergonomics to reduce fatigue
View Product →
Best Matte Black Hairdressing Scissors Ichiro Black Cutting & Thinning Scissors Set
  • Japanese 440C Steel
  • Slim Design
  • Offset ergonomics to reduce fatigue
View Product →
Best entry level hair cutting scissor Mina Umi Hair Cutting Scissor
  • Stainless Steel
  • Best price for quality
  • Offset ergonomics to reduce fatigue
View Product →
Japanese VG10 Juntetsu hair cutting shear Juntetsu VG10 Hair Cutting Shears
  • Japanese VG10 steel
  • Powder polish finish
  • Convex edge blade
View Product →
Premium Japanese Steel Barber Shear Under $300 Ichiro K10 Hair Cutting Shears
  • Premium Barber Long Blade
  • Sharp Japanese Convex Edge Blade
  • High Quality VG10 Steel
View Product →
Yasaka Barber Hair Cutting Scissors Yasaka Barber Shears
  • Premium Barber Long Blade
  • Unique Japanese Design
  • ATS314 Cobalt Stainless Steel
View Product →

 

How To Choose Japanese Hairdressing Scissors

What you need to know before buying hair scissors

With so many choices available online, it's hard to know which Japanese scissor to buy. These scissors are either made in Japan, use Japanese materials or Japan-inspired designs.

Here are a few tips for buying hair scissors that suit your cutting style, ergonomics, and everything in between. 

1. Which Scissor Size Is Right For You?

Different size of hair cutting scissors

Even though we buy everything online, it's hard to know what size is fits best. Most professionals can cut hair with any size, but you still want to get the best fit.

Female hairdressers typically user: 

  • 5" inch shears
  • 5.5" inch shears 
  • 6" inch shears
Male hairdressers and barbers typically user:
  • 6" inch shears
  • 6.5" inch shears
  • 7" inch shears

If the finger rings are too big, you can use the rubber finger inserts to get the perfect fit. 

Here are a few steps to measuring the right scissor size for you:

If you have a pair of scissors or a ruler at home, you can follow these steps to find the right scissor size for you.

When in doubt, the 6" inch shear size is the most popular for men and women.

To find the right scissor size for you, follow these steps:

  1. Find a ruler or a pair of scissors
  2. Open your hand and place the ruler or scissors on the palm of your hand.
  3. Place the tip of the scissor blade or end of the ruler on the tip of your middle finger.
  4. Measure the blade or ruler against your middle finger and the full scissors or ruler against your hand.

You can use any size as long as they fit for hairdressing. 5.5" inch and 6" haircutting scissors allow you to perform most hairdressing techniques. 

The traditional 'over the comb' barbering techniques require a longer blade. The most common barber scissor size is 6.5" inch and 7" inch.

2. What Are The Different Types Of Japanese Scissors?

From salons to barbers, thin hair to thick hair, there is a pair of Japanese scissors perfect for every situation. 

Here we break down the basic different types of Japanese Haircutting scissors.

 

Japanese Short Blade (匕首) Shears

Short blade scissors

The short Japanese haircutting blades are perfect for any hairdressing techniques and situation. 

These provide precision and accuracy while cutting hair.

Short blade haircutting scissors are usually found on pairs sized between 4" inches and 5.5" inches.

These shorter scissors easily fit into most small to medium-sized hands.

Japanese Long Blade (寸鉄) Shears

Long blade barber shear

 

The Japanese long blade is perfect for most barbering techniques, including the most common Over The Comb Barbering method.

The longer blades are great for taking off larger chunks of hair. These also fit better with larger hands, but you can always use finger inserts to fit into larger finger rings.

Longer blades are found in haircutting Shears sized between 6.5" inches and 7.5" inches.

3. The Hair Scissor Handles

The different handle types of hairdressing scissors

One of the most misunderstood aspects of scissors is their handles.

The Japanese understand a hard day's work, so they have created the best ergonomics for hairdressers and barbers.

Offset Scissor Handles

The most common and popular hairdressing scissor handle is the Offset and semi-offset design.

Japanese offset scissors are ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hands even if you are cutting hair all day.

The bottom finger ring is slightly Offset from the top ring, making it appear lower. 

Our hand shape isn't perfect, so we need to have the handles fit into our hands more naturally. 

These are recommended for most hairdressing scissors.

Opposing Classic Scissor Handles

The Japanese classic opposing handle design has been around for a long time and has a large number of diehard fans.

These fit into your hand fine, but they, unfortunately, put a light strain on your wrist, elbow, and shoulder that, unchecked for years, can cause permanent damage.

