Saturday, December 18, 2010

Improve Yourself as a Sharpener

A Quick Easy Way to Improve Yourself as a Sharpener
What's one way you can improve yourself as a Sharpener? Education. One good place to go to get a little education that will not only make you look smart to your stylists and groomers, but will provide you with information that will allow you to help them too is Andis' YouTube Channel. Here you will find a number of videos on blade care, clipper care, and more. The info you'll find here is great for everyday conversations you have with customers as a Sharpener and good for finding ideas for classes you may be teaching if you speak at beauty or grooming schools.

Here is Andis' latest video:

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Here is a link to Andis' YouTube Channel:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

OH MY!!! Not Good!

Okay. Here is the flipside of inside work. Bad inside work is just as bad, if not worse, than no inside work. Glen received these from a sharpener that picked them up from a new customer. He sent them in for two reasons:

1. To show us.

2. To see if ANTHING could be done to at least make them workable.

In this case, we had to tell this sharpener these shears were dead in the water.

Not Sure What's Wrong Here? Let Me Point Out a Few Issues:

1. Way overworked in the ride area behind the screw.

2. Way too much pressure at the tip. This and set mostly caused the wipe out at the tip.

3. Not sure what happened to the set, but bad set is PART of the reason for the wavy inside ride line.

What Should You Do If You Run Into a Shear Like This in the Field?

I strongly suggest you click on the link below and hit the blue button!!!!!

(For a better look at this shear. Click on the image above to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sharpening Repair on a Left Hand Beauty Shear

Well, the videos are up and here is the post I promised. I had a heck of a time with this pair of scissors. Quite a bit of inside work needed to be done, and the angles were all wrong. We got 'em fixed up pretty darn good though and it only took 3 YouTube videos to chronicle some of the sharpening. :) Let's have a look:

Before we start, if you're getting this via email and can't see the videos, click here.

Video 1: Sharpening the First Scissor Blade on the Hira-To®

Video 2: Finishing the Sharpening on the Hira-To® and Starting the Second Scissor Blade on the Ookami Gold®

Video 3: Finishing Up on the Ookami Gold® and Testing the Shear

In the videos you see I had to put a LOT of time into working the inside of the shear to reestablish a good inside ride line. In the future I need to do a video that really focuses on this.

I hope these videos help. If you have any questions please feel free to call me or email me, my contact info is in the sidebar on the right. Good sharpening! :)

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Getting That Lefty Repair Video Ready

I've been working on the Lefty Repair Video I mentioned on Jim Sharp yesterday. I have it all edited and I'm in the process of formatting it for YouTube. I hope to have it up on the Blog either tomorrow or Monday.

In the meantime though, I'd like you to review a video I uploaded to the Wolff YouTube Channel last year showing how to use the Wolff Convexing Clamp on the Ookami Gold® Sharpening system. You'll want to watch this because it goes into a little deeper detail on what I will be showing in the Ookami® convexing part of this upcoming video.

Can't view video? Click here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

New Website Training

David, Ryan, and I spent some time with our buddies at WorthWhile doing some Joomla and Wordpress training. This is all prep for a new website Wolff will be rolling out to promote the industrial shears they sell to the composites market. I'll let you know when the site is up and running and would like to know what you think of it. Be on the look out.

I also shot a new video the other day showing a repair I did on a true left hand beauty shear using the different Wolff sharpening units. That will be up sometime this weekend after I edit it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The New Kenchii Website!

Wowzers! Holy Smokes! Great Day in the Mornin'! Stellar work! These, among others, were some of the exclamatory statements I made when I logged onto Kenchii's newly designed website today. Eye catching, easy navigation, and great info makes this site a visual masterpiece that begs to be viewed. You've gotta see this! Here's the site address. Go look and let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

IPhone App Test

This is just a test to see how this new Blogpress app allows me to post here on Jim Sharp. I've been looking for a good app that will allow me to post on the fly using my iPhone. The two most important features I needed were text and pictures. We'll see how the writing comes out and this picture of my youngest practicing piano.

I hope everyone in the States had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The holiday season is now in full swing, so things will be getting even busier. I'll talk to you soon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sharp Edges Practice Shears Sale

Sharp Edges is selling a set of 11 Practice shears for $100 for a limited time. Give them a call at 217-422-0911. Be sure you tell them you heard about this on Jim Sharp! Act now, the sale will only last as long as supplies do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Google Boost

A question I get often from professional sharpeners is how can I advertise my local sharpening service effectively on search engines like Google. Well, it looks like a good answer has made an appearance. In this recent post on Mashable, Jolie O'Dell shares a write up she did for American Express OPEN Forum about Google Boost*; Google's new locally targeted, location-based marketing program. This looks like an excellent option for local sharpener to promote their websites.

If you have a website for your business I suggest you give this post a once over and see if this new Google program will work for you. Here is the link to that post on Mashable:

If you don't have a website for your business, we should talk. There are many benefits to having a site that I'd be glad to go over with you. Call me at 864-381-8697.

Image: Mashable

*Jim Sharp is in no way affiliated with Google Boost or Mashable. This post is informational only.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kenchii Holiday Sale!!

