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Frequently Asked Questions

Ciselier Company was founded to raise awareness of the world’s heritage scissor manufacturers and make it easier for quality-minded consumers to find them. Our carefully curated selection of the world’s best scissors comes from small, often multi-generational family workshops using time-tested techniques to create products of exceptional beauty and durability. If the concept of "luxury" handcrafted scissors is new to you, please browse our library of frequently asked questions below, or feel free to chat with us live via the button on the bottom left of your screen. We would be delighted to hear from you!

 

Our luxury scissors are special because of the effort and quality of workmanship required to create products that will last a lifetime. Many of our makers have been creating beautiful high-quality scissors for generations. We only offer products made from the purest tempered stainless, INOX or Rostfrei steel, assembled by hand, and quality inspected a minimum of three times. Ciselier Company luxury scissors simply cannot be compared to any brand of mass-produced commercially available product, no matter how well-known.

If there's something you like, it's recommended that you order it. Our quantities are very limited and items regularly sell out.

No, we love scissors, so we comb the world for the best of the best and bring them to you. Typically, where we find the highest quality is at small makers who maintain strong links to the past, and are known for the craftsmanship of their products. Ciselier Company offers a carefully curated selection of the best, rarest and most unusual scissors, imported from around the globe.

Our scissors are made by craftspeople in regions often historically known for sword-making. The countries that produce the highest quality modern scissors are the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. We also source artisanal products globally from smaller makers who are doing creative work. Ciselier never white-labels our scissormakers, as we wish to showcase their history and commitment to quality in order to foster an appreciation for luxury scissors.

Plastic handles are a mark of poor quality. One of the ways to test for craftsmanship in scissors is the smoothness of the surfaces inside the handle (called the “bow”). The bow is shaped and smoothed through sanding. Poor-quality scissors often have plastic or plastic coated handles to avoid this time intensive step, which requires a high degree of skill. Ciselier will never carry scissors with plastic handles or plastic coating.

We do not. Our selection is intended to be useful for people looking for high quality household scissors in a variety of categories (Kitchen, Embroidery, Paper and Craft, Left-Handed). We have elected not to offer “tools of the trade” to hair stylists or others as their requirements are extremely specialised and require specific expertise.

Ciselier Company scissors are inspected a minimum of three times for quality: upon leaving the workshop, upon receipt at our facilities, and when we package them up to ship to you. Our team uses gloves for all handling, and each pair of scissors is carefully polished before being packaged in our high quality presentation boxes for shipment. See this page for full details on our Shipping and Returns Policy.

The Ciselier Returns Policy found here covers any unlikely problems you might have. Please note that scissors, like other blades, must be sharpened from time to time - dullness is not a defect.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR SCISSORS

Ciselier luxury scissors are intended to last a lifetime, but nothing lasts forever if you don’t care for it properly. For extra blade protection, we offer custom handmade leather scabbards; these are especially useful in protecting blade tips for scissors stored in drawers with other tools or utensils.

Aside from keeping them clean, dry and regular sharpening to keep them crisp, you should also oil the hinge of your luxury scissors two or three times per year (more often if you wash them regularly) to ensure smooth movement and reduced friction. A few drops of a multi purpose machine oil applied to the joint and wiped clean before use is all that is required. Your scissors may come pre-oiled, so do check if they need to be wiped before use.

Putting your scissors in the dishwasher may do several things: blunt the blades, cause staining or discolouration of the finish and/or rust within the hinge. If you wish to ensure your scissors (especially kitchen scissors) are sanitary, wash with warm water and non-chlorine soap, drying thoroughly before storing. Many of our kitchen scissors offer detachable blades to allow you to clean and dry within the hinge.

If you have to work to make them cut, it’s time for a sharpen. Depending on your usage, this could be every six to 24 months. The harder and better quality the steel, the longer the blades will keep their edge. All Ciselier scissors are made of the finest quality forged stainless steel; with proper care and usage they will stay sharp for much longer than mass-produced or cold-stamped products.

There are many useful how-to videos that demonstrate proper technique for sharpening scissors. We have assembled several on our YouTube channel, which you can view here.

Fabric scissors (or tailor’s shears) are more costly because they are extremely sharp and designed for cutting textiles; the chemicals and fibre in paper may blunt their edges more quickly. If you would like to use some of our gorgeous fabric shears for more everyday household use, you may absolutely do so: simply make sure to wipe the blades down with a dry cloth after use. You may also need to sharpen a little more often, but the scissors themselves will not be harmed.

You can try, but they are unlikely to cut cleanly; you may end up tearing your textiles. Better to invest in a quality pair of purpose-designed Ciselier fabric shears.

