Scissor Review: Sam Villa Signature Shears 9 comments


Sam Villa Signature Shears 6.25″

 

Sam Villa Shears Review

 

At First Glance:

Neat handle.

A bit loose feeling – I ended up tightening it a bit more than the norm for shears.

Teflon liners in the ride area of the shears. Are they needed? Probably not.

Reasonably sharp, stayed reasonably sharp for a fairly long amount of time. (How long is fairly? It’s a reasonably long amount of time, by any fair estimate.)

They’re so offset, you’re going to clunk the thumb ring into the spine of the still blade at least once.

You barely move your thumb at all when you use these shears.

They’re heavier than most shears.

 

The Deets:

The steel is an unknown molybdenum alloy. I’ve asked, they won’t tell me what it is, or who manufactures the shears. The steel feels a bit softer than other shears I’ve used. (Meaning it takes a razor edge, but loses it faster)

They’ve got a leaf spring tension system. It’s not my favorite – it doesn’t loosen often, but it loosens more often than higher end tension systems. And the tension knob! (Grr! Always catching on things!)

They’re bigass shears, for people who like bigass shears.

The handle design looks silly, but it’s actually more well thought out than I had originally thought – the super-offset thumb ring is great, but the open thumb groove behind the thumb ring (which, btw, is in the exact position of where the thumb ring is on almost all regular crane handle shears) gives you excellent control if you want to open the tips of the shears just a tiny bit, or cut away from you, almost like using shears with a pivoting thumb ring.

They don’t hold a super sharp edge as long as other shears – but they’re not not-sharp. Better than Dannyco or Cricket/Centrix, not as good as high end Japanese shears.

They are fantastically “choppy” shears – meaning that there is a lot of power in the tips, you can notch cut like nobody’s business.

They have a lot of power and weight to them, so they’ll go through thicker hair or larger sections better.

They are a full convex edge. (I should hope so!)

The hollow grind is pretty deep – consequently I find these shears are a magnet for hair. It just gets sucked into the pivot point, and I end up having to clean them more often than my other shears.

The length, and weight and guillotine-like “chop” factor these shears have make them excellent for scissor over comb. Also, the extreme offset handle makes the blades open wider, which just makes scissor over comb easier too.

They’re a bit too big and bulky for detail work.

 

Sam Villa Signature Shears Review

 

Where They Sit In My Kit:

I bring these out every time I do scissor over comb.

I bring these out every time I’m in a hurry. They let me get through more hair, quicker.

I don’t use these for slide cutting. They could probably do it, but they’re really big, and I have shears with a better edge for that.

I use these for dry cutting. Half because their edge seems to do ok with it, half because their weight and mass gives them the power for it, and half because I don’t want to dull the super sharp edge on my other shears. (Yes I know that’s three halves. Don’t nitpick!)

I use these whenever I’m going to notch cut most of a haircut.

 

If These Shears Were A Musician, Who Would They Be?

 

Lady Gaga

Predictable, fairly average quality, but still in your playlist

 

The Bottom Line:

Would I buy these again: Probably not – I already have one pair. I got them for the handle. I might consider it if I lost them, because I really like them for scissor over comb.

Would I recommend these: Not as a first shear, or mainstay shear. As a niche shear, or if you specifically want a bigass shear, then yeah. Beats a pair of Roc-it-Dogs.

Is it worth the price: That’s up to you – personally, I wish the craftsmanship and steel were a little higher quality. You could get a plain pair of Kasho shears for the same price made to higher standards. (But they’d be just plain, regular shears.)


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9 thoughts on “Scissor Review: Sam Villa Signature Shears

  • Vik

    Hey Lucas,

    First off GREAT BLOG. Seems like the only place i can find a great review on shears. I was wondering if you could help me out a bit. I am a mens barber and do alot of shear over comb for blending and i seem to have the worst luck at picking shears. Any recommnedations for a good shear in the 300 to 400 dollar price point? preferably 6.25 or 6.5 inch shear. I looked at the sam villa and the feel super comfortable but still undecided. Also if you have a recommendation on a good 5.5 shear for more detail for work it would be greatly appericated as i am completely lost.

    Thanks

  • Lucas

    So,
    I have been looking at the Sam Villa shears, the Centrix C2 shears and the Kamisori black diamond. (http://www.kamisorishears.com/BLACKDIAMOND.html)

    How do these differ from each other in terms of quality?

    I think I remember you bashing Kamisori but I am not sure why, I’ve never really seen the shears so I don’t know. But they apparently won all kinds of awards.