It's time for the holidays and Kenchii has put together a few discounted packages to celebrate. The prices listed below are the sales price for the Stylist. As a sharpener, you will get a special discount. I can't list that discount here, so give me or Wolff a call at 800-888-3832 to find out what your discount is. You also MUST be listed in Wolff's database as a sharpener to get the discounted price. If you are a stylist, and not a sharpener, give me a call at 864-381-8697 and I'll see if I can hook you up with a sharpener in your area that is selling this great line of shears. Here are the fliers and few descriptions:

Click on the Picture to Enlarge

The first kit is the Kenchii® Evolution Kit. The Evolution is a beautiful shear that normally sells for $448.00. From now until December 20th Kenchii® is offering this shear, plus a Kenchii® Swivel Razor and a 10-Pack of razor blades for just $298.00. Code: KEEV122010

You'll also see Kenchii® has their Future Starter Kit on sale. This kit normally sells for $405.00, but is on sale right now for just $249.00. It's a great deal for students and stylists alike. It also comes with a 10-Pack of razor blades that usually isn't included in the kit. Code: FSK122010

Click on the Picture to Enlarge

Above you'll see Kenchii® is offering their Matrix Shear with one of their top selling pouches. Shears and case together normally cost $480.00 to $510.00. Right now you get both for just $400.00. The Matrix is one of Kenchii's hottest sellers. Code: KEMA122010

Next in line is their K7 Even & Orka Deal. Both are dynamite shears, and if bought individually, would sell for $1000.00. Until the 20th they are on sale as a package for just $550.00. The K7 is a great shear, and the Orka is phenomenal. I can't say enough about the thinner, I sold one to my stylist and she swears it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is a great deal! Code: KEK7122010

Their are two other coupons listed above, so click on the flier to take a better look. When you call Wolff to order, be sure you have your coupon code handy. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Disappointing News

I have some disappointing news. Wolff's supplier for the LF Series Practice Beauty Shears has dried up. Wolff does have other practice shears they've replaced the LF Series Shears with for now to be sent out with machines, but they are no where near the quality of the old ones.

Wolff is on the hunt to find a suitable replacement if they can. I'll let you know what we find in the future, but for now; Wolff Practice Shears should not be sold as usable shears to your customers.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Business in the New Normal

I think Professor Jeff Cornwall hits the nail on the head in his August 16th post titled Survival Strategies the New Normal. He starts the article out saying:

Even the optimists are saying that we have at least two more years of economic stagnation. Other experts are warning of a possible double-dip recession.

There is even growing talk in some circles of America experiencing a "lost decade" in its economy. That refers to the 10-plus dismal years of economic doldrums suffered by Japan in the 1990s.

Recent employment and bank lending rate data seem to support a prolonged recession for small businesses.

So what does this "new normal" in our economy mean for entrepreneurs?

To read on, click here and jump down to the 5th paragraph. Professor Cornwall gives some good advice to anyone who is in or starting a new small business. Take a few moments and read the rest of his post.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just a Quick Hello and Video

I know it's been kinda quiet around here for a few weeks. I've been working on a number of projects that have taken up much of my time. I also wanted to let you know that I'll be heading out of town for most of September. Some of this we be to spend time with family, some will be work related.

I'll be shooting some new videos showing some of my work travels with my iPhone 4. This new tool (toy) is amazing. Check out the video I created below showing some of the goings-on at Wolff today. I shot this with the iPhone, edited it on the iMovie iPhone App, and then uploaded it directly to YouTube via the iPhone as well. It really is amazing the things we can do today.

By the way, the iPhone (or any other smart phone that shoots video) would be a great tool for you to collect video testimonials from your customers. Just sayin'. Enjoy the show:

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wolff Sharpening Show Pictures

Here are some long awaited Wolff Show pictures. Sorry for the delay, but I was slammed after the show and then was out of town the week after that. There is a full write up of the show in the August Issue of On The Edge.

Bill at the Wolff Table.

Mike doing an adjustment to a nipper.

There was never a time where Mike didn't have a crowd. :)

Dennis going over the testing procedures they use at the NBTSG.

George going over the ins-and-outs of the Lucky Hare Line with Bruce.

George doing the same with Robert and Chad.

The Nebraska Blades booth was also full all day. Everyone was glad to see Bob back at a Wolff Show.

Bonnie and Gene going over the Bonika Line of shears.

Randy from Shark Fin going over the benefits of the Shark Fin Shear design with Bruce. These two really know how to sell.

Joe going over the ProLine Shears with John.

This was a display that generated a lot of interest. Glen spent part of the show going over a new pressure tester Wolff has put together. It tests the poundage it takes a shear to cut through different mediums and then feeds that info to a graph on a computer. The graph shows any imperfections in the edge and grades the cut of the shear. Some really neat technology we've been working on to help industrial plants improve their sharpening.

Karen going over the ever popular Kenchii line.

Just an aerial shot of the vendor room.

Bob going over clipper blade sharpening in our seminar room.

Interested sharpeners.

Ryan, David Wolff's youngest daughter's fiancee, did a great job running our camera for the presentations.

Bob doing some Q & A.