Recommended for hairdressers cutting for short periods of time.

Crane Scissor Handles

The Japanese crane hairdressing scissor handles are one of the most ergonomically safe.

They are similar to the Offset handle with the bottom ring pushing further away from the top ring.

This fits even more comfortably into your hand and reduces strain on your wrist, elbow, and shoulder while cutting. 

The goal of the Japanese Crane handle scissors is to create a naturally comfort grip that relaxes your muscles while cutting hair. 

Highly recommended for anyone looking for scissors with a high level of ergonomics. 

Left-Handed Scissor Handles

The Left-Handed, otherwise known as "Lefty", scissors are as they sound.

They feature Japanese ergonomic handle designs for left-handed hairdressers and barbers. 

These lefty scissor handles are important to avoid permanent strain injuries for left-handed hairdressers and barbers.

Summary

If you are unsure of what type of hairdressing scissor to buy, then we have listed out the most commonly purchased types below:

We covered how to choose scissor sizes, Japanese scissor types, and handle types. 

If you are unsure of which pair to choose, here is a list of the most common haircut Shears for hairdressers and barbers.

  • Female hairdressers: 5.5" Or 6" offset hair scissors
  • Female barbers: 6." Or 7" offset long blade Shears
  • Male hairdressers: 6" offset hair scissors
  • Male barbers: 6.5" or 7" offset barber shears

The Top 10 Best Japanese Hair Scissors


1. Yasaka Offset Hair Cutting Shears

Yasaka Hair Cutting Scissor Offset

Yasaka Seiki creates high-quality, made in Japan, hairdressing and barber shears for North America. But what makes these the #1 best and most popular Japanese scissors?

Mixing premium quality and affordability. Most made in Japan hairdressing scissors cost $800 or more, with brands like Mizutani and Joewell reaching up to $2,000.

Yasaka maintains its high-quality products while keeping their prices consistently below $300-400. 

For the Yasaka Offset Hair Cutting Shears, you will only have to pay $200. Easily the best made in Japan hairdressing shear available in the USA and North America in 2020-2021.

Now, on to the specifics!

These Yasaka Shears come in sizes between 4.5" inches and 6" inches.

They use a lightweight Japanese VG10 Cobalt steel that helps give the pair its ergonomic and well-balanced feel.

These shears use a clam-shaped convex edge blade with sharp and effortless cuts.


Pros

  • ✔️ Made in Japan
  • ✔️ Japanese Convex Edge Blade
  • ✔️ Only $200
  • ✔️ Premium Japanese Steel

Cons

  • Requires convex edge trained sharpener to avoid damaging the blade

Summary

Yasaka Shears disrupts the hairdressing and barber market by releasing its incredibly affordable made in Japan scissors. They use premium Japanese steel, sharp convex edge blades, and comfortable ergonomics. Easily the #1 Best Selling Japanese Shear!




2. Joewell SZ Hair Cutting Shears

Joewell SZ

Joewell is one of Japan's most well-known scissor manufacturers. They bring another level of craftsmanship and design to hairdressing and barber shears.

Rather than using traditional designs, they focus on elegant simplicity, with even removing the tension screw on the top-side of the hairdressing scissor, so as to appear more elegant.

The Joewell SZ model is the most searched for Japanese scissors due to its simple design, high-quality materials, and affordable price that sits under $300.

They have a high level of confidence in these shears, so much so that they include a lifetime warranty on their products. 

The Joewell SZ comes in the sizes: 5.25" inches and 5.75" inches and includes an ergonomic offset handle design.

If you are looking for a sharp convex edge Japanese hairdressing scissor with a lifetime warranty at an affordable price, then the Joewell SZ could be the right choice for you.


Pros

  • ✔️ Convex Edge Blade
  • ✔️ Elegant Design
  • ✔️ Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  •  Uses slightly weaker steel than the Yasaka models

Summary

For design, quality, and affordability from a Japanese hairdressing scissor, these are the best choice available. The Jowell SZ features professional ergonomics, cutting blades, and modern design. Best entry-level Japanese scissors.




3. Kamisori Sword Barber Scissor

Kamisori Sword Hair Cutting Scissor

 

Kamisori is a world-famous hairdressing and barber shear brand that produces scissors in and outside of Japan with high-quality materials.

The Kamisori Sword Barber Shear is their flagship barbering scissor. Easily the most popular Japanese barbering shear that has a 3D Convex Edge Blade and a unique angled blade for the sharpest haircutting motions.

The Sword shears use lightweight premium 440C steel and an offset handle to create a well balanced and comfortable feel for professionals.