Unfortunately, “Stainless”, “INOX” or “Rostfrei” designated steel does not mean that the material will not discolour if improperly cleaned or stored. The marks that can result are for the most part aesthetic blemishes. If you wish to remove them, you may rub gently with a slightly damp microfibre cloth or a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar. Do not use abrasive cloths or cleaners, or anything containing chlorine.

This is particularly relevant for hard-working scissors like those for kitchen or fabric. Scissors are cast in two pieces that are "married": when they are finished, they are tapped and fastened together with (usually) a nut and bolt. With normal use, the nut and bolt should stay securely fastened.

However, especially with detachable-blade kitchen scissors, the bolt may become loose. The fix is simple: use a pair of pliers or a wrench to hold the bolt securely and tighten until it cannot be tightened further. The reality is that when pieces of metal are not welded together (ie: a nut and bolt) they can become loose over time, especially with demanding use. This basic maintenance will keep your scissors in good working order for many years to come.

If you misplace or lose a bolt for your scissors - please contact us; we may be able to obtain a replacement part for you. Your patience is appreciated as replacement parts must be shipped overseas from our heritage makers.

Technical Questions

There are nine steps to making high-quality scissors:

1. Forging: In the past, blacksmiths pounded red-hot metal into shape with a hammer. Modern quality scissor-making uses machines to hammer the hot metal into a shaped die. This process is called drop forging and it creates two “blanks”, which will make the matching sides of the scissors. The pressure in drop forging makes the metal stronger and more durable by stretching and aligning the grain structure of the steel.

2. Processing the blanks: Excess steel is cut away, the handle holes are stamped out and a hole is drilled through the hinge, where the two halves will be fastened. The steel is strengthened by heating and cooling (tempering) and straightened.

3. Grinding: Shaping the handle and the blades.

4. Sanding: One of the ways to test for quality in scissors is the smoothness of the surfaces inside the handle (called the “bow”). The bow is shaped and smoothed through sanding. Poor-quality scissors often have plastic or plastic coated handles to avoid this time intensive, difficult step.

5. Hardening: The steel blades are hardened through various stages that may involve vacuuming or salt. The harder the blade, with proper care and usage the longer it will remain sharp.

6. Rumbling: Now hardened, the halves are treated overnight in a machine with a spinning drum that is filled with polish pastes and ceramic pebbles. These act to debur and remove any sanding marks.

7. Assembly: The traditional English phrase for this stage is “putting together”. It’s also an actual job description: the “Putter-Togetherer”, or “Putter” for short. It sounds quaint, but it’s a challenging task that apprentices take years to master. The attention paid at this stage is one of the biggest differences between heritage craft scissors and those cranked out entirely by machines. If you look inside the hinge of your Ciselier scissors, you may see small numbers engraved on each half. These are added to ensure that the blanks are paired with the right mate.

8. “Putting on the edges and marrying them together”: Okay, we are using this stage’s description from Ernest Wright because we love how it sounds. It’s time to sharpen the blades and it’s time for what Wright calls the “Big Wheel Saddle Grinder”, which is used to put on the edge and also make the two sides match one another as a married pair.

9. Polishing: This is when your scissors get that magic mirror sheen, followed by a brand mark which will include The Ciselier "C” as a sign that we believe that they are among the world’s most beautiful scissors.

Ciselier never offers discounts on our products. Our pricing reflects the cost of producing high-quality, handmade scissors and paying those who produce them a living wage. Unfortunately, in today's unpredictable economic environment, inflation and energy fluctuations may also force us to increase our prices from time to time as our suppliers' costs increase. We cannot guarantee future pricing, and prices may change without notice. If there's something you like, it's recommended that you order it, as our quantities are also very limited and items regularly sell out.

As a general rule, scissors have blades that are less than 6 inches (15cm) in length. Typically, their handles have finger holes of the same or similar size. The blades of shears are longer than 6 inches (15cm). Shears usually have a small handle for the thumb and a larger handle whose hole will fit two or more fingers. At Ciselier, we use the term “scissors” interchangeably.

There are two varieties of left-handed scissors. Many common left-handed scissors (often called “semi" left-handed) simply have reversed finger grips. The blades open and close as with right-handed scissors, which forces users to pull the blades apart as they are cutting. This can be challenging for craftspeople as the blades also obscure the cut.

“True” left-handed scissors have both reversed finger grips and a reversed blade connection; they are basically mirror images of right-handed scissors. If someone is accustomed to using semi left-handed scissors, they may find using true left-handed scissors difficult at first, as they may have learned to rely heavily on the strength of their thumb to pull the blades apart vs. pushing the blades together in order to cut. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

Ciselier means “scissormaker” in French!