How-To: Set Perfectly Even Shear Tension

Written by: Andrew Carruthers
Jan 31, 2019

“In order to ensure that your shears are performing at their best, you really should do two things everyday – clean them and adjust the tension,” says Andrew Carruthers, Education Director for Sam Villa.

Watch as he explains how to properly set perfectly even shear tension:

Having the proper shear tension is essential for operating shears, and with today’s blade designs, a little more tension is better than too loose. Setting tension too low can cause hair to fold or push out of the shear, while setting it too high can shorten the life of the edge. Plus, extra pressure is needed to open and close the shear which contributes to repetitive stress injuries. Perfect tension prevents folding and pushing, so opening and closing shears is easier.

Setting Tension
Make sure to clean and lubricate shears. With shears fairly loose, (one or two clicks of tension screw back) hold thumb grip and take the finger portion about 45 degrees up to where blades connect. Then, drop the finger side, if it goes down it’s too loose and turn adjuster to the right one click to tighten. Repeat this exercise until the open finger section is dropped and doesn’t move. That’s perfect tension.

“The tension should be perfectly even from the pivot to tips, if you can’t achieve that with adjustments, it could be that you’ve been working with improper tension for too long and your shears need to be professionally serviced,” explains Carruthers. The Sam Villa brand recommends Precision Edge for servicing.

Sam Villa Shear Care Set
Photography: Courtesy of Sam Villa
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About The Expert

Andrew Carruthers
Director of Education for Sam Villa

Andrew Carruthers’ career as a hairdresser has been extremelydiverse.  Fueled by over 17 years of fulltime work in a salon, his experience also includes salon ownership,photographic work, as well as personal and professional coaching. As an educator, Andrew has worked for many national cosmetologybrands and is currently the Education Director for Sam Villa®, abrand that provides a wide variety of both online and live education.  From small hands-on classes to large stages, hislove for supporting others personal growth and sharing his discoveries has beena passion since the early days of his career. Primarily focusing on women’s and men’s haircutting and finishing, hisapproach to education is all about connecting with the everyday hairdresser andoffering them the tools necessary to build a fulfilling and long-lasting career. "I'm not trying to impress the top 5% with what I do, I’mthinking about how I can serve the 95% of our industry that works at XYZ BeautySalon to make every day stronger in their career.”