Mike demonstrating the Nipper Sharpener.

Bruce sharing his story about how he got into sharpening.

Bruce is one of the top selling sharpeners I know and he came to share some tips with us. He did a dynamite job!

Here I am doing a little Q & A.

Thanks to all of you that attended the show. It was great to see everyone and I had nothing but good reviews from those that came. In fact, here is a quick look at part of a letter sent by a sharpener that has been wrestling with going full time with his sharpening business:

"I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the show in S.C. this past weekend. I bought my sharpening business from a family friend a few years back and have been working it part time ever since. I'm a welder by trade and I'm eligible for full retirement soon, but haven't been able to take that step emotionally as of yet. I've been wonder just how well I could really do in my sharpening business if I focused on it full time.

My trip to the Wolff Show has been most helpful in convincing me that - yes, this is a viable business and there are many folks making a good living doing this work. I made a number of new friends that have offered to help me as I take the plunge into full time sharpening and this alone was worth the trip. Great people, great show. Thank you for all you do."

We are looking at putting together the next Wolff Show. Keep and eye on Jim Sharp. As soon as I have a date and place I'll let you know. If things pan out with a place we're looking at right now, I may have info within the next two weeks.

Remember, if you'd like to see a full show write up, visit or call me at 864-909-3381 to find out more about On The Edge.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Wolff Show is this Weekend

The Wolff Show is this weekend. If you'd like to follow some of the goings-on, a good place to do so will be my Twitter Page. Here's a link that will get you there:


Sharpening with the Ookami Gold® Convexing Clamp

As promised, here is the video showing how to sharpen with the Ookami Gold® Convexing Clamp. This clamp makes sharpening a convex edge on a beauty shear fast and easy. Let me know what you think.

Ookami Gold® Convexing Clamp Sharpening System Video from Wolff Industries on Vimeo.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wolff and Bonika Shears

Wolff and Bonika Shears
Wolff is now carrying Bonika® Shears. That's right folks, Wolff and Bonika are teaming up.

What does this mean?
What it means is any Bonika® brand shear available from Bonika, can now be bought through Wolff. As Wolff continues to make itself the one-stop-shop for beauty shears, we a proud to say we're carrying this popular line.

Will it cost me more to buy from Wolff?
Nope! Not at all! You get the same sharpener's price from Wolff as you would if you ordered the shear directly from Bonika.

What's my discount?
Well now...I'd be glad to tell you, but not here on this public forum. Give Wolff a call at 800-888-3832 and they will have all the numbers for you.

I've never sold the Bonika® Line before.
If you're unfamiliar with the line, that's another great reason to contact Wolff to ask for a flier or you can visit the Bonika website at to see what hey have to offer.

The Bonika® Line has been around for sometime now and Bonika has done a great job marketing this product. Because they've done such a good job marketing, many of the stylists you talk to on your route will know this line; and that makes them easier to sell. Let me know if you have any questions. Keep an eye out for the fliers, they will be in your boxes when you place an order. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stress & Start Ups

Many sharpeners start their businesses part-time. Not an easy thing to do. Sometimes you're tired at the end of your regular work day, other things come up, and more often than not; it adds extra stress to your life. This last point is important to think about and prepare for. Stress affects health, we all know that; the trick is balancing work/ambition/stress when your starting something like a part-time sharpening business.

One of my friends on Twitter passed a link to a great blog post that talks about the importance of maintaining your health while working on a start up business like sharpening. It's filled with good advice and I think you should take a few minutes and give it a read.

To be successful at sharpening, you need to be healthy. This post will help you stay that way, even during the stressful time of starting things up. Here's the link:

Image: alancleaver

Friday, June 25, 2010

Give Me the Worst Pair of Shears You've got.

I had a student say to me one time, "I go into every shop I can find and say give me the worst pair of shears you have and I'll make them cut." He then asked, "What do you think about that?"

I said, "Well...I think that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life." (With a smile on my face of course)

He laughed and asked why. So I asked, "What happens if they give you a shear like the one in this picture?" (Click on the picture for a better look)

He went on to tell me that he did in fact get a shear almost exactly like this one once. An upholsterer went outside to the dumpster and pulled an old carbon steel shear out of the bottom he had noticed the day before. So I asked, "Were you able to make it cut?"

My student said yes, but he worked on the shear for over an hour and then didn't charge anything for it. Now he did get the account, so that's good, but at what cost? I told him there was a better way if he was interested. He said he was. So I said, "Wouldn't it have been better to walk in and say give me the best pair of shears you have and I"ll make them cut better?"

I'm not pushing arrogance or cockiness here, I'm pushing toward the realm of confidence; although you do need to be careful because there's a fine line between the two. If all you can get to prove you can sharpen from a potential to customer is junk, then take the junk and make it better. But if you REALLY want to make an impression, shoot for getting what's good and then make it awesome.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Filming, Filming, Filming...

Spent the whole day filming a new Ookami Gold® video today. When I loaded it into the editing program, guess what! It was waaaay too dark and apparently the mic was directly under my nose. Sounds like Darth Vader trying to teach sharpening. :) Back to the drawing board tomorrow. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How Long Have You Been Sharpening?

