Most anglers will tell you that the best types of fishing equipment are those that are not only effective but also allow you to focus on the fishing since that is the ultimate goal. The same applies to tying flies and tools like fly tying scissors are an essential part of your fly tying kit.
However, choosing the best pair of fly tying scissors isn't as easy as it should be because they aren't quite as important as your fly fishing rod, for example. The problem here is that there are so many different options you can choose from.
While many factors can come into play when the time comes for you to make that decision, there are only two things you need to remember: the pair of scissors should be comfortable, and they should allow you to focus on what you intend to tie. With that in mind, here are some of the best fly-tying scissors on the market today.
Fly Tying Scissor Reviews
There are several good reasons these Dr. Slick Tungsten Carbide Scissors have taken the best overall spot on this list. They are made out of tungsten carbide, which is a material that is at least three times stronger than stainless steel. That alone makes this one of the most durable pairs of fly tying scissors on this list.
These Dr. Slick fly tying scissors also stay extremely sharp for a very long time - another quality attributed to the fact that they are made of tungsten carbide.
Furthermore, this pair of scissors is designed to handle tough material. It has serrated blades suited to handle a wide range of fly tying materials. These Dr. Slick Tungsten fly tying scissors also have large loops or handles that provide a better and more comfortable grip.
These Westcott 2-Inch Embroidery Scissors are one of the most affordable fly tying scissors on the list. Even though they are one of the more affordable options, this pair of scissors punch way above their weight class by offering incredible performance.
Made using titanium-bonded material, these Westcott embroidery scissors prove tough and durable. The titanium bonded material they are made from is three times tougher and more durable than stainless steel.
Featuring smooth, sharp, and relatively short blades, this is the kind of tool to have when you need to achieve small and precise cuts. These Westcott scissors also feature large contoured soft-grip handles, making them more comfortable to use.
3. Dr Slick Hair Scissors - Best Serrated Option
If you are looking for a durable and reliable pair of serrated fly tying scissors, these Dr Slick Hair Scissors make an excellent option. They feature a 4.5-inch blade, ideal for people who love longer blades.
The pair of scissors is also heavy, and the long blades make them uniquely poised for tying large flies such as streamers. These Dr Slick scissors are capable of handling natural materials and most synthetics.
4. Loon Outdoors Razor Scissors - Best Knurled Tension Knob Option
The first thing you will notice about these Loon Outdoors Razor Scissors is the one thing that makes them special - a knurled tension knob. Unlike most of the other options on this list that come with pivot points already preset to a specific tension rating, this pair of scissors allows you to adjust the tension so that the blades can serve you as you would like them to serve you. That level of leverage is excellent for people who use different materials when fly tying.
These Loon razor scissors also have one serrated blade and one smooth blade, essentially giving you the best of both worlds. With this kind of set up, you can rest assured that any material you want to cut, hold, or trim will be kept in place, meaning that it won't slip out at the last minute, leaving you frustrated.
Finally, the grips of these Loon razor scissors are not only powder-coated, but are also ergonomic, making them extremely comfortable to use.
5. Dr Slick Razor Scissors - Best Sharp Option
We have included two pairs of fly tying scissors from Dr Slick on this list, and that should speak volumes to the level of confidence this brand inspires in the industry. Dr Slick has been delivering high-quality and highly reliable fishing equipment for a while now, and this pair of Dr Slick Razor Scissors is no exception.
This pair of fly tying scissors by Dr Slick have one thing that most don't offer on the market - adjustable tension. Even though we have already featured one with this feature, it's always a noteworthy addition to the most reliable fly tying scissors on the market.
That being said, this pair of scissors offers much more than just adjustable tension. These scissors have 4-inch serrated blades, making them ideal for cutting through natural and synthetic materials. The blades of these Dr Slick razor scissors are also designed to remain sharp for a long time.
Finally, they feature comfortable gold loops or handles synonymous with Dr Slick fly tying scissors. These handles allow you to comfortably work and focus on the fly tying as opposed to focusing on the tool itself.
