Maintaining the right tension for your shears is an important process to create the proper balance and optimize the performance of your shears. When the tension is correct, you will not have to over or under-compensate, thereby increasing the overall durability of the shears when used routinely. The internal screws and ball bearings of your shears may be misaligned over time if the pivot tension is not calibrated.
Step 1: Positioning The Shear
Holding the shears upright pointed at 12 o'clock is a good starting position to help you see the different tension points as you are fine tuning the tension of your shears. Now focus on the blade without the finger rest, also known as the tang. Lift the cutting blade so that the shear tips now create a 90 degree angle or slightly past.
Step 2: Release The Cutting Blade
This will be a quick and easy interim step. Simply allow gravity to close the blade, revealing the amount of tension adjustment you'll need in the following steps. You will use this as your starting point for optimizing the tension of your shears.
You'll quickly notice that when the tension is too loose, the blades will either touch and close completely, or be within proximity of each other. It is important that your tension is not too loose because you will fold hair as you are cutting.
However when the shear tension is really tight, you will create a much wider angle and the shears will be wide open. An overly tight tension at the pivot joint will require more forceful movements and cause unnecessary strain on your wrist and joints over time. Too much tension against the blades will also deteriorate the steel and edges more rapidly.
Step 3: Adjust The Tension Dial
Turn the tension dial one click at the time to begin the adjustment. Rotating the dial clockwise will allow you to tighten the tension, while counter-clockwise will loosen up the tension. Your goal is to maintain the tension at a point around 55 to 65 degrees. A great balance is found at this point that is suitable for the majority of users.
Repeat steps 1 through 3 until you find the perfect tension.
You may need to make minor adjustments using the dial until you find the right tension. Remember that it is important to also keep your shears well lubricated on a regular basis. Flush the pivot joint to clear out any unwanted debris before calibrating the tension of your shears. Proper lubrication will allow you to find the right tension balance more efficiently and accurately.
Every precision instrument needs the right care in order to perform at the highest levels. With practice, you will be able to calibrate the tension of your shears quickly and extend the longevity of your tools.