I had a fellow sharpener that's new to the business send me an email about an obstacle he's been running up against as he knocks on doors. Bet you've run into the same thing from time-to-time. The obstacle was this question, "How long have you been sharpening?"

New sharpeners panic when they hear this because they wonder how they can answer honestly without being shown the door. Well there are a couple of ways I usually suggest new sharpeners handle this question. One involves demonstration, the other involves humor. I'll be doing a write up on this in next months On The Edge Newsletter. If you'd like to find out more about On The Edge, give me a call at 864-381-8697 or visit

Image: aidanmorgan

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Next Wolff Show

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Wolff Show in Greenville, South Carolina on July 17th and 18th is officially sold out. Wolff is starting a waiting list though, so if you'd still like to try to come be sure to call right away. The higher up you are on the waiting list the better chance you have of getting a seat.

I will be sitting down with David and Bill this next week to put together the show schedule. I will list it here when it's done. I look forward to see all of you that signed up. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sharpening Pinking Shears

I've been getting a number of questions on sharpening Pinking Shears lately, so I uploaded this video the other day to the Jim Sharp Blog YouTube Channel. Not real happy with the quality (I shot it with Wolff's Flip Mino HD), but it will do the trick for now. Let me know if you have any questions concerning the procedures in this video. I'll see about shooting a better quality one in the future.

If you are receiving this by email and having trouble viewing this, click here to view the video.

If you're in the market for any of the Wolff  sharpening machines, be sure to give me a call before you buy. I know all the best places to buy at the best price! Call 864-381-8697 or email me at

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Stainless Steel

As you can imagine, stainless steel is a topic that comes up a lot throughout my day. What grade? What's the hardness? What makes one steel better than another? What happens when you mix different metals? All good questions. So where can you go to find some answers? Right here on the internet.

One of the great things about living in the 21st century is that information is no further away that the touch of a few buttons. Is all the information solid and reputable? Maybe not, but it's there. Just be sure when you read anything on the web that you go into it with the mindset of chewing up the meat and spiting out the bones, but I digress.

One of my students called me the other day and ask me to point him in the right direction when it comes to researching stainless steel. I sent him a few links and wanted to pass them on to you too. Here are the three I sent:

Stainless Steel
Rockwell Hardness
Fun Video Comparing Steel to Cake

Take a look at these sites and others like them. One of the most important things you can do as a professional sharpener is keep yourself informed. Let me know what you learn, and if you have any questions, I'm just an email away. :)

Image : underclasscameraman

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


IT'S SHOW TIME!!! That's right folks! Time again for another Wolff Show!

Where? Good ol' Greenville, South Carolina. It's one town over from the Wolff Headquarters in Spartanburg and a great place to visit. To check out some of the things to see and do in one of my favorite places on earth, click here.

When? July 17th - 18th, 2010. I'll have a full schedule for you soon.

Which hotel is this? The Greenville/Spartanburg Airport Marriott. For more info on the hotel itself, click here.

How much? That's the great part! It's only costs $89.00 to attend all the seminars and gain access to the vendor room. To book your seat, call Wolff at 800-888-3832. Don't wait too long though! Seating is limited to only 46! So if you want to come, sign up right away! If you choose to stay at the hotel, they've given Wolff a special room rate of $89.00 per night on a limited number of rooms. To see what the rooms look like, click here. To book a room, call 864-297-0300 and ask for the Wolff Industries Rate while these rooms are still available.

What's gonna go on? Let me tell ya...

Sharpening on Wolff Equipment
I'll be doing some indepth training on the Hira-To®, the Ookami Gold®, and the Twice as Sharp®. I'll also be showing how the Corru-Gator and Rotary Blade Sharpeners work as well. Throughout all of these seminars I'll be peppering in some shears that...well...let's just say they'll be "fun" to work on in front of a group *shuddering already*. So whether you're a newbie or a seasoned sharpener, you'll find my presentations interesting.

Clipper Blade Sharpening
As of right now, Bob Schiessl plans to be at the show to go over clipper blade sharpening with you. Bob's been at this for over 20 years and I've seen him teach people more tricks in a hour than most sharpeners could teach a person in a week.

Nipper Sharpening
Mike Borsch will show all of us how to put his nipper sharpener to work. More and more we're seeing Day Spas pop up that offer one stop shopping for beauty needs. That means more places will appreciate it if you can service nail techs as well as stylists. Come learn how.

Up Your Income with more Sales
One of Wolff's top selling sharpeners will be at the show to share some of the methods he uses to sell shears every day; three to five shear or more per day as a matter of fact and how you can do this too. He set a business goal this past year in the six figures and beat it! Whether you're looking to sell shears, or just yourself, Bruce will teach you a number of tips and trick you can take to the bank, literally.

Separate Vendor Room
For the first time since Wolff has started doing these smaller shows, we'll have all of our supporting vendors in a separate room from the seminars. So if you'd like to spend a little more time looking at some of the lines of shears we carry, or some of the other equipment Wolff sells besides our own, you can visit with the owners and representatives of those companies at your leisure. The vendors that plan to be at the show as of this writing are:
  • Wolff
  • Nebraska Blades
  • Clipper Shack
  • Kenchii Shears
  • Shark Fin Shears
  • Lucky Hare Shears
  • ProLine Shears
More are signing up as I can get in touch with them. I'll be sure to update you on this in the future. This room will also be open late on Saturday night so you can play with the machines, look at products, and socialize with us.

