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  • Holding Scissors.

    I was wondering if there was a right and a wrong way to hold scissors when scissoring a dog. Heres why I ask....

    In August I moved from TX to VA after spending the last four years apprenticing with another groomer. I took a job with a corporation because its less than a mile away from where I live and where my son goes to school, and Im not driving. After being there a couple of weeks, im scissoring...something and the salon manager is watching me. She says," You are holding your scissors wrong". I say," Is there a problem with the way the dog looks?" She says, no, the dog looks fine, but you are holding your scissors wrong. I use my and my index finger. She showed me the proper way to hold scissors,which appears to be and ring finger, but my hands just dont work that way. I physically could not do it. Since then, I found out that I also dont hold a pencil properly when im writing. Does anyone else have this problem? And will it affect my grooming? Is there a right way and a wrong way? Any advice is much appreciated.

    Sio

  • #2
    As long as your dogs look good, I would not worry about it. I hold mine the same way
    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by diamienono View Post
      As long as your dogs look good, I would not worry about it. I hold mine the same way
      Sorry, but I disagree about not to worry about how you hold your shears. I know I held mine that way too when I first started and then I went to learning seminars and they showed a better way to hold your shears so you don't end up with carpel tunnel in your hands later in life. This is the way I was shown to hold shears. After you teach yourself do hold them this way it feels like you have more control over your shears.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Well, I don't know if it's right or wrong, but there is definitely a way that schools teach you to hold scissors, which is with the and the ring finger. Actually, there's even more to it than that for proper control of the scissor, including how far you put your into the hole, and where the pivot point of the scissors rest in your hand to name a couple. (you should be able to balance them). I believe that its taught that way for better scissor control, and smoother scissoring.
        don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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        • #5
          Thumb and ring finger. No further down than the first joint. And only use your to open and close the scissors. Helps to reduce hand fatigue and carpal tunnel.

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          • #6
            Two of my former coworkers held their scissors with their , and index finger, another with the proper fingers, but she put her all the way in. My boss holds hers with her and middle finger. I think I am the only one that holds it the right way, lol. I wasn't taught that way, it just felt the most comfortable. It also allows for a lot more control. I had to run and grab a pair of scissors though just to make sure that I did hold it right, lol.
            My boss has always told us that as long as our dogs look good, it doesn't matter. And she has been doing this for 20 some years, and no problem with her wrists and hands. Of course, I can see that it probably is better to do it the right way, just because I guess it can help to reduce the risk of damage later on. I know that it sure would be hard to try to change the way that I hold scissors now, though, so if you should decide to switch the way that you hold them, good luck lol.
            Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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            • #7
              Get used to it

              You really need to get used to it but shears should be held with and ring finger. It's for the safety and longetivity of the health of your hands and has very little to do with smooth scissoring.If you also hold your pencil wrong ergonomically, it's likely that no one ever taught you the proper way to hol it to avoid injury to your hand and carpal tunnel. Do learn now, rather than refuse to change. You'll be grateful later when you can keep doing what you love longer.

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              • #8
                I can't imagine holding scissors any other way than how I learned at school(Thumb and ring finger, only moves). I even hold regular scissors like that now. Its just instinct and you have soooo much more control!

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                • #9
                  finger positions

                  Hi, well, a lot will depend on the shears you have and your musculature. To prevent damaging your hand and wrist muscles you probably should be fitted with a shear that actually fits your hand. It sounds like your shears are too heavy, thus to be comfortable in your hand you have adapted your strongest fingers to carry the load.

                  I speak with many years of holding shears in a way that "got the job done". Not all shears will fit every hand. Years ago, all shears pretty much looked the same from the pivit screw to the tang. Today that is certiallly not the case.

                  My problem is that in most ways I am a lefty. However, not when it comes to scissors or shears. My mom just couldn't fathom the fact I could use shears in my right hand (she and grandma were both lefty's) So I had really good left handed shears to try. Mom was a seamstress (not professionall) so she had good shears.

