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The Right Tension on Your Shears Makes All the Difference

Tension Adjustment is Critical to Shear Performance

Professional shears are precision instruments.  As is any precision instrument proper adjustment of the tension between the blades is necessary for optimum performance.

Most shears we receive at the Lucky Hare Factory Service Center for servicing are out of adjustment.   Shear blades are design with a slight curvature so that when screwed together there is a degree of spring force that keeps the cutting edges in contact throughout the cutting stroke.  This is called the “set” of the blades.  If shears are too loose, this spring force is lost and the edges lose contact with each other.  When this happens the cutting action is compromised and the hair bends rather than cuts.

Shears that are simply too loose and not properly adjusted get mistakenly accused of being dull.  Even new high quality professional shears will bend hair and appear dull if the blade tension is too loose. 

The blade tension is too loose if after being fully opened and allowed to fall closed, the blades fall completely closed on their own.

The ideal tension should be such that when shears are fully opened and allowed to fall closed on their own, they should just catch right before closing completely.  This is the ideal tension that optimizes the shear’s performance.  As the shears begin to dull with use, increasing the tension a bit can help.  

Since it is advised to maintain the proper tension, the tension system on the shears is a key feature to consider.

The dial-spring-leaf-tension system is very popular.  This system allows for easy adjustment in notched increments without a tool and holds the desired tension setting securely.


Simple screws require a screw driver with the right size head to adjust tension.  The screw can become so loose that they don’t hold a setting. This can be corrected in servicing as the screw has a slotted shank that can be re-gaged to offer more resistance to movement once set.


A specially keyed tension adjusting screw requires a special tool to turn the screw.  Because this is an uncommon tool, this can be a problem if the tool becomes misplaced or lost. 


Monitor the adjustment of your shear’s blade tension and you will realize the best performance from your shears.

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