    • admin Post author

      They’re all about the same quality, they’re all mid level shears in terms of steel and craftsmanship.

      I prefer the Sam Villa out of the bunch, but that’s because I like a powerful shear, and they’re big and heavy and powerful.

      I’ve never used those particular Centrix shears, but I’ve used similar and they’re not bad – I found Centrix shears not to be made as well as other shears though. Just not as well crafted.

      The Kamisori’s are ok too. They’re not great, and for the price I’d buy something more well made and less gimmicky – those particular shears (the black diamond ones) don’t feel as smooth or tuned as I’d like. Both the Centrix (that I’ve used) and Kamisori feel stiff to me, like you have to use pressure to cut, instead of letting the shear do the work.

      What shears do you have right now?

      • Lucas

        Good points…

        I am having a really hard time finding a shear that is higher quality but with a more neutral hand position, and it’s driving me crazy.

        I am a senior in cosmetology school right now, and I bought myself a pair of Roc It Dogs a long time ago. I don’t hate them, they are way way better than what was in my kit, but I’m not sure I love them.

        I am testing a couple of shears from my local Hattori Hanzo dealer this week, but even though they all feel comfy, none of them have that neutral / natural hand position, or crane really.

        • admin Post author

          The Sam Villa shears are definitely the most comfortable and neutral when it comes to hand position. And you move your thumb less to fully open and close them vs other shears. (Check out the video of him holding 2 shears in his hand and opening them on his site, that’s what it’s like.)
          Here’s some Sam Villas placed directly on top the Kamisori Black Diamond shears:

          Sam Villa Shears VS Kamisori Black diamond shears

          The Black Diamond shears are just a regular crane handle, while the Sam Villa shears are even more offset.
          My Kasho silver shears (which are much more finely crafted than the Kamisori) look much the same ergonomically when you put them on top the Sam Villa shears, because they’re a regular crane handle as well:

          Kasho Silver Shears vs Sam Villa Shears

          I enjoy the extra offset the Villa shears have, and use them often. To me, they feel more well crafted than the Kamisori shears. The tension seems to stay put on the Sam Villas, but the Kamisori’s get loose every now and then. Also, the Villas make a very enjoyable and rewarding noise/feeling when you close them – that reassuring “snickt” you hear travel down the blade as the edges come in contact.
          The Kamisori shears feel like kitchen shears when you close them, imho.

          That doesn’t mean either one is better than the other one, that just means I prefer the Sam Villa shears over Kamisori, and they’re both smack in the midrange level of quality so that you really have to nitpick to find differences in craftsmanship. They’re both perfectly fine $200-$350 shears, and you could use both happily.

          If you have Roc-It Dogs already though, maybe you should wait a bit longer and get a more noticeable upgrade? Both shears are only a smidgen better. If, say, I was to rate shears on a 1-10 scale, and 1 was the flat-edged $50 pair of student shears you get in school, and 10 was a extremely good pair of shears over $1500… Then I’d rate Roc-It Dogs about a 3, and Kamisoris and Sam Villa Shears about a 4 or maybe 4.5. They’re not light years ahead of Roc-It Dogs, just a little bit.

  • admin Post author

    I’m not sure there’s much more I can say about them other than what I have said about them already… If I were in your position, I might try out some Mizutani’s. I haven’t used them myself yet, but I think the next pair I buy will be from them…

  • monica

    so im in the market to add a few shears to my case and i have been shopping around and have been stumbling upon reviews and what not online for hours. you have been the only one to really come up and review the sam villa shears. I’m a little hesitant to order them… you posted a video on you tube (forever ago) and seemed to be pretty sold on them, but on here you seem less then thrilled. i have a pair of hikari offset new cosmos and i feel like they aren’t all that they are cracked up to be and honestly use them as my back up. my go to scissors are a pair of jaguar euro techs and i love them but want to add a stronger blade for everyday use in the mix. so after talking with a few coworkers and a rep i thought samvilla may be a good choice… you seem to have a pretty educated and honest opinion on shears so i really appreciate it if you could make up my mind for me haha. i also need a good pair of thinning shears that can remove apx. 50% (like 40 teeth) of weight and another pair for apx. 10%-20% (like 8 teeth). i have some jay2’s and butter cut’s but they suck and i only have liked my ones from cosmetology school forever ago that are some no name brand. id like to stay in the $300-$500 range for shears and $100-$300 for texturizing… please help! thanks so much 🙂