                  That was a great boost in my grooming career, being able to use right handed shears. However, because I AM a lefty, my right hand was less muscled than my left. My middle finger has much more strength than the ring finger. So I learned to use shears that for some els might fit great, I'd improvise.

                  Today, most schools do conceed that either ring or middle finger is OK. The best thing that has helped me...3 fingered shears! I have 8 pair, all different, even blenders in the 3 fingered. It helps my hand. I have swivel curves, also great . I also have some off set handled shears, also great. So it really depends on what feels good in your hand. One thing I see is that when groomers hold shear they tend to scrunch the hand together. Using 3 fingered shear, opens the hand up and gives better balance. Crane handles are good too.

                  Shears need to fit like a glove. You need to "try on" some shears. Even the 3 fingered, you might find you like the balance and fit.

                  As long as the dogs look good, I wouldn't worry, but if you plan to be in this business for long...you do need to work on your 'hold' and better fitting shears.

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                  • #10
                    Maybe more than one way to skin a cat....pun intended

                    I think it is up to you. I know Mario De Fante holds them the way yiou do..If you have control and it works for you...why change now? Unless you have hand fatigue. Try a pair of three fingered shears..casn't hold wrong.

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                    • #11
                      yep. Thumb and ring finger. to each their own though. If they look good and your arms are not stressing out, that’s how it is. Practice on off time the other way. I know several groomers who scissor only after tipping down legs etc with a 7 skip tooth. I was taught initially that this was wrong too, but I tell you what they could groom circles around the people who originally taught me.

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                      • #12
                        If you would like to get accustomed to the "correct" method you can do the following...

                        Buy some yarn. If it is not in a ball, re-wind it into a ball shape. With a slicker brush brush the ball until it is fuzzy. Using the /ringfinger configuration, scissor the fuzz as if scissoring a topknot, etc. Focus on keeping it round, even, etc... just as if you were grooming a dog.

                        You can continue to brush/scissor the ball until it is practically gone.

                        Maybe this will help you get used to a more healthy method without sacrificing time and/or quality in your every day grooming. I start any apprentice groomers on this exercise before turning them loose on any poodles, bichons, etc.

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                        • #13
                          WOW

                          I can't imagine using my index finger. When I used to hold scissors I used my and middle finger, and it was not too hard for me to switch to my ring finger, I just forced myself to do it. NOw I can't use my middle finger to scissor. But I cannot fathom using my index finger.

                          I think the most important thing is that your THUMB is moving, and not your other finger or fingers.

                          Tammy in Utah
                          Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                          • #14
                            Well, actually, if you have off-set scissors, you should use and ring finger. If your scissors are not off-set, and middle finger will give you better control and reduce fatigue, once you get used to it.

                            Try picking up a dime with your and ring finger, then your and middle finger. Feel the difference? That's the mechanics involved when using scissors that are not off-set.

                            Off-set scissors move your forward, and alters your leverage. So if you have your ring finger in the hole, your is still in oppostion to your middle finger.

                            Now, personally, I have significant nerve and tendon damage in my right hand. There's no way I can move my without moving my fingers. It's not physically possible. I use my scissors in a way that would probably give any qualified instructor fits. But I have to work with what I have.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SpikeyTheYorkie View Post
                              I can't imagine using my index finger. When I used to hold scissors I used my and middle finger, and it was not too hard for me to switch to my ring finger, I just forced myself to do it. NOw I can't use my middle finger to scissor. But I cannot fathom using my index finger.

                              I think the most important thing is that your THUMB is moving, and not your other finger or fingers.

                              Tammy in Utah
                              Two of my former coworkers used their index fingers. I noticed and made fun of them, lol (blush, I know, I know), and then tried it myself. NO WAY could I do it. I could barely hold it like that, the scissor was waggin all around, I'd poke a poor dogs eyeball out if I tried it that way, lol.
                              Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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