The Long blade is perfect for barbering Over The Comb haircutting techniques. The simplistic design, sharp convex edge blade, and offset ergonomics make these the most popular Japanese Barber shear in North America.


Pros

  • ✔️ Angled Long Convex Blade
  • ✔️ Japanese 440C Materials
  • ✔️ Offset Ergonomics 

Cons

  •  Above average price
  • ❌ Only available in right-handed models

Summary

Kamisori is the hairdressing scissor and brand that always steals the show with its unique head-turning designs and high-quality craftsmanship. The sword features a unique 3D convex edge blade that is perfect for barbering professionals. If you have the money to spend, then this is the best Japanese barber shear for you.




4. Juntetsu Haircutting Scissors

Juntetsu Hair Cutting Scissor

Juntetsu, like Yasaka, creates simple hairdressing and barber shears with high-quality materials. Juntetsu disrupts the scissor market by making premium 440C and VG10 hair scissors more affordable for professionals.

Whenever you pick up a pair of Juntetsu and listen closely to it open and closing, you will understand the difference.

Silent gears and superior steel allows for professionals to cut effortlessly.

Juntetsu uses Japanese style offset ergonomics on most of their hairdressing scissors. 

The haircutting shears use a sharp convex edge blade that is even more powerful due to its VG10 steel.

 

Easily the best value hairdressing scissors and most affordable VG10 pairs available in North America.

Pros

  • ✔️ Superior VG10 Steel
  • ✔️ Sharpest Convex Edge Blade
  • ✔️ Lightweight and Offset Ergonomics
  • ✔️ Best Value

Cons

  •  Simple and modest design

Summary

The Juntetsu offset hairdressing and barbering shears are the most affordable VG10 pair available on the market today. It replaces the "Bells and Whistles" that most scissors have with premium quality materials and sharp convex edge blades. Shockingly powerful and easily the best value pair!




5. Ichiro Offset Cutting & Thinning Scissors Set

Ichiro hair cutting and thinning set image

The Ichiro Offset hairdressing cutting & thinning scissors are the best valued set for any professional or apprentice in the USA. 

These scissors are made from high-quality Japanese 440C materials that give them extra sharp cutting and thinning edges.

The premium steel makes these lightweight and robust. Mixed with the offset handles, these are ergonomically designed to perform day-in-day-out for professionals.

The tension and tightness are maintained by the unique ball bearing screw. These are not usually used due to their high cost. These maintain tightness and do not wear out like normal washers and scissor screws.

The thinning scissors use sharp v-shaped teeth and a convex edge blade for high performing cut-away while thinning and texturizing.

The Japanese convex edge blade is also used on the cutting shears for sharp effortless cuts.

The Offset hair cutting set is the best value set that is almost always sold out and sits on a strong 5-star rating and review in the USA.

Pros

  • ✔️ Best value scissor set
  • ✔️ Ergonomic offset design
  • ✔️ Ball Bearing screw
  • ✔️ Sharp convex edge and thinning blade

Cons

  •  Only available in right-handed models

Summary

The highest-rated, best quality, and most affordable hair cutting and thinning set on our list. Premium convex edge blades, high-performing ball bearing screws for tightness, and professional ergonomics from Ichiro. These are the Best Valued Scissor Set.




6. Ichiro Matte Black Hair Cutting Set

Ichiro Matte Black Hair Cutting Set

Following on from Ichiro's offset hairdressing scissors comes the slim-designed matte black cutting and thinning set.

These feature the same premium ball-bearing screws to maintain excellent tightness.

These are coated over thirty times with allergy-neutral coating to maintain a robust and strong color that is safe for handling.

The thinning and texturizing shear uses v-shaped teeth with a convex edge blade for 20-30% percent cut-away.

The haircutting shear has a convex edge blade for high precision cuts that cover the majority of hairdressing techniques.

The 440C Japanese steel makes these scissors lightweight, robust, and perfect for professionals.

 

If you are looking for matte black hair scissors that won't break the bank, this Ichiro set won't disappoint!


Pros

  • ✔️ Premium 440C steel
  • ✔️ Stylish matte black design
  • ✔️ Sharp convex edge blade & V-shaped teeth

Cons

  •  Some may not like the slim design

Summary

Ichiro's most popular colored hairdressing and barbering shear set. These feature premium 440C steel, convex edge blades, high-performing ball bearing screws for consistent tightness, and offset ergonomics that will keep you cutting comfortably for days.




7. Mina Umi Hair Cutting Shear

Umi Hair Cutting Scissors

There is a lot of hairdressing and barbering cutting shears available at an affordable price, but nothing beats the value of the Mina Umi scissors.

