Mustache Scissors: What to Look For
You'd imagine "mustache scissors" are a product where the only differentiating factor is the quality of the blades, and that's that—but it's not. You actually have a lot of buying options when it comes to scissors, and there are some things you may want to look for. They include: How to shape up mustache.
Some mustache scissors have blunted tips, and that makes total sense—for a lot of men, it's not a good idea to have a pointed object, sharpened to razor-like intensity, roaming around one of the most sensitive parts of your body. The first time we saw one of these, it was one of those "Oooooooooooooh that makes so much sense" moments. The kind of moment where you see a new product in a store, and it's so simple, you think, "Whoever thought of that is a millionaire, and I could *definitely* have thought of that."... Anyway, the blunted edge is a sort of safety feature that some gentleman prefer. Others don't like it—they feel that the blunted edge keeps them from using the very edge of the scissor blade—and that's a valid complaint. As with most things related to shaving, it's a matter of personal taste.
The finger rest—that bar on some scissors where your middle finger rests—is another feature you'll see on some mustache scissors (and if you need an example, check out the Sanguine Scissors ; they're one of our favorites, and we review them below). In many models, the finger rest is a straight bar; in a lot of barber's scissors, it's a curved piece of metal that fits the barber's fingers. Its purpose is control; it allows the user to manipulate the scissor without having it wiggle back-and-forth in the user's hand, and it allows the user to maintain his/her grip while using the tool at odd or awkward angles. Some models actually have a removable finger rest, that allows you to screw it in / unscrew it, depending on your mood; that's a nice little addition. For a lot of guys, the finger rest is more of a "feel" feature—it adds a measure of control, but it also feels good in the hand. Not an imperative feature; again, something some dudes like, and others don't care about.
Length of Blade
You obviously want your blades to be very sharp, and very tight—it can be very frustrating to use a loose pair of scissors, and it can be very satisfying to use a very tight pair of scissors—but the other blade factor is length. There are some short-bladed mustache scissors that are designed to let you trim individual hairs, and there are other mustache scissors that are relatively long (an inch-and-a-half or more) and those are designed so that you can cut many facial hairs at once. If you're trimming the end of a mustache, shorter-length mustache scissors can be a good option, but if you're trying to even out a long row of whiskers—like you would when you need to cut the whiskers above your lip—longer-length mustache scissors are a better option. Because each of those tasks is unique, a lot of guys use both varieties.
Mustache vs. Beard...
Most scissors manufactured for use on your facial hair are marketed as both "beard and mustache scissors." It's kind of rare that you'll find a pair of scissors marketed as scissors solely for your mustache or scissors solely for your beard. And that makes sense—companies want to sell their products to as many people as possible. Traditionally, beard scissors were longer and mustache scissors were shorter, but we're not really seeing that anymore. The companies that make beard scissors seem to be making them medium-length (an inch-and-a-half or more) and the companies that make mustache scissors seem to be making their mustache scissors the same length as beard scissors. So don't drive yourself crazy looking for a scissor solely for mustaches—most modern scissors are effectively multi-use, and you can use them on your mustache and your beard.
Quality and Durability
A good pair of scissors can last you a long time, and stay sharper for a longer period of time. And, not only that, but there's a difference between low-end and high-end scissors in the quality of sharpness: a high-end pair of scissors will feature uniform sharpness from the front of the scissor blade all the way to the back, whereas lower-end scissors may only be sharp in the middle of the blade. If you rarely use scissors for your facial hair, it may not be the biggest deal, but over time, quality definitely shows. And, as we mentioned earlier, a loose pair of scissors can be deeply unsatisfying, whereas a tight, tense, effective pair can be a joy to use.
This isn't a dealbreaker, but it's a nice detail, and something to keep in mind when buying shave-related items: what kind of storage does it come with? Scissors often come with zip pouches, so that you can keep them dry and un-dusted, and some guys appreciate that storage option. Some guys forego pouches, because they like to keep their scissors point-down in that little toothbrush holder thingy attached to the wall in the bathroom, but a lot of it comes down to how your bathroom (or whatever room you shave in) is laid out, and where you end up doing most of your grooming. The zippered pouch is a great option for guys who work out at a gym in the morning and do their grooming rooming there, or guys who travel a lot for work, because you can throw it in the pouch, keep it with the rest of your gear, and hit the road.
Mustache Scissor Reviews
There are, believe it or not, dozens of different options when it comes to mustache scissors, and we've reviewed what feels like dozens of them to figure out what we consider the best mustache scissors. Here are our picks, broken down into categories.
Best All-Around Mustache Scissors
This year's winner for "Best All-Around Mustache Scissor" goes to... the Sanguine Professional Mustache Scissors! They're extremely sharp, easily adjustable, and they're handsome: they're manufactured in sleek matte black and with subdued gold trim. They come with a removable safety bar that you can easily take off with a flat-head screwdriver, a circular dial on the hinge designed to adjust the tension of the scissors, and perhaps our favorite feature—they're easy to use for both righties AND lefties. We have found this to be a high-quality tool that's great for shaping mustaches and doing detail work, and can easily double as a scissor for beards, as well. There are some other really great options, but this is one of our favorites.