Best Fly Tying Scissors - A Buyers' Guide
As you would imagine, any one of the aforementioned scissors would work perfectly for most anglers. The question now remains, would any of them work well for you? To determine that, you need to focus on a few factors that must be considered before you go shopping for fly tying scissors.
Here's a helpful buyer's guide that should help you find the best fly tying scissors for your specific needs.
This is the important part of the tool. Fly tying scissors have different types of blades, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages:
Smooth vs Serrated
If you are looking to cut thread, synthetics, hair, or delicate naturals and materials, you should consider getting a pair of fly tying scissors with a smooth edge. Even though this type of blade tends to push material outward, which, in turn, makes keeping the material in place quite difficult, they are also sharp and do a good job when it comes to overcoming material movement.
On the other hand, serrated blades are excellent as far as gripping material is concerned. The idea behind this kind of blade is that, since these blade types have less contact with the material being tied than smooth blades, serrated blades tend to apply more pressure to deliver a sharper cut.
Overall, serrated blades tend to make a good pair of fly tying scissors when you want something that can deliver better all-around performance. They are ideal for cutting heavy or coarse materials and silky synthetics. It comes down to the kind of fly you intend to tie and the kind of material you will be using.
Straight vs Curved
Straight blades are ideal for trimming and cutting, while curved blades are perfect for cutting curves and more precision trimming.
Short vs Long
The typical fly tying scissor blade lengths range from 6-inches to 2-inches. If you intend to make small, strong cuts, such as cutting thread or trimming feathers, a shorter blade is ideal. However, longer blades will do the trick if you intend to make large cuts, such as lengthy material strips or elk hair.
Steel vs Tungsten Carbide
Most fly tying scissors are made of different types of steel, including ice-tempered stainless steel, Japanese stainless steel, surgical stainless steel, and Swiss stainless steel. Scissors made out of this kind of steel are strong and durable.
There are other options made of tungsten carbide. This material is so hard and durable that only a diamond can scratch it. While it is more durable and stays sharper for longer than scissors made of stainless steel, they are also more expensive.
Finger Holes and Handles
This is where comfort comes into play. There are many different types and shapes of fly tying scissors, and the one you choose should work best with the type of fingers you have and your fly tying skills. There are even scissors that have adjustable finger holes. The idea is to choose scissors that don't necessarily pinch your hand or fingers when you use them.
This is the central point where the two blades meet. The tension at the pivot point determines how well the two blades cut and trim whatever is being tied. In many cases, you will find that the scissors come with a set tension, but some offer adjustable tension, allowing you to tighten and loosen the pivot point as you see fit.
Still have questions when choosing the best fly tying scissors? Read through our brief FAQ below for more answers.
Is using a pair of fly-tying scissors difficult?
While it's true that getting into fly tying can seem complicated and daunting at times, many different scissor types can help you learn a few tricks of the trade. Using a pair of fly tying scissors can be difficult, to begin with, but once you learn the best technique to use on your specific fly tying material or style, it becomes quite easy and almost second nature.
For example, blunt tips on your fly tying scissors may prove more difficult because they can push away the material. However, they also allow you to get close to the fly and achieve more precise cuts.
Is fly tying therapeutic?
In a world where we are faced with chaos every day, the artistic aspects of tying your own flies is absolutely therapeutic provided you don't obsess too much about your flies being perfect.
Can you use the same pair of fly tying scissors for everything?
Yes, you can use the same pair of fly tying scissors for almost every material as a fly fisher, although it isn't advisable. As we have seen, these scissors have different blades, all of which are specifically suited for different material types. It is advisable to have several fly tying scissors in your fly tying kit so you have the right tool when you need it.
Which Fly Tying Scissors Should I Buy?
Fly tying is a highly relaxing hobby that is therapeutic and quite fun once you get the hang of it. Having the best fly-tying scissors helps a great deal. The above-mentioned options are an excellent place to start for those who want to buy a new pair. If I had to pick just one pair of scissors though it would be the Dr. Slick Tungsten Carbide Scissors.
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