How to Hold & Run Shears Correctly

June 25th, 2012 by ificore

Does your scissor work look like crushed velvet?  Do you enjoy the process of hand scissoring the coat of a pet? Can you get plush finish in a short amount of time? Or do you whittle away the coat way S-L-O-W-L-Y? Flawless hand-scissoring is almost becoming a lost art.

If your hand-scissoring skills could use some help – here are a few tips.

Simply improving how you HOLD the shears can have a huge impact on your end product. Master these few tips, and you are on your way to a velvet finish on the Poodle coat!

As you work your shears, only your thumb should move. Open and close the shear blade while the rest of your hand remains motionless. The scissor should stay balanced in your hand, at right angles to your index finger. Keep it steady and flush with the plane on which you are working; there is no bouncing with smooth-bladed shears. With thinning shears, you will have a small bounce to clear the trimmed coat before you close the blades for another cut.

Once you gain full control and balance of the shears, it’s time to consider how this motion works with the rest of your body. The fluidity of proper scissoring stems from your body – the placement of your feet, the bend in your knees, the flexibility of your waist and the position of your arm and shoulder. Your entire body becomes a machine that effortlessly runs the shears.

There are methods you can learn to produce a smooth, satin finish – a perfect scissor finish. However, one of the keys to mastering the art of hand-scissoring is perfect practice. And I mean hours of PERFECT practice!

Holding your shears and moving your shears over the dog properly is just a start to perfecting your scissoring skills. Notes From the Grooming Table and both have some great lessons on how to scissor correctly. (Colin Taylor and yours truely both have video lessons on correct scirroring) Plus, at both of these locations, you’ll find exercises to improve your scissor technique too.

Happy Trimming!