Is there a difference between a thinning scissor and a blending scissor?

Thinning shears and blending scissors do look physically similar however, these two types of scissors can cause a little confusion and their names are used incorrectly.

When choosing between these two types of scissors, it is advised that the groomer must consider the coat type they will be working on and the finish they are looking to achieve.

A thinning scissor is a workhorse style of scissor, is used to 'thin' or ‘remove bulk’ from the coat and is used at the prep stage of the groom. A blending scissor is designed to be a finishing scissor and is used to create a softer and smoother finish. 

It is important for a dog groomer or pet owner to understand the differences between a blending scissor and a thinning shear as they perform different grooming tasks and will leave different looks on the dog's coat. 

The Blending Scissor

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The Thinning Scissor 
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Blending Grooming Scissor

A Blending dog grooming scissor is generally designed to be between 6.5” and 8” in length and has between 45 and 66 teeth. Each tooth of a blending scissor is finer in width and has a very narrow gap between each tooth compared to a thinning scissor. Also, each tooth of a blender is micro-serrated which enables the teeth to ‘grab’ each strand of the coat and cut it accordingly.


blending dog grooming scissor-blender


This scissor is designed to be a finishing scissor rather than a workhorse style scissor used at the prep stage to rough trim a dog’s coat. These are used for the following reasons.

  • Making seamless transitions between two or more coat lengths.
  • A perfect finishing scissor and helps to create a soft, blended look.
  • Trimming the feathers on medium-length, double-coated dogs, like Golden Retrievers and Pomeranians, to look more natural instead of blunt.
  • Softening the look along a dog's skirt line.
  • The additional feature of the micro-serrated teeth is perfect for linty coat types such as Bedlington Terriers.

Blending scissors are available in both the straight design and the reversible curved design.

curved blending scissor for dog grooming


The Reversible Curved Blending Scissor


blending dog grooming scissor

 The Straight Blending Scissor


These scissors are suitable for dog groomers and pet owners at all experience levels, especially those who are training to become a dog groomer. To view Abbfabb's Blending Dog Grooming Scissor collection, click here.


Thinning Scissors for Dog Grooming

Thinning scissors for dog grooming are used to remove bulk or 'thin' a heavy dog coat by removing some of the density of the hair. They are workhorse scissors rather than finishing scissors.

The thinners have a distinctive design where they have a smaller number of teeth and a wider gap between each tooth compared to a blending scissor. This gives the dog groomer the ability to cut off less coat per snip than they would ordinarily with straight or curved scissors. 

thinning shear-thinning scissors for dog grooming

How to choose the right Thinning Scissor.

When considering whether to use a thinning scissor, remember that it is designed to lift, and hold the hair and only remove some of the dog's coat.

Thinning dog grooming scissors can come in either the double teeth (both blades have teeth) or single teeth sided (one blade has teeth and one plain blade) versions and will have one of the three numbers of teeth, 40-46, 25-30 and 20-24. These dog grooming scissors are designed to 'thin' the coat as the teeth and space between each tooth is wider (compared to a blending scissor). The number of teeth correspond with the coat type, so fine, medium and coarse. 


           (i)    40-46 Teeth- Fine Coat Type.

A thinning scissor with 46 teeth will remove more of the dog's coat compared to the 30 teeth and 24 teeth thinning shears. This scissor is suitable for fine silky dog coats. 


         (ii)    25-30 Teeth – Medium Coat Type.

A thinning scissor with 30 teeth is perfect for beginners, as it helps prevent the student from removing too much of the dog's coat. This scissor is suitable for use on most dog coats and is the most widely used 'thinning scissor' by dog groomers. 


        (iii)    20-24 Teeth – Coarse Coat Type.

A thinning scissor with between 20 and 24 teeth is designed to be used on heavy, dense or curly dog coats and remove a larger amount of hair compared to the 30 and 46 Teeth thinning scissors.


The Double-Sided Thinning Scissor

This type of thinning scissor has been designed with teeth on both blades and is perfect for heavy-duty bulk removal on very coarse or thick dog coats. As the teeth work hard on coarse or thick coats, there is a higher possibility of the teeth blunting quicker compared to a normal thinning scissor or blending scissor.

The double-sided thinning scissor is a workhorse type of scissor, and as such, it will leave a very natural look to the coat. For adding a softer and tidier finish to the coat, it is advised to use an alternative scissor such as a blending scissor.



The Piano Tooth Thinning Scissor or the “Fluffer”

There is, however, a new design of thinning scissors which is an incredible exception to the rule when it comes to the world of thinning shears.

This uniquely designed thinning scissor is the new 'hybrid'  grooming scissor which sits between a texturising scissor and a blending scissor. Each of the teeth is rectangular and resembles a piano key. The tooth itself is wider than a thinning or blending scissor tooth, but not as wide as a texturising scissor's tooth. The gap between each tooth is also much narrower compared to a blending scissor.


thinning shear-curved thinning scissor for dog grooming-fluffers for dog grooming


This scissor is designed to remove bulk quickly due to the broader teeth, like a texturising scissor, and helps create a natural yet soft finish, like that of a blending scissor. It is a perfect dog grooming scissor for the new Poodle Mixed breeds such as Cockapoos and Labradoodles. It is also suitable to use on most dog coat types, making it very versatile and an amazing addition to a dog groomer's scissor collection.

To view Abbfabb's entire Thinning Dog Grooming Scissor Collection, click here.