Pet grooming is a physical and labor-intensive career, so professionals in this arena look for tools that make their lives and jobs
easier. Experienced groomers know exactly what they want when
purchasing new shears, and performance comes out on top.
Performance and fit come first, over price, said Chris Pawlosky, professional groomer, national training manager of Oster
Professional Products brands at Jarden Consumer Solutions, and
owner of The Pet Connection in Warren, Ohio.
“It needs to be able to remove a lot of hair fast and feel good
to my hands, and that’s not simple to find,” she said.
The same rings true for Susan Delaney, owner of All About
Grooming in Haskell, N.J. She pays attention to how the shear
feels in her hand and looks for smooth scissoring.
“I can tell the difference between pairs, like when it’s bulkier
and not a smooth cut or doesn’t line up right,” she said. “Long
straights are my favorites because they smooth out everything
and do longer cut areas to get a lot more done.”
Cameron Adkins, lead grooming instructor for Healthy Spot’s
education department in Inglewood, Calif., also put performance
first on his list of must-haves.
“They have to move smoothly in my hand and feel solid, not
heavy or too light,” he said. “There’s an intangible aspect; they
have to feel hungry, like they just want to chew hair up—they fear
no hair, and they chop right through it.”
Design and affordability come first for Rachel Nowell, owner of
The Classic Canine Pet Spa in Allen, Texas, who also said she prefers
to hold shears before purchasing them to see how they fit her hand.
“Each individual shear must fit properly to avoid pain and to
have proper technique,” she said.
B.C. Henschen, co-owner of Platinum Paws in Carmel, Ind.,
has his work cut out for him when buying new shears for his
groomers because they all like different scissors.
“Being in a salon that has multiple groomers, it’s funny that it
varies from groomer to groomer,” he said. “We get the shears that
the groomers want; they are artists. [The tool] must snip right,
feel right in their hand and be the right weight.”
He also checks with his sharpener to learn what he is
comfortable purchasing. Some shears can be sharpened only
by returning them to the company, Henschen said, adding that
the time without the shears is impractical for his high-volume
Adkins offers a twist that he goes over with all his students.
“A beginning groomer doesn’t need a $500 pair of shears, but
a good pair that’s functional and good quality,” he said. “Start with
that and get better with that $100 or $80 pair of work shears, and
then when someone hands you a $300 pair of shears, you’re a
better groomer and you understand how to use it better. The quality
grows with you, and there are better tools and instruments that will
be there for you when it’s appropriate for you.”
HOW HAVE PROFESSIONAL SHEARS CHANGED,
WHAT’S NEW IN SHEARS
AND TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THESE CHANGES?
Clipping style trends, such as following breed standards and adopting Asian fusion,
influence the types of shears that professionals demand and manufacturers release
on the market. The result has been an influx of companies offering a wide variety of
“There are so many companies out there, it’s not unusual for 10 percent or more
booths at a small show to all be shears,” said Chris Pawlosky, certified professional
groomer, national training manager of Oster Professional Products brands at Jarden
Consumer Solutions, and owner of The Pet Connection in Warren, Ohio. “There’s a lot to
choose from, and groomers must educate themselves to make the best choice for their
environment and their well-being.”
Groomers use different shears according to breed, and Pawlosky said they won’t al-
ways use the same shear for subsequent dogs. Oster sought to meet groomers’ needs
by releasing two professional grooming sets that each feature three shears. They come
in righty and lefty designs, and they are lightweight, ergonomic, heartier workhorses,
With human trends consistently popping up in the pet industry, it’s not surprising
that pet groomers can watch ConairPRO take what it has learned from 70 years in the
human beauty industry and develop a line of shears for professional groomers.
“They already have a great line of professional scissors in the beauty industry and
already tested it for years, so they’re taking the concepts that have worked so well in
the human line and putting them in the pet line,” said Joey Villani, a Conair grooming
ambassador in Clifton, N.J. “They’ll make them a little longer—pet groomers like
10-inch shears, while human shears usually are no longer than 6 inches—and market
them for professional groomers.”
Other considerations are ergonomics, such as where the thumb sits, swivel
handles and taking tension from groomers’ wrists so they can scissor for eight hours
without pain, he said, adding that there will be cool designs as well so groomers own a
pair of scissors that are a piece of art.
“Shears are getting smaller, and we’re getting more
usage of 4-inch shears for fine detail work, especially
around the face. I think it’s because groomers are doing
fewer dogs a day and doing more stylized work. Our
clientele is trending toward being more choosey and
nitpicky, which are my favorite clients, because they’re
the most loyal and bring the most business when you
get it right. Attention to detail led to smaller shears
and shears for specific tasks or uses, such as thinning
shears just for the face.”—CAMERON ADKINS, lead
grooming instructor for Healthy Spot’s education
department in Inglewood, Calif.
“Groomers are spending more money
on shears, and when I go to shows
there are more than two dozen companies offering shears now. The market
is crowded, so we are trying to differentiate ourselves. There also is more
interest in thinning shears.”—JOHN B.
VASONE, national accounts manager,
pet for ConairPRO in Stamford, Conn.
2016 GROOMING EVENT CALENDAR
Groomer SuperShow 2016
All American Grooming Show
New England Grooming Show
NDGAA’s 31st Annual Fun in the
Sun Dog Grooming Seminar, Trade
Show & Grooming Competition
Pet Boarding & Daycare Expo
Nov. (dates pending)
U.S. Pet Pro Classic