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Japanese Or German Steel Hair Cutting Scissors

October 13, 2023

Some of the most popular scissors you will find on the market today are either Japanese scissors or German scissors. Their prices can range from 200 dollars all the way up to 2000 dollars. So what really is the difference between Japanese and German hairdressing shears? Which one should you choose? You have questions... and we have all the answers for you !

Why is high quality scissor steel so important?

You may be wondering why it matters what steel is used to make your scissors? What's the big deal with all these fancy steels?

Scissors that are made from higher quality steel perform better. They will cut through hair like butter, making your job so much easier. Quality steel means that the steel is strong ! This means that it will not dull quickly, and can hold a sharp edge longer. Low quality steel will feel awkward in your hand. The scissors will bend hair or push it as cutting. You will also find that cheaper steel needs to be sharpened often.

Steel is rated on a scale called the Rockwell Scale or HRC. The higher the rating, the harder and stronger the steel. Any rating above a 50 is a good, hard steel.

The great thing about strong steel is it does not always equal heavy steel. In fact you will find that most scissors made with good quality steel are lighter. Lighter scissors mean less pressure on your hands and wrist, which means less chance of repetitive strain injuries or even carpal tunnel syndrome. 


Japanese Steel

Japan is known for all things steel. Remember Samurai swords ? Or your favourite cooking knife? Japan does it all, so why not super sharp, high quality scissors? Japan has been at the top of the international hair industry since they brought their shears to the US in 1960. They then became the leaders in hair cutting scissors in Australia in 1980.

Japanese hairdressing scissors are known for their toughness and quality. It is important to note that when we mention their toughness or strength, they are still breakable ! If you drop a pair of japanese scissors they will still break ! The toughness or strength side of it allow the scissor to hold a sharp edge. Hairdressing scissors made with high quality steel will not need to be sharpened more than once or twice a year. 

Japanese scissors are known for having a razor sharp convex edge. Convex blades have a very fine, sharp edge. Due to how fine it is, it is quite sensitive and can not be done properly with cheap steel. It also is sensitive to how you use it. If you are using a sharper convex edge blade to blunt cut, the motion of cutting can wear at the blade quickly. This blade is used for slide cutting, slicing, point cutting and other advanced cutting techniques. 

Most Japanese Scissors that are reasonably priced are made from 440C Steel. This steel has a HRC rating of 58-60. The great thing about 440C steel is that it makes a pair of quality scissors for affordable prices. If you're searching for a good quality japanese scissor made from 440C steel have a lookHERE. This is the Matsui Rose Gold Precision Scissor. Perfect for precision cutting, texturising and more!

The best quality scissor steel you will find will be the japanese steel VG10 or Hitachi ATS 314. VG10 is a 62 HRC while Hitachi 314 is a 64. Japanese scissors made from this steel will be higher in price but also amazing in quality. If you're looking for a pair of scissors with a sharp, convex edge you may want to check out the Matsui VG10 SliderHERE.

Other Japanese scissor brands that are made from Japanese steel that you will find include Matsui, Yasaka and Joewell. These Japanese brands Guarantee you will find the right hairdressing scissors for you with one of these brands!

German Steel

While you may not automatically associate Germany with hard steel or the best hair scissors, it is still a good , well known steel to consider. German scissors corner the European market and were introduced to Europe in the 1930's. German scissor brands are known for their hard steel and beveled edge. 

The beveled edge is known for being a very robust edge. It is durable and long lasting. It is still a very sharp blade, however the angle of the edge is designed to make it last longer. This edge is also very popular for hairdressing scissors because it is a must have for blunt cutting or scissor over comb. Bevelled edges help to catch loose hair, guaranteeing a straighter line every time. However this does mean that if you do a lot of slide cutting or slicing you may struggle to find a German pair of scissors that works best for you.

If you have started your career cutting with German scissors you may be used to their handles by now, but if you're new to the German hairdressing scissors world or have switched from the Japanese scissor brands you may struggle to get used to their handles. Most often they do not do offset scissors, or if they do it is very slight. Offset ergonomics is all about keeping your hands and wrist in their most natural position. This means if they are not used correctly you may be more likely to get a repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome over time. This being said, if you use them properly you can prevent that.

The brand of German hairdressing scissors leading the way in the hairdressing industry is Jaguar. These German shears are known for their quality control, European design and bevelled edge. They have also been around for a long time, making them well known with many professional hairdressers, and they come with some affordable prices. 

Check out our range of Jaguar hair cutting scissorsHERE, where you can find a large range of sizes, looks and prices. 


We understand ...

There are so many considerations when it comes to purchasing a new pair of scissors. Do not stress ! Whether you choose japanese or german scissors we promise you will still be getting the best quality scissors on the market!

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