​Part 1 of Understanding Your Scissor Parts.... Bumpers and Rings

If a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s get on the same page in some terminology for scissor parts, specifically bumpers and insert rings. Since both of these can be expressed as those “plastic things in the finger holes,” I grouped them together. I think it would be helpful to you to know the names I call various repair parts sharpeners purchase and I would be interested to know if any of the readers have other names for these parts.

I will start with bumpers. I have heard these called silencers, black balls and spacers. The standard, accepted name in the USA is bumpers. There are two basic types used in repair (others exist in the market but rarely need replacing).

The traditional “Pull through” bumper is usually plastic or rubber and comes in a variety or colors and sizes. It has two parts, the head and the tail. They are often measured in millimeters which equates to the size of the head of the bumper as a space between the handle but doesn’t tell you much about the thickness of the shaft, shape of the head, etc. Amongst these are round head bumpers, cone head bumpers and flat-top bumpers. The bumper tail can be tapered as in the white bumper below or graduated as in the other bumpers.

There are also “screw-in” bumpers that normally come in two standard sizes measured by the size of the screw, not the size of the head. It is a small screw with a plastic cap on top. 

screw in bumper

These plastic caps are also available and are called “bumper caps.”

bumper caps

Rings also called insert rings and finger sizers can come in a variety of colors, sizes and thicknesses, This is the ring that goes inside a finger and thumb hole to make the ring smaller and the ring more comfortable in the hand. Often they are sold in bags of 3 with 3 different sizes. Some are very tiny designed to go inside another finger ring. Other finger rings are very thick and size down the ring. We usually call them “thick rings”, “plastic rings,” or “tiny rings.” Sizes will vary with the manufacturer and can be measured by a ring sizer which tells you the inner dimension of a ring rather than the outer dimension. Unless you are ordering a specific insert ring to go into a particular shear, it is best to order an assortment of sizes, colors and styles to be ready. Below are a photo of the 6 pack rings and a photo of the thick style rings. Note some rings, both thick and regular can be hard or soft. Hard rings that are difficult to insert inside a finger hole can be softened using the head from a dryer. Also, thick rings and be cut down to fit a small finger hole and will stay in nicely. Regular style rings are hard to cut down to fit a small hole comfortably.

Additionally there are “glitter rings” with flecks of glitter in the plastic. Others are a solid color and then some rings are translucent. In my experience, stylists will often take longer to choose their rings that it takes to select a pair of shears to buy.

Rings sizers insert rings

12th Jan 2015 By Bonnie Megowan

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