We only carry products that we know you will love. Here at Spot On Grooming, we have a lifetime of professional grooming experience, and so our shears are carefully vetted for quality through real-world professional use. Click here to learn about assessing shear quality for yourself, so you can cut through the marketing lingo to the real facts about what you are paying for.
Here at Spot-On Grooming, we only put our name on shears that we know from experience are the best. We don’t carry any shears that aren’t top quality products. We source our shears from the exact same production lines in Europe, Japan, and Taiwan where other great, high end brands source their shears.
We keep our prices exceptionally low by forgoing the massive global marketing budgets with teams of employees on every continent that big brands rely on. As a small family business, Spot-On Grooming isn’t trying to please any investors or impress banks. We’re groomers making our experience available to you.
Is price a great indicator of quality? Not always. Major shear brands operate with different business models, that use different strategies to attract customers. For example, Kenchii places their primary emphasis on marketing and brand building. They spend an astronomical amount of money building this up, because they know that this investment can help them make the sales to be profitable even if it means operating with high margins. Others, like Superior, optimize on the price point instead. They keep their overhead very low, and operate on narrower margins, but sell equally great shears at a much lower price.
All top quality shears are made at a few different factories in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Spain, and Germany. Superior gets these shears to you without any of the expensive frills and marketing overhead.
Kenchii is a highly reputable brand, known worldwide for their ergonomic, high-end shears. The Kenchii brand is a classic case of “you get what you pay for”. If you are tired of being disappointed by bargain brands, and ready to put down the cash for peace of mind, Kenchii is the brand to go for.
If you have a thorough knowledge of shears and the ability to put in the research, it is possible to get something of equal quality for less, but Kenchii is the safe choice for anyone who doesn’t mind the price tag.
We don’t carry any shears that aren’t top quality products, but we still want you to be able to do research and make those decisions for yourself, so you don’t need to rely to anyone’s word to make your choices. So let’s look at the qualities that really make a shear great.
A good shear is made of 440C stainless steel. That is a hard, high carbon stainless steel, and it will suit your needs. Now you will hear a tremendous amount of gimmicky crap about the many other good steels that are essentially made out to be magical, but know that those steels are also simply 440C, and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know better.
That is because 440C is a somewhat vague classification, with wiggle room. When companies make 440C, they come up with their precise proprietary recipe, name it, and then pretend that it is completely different. That isn’t really true. It’s just one type of 440C. They’re all good, and you’re unlikely to notice a significant difference from one to the next.
Something that you should look out for is the company making the steel. For example, Hitachi owns the rights to produce several important types of 440C, that being the VG 10 steel, ATS 314, and others. Those steels are very good, and usually superior to others because Hitachi is a great company that does meticulous work. So when someone says they have a Hitachi steel shear, then you can trust the quality. It’s still 440C though.
A new thing that we’ve observed here at Spot On Grooming is that some shear sellers will tell you that their stainless steel shears are extra special because they alloy the material with molybdenum. I’ll let you in on a little secret that they won’t tell you. ALL 440C stainless steels contain molybdenum. Don’t let them impress you just because they decided to mention an element that doesn’t come up very much in high school chemistry.
Individual sellers will seize on whatever they think they can fool you with and tell you it’s a special trade secret, but it’s not. It’s the standard.
So when you’re figuring out if the material is good, focus on this. Is it 440C? Who made it? If the steel came out of Pakistan, it might be better to look elsewhere. We personally prefer Hitachi steels, which is why we carry that in our selection.
Shears are sometimes coated for aesthetic purposes, or to lower the friction of the blades as they slide over one another.
All shears with a coating are by necessity bevelled edged, because sharpening any convex shear with a coating would take the coating right off the blade the first time. You will encounter some marketing gibberish on high end websites claiming to sell coated shears with a “semi-convex” edge. This is pure BS. There is no such thing. That shear has a bevelled edge.
Your shear will be sharpened with either a bevelled or a convex edge. Both of these can be great, or they can be done wrong. The main practical features to take into consideration are this:
Bevelled: A shear with a bevelled edge is easier to sharpen, and will hold an edge for longer than a convex edge.
Convex: A convex edge is sharper and cuts more smoothly than a bevelled edge, but takes a skilled professional to sharpen, and loses its edge more quickly.
The hollow grind on the inside of the blade allows for easier cutting, while the honed inside edge allows the shear to be sharpened without the scissor blades receding away from one another with each sharpening as you grind backwards into the hollow ground portion of the blade.
To make a good decision about your tools, you need to understand its features. Here is a simple overview.
Thumb Rest: The thumb rest shows up in different variations. The most simple design is a simple straight loop. The ergonomic option is bent away from your hand, to help you operate your tool with the tip of your thumb instead of sticking it in all the way, which takes a toll on your hand.
A more complex option is the swivel thumb, which allows you to turn your shear at all kinds of angles, without raising your elbow and shoulder. This helps to prevent chronic injuries and tension, but learning how to use one effectively is an adjustment.