Best "Comes with a Comb" Options
While it may seem like an unimportant implement, the mustache comb is actually a really important part of mustache grooming: you can use it to sweep all of your whiskers in the same direction, making it easier to cut many of them at once. There are two "comes with a comb" options that we like: the Marbeian Boulevard Beard & Mustache Scissors and the Striking Viking Mustache Scissors. Both come with medium-sized scissors good for both shaping and detail work, both feature medium-sized mustache combs designed to align facial hair, and both come with pouches, so they're a great fit for travelling.
If we had to choose a favorite between the two, we'd go with the Striking Viking—they've made a couple of really-fantastic wooden beard combs, and we're big fans—but either one is a good option.
Short hair with mustache
Blunt-Nose Scissors—Safety First
If you've got kids, pets, or clumsy roommates who meddle with your things, it can't hurt to be too safe, and that's why we also like the Safety Scissors. We have found these to be a great, no-frills option that actually gets the job done quite nicely: they're stainless steel, they've got a medium-length cutting surface, and most importantly, they've got the blunt-edged "nubs" at the end of the slicing blade that make them a little safer than regular scissors. If you've got shaky hands, or if you're simply uneasy with bringing regular scissors very close to your face, they can be a good pick. Keep in mind, they're not 100% accident-proof—they still are scissors, after all—but those nubs at the edge of the blade make them safer than regular, pointed options.
Our Favorite High-End Scissor Picks
Most of the products we choose to recommend are of the "best-all-around" variety: we like finding high-quality, durable, mid-range options, because that's what most people seem to be looking for. That said, we always like to include a couple of high-end options, because the more you learn about male grooming, the more you realize there are a ton of truly fantastic deluxe options out there. And that's why we like...
The Equinox Professional Shears. We'll start with the most obvious aspect of these scissors: they're gorgeous. They're shiny stainless steel and have a sort of "wind-swept" look that makes them look both liquid and solid at the same time. That design, though, is more than just aesthetic: they're ergonomically designed for easy gripping (and that makes them a good option for professional barbers and hair stylists, as well). They're adjustable, so you can change the tension to your liking, and they actually come coated with a lubricant oil designed to make them longer-lasting. A handsome and effective option.
The Suvorna Styling Scissors with Tension Adjustment. In terms of design, the Suvorna Scissors resemble the Sanguine Professional Mustache Scissors we reviewed above. They're compact and sharp, feature an adjustment ring so you can change the tension to your liking, and they've got a removable finger rest designed to provide some extra support. The size of the finger rings is slightly exaggerated, so if you're a larger guy with larger hands, they may be a good fit (although we should note: they're primarily for use by right-handed folks. If you're a lefty, you may want to take a closer look at the Sanguine Professional Mustache Scissors we discussed earlier).
They actually come with a carrying case, which is a nice little touch that most scissors don't feature. Another really great option.
A Good Short-Blade Option
In our "What to Look For" section above, we mentioned that blade length is something you may want to think about. Shorter-bladed scissors are great for detail work, and they can also double as eyebrow trimmers, nose-hair trimmers, and so on. If that's what you're looking for, we like the Facial Hair Scissors for Men. They're a great partner set: the rounded option is great for areas where a little extra care is needed, and the pointed scissor is a great match for detail work on mustache.
Keep in mind, these are not a great option for copious amounts of facial hair—if you're using these on a beard, it'll take you forever and chances are strong you'll end up looking lopsided—but for detail work, short-bladed scissors like these can be a good option.
Some Guidance on Mustache-Trimming
If you're sporting your first mustache, or you're planning on growing one, here are some tips we've learned that may help you out. We learned them the hard way; hopefully things will be easier for you!
So Fresh and So Clean, Clean. The BEST time to manicure your mustache is after a shower. You'll remove any weird items that gets trapped in your facial hair—and your facial hair is basically a net for dust, dirt, debris, food, and all sorts of other gross items—and you'll soften your whiskers so that they're easier to cut. That'll go a long way in keeping your blades sharp. If you don't have time for a shower and you need to do some manicuring, give your face a good wash, and use warm water and soap. It's not as good, but it'll get your whiskers ready for shaping. That said...
Make Sure Your Mustache is Dry When You Shape It. Water can damage a blade, but your scissors are almost certainly going to get wet, and that's not really a concern. As long as you dry your scissor after use, you should be fine. The reason you want your beard to be dry because wet hairs can clump together in odd ways, and if you shape your mustache when it's wet, it's almost certainly going to look different when it's dry. You also want to...
Have a Shape in Mind. Not every mustache works on every face, so you may want to experiment with a couple of different styles until you find something you like. As a general rule of thumb, guys with square-ish faces can work with broad, "broom-style" mustaches, whereas men with oval or triangular faces usually look best with manicured or detailed mustaches. Again, it's really difficult to predict what'll look good on different men, so give a trial run to each of the mustache types you're interested in.
