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William Whiteley hammer head scissors marking

Sally’s Blog: Marking Scissors

Marking Scissors

Do you know how people personalised and identified the type of scissors in the old days?

Although marking scissors might not sound like a particularly exciting subject, it has become very important as the customer/user needs to know what the scissors are used for, who made them – i.e. Whiteley or Wilkinson, what year they were made and sometimes the name of the scissors. Also, in recent days they have the name of the person who has bought them or been given them as a gift.


The first marked scissors I have come across had a mark made by hammering metal type, one letter/number at a time into the metal area around the screw.

Marking Scissors - A mark made by hammering metal type, one letter/number.

The next generation of marks were made by cutting a mirror image of whatever the mark was to say. This meant that the marking tool was prepared with a mirror image of the mark protruding from what resembled a hammer head and banged into the metal so that there was a readable, indented mark.

William Whiteley made in Sheffield Scissors Marking
William Whiteley hammer head scissors marking

This method gave way to using an electro-etch procedure. The electro-etch machine worked like this: A slim, small but tough gauze had the design of the required mark in it, a conductive fluid was pumped through it when it had full contact with the metal scissors.

An electric current was passed through the fluid when the gauze was in place which left a mark in the scissor blade. This worked quite well, but the gauzes didn’t last very long, having to be replaced regularly.

We make dozens of different types of scissors, so lots of gauzes, all different, had to renewed regularly. The marks were good and looked nice, but a lot of fiddly work and a lot of time was used up.

Electro-etch machine with long history for marking scissors.

The evolution of marking scissors – laser marking

Currently, we use laser machines, which are very speedy to set up We use Lego to keep the scissors in place – this makes everybody laugh but is very versatile! Recently, we have acquired a much more versatile laser which will mark just about anything and cut out shapes for various arrangements of packing, presentation cards and many other uses.

A lot of customers ask for a short message to be lasered on the blades of the scissors –“Hands off my Shears” has been asked for a number of times! Mostly, it is the name of the new owner of the scissors, all of which makes a particularly nice, individual gift!

Morden and premium handmade scissors with laser marking.

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