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Table of Contents
Steel: When you take iron and add a specific amount of carbon, you can then harden the iron. In other words, steel is hardened iron.
Stainless: When you add a certain amount of chromium to the steel, the steel becomes corrosion resistant.
Stainless Steel: Steel that is less prone to stain and rust as the steel ages.
To maximize the stainless feature, the surface should be highly buffed. This is because, after grinding, the grit leaves a rough surface and scratches on the metal. Moisture can be trapped in the rough surface and the steel could get rusty. Through buffing, the roughness and scratches are smoothed out, which eliminates to a large degree, the possibility of moisture entrapment. The resulting surface of cutlery has a mirror finish.
VG-10 Hitachi Steel: VG-10 stands for V Gold 10 ("gold" meaning quality).
Chris Christensen Celestial Series shears are made of VG-10, a unique formulation of steel with a high carbon content. It contains various amounts of one or more of the following: Chromium, Vanadium, Molybdenum and Cobalt. The highest quality chef's knives are usually made of VG-10. VG-10 is considered a "super steel", because it is designed to maintain sharpness and durability without becoming brittle, a major fault normally associated with exceptionally hard steel. This quality is ideal when extreme sharpness is desired, as most other steels will not take or keep an edge like VG-10. The Celestial Series will hold an edge three times longer than other steels. When this type of steel is used, it is encased in layers of steel providing greater corrosion-resistance, leaving only the "super steel" exposed at the edge for fine cutting.
VG-10 chemical makeup: Carbon: 1.0%, Chromium: 15.0%, Molybdenum: 1.0%, V: 0.2%, Cobalt: 1.5%
Chris Christensen Systems shears have additional alloying elements, like manganese, molybdenum and vanadium, to make the steel tougher and the cutting edge last longer.
Ice Tempering is a beneficial process that creates a longer lasting cutting edge steel.
The disadvantage of the high content of chromium in stainless steel is that the cutting edges dull quicker. To overcome this, the steel is frozen.
How it works:
To make steel hard, it must be heat-treated. With Stainless Steel that means heating the steel above 2000 degrees F. At that temperature the structure of the material is at its optimum. To preserve this structure, the steel is cooled rapidly and tempered at about 450 degrees F. This creates satisfactory hardness and flexibility on the shear except that the chromium in the steel will not permit a long lasting cutting edge.
To make the cutting edge last longer, the steel is subjected to 50 to 60 degrees below 0, or, Ice Tempered. The shear is now much harder. All Chris Christensen Systems stainless shears are Ice tempered.
To Drop Forge a Shear, pieces of steel are heated to a pliable red-hot state, put in a die (somewhat like a cake form in the shape of the shear or tool). Half of the form is fastened to a large anvil; the other half is attached to a ram which acts like a hammer. The ram comes down on the steel, forging the pliable steel into the die and giving the steel the form of the future shear. These drop hammers are up to 20 feet high, standing on a 10-foot deep foundation. The ram can weigh 10000 lbs. or more.
Because of variances in dimensions of the shears, some of the hot steel can be squeezed out of the die cavity. This creates a large burr, which is cut off under heavy presses. Now the still-hot shear forgings are cooled off under controlled conditions to eliminate any internal stress.
To create Blanked Shears, strips of steel are cut into the form of a shear, using a method that is similar to a cookie-cutter. These Blanked Shears are then ground into shape. Occasionally, cut out "Blanks” are put into a very powerful press where the blade is squeezed into shape, compressing the steel near the edge so it will last longer.
Drop Forged tools and shears are far superior to blanked ones. The material flow of the hot metal being forged and pounded into the cavity gives the steel a much more dense structure, better quality and ultimately longer life. Naturally, forging is a much more expensive process than blanking.
A shear is essentially a lever system. If you were to take two pieces of metal and screw them together, they would not cut.
The blades of a shear are twisted lengthwise. This is done to bring the cutting edges up and to create a rake angle, which gives the shear room to function. Otherwise they would squeeze the material, not cut it.
The blades are also curved toward each other ever so slightly to maintain a point of contact along the length of the cutting edge. Otherwise the shears would tend to fold hair. Of course, this curvature of the blades creates a pressure, which is absorbed by a counter pressure in the form of a semi-circle on the inside of the blade, below the screw. This semi-circle is called a ride.
Any shear feels "floppy” or loose in the screw when completely opened. On the other hand, one should see a "crack” or light between the blades when the shear is completely closed.
The word "scissor” comes from the Latin word "cisoria” meaning a cutting instrument. The verb "scinder” means to cut or separate. The word appears in Old French between 842-1300 A.D. as "Cisoires,” from which the Modern French word "Ciseaux” derives. In late Middle English, about 1400 A.D., there is found reference to "sisours” and "cysowres.”
The word "shears” has a different derivation, originating from the Germanic/Teutonic root "Sker,” which later changed to "Skeresa.” In Old English, the word became "Scear.” The word in German is today "Schere.”
Today both words, shear and scissor, are used interchangeably in the English language. One definition is that a scissor is up to 6” in length. Anything longer than 6” is generally considered a shear. Another definition is that even sized fingerings are a scissor and uneven ones a shear.