Wolff has set the standard in this industry when it comes to sharpening shows! Everyone that's attended in the past has had nothing but praise for the quality of the education, the time and attention Wolff and it's supporting vendors give each attendee during the show, and the fun and fellowship they get to have with their fellow sharpeners. One of my favorite parts about my job at Wolff is putting together these shows. Come join me and find out what sets the Wolff Shows apart. Call me 800-888-3832 or email me at if you have questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Image of Greenville at top of post provided by linkerjpatrick via

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Scissors Sharpening Class: Sizing Tips on the Hira-To® Flat Hone

I received a request a while back from a fellow scissors sharpener asking me to show how to match tips on a flat hone. What he meant by matching tips is sometimes you'll find a shear with one blade that is slightly longer than the other. For the blades to cut properly the tips need to match up. You correct this by grinding the tips back until they're even. There also will come a time when you'll need to flatten the tips of the shears down because they've become too pointy after numerous sharpenings. You'd use the same techniques I show on the Wolff Twice as Sharp® and the Wolff Hira-To® Flat Hone in the video below to do this as well. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Scissor Sharpening Class: Sharpen Left Hand Shears on the Hira-To® Flat Hone

Yup. It's been a little while. Sorry about that, but every once and a while I need a little sabbatical from all the writing I do. Especially when I'm in the middle of a big new website project like the one I'm working on right now. (I'll tell you more about that in the future)

Anyway, time to jump back in the saddle and get going again. I few weeks ago I shot a video showing how to sharpen true left hand shears on the Wolff Hira-To® Scissors Sharpening System. A number of people have already viewed the video, but I wanted to post it here for you to view as well.

In this video, I show you how to set your Hira-To® fixture up to sharpen either right or left hand shears. I also show you how to tell the difference between a right handed shear and a true left hand one. If you have any questions concerning any part of this video, please call me at 800-888-3832 or 864-909-3381 and leave a message with your phone number and email. If you'd like to email me a question, my email is

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Scissors Sharpening Class: Fixing a BAD Set Problem

I shot the video below over a week ago and I've been intending to write about this, but it's been so busy I've had a hard time getting away. Finally things have slowed down just a little, so here is a run down of what brought this video about.

A scissor sharpener called me and asked if I might be able to help him with a problem. He had made a mistake on one of his machines and damaged the blade of one of his customers shears. He said it was bent and didn't feel he could fix it. Seemed like a challenge, so I told him to send it on.

When I received it I saw what he meant! Boy was this shear bent in a bad spot!!! Right at the early entry! In fact, it was bend so badly it almost looked like the shear had a full bend of set in it, but in the wrong direction. I did my best to let you see this in the video below, so I'm going to send you there to view what the blade looked like and what I had to do to fix it. So watch the video now, then read the rest.

If you are receiving this post by email and having trouble viewing the video, click here.

As I said in the video, I had to do some more work to finish this shear; so I went into the sharpening training center and started to resharpen it. While doing so though, I noticed that there was a snake in the blade (this is a bend in the blade that looks like an S) about a 1/4" back from the tip. The blade also looked fatigued so I really didn't want to do a lot of bending on it because I knew it would break. I did a few test passes over my water stone after I bent as much of the snake out of the blade as I dared, but I still didn't have the shear set to the point where I could hone a consistent rideline without causing an unsightly wave. Fortunately, I had a trick up my sleeve, the Ookami Honing Blocks.

These blocks are much more forgiving than water stones and coming in handy when you have a shear with inconsistent set problems. I worked the inside of the blades on these blocks, reformed an acceptable rideline, and then polished and reassembled the shear. It cut well when I was done.

All in all I had about 50 minutes in this shear. A little too long for my taste. If I had run into a shear that was damaged this bad in the field I would have sold the customer a new one. Remember, I often say that there's a big difference between scissors repair and scissors maintenance. Repair takes a lot longer and is less profitable and often a heavily damaged shear just isn't worth saving, but working on shears like this is also part of the fun and learning experience in the business of scissors sharpening. While this may not have been a profitable 50 minutes, imagine if I had been a sharpener trying to get into a salon and someone handed me a challenge like this. When I fixed it, do you think that would carry some weight? You bet it would!

Having the right tools and knowledge is essential if your goal is to become a successful sharpener, and two tools in particular saved the day in this case; the scissors press and the Ookami Honing Block Kit. Concerning the knowledge side of this equation, dealing with a problem shear like this requires sharpening training and/or years of experience. This kind of training is something I can help you with. So if you'd like to find out more about the sharpening training I offer, give me a call at Wolff at 800-888-3832 or email me at Also know that I'm available for sharpening support as well. So please call or email me if you have questions concerning anything I did in this post, or with any other sharpening questions you may have.