The Mina Umi uses the best stainless lightweight steel and offset ergonomics for a professional feel.

The sharp flat-edge cutting blade allows you to cut through hair effortlessly without any tugging or pulling.

 

These are the most affordable hair cutting shears that will keep performing for apprentices, professionals, or home hairdressing enthusiasts.


Pros

  • ✔️ Most affordable
  • ✔️ Professional design
  • ✔️ Sharp convex edge blade

Cons

  •   Stainless steel requires sharpening more often than 440C or VG10

Summary

The Mina Umi haircutting scissors are the best-valued pair under $150! They feature professional ergonomics, stainless steel, and a cutting blade with excellent edges.




8. Juntetsu VG10 Hair Cutting Shear

Japanese VG10 Juntetsu hair cutting shear

Juntetsu is well-known for their high quality hairdressing and barber shears, but you don't know what to expect until you pick these up.

Silent, lightweight, and sharp! 

Juntetsu brings all the traditional and modern Japanese designs into this one VG10 haircutting shear.

Using premium top-shelf VG10 steel and sharp convex edge blades, these cut sharp with their excellent blades.

The powder polish finish makes these stand out more than any other mirror-polish finish scissor. These will make your colleagues green with envy!

The Juntetsu VG10 cutting scissors come in 6" inches, offset ergonomics, convex edge blade, and a full maintenance set.

 

Pros

  • ✔️ Japanese VG10 steel
  • ✔️ Powder polish finish
  • ✔️ Convex edge blade

Cons

  •  Limited to a single 6" size

Summary

Juntetsu's catalog of hairdressing scissors is small, but each piece is produced with premium quality steel and master craftsmanship. More affordable than other Japanese brands, these feature the sharpest convex edge blades that make them one of Japan Scissor's best cutting shears.




9. Ichiro K10 Barbering Shear

Ichiro K10 Hair Cutting Shears

What makes a barber shear stand out from the rest? Higher quality VG10 steel is one of the most sought after aspects in barber scissors.

Ichiro's K10 uses premium Japanese VG10 steel to make its convex edge blades sharper than any of the competition.

Lightweight and ergonomic, these Ichiro K10 barber scissors fit comfortably into your hand and avoids putting a strain on your wrist, elbow, or shoulder while cutting.

The precision hand tension adjustor allows you to maintain the right tightness without using a key.

Simple long-blade elegant design with premium materials and craftsmanship, these Ichiro barbering shears are real winners! 

Pros

  • ✔️ Japanese VG10 steel
  • ✔️ Premium convex edge blades
  • ✔️ Offset ergonomics

Cons

  •  Limited to hand-adjusted screw

Summary

Ichiro goes out of its way to bring high-quality 440C and VG10 scissors to hairdressers and barbers in the USA and Canada. Affordable, high-quality, and sharp! These Ichiro K10 barbering shears are one of the most affordable premium scissors available!




10. Yasaka Barber Shears

Yasaka 7" Inch Barber Shear

Yasaka's barbering shears use high-quality Japanese cobalt steel, simple designs with unique engravings from Nara, Japan.

Easily the most popular long-blade that Yasaka has to offer, this "CUTTING" model has a basic flat screw, offset ergonomics, and a light well-balanced design.

The clam-shaped convex edge blade is hand-made in Nara, Japan. They follow the traditional methods of manufacturing and still maintain a more reasonable price for Japanese barbering shears.

The overall quality is amazing, and you can expect a pair of Yasaka barbering shears to last for many years to come!

Pros

  • ✔️ ATS314 Cobalt steel
  • ✔️ Convex edge blade
  • ✔️ Unique engravings

Cons

  •  More expensive than the average barber shear on this list

Summary

High-quality Japanese barbering shears under $500 are hard to come by, and Yasaka has out-done themselves with their "CUTTING" 7" barber scissor. The best steel, sharp convex edge long-blade, and unique Japanese engravings that really stand out. These are really amazing to hold and even better to cut with.




6 Simple Tricks For Cutting Hair

How to cut hair

For all the apprentices, students, home hairdressers, and professionals looking, there are a lot of different haircutting techniques that work well with your new haircutting shears.

Here are some tips and tricks for cutting hair with a new pair of Japanese hairdressing scissors.

What you need to start cutting hair at home or at the salon:

  • A pair of Japanese haircutting scissors
  • A spray bottle to wet the hair 
  • A hair comb
  • A lucy client ready for a new haircut

Now that we're ready, let's get started on cutting some hair!