Measure Twice, Cut Once. It's also important to know what kind of look you want because there are no "do-overs" when shaping a mustache—if you clip off too much, it's gone baby gone, and you have to wait until it grows back. Have a concrete idea of the shape you want to have. We've written a full post about the different types of mustaches men have had over the years, so feel free to check that out. And keep in mind...
It's Easier to Shape a Big, Bushy Mustache. We've found that it's much easier to shape an extra-long mustache than a shorter mustache. You can cut it so that your whiskers are a millimeter or two longer than you'd like, and if you mess up, you can cut off that extra millimeter or two. That bit of wisdom is especially true if you're a new mustache-haver, and are inexperienced with trimming it. Leave some room for yourself to mess up a little bit, so that you don't look like a lopsided lunatic when you're done.
Maintenance is Easier Than Shaping. This is tied to the last bit of advice. The toughest time you'll have when shaping your mustache is the first time you shape it. The first time is when you need to actually establish a shape for your facial hair. The second time, if you want to stick with the shape you've created, you're really just trimming it, instead of re-shaping it. Mustache grooming gets a LOT easier the more you do it.
Learn to Navigate Your Lopsided Whiskers. It's an unfortunate truth: men's facial hair grows in all sorts of weird ways. It's very uncommon for a guy to have whiskers growing evenly all over his face. It just doesn't happen that often, and mustaches are no exception. Some guys see greater growth on the left or right side, while other guys may see whiskers on their left side bunching in different ways than on their right sides. Whatever the case is, learn to REALLY take a close look at your face, and observe how your whiskers grow—it'll go a long way to not only shaving your mustache, but having it stay in the right shape while you're out and about in the world.
Combs Are Great. And so is mustache wax. We'll talk about that in the next section.
Embrace the Stubble and 'Stache. This is, without a doubt, one of our favorite looks: the full mustache growing over a solid bed of stubble on the cheeks and chin and jaw. The Stubble and 'Stache, if you will. If mustaches are a somewhat debonair look that tells the world, "I'm masculine yet I'm also groomed," and stubble tells the world, "I'm a man and I've been out adventuring," the Stubble and 'Stache is the perfect marriage of those two masculine ideals. It basically tells people, "Yes, I'm debonair, but I'm not afraid to rough it for a couple of days." It's a "Wild West" look, and we hope more men go for it. It is, in our opinion, one of the most masculine looks possible.
To Twirl or Not to Twirl. There's been a resurgence in recent years of the mustache-twirl, and we are ON BOARD. It's a fantastic look, pronounced and deliberate, and it's dramatic. It catches people's eye, it's unique, and it takes a sense of personal style and bravado to sport it. So...
Get Ready for Some Commentary. Seriously. Mustaches are a bold look, and the further "out there" you go—we're thinking Salvador Dali-style mustaches—the more critiques you're going to hear from friends and family. And even strangers. It's an odd thing that people feel so comfortable opining on the appearance of your facial hair, but while we can't figure out the reason, it most definitely happens. But, as with all things—work it if it works. If you like it, it's perfect for you.
Keep Your Scissors Dry. Last but not least: grooming, and most particularly, shaving—is a wet and sticky affair. You've got gels, balms, lotions, and lots and lots of water. Make sure your scissors are clean of anything sticky—you can give them a rinse, and make sure to make a "snipping" motion with the hinge underwater, to get that clean—and then make sure they're nice and dry before you store them. Even higher-end scissors need proper care, and they will suffer water damage without it.
How to draw a moustache on your face
Other Mustache Accessories to Consider
If you're trying to find the best mustache scissors, chances are you're also interested in other mustache grooming products, and there are two that have helped us a whole bunch. They are:
Mustache Wax. A well-shaped mustache can sit handsomely on its own, but if you want to introduce some "hold" to your mustache—which is pretty important if you want to embrace some of the more exotic mustache styles, like the Salvador Dali we mentioned above—mustache wax can help. There are plenty of great products out there, but we've had great success with Stache Bomb Wax, made in Maine—it comes with a scraper that looks a little like a guitar pick, which makes the wax easy to apply, and keeps it from getting under your fingernails—and Fisticuffs Strong Hold Mustache Wax, which has a nice bourbon-plus-sandalwood scent. We're suckers for anything sandalwood-scented, and, come to think of it, we have a weakness for bourbon as well, so we're big fans.
Mustache Combs. It's odd that you'll find a men's shaving site embracing something so petite and cute, but mustache combs are both petite and cute, and they can be a great addition to your grooming routine. It's not that your mustache needs combing throughout the day (although it may!), it's that in order to properly cut it in the first place, you need your whiskers to line up, and a mustache comb can help you get that done. There are dozens on the market, and because they aren't really difficult to manufacture, many of them are pretty similar. That said, we've got the Kent Moustache Comb, and we like it very much.
Groom That Mustache, Son
There you go! We've said all we came to say about mustache scissors. We find them incredibly helpful, and we find them satisfying to use. Have fun, and happy shaving!
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