Convex Edge or Beveled Edge ShearsQ: What is the difference between convex edge shears and beveled edge shears? What is the best choice for haircutting?
A: When choosing a pair of haircutting scissors, you may be confused by the terms beveled and convex when it comes to the cutting edge of the shears. These terms refer to the specific shape of the cutting edge of the blades in the shears you use. Probably 80-90 percent of the scissors in use throughout the world use a beveled cutting edge.
The term beveled refers to the clearly-delineated cutting edged honed into the blades of the shears. If you look closely at a pair of beveled shears, you will note that the sloped blades suddenly form an angle about a millimeter (maybe more or less depending on the size of the shears) from the edge that is honed on a steeper grade. This steeper angle allows the shears to cut more easily than would be possible with a flat cutting edge. Beveled edge shears are also referred to as Germanic Shears and make up the majority of the shears used by stylists and barbers.
Click to enlargeOn the other hand, convex shears (also called Japanese shears because of their country of origin) are designed and formed with a shallow arc to the back side of the blades. Instead of a distinct angle to the edge, the blades are milled to a fine point. This creates a thin cutting edge which makes the blades cut very smoothly. While they are not as prevalent as beveled shears, they are gaining popularity.
As which is best, it's largely a matter of opinion. The convex shears are generally accepted as the smoother cutting shear, but because of their manufacture, they are significantly more expensive and much more delicate than their beveled counterparts. Dropping them is much more likely to result in damaging the blades, and the prospect of having them sharpened can be an issue since not all sharpening services can handle the convex blades and having them sharpened is more expensive.
Beveled blades are generally cheaper, and easier/cheaper to have maintained, but some people truly cannot get over the smooth feel of the cut with a convex shear. My advice is to make your choice based on what you feel your budget and needs will support.
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