If you're in the market for any of the Wolff  sharpening machines, be sure to give me a call before you buy. I know all the best places to buy at the best price! Call 864-381-8697 or email me at

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

See How to Sharpen Nippers

Since Wolff has started carrying the Nipper Sharpener I've had a number of questions about how the unit works. One the easiest ways I could think of to answer some of these questions was to put one of the manufacturer's YouTube videos on Jim Sharp. Take a look at how this unit works and let me know if you have any questions. My number is 800-888-3832 if you need me.

If you are receiving this by email, click here to view the video.

The price for this unit is $1295.00 for the 110 volt unit, and $1495.00 for the 220 volt unit.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kenchii's new Hearts on Fire Shear

Kenchii has a new shear called the Hearts On Fire. It is a unique model and the industries very first red titanium coated shear. It's now available in Level 3 material on the beauty side and a Level 2 version of the Hearts On Fire model will be released at the Atlanta Pet Fair for Groomers.

Here are some of the specs:

Beauty Shear
Material: Level 3
MSRP: $279.00 all sizes
Edge: Semi Convex
Sizes available: 5, 5.5, 6 and 32 teeth thinner.
Offers: Deep Red coating with beautiful hearts vines pattern.
Extra comfortable Anatomical thumb.
Extra Slim tension dial assembly for easy adjustment.
Exceptional balance and feel.

Grooming Shear
Material LEVEL 2
MSRP: $189.00
Edge: Semi Convex
Sizes Available: 7, 8, 9 straight and curved and 44 teeth thinner
Also available in 3 pcs sets which includes 8" straight, 8" curved and 44 teeth thinners
Lefty Models available: 8" straight, 8" curved and 44 teeth thinners
Offers: Deep Red coating with beautiful heart & vines pattern.
Extra comfortable Anatomical thumb.
Durable matching tension dial assembly for easy adjustment.
Exceptional balance and feel.

This is an awesome looking shear! Email me at if you have any questions about it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Scissors Sharpening: Proper Pass Across the Twice as Sharp®

This may seem elementary, but I wanted to make this video because it will give me a place to send sharpeners when they struggle with this issue. A couple of problems I see when sharpeners sharpen either low-end grooming or barber shears on the Twice as Sharp®, is they either gouge out the early entry of a shear or they round the tips. This is just a short video showing how to keep from doing this.

If you're viewing this via email, click here to view the video.

Monday, February 22, 2010

One Thing I Use Twitter For

Here is a link to some of the posts I put on Twitter that may interest you as a sharpener or small business person:

Tweets for Sharpeners

I use Twitter as a spring board to share small business info with friends and followers that I find on the internet. To follow me on Twitter, click here.

Image: shawnzlea

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Colored Hardware for Wolff Beauty Shears

How many of you are selling Wolff Economy Line Shears now? How many of you knew Wolff had an Economy Line of shears, among others, you COULD sell? Well, if you didn't know, you know now. And if you do sell the line, this video will show you a few ways you can dress the Economy Line shears up a little.

I tried to think of a number of creative ways I could discuss the price of these shears and the colored hardware with you in a public space like this, but couldn't come up with one. So I'm going to have to ask that you call in to Wolff to find out price an part numbers. Wolff's number is 800-888-3832. Also, please remember that this hardware is for Wolff shears. It may, or may NOT, be compatible with other brands.

I'm sorry that this didn't come out clearer. My black demonstration table was NOT the best choice to shoot this video on. :(

If you are receiving this post via email, click here to view the video.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Tool to Help Scissors Sharpeners Fix Rusty Shears

As scissors sharpeners we have all run into shears that are tarnished or discolored. Many industrial shears are made with carbon steel and they are especially prone to discoloring and rusting. Many grooming shears are made with carbon steel as well, although most of them are made with 420 stainless steel with a mix of high carbon. This fights off rust and tarnish to a degree, but not fully.

In the video below, I show a neat tool that sharpeners can use to clean up shears like this quickly and easily. It is called the Rust Eraser and is available from Wolff Industries for just $5.51. Take a look below and see how simple it is to remove discoloration from shears and clipper blades with a few flicks of the wrist. If you'd like to give the Rust Eraser a try, you can order it online by clicking here, or you can call Wolff at 800-888-3832.

If you're receiving this post by email, click here to view the video.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clipper Blade Sharpeners: New Clipper Blade Test Scale

One of the fun things about this business is watching all the innovation that takes place. I've seen many a sharpener create some pretty cool tools that help them do their job better and faster. This past week, I had the chance to play with a new tool that fits this bill, Sharp Edges' new Clipper Blade Test Scale.

This new tool will allow you to test the number of pounds per square inch it takes to move the cutter on a clipper blade. Why is this important? If the tension on the cutter is too week, the blade won't cut. If the tension is too tight, the blade will wear faster, overheat, and run the clipper too hard.

As sharpeners, many of us use small cooking or postal weight scales to test the poundage on clipper blades. Sharp Edges' new tool will change that though. Take a look at how this nifty tool works in the video below. During the video I mention that there's a 10% discount offered on this product until the end of February 2010. You have to mention that you saw the Blade Scale on Jim Sharp to get the discount though! So be sure to tell them you saw this here! Sharp Edges number is 217-422-0911. Let me know what you think.

