Terminology of Scissors

Terminology of Scissors

It may seem that such ordinary thing as scissors have simple construction and simple terminology as well, but it is not like that. Scissors, especially hair shears, are quite complex thing with specific terminology, therefore, let’s look to them more detailed.


  • Points or tips are ends of blades.
  • Outside blade is the dull edge of the blade. Sometimes it is called as back side of the blade as well.
  • Thumb blade is the blade which is connected with finger bow for thumb.
  • Finger blade is the blade which is connected with finger bow for finger.
  • Adjustment screw is the screw which connects both blades and handle in the middle of them. There are adjustable screws and non adjustable screws – adjustable screws help to adjust the tension of cutting, but non adjustable screws just connects and moves blades and handle croswise.
  • Screw hole is the part where screw is attached to the blades.
  • Wing is the part between adjustment screw and the shank.
  • Bumper is the cushioning element between finger bows.
  • Finger rest is the piece of some metal which is intended for finger support to relieve the stress from the wrist and shoulder. Finger rest can be removable or non removable.
  • Finger insert is the rubber insert for finger hole to improve comfort and adjust the size of finger hole.
  • Edge is the sharp part of the blade. There are different kinds of blades, for example, serrated edge blade, straight edge blade and convex edge blade. Serrated edge blades are more suitable for hairdressing beginners, because they have less slipping edges and thus they give more control over cutting the dry hair. Straight edge blades are suitable for such hair cutting techniques as slice cutting and point cutting. Convex blades are suitable for thinning and smooth cutting techniques, because they are extremely sharp, therefore, they are chosen by professional hairdressers who demand the maximum of control, balance and comfort. It should be mentioned, that hair thinning shears have one or two blending teeth blades.


  • Bow is the arcuate outside part of the handle. It should be mentioned, that there are three types of handle – straight handle, semi-offset handle and full-offset handle. These three types mean three positions where the handle is placed in relation to the blades. It is very important to choose the right handle, basing on individual hair cutting techniques and specifics, because usage of incorrect handle can cause the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Repetitive wrist motions during hair cutting causes Median Nerve rubbing against the Carpal Tunnel. Repeating of this movement thousands of times day after day damages the nerve, causing tingling, numbness or pain in the thumb, index finger, middle finger or ring finger. To relieve the stress and minimize the risk of Repetitive Strain Injury or mentioned Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usage of hair cutting shears with crane handle or offset handle is recommended for most of stylists.


  • Size is the total length of scissors, measured from points to the ends of finger bows. Usually scissors are measured in inches, but, of course, the unit can be different, depending on the country where scissors are manufactured and the target audience where they are offered. The shortest scissors usually are 4.5 inches long, but the longest scissors usually are 7 inches. The most common and popular hair shears are in sizes between 5 and 6 inches, because they are suitable for most people.
  • Ride or Halfmoon is the part next to the screw where blades are sliding one over each other.
  • Shank is the part which connects finger bows with blades.
  • Neck is the part which connects finger bows with shanks.
  • Outside ring is the outer part of the finger bow.
  • Inside ring is the inner part of the finger bow.
  • Joint is the part over ride or Halfmoon, where both blades meet.
  • Ring flat is the surface of finger bows.
  • Fore side is the upper part of scissors.
  • Teardrop-corner is the angle of the upper surface of the blade.
  • Hollow or concave is the inner part of the blade.

As we can see, actually hair cutting shears are quite complex thing which has many elements with specific functions. These elements vary, depending on type, functions and manufacturer of each scissors.


  • Alicia Reply

    Is there a term or name for the action when you use your pair of scissors to cut wrapping paper but instead of the cutting action you simply run the paper through the open pair of sharp scissors and the whole sheet is cut?

    • boldbarber Reply

      Unfortunately, I have no idea.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *