way to learn about shears is to go to the
shows, hold them and go to the actual
In addition to spending time at trade
shows, industry participants emphasized
employing the sharpener’s expertise. B.C.
Henschen, partner at Platinum Paws in
Carmel, Ind., said groomers “should
spend time with a good-quality sharpener
and learn the different edges and materi-
als so [they] can be educated in the buying
process and understand maintenance.
“Don’t waste your time until you know
from your sharpener what you should be
looking at,” he added.
Other educational resources recommended by the pros include learning from
seasoned groomers you know and online,
and checking out videos and manufacturer websites. Nowell also recommended a
book by Anna Hawks called “Scissors Up:
The Correct Scissor System.”
WHAT’S NEW IN SHEARS
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 scissor options.
“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 Pawlosky. “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 ac-
cording to breed, and Pawlosky said
they won’t always use the same shear for
subsequent dogs. Oster sought to meet
groomers’ needs by releasing two pro-
fessional grooming sets that each feature
three shears. They come in righty and
lefty designs, and they are lightweight, er-
gonomic, heartier workhorses, she added.
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 profes-
“They already have a great line of pro-
fessional 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 Villani. “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 han-
dles 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.
Pet grooming is a physical and labor-inten-sive 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 Pawlosky.
“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,” Pawlosky added.
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.”
Adkins 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.”
HOW HAVE PROFESSIONAL SHEARS CHANGED,
AND TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THESE CHANGES?