If you have trouble viewing this video or if it's not showing through in your email, click here.

Be sure to visit Sharp Edges and Hamaguri USA online! Here are the links:

If you're in the market for any of the Wolff  sharpening machines, be sure to give me a call before you buy. I know all the best places to buy at the best price! Call 864-381-8697 or email me at

Friday, January 29, 2010

Live Steam for Scissors Sharpeners

This is just a quick video that shows why I live stream from my office most days. I NEVER would have gotten this fellows order right if I couldn't have shown him the machine to figure out what was broken. English was his second language and we were having trouble getting on the same page. A video, like a picture, can sometimes be worth a 1000 words. To see the part where I show the machine to my customer, click in the progress bar between the play/pause arrow and the time clock until you get about 4 minutes into the video. The sweet spot is a little more than half way along the bar. I tried to trim the clip, but couldn't load the video into my editing program in a recognizable format.

Drop by and visit me online during my work day. The address for my live stream is:

You won't be able to talk to me through this connection, but the is a chat box you can use to say hi or ask a question. Check it out when you have a chance.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nipper Sharpening

On Monday of this week I had the chance to spend some time with Mike and Pam Borsch from Clipper Shack. Mike came to show me the ins-and-outs of sharpening nippers on the Clipper Shack Nipper Sharpening System. Wolff has recently started carrying this unit and since we sell it now, I wanted to get a better feel for how to operate it.

I had a great time with Mike and was glad to see that they had a nice time at Wolff too. Take a look at the quick email they sent me.

It was very nice to get to meet everyone at Wolff. We enjoyed our visit at Wolff Industries, and your Spartanburg facility is very impressive. You have a training room to die for! Your work environment is professional, but also fun and delightful. Both Mike and I were impressed!

We could tell that everyone who works at Wolff really cares about the company and its products. And all your products you carry at wolff are really great. I feel all sharpeners should take the time to go to Wolff Industries and see all the Wolff products as well as get the chance to meet the caring folks who stand behind the products. (you all are a great bunch of people)

In our opinion, sharpeners who travel to Wolff Industries to see all the products and the Wolff Sharpening facility, will gain more sharpening knowledge, and will form new sharpening friendships as well.

Jim, Thank you so much for everything, we look forward to seeing you all again. When we returned home we find snow and tempatures back in the teens. So really, your weather in SC is wayyyy better than ours!

Mike and Pam Borsch

Thanks for the kind words guys! Glad you came and I learned a lot. I look forward to doing more with you in the future.

If you'd like to find out more about the nipper sharpener, give me a call at 864-909-3381. If you'd like to talk about purchasing any of the Wolff scissors sharpening units, give me a call at 864-909-3381, tell me you're calling because you're a Jim Sharp reader, and I'll see if I can do something special for you. Thanks for reading! And don't forget to subscribe by email. To find out how, click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Online Shark Fin® Catalog

You need to take a look at this great new online catalog Shark Fin® just put out! It's almost like having the paper version sitting right on your desk. Here is a link:

Wolff sells the Shark Fin® line of shears, so if you're interested in this product give me a call at 864-909-3381 or email me at

If you want to see an example of how this online catalog works, watch this short video below:

If you'd like an actual hard copy of the catalog, just give Joyce a call at Wolff at 800-888-3832.

Also! Be sure to subscribe to Jim Sharp via email. To find out more, click here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Subscribe to Jim Sharp via Email

This is just a quick post letting you know that you can now subscribe to Jim Sharp and get instant updates whenever I add new content to this blog. It's easy to sign up.

All you have to do is type your email address into the "Subscribe via Email" box in the upper right corner of the blog, hit the subscribe button, and then retype a code word that feedburner will give you to start your feed.

Once you've done that, feedburner will send you an email to the account you entered asking you to verify that you want emails from Jim Sharp. Click on the link they send you, and that's it. You should start receiving an email whenever I update Jim Sharp.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a ring at 864-909-3381 or email me at

PS - Just so you know, I'm trusting this will work. I've subscribed to my own feed, so I should know for sure whether I set everything up right once I post this. If you subscribe, and have any issues, please email my right away and I do my best to take care of them.

Image: jaysee_pingkian

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stylists will pay SOMEONE to sharpen their shears. Will that someone be you?

Stylists will pay someone to sharpen their shears. Will that someone be you? I mean really, at some point every stylist you talk to (or groomer, or tailor, or upholsterer) will eventually need to have their shears sharpened. They all go dull, so you can count on this being true. The question is, will these customers think of you when the time comes?

Now, I know you can make money cold calling every day and finding the ones that need the work done right then. Sharpening is somewhat of a numbers game and to some degree your success is tied to the needs of the moment. But if you really want to grow. If you really want to make money. You have to make yourself valuable to your customers and make it easy for them to connect with you. So...what are you doing to make yourself valuable? Hopefully you're providing your customers with unforgettable, top notch service! But what are you doing to stay connected? Here are a few suggestions you may want to consider incorporating into your business if you aren't doing them already:

Have good sales/marketing materials
Now I'm not just talking about just a full color brochure, I'm talking about having a full gambit of tools. These would include:
  • A well designed business card with up-to-date contact info including cell phone, website or blog or facebook fan page.
  • A website or blog or facebook fan page. Probably saw this second bullet point coming :)
  • A well designed sales/marketing packet. The brochure mentioned above would go in this, but so would price lists, catalogs of shears you carry, fliers with information about route schedules, and extra business cards for friends.
Have a way to collect contact information
First and foremost, collect business cards! Almost all your customers will have one, and the majority of them will be happy to give you one if you ask.