Blending - The "blending” or "tapering” shear has teeth ground or milled very deep into ONE blade. The extreme end of each tooth has a tiny V-notch to prevent hair from slipping. Generally there are 18 teeth per linear inch. Each tooth .01” (1/32”) wide with .020” (.5mm) gap in between.
These shears are mostly used for finishing a haircut, cutting approximately within ¼” to ½” from the hair tips.
Thinning - The "thinning” shear has teeth cut deep in both blades. One blade is "edged,” the other again has the V-notch on the extreme end of each tooth. There are 13 teeth per linear inch. Each tooth is .045” (3/64”) wide with .030” (1/32”) gap.
These shears are used for "thinning” thick hair with the cut made close to the skin. Another application is to cut near the hair ends to texture the hair for a more natural look.
Texturizing - A "Texturizing” shear has fewer teeth or wider gaps to create texture. So in effect, the fewer the teeth, the more dramatic the cut will be.
We are often asked, "Which shears cut out more hair, the thinner or the texturizer?”
Answer: The thinning shear does. Per linear inch, both shears have a total cutting edge of a little over ½”. The blender measures .558” and the thinner .585”. However, don’t forget that it is not a question of how much cut one gets, but the "blender” and "thinner” are different tools for different applications.
State of the art, smoother cutting blade. These are harder to make and therefore are more expensive, but worth it.
The oldest blade design a beveled edge can cut well depending on the type of steel and manufacturing process, but requires more force than the convex blade and can't be used for advanced techniques.
A high content of chromium makes a steel stain-less. The side effect of chromium is that the cutting edges are very slippery and the hair has a tendency to be pushed forward. Beveled edge shears overcome this problem by micro-seriating the edges. This serration holds the hair in place.
Convex edge shears are very keenly edged. To serrate the edges would be counter-productive because the edges would chew each other up. Convex edge shears often have one blade indented. This reduces the angle of the cutting edges toward each other. With that the "push force” is greatly reduced and the keen edges slice through the hair.
Ergonomics is the science of body motion. Some years ago, there was a governmental agency in Germany similar to OSHA in this country. They found an extraordinary amount of Arthritis in the beauty profession.
This research institute videotaped and studied hundreds of stylists. They found that typically the stylists, while cutting hair, take the stance whereby their knees are flexed, the belly is sticking out somewhat, the wrist is angled upward, and the fingers, in a standard shear with the finger rest, are closing in a motion whereby the thumb leads toward the ring finger.
This motion is very unnatural and strenuous. For an example, one would never pick up a coin off the table with the thumb and ring finger. As an experiment, just try this. Move your thumb toward the ring finger while tilting the wrist backward and make twenty repetitions very rapidly. You can feel the strain in the wrist, forearm and elbow building up. Taking all the elaborate research findings into account, Chris Christensen Systems developed a shear whereby the whole handle contour, with the thumb forward, allows your hand to close in a natural motion. The whole concept is unique, definitely a first in development of shears, patented but ultimately copied by many other companies. These shears are definitely less fatiguing and a lot of people who suffered from strain, arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, or had calluses on their fingers, felt great relief using these shears.
Before trying to use a true lefty scissor it is important to think about the type of scissor you normally use. In order to distinguish a right-handed scissor from a left handed scissor you should hold the scissor in your hand. The finger ring should be on top and the thumb ring on the bottom. If the cutting edge of the blade closest to you is pointing toward the ceiling you are holding the scissor in the correct hand. A left handed scissor will have the finger and thumb ring to the left and of course a right handed scissor will have the thumb and finger ring on the right.
Many left handed groomers have cut with right handed scissors for so long; they don’t know what it is like to cut with a "true lefty scissor.” The natural hand motion of a right-hander using a right handed shear forces the blades of the shear together. When a lefty uses a right handed shear the natural hand motion would spread the blades apart and the hair would fold. Therefore a lefty has to modify their motion into the opposite direction for the shear to cut. This would have to be unlearned when using a true left handed shear. Also a left-handed person using a right-handed shear is working harder to get them to cut than a right-handed person. By getting them into a pair of true lefty shears, it will help them in the long run and probably extend their career!
… Remember that the learning process to use a true left pair of scissors can take a while. Don’t get discouraged when the scissor doesn’t cut or feel the way you want it to the first few attempts.
Professional tools should be oiled with specially formulated oil every day. This oil can be purchased from Chris Christensen Systems in a special tube with the proper application attachment included. A soft cloth should be used to wipe the excess oil, hair and dirt from the tool after application.
To apply the oil to scissors, apply a few drops of oil to the screw head on the A Blade and the tip of the screw from the B blade side. A few drops of oil should be placed in between the blades in the screw area as well.
DO NOT USE CLIPPER OIL ON ANY TOOL OTHER THAN ELECTRIC CLIPPERS!!! Clipper oil has specially formulated compounds in it to reduce heat and friction. These compounds can dissolve washers and bumpers. You should always use specially formulated SHEAR OIL.
DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREW. In order to determine the proper tension of a screw or adjustable screw, you should hold the scissor in front of you by the thumb ring and open and let go of the finger ring blade. The scissor should not drop.
DO NOT DROP OR THROW TOOLS INTO DRAWERS OR ONTO COUNTERS! The points or cutting edges will get damaged. Tools should be stored when not in use inside of a protective pouch, case, or carrier.
Your Chris Christensen Shear needs sharpening or reconditioning when