1. Spray The Hair Lightly With Water

There are such things as dry cutting scissors that are made to effectively cut dry hair, but the majority of scissors and haircutting techniques require you to spray the hair with water.

Make sure to not soak or drench your client's hair! 

Before you start cutting, spray the hair lightly and evenly across all areas of the head. The take your scissors and start cutting!

2. Start Combing Through The Hair

Depending on how long and thin the hair is, you may need to remove any hair knots before you start cutting. 

After spraying the hair lightly with water, take the hair comb and start going through the hair in fine steady motions to get rid of any knots.

Running the comb through the hair will allow you to easily cut hair evenly and it also gives you a better idea of the thickness and overall length of the client's hair.

3. How To Hold Your Scissors

Time to start cutting hair! But first we need to make sure we are holding the scissors correctly.

How to hold your hairdressing scissors

To hold your scissors the western traditional grip way, then follow these steps:
  1. First you need to insert your ring finger through the smaller hole in the hair scissors near the tang (the curve that points out of the ring).
  2. Then insert your thumb into the larger bottom hole of the hair scissor
  3. Rest your middle and index fingers along the top of the handle of the blade. Your index finger should not go further than the middle screw.
  4. Lastly, relax your hand into a natural position and open and close the shears with your thumb. Caution, do not force the scissors to open and close with the pinky or ring finger. Only cut hair using the strength from your thumb to open and close scissors. 
There are multiple ways to hold scissors, but nine times out of ten, hairdressers and barbers will hold shears with the traditional western grip.

4. How To Cut Hair

For short hair, start cutting hair at the sides of the head then work your way around until all sounds have been cut.

You can also use a comb and cut the shorter hair through the comb. 

For long hair, you will need to make sure the hair is well combed and then clip hair into clean sections.

You will then need to determine how much hair you will need to take off.

Typically, hairdressers will take off a quarter of hair in length for clients with longer hair.

Don't forget to snip the ends of the hair to blend the hair together and add a little bit of texture.

5. Review, Trim and Perfect

The most overlooked part of cutting hair is the review and trimming stage. 

If you are cutting your hair at home, remember that it is easier to cut a quarter of the length off, but very hard to restyle and change the look. 

You can always book in an appointment with your hairdresser to make any significant restyling and hairstyle changes.

Review your hair and the balance, length, and blend to see if you need to make any changes.

We recommend having someone else look at our hair if you are cutting your own hair at home!

6. Trimming Hair Bangs (Fringe)

Trimming your bangs can be the scariest part of cutting hair, but no need to worry as all you need is a comb, patience, and a pair of scissors.

To trim your bangs (fringe), you can lightly spray the hair so it's wet, but not damp, then comb it down so it's straight.

Once you see the straight angle of the hair, you can trim accordingly.

What Are The Difference Between Scissors & Shears?

Hairdressing scissors, barber shears, hair thinning shears, texturizing scissors, and the list goes on! 

There are so many different kinds of haircutting tools available, but is there any difference between scissors and shears?

Scissors and shears are almost identical, and in most situations, they are exactly the same. But there are some differences between hairdressing shears and barber scissors!

  • The handles on hair scissors have the same sized finger holes. These scissors' holes are symmetrical.
  • Hair scissors typically between 4" inches and 6" inches.
  • Hair scissors are different than shears as they are made for the majority of hairdressing techniques.
  • Hair shears have a smaller finger hole for the index finger and a larger hole for the thumb.
  • Barbering shears are typically between 6" inches and 7.5" inches.
  • Barber shears use a long blade that is best for the Over Comb barbering haircutting technique.

When looking for the best hairdressing scissors or shears, they both perform equally well in a salon or barbershop.

The Conclusion: What Are The Best Japanese Scissors?

The best Japanese haircutting scissors

After reviewing the top ten Japanese hairdressing scissors and barber shears, we now understand there isn't a perfect pair that suits all needs.

Hairdressers might prefer the Yasaka Offset hairdressing scissors, and barbers might enjoy the Kamisori Sword long blade shear for haircutting.

When searching for the best Japanese scissors, you need to think about what matters most with your future purchase. 

Is it the affordability?

The best value?

The unique style and design?

Either way, Japanese scissors are the best hair cutting shears available in the USA and Canada today.

Make sure to look out for high-quality steel Japanese scissors, as these will last for years, not months!
James Adams
James Adams

James is an experienced hairdressing and barbering enthusiast. He has experience in the Japanese and North American scissor market and strives to bring information on haircutting shears in one place. Writing for Japan Scissors USA, he focuses on Japanese hairdressing scissor brands, models, and the manufacturing process, so you can make the best choice in scissors the first time round.


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