Check and see if there's an email address on the card. If there is, ask if you can use the email address to contact them via email to share route schedules and/or any specials you may be running on products you sell. Make a note on the card if they give you the okay.

If there isn't an email on the card, ask if you may have one. With today's cellular technology, if they say yes, collecting contact information like this is easy. Just punch the info into your smart phone, then sync it with your computer when you get home. Don't have mobile cellular technology that allows you to do this? Why not? If you're a mobile sharpener any mobile tools that can help you be more efficient and stay in touch with your customers is a good investment. Consider upgrading.

Finally, ask your customer if they are on facebook. If they are, point out your facebook fan page on your card and ask them to become a fan. Tell them this is another way you keep customers informed of schedules and specials.

Stay in touch
Once you have contact info, be sure to contact them. Put together a simple postcard you can send to customers that don't want to be contacted by email or facebook. If you get the customers email, enter it into your database and send a quick email thanking them for their info. Then send a short email once a week with updates. Make sure the email you send has a signature line with your cell number, email address, and any links to online sites you're using. Also, be sure to pay attention to your facebook fan page if you choose to start one. When someone becomes a fan, be sure to say thank you and update this site regularly. If you do a blog or website, do the same. People only come back to sites on line if there's something to come back to.

This seems like a lot of work
It is a lot of work, but in the long run it will pay off big time. Maintaining a presence online or maintaining a database and staying on top of it to use them to effectively communicate with your customers takes a certain level of dedication, I admit that. But staying in front of your customers consistently is the only sure fire way that I know of to be the first Sharpener they think of when they need their shears sharpened, or a new set of shears to play with. Why not look into some of the tools to stay in touch with your customers in quick and easy ways like email and facebook.

If you have questions about these things, drop me an email at or call me at 864-909-3381. I'll be glad to walk you through the steps to do these things or point you toward good books or websites if you'd like to study this further.

Image: flavinsky

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is Good Customer Service a Must?

What's the value of customer service? Can it be measured? To a point...yes. Can it make or break a sale? You bet! Will most people pay extra if they feel the service is worthwhile? Definitely! So why don't more companies and salespeople make it a practice to provide good quality, helpful customer service?

We just had the opportunity to experience the Ying and Yang of the customer service conundrum here at Wolff. It involved two cell phone companies and one fantastic young lady.

The Old
The company that was providing our cellular service was recently purchased. The salesperson we had before the buyout was excellent. If we had a question, she knew the answer or was willing to get an answer for us. If we needed help, she was always there. Unfortunately, after the merger she was assigned to a different area. Since she's taken her new position it's been nearly impossible to get any real help when we have a need. She's tried to help from afar, but could only do so much from where she sits now.

Well, it was time this week to renew our cell phone contact, so we gave this new provider a call. After multiple attempts to contact the lady that was supposed to be our new salesperson, we finally had to call a higher-up and complain. That got a call from our salesperson and a date to meet. When we did meet though it was very disorganized. She had no phones in hand to look at, no thoughts on what she felt might fit Wolff's needs, and very little experence in the realm of cellular service for a business. Needless to say, we were disappointed, so we did some shopping around.

Out With the Old and In With the New
After making some calls, visiting some providers, and asking a lot of questions, we finally came across a breath of fresh air. Her name was Corie Seay. When we walked into her store she immediately took us under her wing and showed us all the newest technology that she felt would be a help to Wolff. She then set up an appointment to come visit Wolff and bring some other phones she though we might like. When she came for the visit, she had all her ducks in a row, phones in hand, and a colleague she felt might be of help to us as well.

After reviewing all she had and asking a few more questions, we signed on with her. Well, we signed on with AT&T that is, but really we signed on with her. She went out of her way to meet every need we had. She did a bunch of legwork prior to coming over to set up our new phones. And when she couldn't get everything done on the day came, she came the next day and finished even though it was her day off. Whoever may be reading this at AT&T, you have a truly wonderful asset in Corie. She was polite, good natured, and unbelievably helpful and knowledgeable. She should be commended.

So What's My Point?
My point is, it didn't have to be this way. If the company that bought the old company we were using had just taken a little time to actually help us, we'd most likely still be with them. Because they didn't care, we moved on; and as far as I can tell, we have no plans of returning.

Customer service is important! It's what will separate us from the competition. It's what will make both existing and potential customers stand up, say wow, and sing our praises to their friends. What are you doing to provide great service to your customers? Are you wowing them? Are you giving them things to talk about? Corie inspired me talk. Make it a goal every day to inspire your customers to do the same!

For the sake of disclosure, neither AT&T or any of their employees asked me to write this post. I wrote this because these compliments were earned and were a good example for Jim Sharp readers.