Beveled Edge versus Convex Edge

For quite some time, dog shears that were beveled edge were preferred over a convex edge in pet grooming, largely because most of the shears available on the market were beveled - convex shears were not really an option to buy in the early 2000s (I date myself). 

Today, many shear manufacturers craft both beveled edge and convex edge dog shears in addition to steel grade options, size variations, handle preferences, etc. It’s important to understand that there is no such thing as “the one perfect grooming shear” for all, and that’s why we offer a wide variety of high quality inventory for you: so that you can find the perfect shear that meets your unique, personal needs, preferences, and budget.

Below, we lay out and contrast advantages and disadvantages between beveled edge and convex edge dog shears so that you can make the best decision in choosing a grooming shear that works for you. FYI: this information also applies to beautician shears.

The Beveled Edge Dog Shear

A beveled edge is the original shear edge prior to the creation of the convex edge. Old-school sharpeners sometimes refer to a beveled edge as a “German edge” since many of the oldest shear manufacturers reside in Germany, and still to this day, only use the beveled edge on their grooming shears.

Advantages: Beveled Edge

The largest advantage to a beveled edge dog shear is its price. Building and sharpening beveled edge shears require simpler equipment and less skill. This is why they are more affordable than convex edge shears.

The beveled edge (as seen in the image above) has a distinct, sharp angle without an arc - often set between 25 to 35 degrees. The simplicity of a beveled edge grooming shear also provides a little more resiliency to impacts over the convex edge, and the beveled tip holds up better when accidentally nicking dog nails and other hard objects. Note: beveled edge dog shears are not impervious to damage. We’re simply stating that they are not nearly as sensitive as a convex edge shear.

Beveled edge dog shears are also ideal to use for trimming feet and around nails. You would never want to do this with a convex edge shear.

Disadvantages: Beveled Edge

While beveled edges can keep their edge for quite a long time, a convex edge on a quality shear will last far longer, and cut much smoother. Additionally, beveled edge shears have flat blades and lack a honing line; thus, they make a distinct, loud “snip!” sound when they open and close. Convex edges are far more quiet.

Lastly, you cannot use advance scissoring techniques like slide cutting with beveled edge shears. You can, however, use advance scissoring techniques with convex edged shears.

Quick Summary

A beveled edge shear is ideal for new groomers, or groomers on a budget that are developing his or her scissoring skills, and have concerns about possibly dropping or damaging an expensive pair of convex shears.

Beveled edge grooming shears also make perfect foot shears for trimming pads and hair around the nails. If they take a little damage, they are far easier and cheaper to get sharpened.

Cheaper in Cost

No slip cutting or other advance scissoring techniques

Easier and cheaper to sharpen

Not as sharp as convex edge

More resistant to damage

Requires more force and pressure to open and close (hand fatigue)

Keeps an edge a long while

Recommendations: Beveled Edge Shear

Looking for a great, affordable, beveled edge dog shear: We highly recommend the following models:

The Convex Edge Dog Shear

The convex edge originated somewhat recently from Japan, and this is why some sharpeners refer to it as a “Japanese edge.” Shape-wise, the distinct difference between a convex edge from a beveled edge is an arc in the blade, and a curved tip that is larger in mass than the beveled edge.

Advantages: Convex Edge

The blade arc and thicker curved tip of a convex edge grooming shear contributes to its strength and ability to hold an edge longer than a beveled edge. These features (especially the blade arc) require far more skill to properly sharpen, so convex edge shears are more expensive in cost to buy and sharpen than beveled edge shears.

A quality convex edge dog shear (i.e., 440c Japanese Steel or better) is razor sharp and holds its edge for longer than a beveled edge. The convex edge makes the shear far easier to open and close because it requires less force and pressure from the hand. In addition, a convex edge is ideal for slip cutting and other advanced scissoring techniques. A beveled edge cannot perform these functions.

Disadvantages: Convex Edge

First, a convex edge costs more than a beveled edge dog shear, however, prices have come down significantly over the years. We offer a great selection of high quality convex edge shears that are very affordable for pet groomers. Browse our inventory here. 

Second, convex edge dog shears are more sensitive to drops and damage. While their arc and tip make them stronger and sharper for scissoring, the smallest drop can render them useless until they are sharpened again. Nicking a toenail or a solid object can also cause small burrs on a convex edge that instantly dulls them and ruins their performance.

Lastly, when it’s time to sharpen your convex edge grooming shears, it might be challenging to find someone who is capable to work on your shears. Not all sharpeners have the equipment or the skill to properly sharpen a convex edge, so you might have to ship your shears off to a reputable sharpener out of state if there are none in your area. Almost all sharpeners can do a good beveled edge.

Quick Summary

A convex edge dog shear is an essential tool for professional, detail oriented pet groomers. There is a limit to the quality and ease that can be obtained from a beveled edge shear. Convex edge shears greatly surpass this limit, but they cost more as an investment. If you’ve never used a convex edge shear and you do a lot of finish scissoring, we strongly encourage you to try out a convex edge shear. Your scissoring will greatly improve and there will be far less strain on your hand.

Sharper and Stronger (less hand fatigue)

More expensive than beveled shears to buy

Holds a razor sharp edge longer than beveled

Sharpening costs more than beveled

Soft cutting and smoother scissor finishing

More sensitive to drops and damage

Permits slip cutting and other advance scissoring techniques

Harder to sharpen; Harder to find a sharpener to sharpen convex

Recommendations: Convex Edge Shear

We’ve got an amazing, affordable selection on 440c Japanese and Korean stainless steel convex edge dog shears in our inventory. Here are just a few suggestions:

Other Edge Types?

There are ONLY TWO edge types for shears: beveled and convex. Some manufactures like Kenchi will use a term like “Semi-Convex,” and others might say “Micro-Beveled.” They are simply beveled shears. That’s it. Some beveled edged shears might possess a convex-like arc, but they are still sharpened with a beveled edge and tip. This still makes them plain-old beveled. These alternative nomenclatures for edge types that go beyond “beveled” or “convex” are simply marketing terms.

Coated Dog Shears

Here is an interesting factoid from the shear industry: Did you know that any shear that is coated (.i.e. Titanium or alternative finish) is, by default, a beveled shear? Want to know why?

A shear that has been coated cannot be sharpened with a convex edge or else the coating will be destroyed during the sharpening process. This is because all manufacturers that apply coats to their shears do so prior to sharpen them. Even if they did sharpen their shears with a convex edge prior to coating them, the next time the shears get sharpened, the coating would be destroyed.