best fly tying scissors

Best Fly Tying Scissors

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The best fly tying scissors are the Dr. Slick Tungsten Carbide scissors. They are extremely sharp and stay that way through most general fly tying uses.

I’ve had these scissors for just over 2 years now, tying flies regularly and have not had to sharpen them or had any problems.

If you’re a little bit more budget-conscious then I recommend the Wescott Embroidery Scissors. They are made for sewing but do work fairly well for fly tying too.

These are the best fly tying scissors we reviewed for fly fishing:

  1. Dr. Slick Tungsten Carbide Pair of Scissors – Best Overall
  2. Westcott 4-Inch Sewing Embroidery Scissors – Best Budget
  3. Dr. Slick Razor Scissors – Best Serrated
  4. Loon Outdoors Razor Scissors – Best Non-Serrated
  5. Dr. Slick Hair Scissors

Dr. Slick Tungsten Carbide pair of Scissors

Dr. Slick Tungsten Carbide pair of Scissors

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Best Overall
Rating: 4.0/5.0

  • Features elegant black loops
  • Top quality fly tying scissors
  • The blades are serrated
  • A fantastic pair of fly scissors

What stands out?

In our assessment, these scissors are the best overall scissors for cutting your tying thread or hackle.

These fly tying scissors feature tungsten carbide, which is welded on its frames. This material is way stronger than stainless steel. Furthermore, it can effortlessly stay sharper than other materials for quite some time.

The construction is designed to ensure that the blade easily handles any kind of material. However, inasmuch as it can handle a wide range of materials, it is specifically well-suited for cutting synthetic fly tying materials.

You can get these fly tying scissors in three sizes, which means that you can order one from a fly shop depending on the size of fly tying material.

However, you have to keep in mind that these pair of scissors can be sort of bulk, especially if you are looking to tie lighter or smaller flies. Nevertheless, with repeated tying, you can easily tie any kind of fly you wish.

Bottom-line, if you don’t have a problem digging deeper into your pockets to get yourself the best fly tying scissors, this pair would be a good pick for you.

Westcott 2-Inch Embroidery Scissors

Westcott 2 Inch Sewing Titanium Bonded Curved Embroidery Scissors

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Best Budget
Rating: 4.5/5.0

  • Comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
  • Features contoured soft-grip handles that are corrosion resistant
  • Made 3x harder than steel material
  • Durable yet lightweight

What stands out?

This is arguably the best budget pick in this roundup. Despite its relatively low price, it manages to deliver incredible performance.

Also, one of the best features about it is that it is made of titanium bonded material, which is up to 3 times harder than stainless steel. This means you will enjoy durability and sturdiness without it cowering under pressure while cutting any type of thread.

Inasmuch as the blades on these scissors might not be the sharpest, they will help you get your job done. Therefore, they are great if you’d wish to achieve small but precise cuts.

Also, it would be best to note that the handle might be prone to breaking, which means you have to be a bit more careful while using these scissors as compared to many other brands. Therefore, if you use them infrequently, they will do just fine.

Dr. Slick Razor Scissors

Dr. Slick Razor Scissors

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Best Serrated
Rating: 4.8/5.0

  • High-quality serrated scissors
  • 4.0 Inches
  • Features gold loops
  • Comes with adjustable tension

What stands out?

Yet another incredible pair of scissors from Dr. Slick that delivers incredible cutting performance, especially because of the serrated blades.

Since it features adjustable tension control, it will be up to you to loosen or tighten its tension depending on your fly tying needs.

Moreover, because it’s serrated, it can easily cut through both synthetic and natural objects. You don’t have to worry about them becoming dull after a short while because they are designed to last longer than your usual blades. However, if you foresee using your scissors for cutting lots of synthetic material, we recommend that you opt for TC blades.

You would also be glad to note that they can handle delicate and fine jobs alike.

However, you may have to be careful while handling them. This is because they are so sharp that they can easily cut through your thread and hackle even with the slightest pressure. Therefore, the best flies to use with these scissors include Wooly Buggers, Parachute Adams and Pheasant Tail, among others.

Loon Outdoors Razor Scissors

Loon Outdoors Razor Scissors

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Best Non-Serrated
Rating: 4.5/5.0

  • Features one serrated blade and another one smooth
  • Hand-tuned in the USA
  • Includes a knurled tension knob
  • 4-inch superior quality scissors

What stands out?

The fact that this pair of scissors comes with one serrated and one smooth blade, your tying thread won’t easily slip as you go ahead cutting your thread or hackles. Therefore, you can rest assured that you will achieve cleaner and finer looking flies, which means a lot less wastage.

The pair also features a knurled tension knob to enable you to make adjustments when you need to adjust your needs. You will get to know when to put more pressure and when to useless, depending on the type of material you want to cut.

Also, it comes with an ergonomic, powder-coated grip to make sure that it remains comfortable and at the same time reduce chances of slippage. Therefore, if you are planning for extended hours of tying, this would be a good pick.

Moreover, you will have the two different sized scissors which make them good for cutting any size of flies comfortably.

Dr. Slick Hair Scissors

Dr. Slick Hair Scissors

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Rating: 4.8/5.0

  • Gold loops
  • 4.5-inch scissors
  • Serrated
  • Features straight blades

What stands out?

If you want to cut deer hair, this would be a great pair of scissors to buy. These Dr. Slick scissors are pretty heavy and long, thus, good for fly tying large flies like streamers for fly fishing and any other tough tying material.

Although they can handle cutting synthetic materials, they would be good for cutting natural materials. Also, keep in mind that they might not the best option to use for cutting delicate or fine material.

fly tying scissors buying guide

What to Consider when Buying Fly Tying Scissors

Tying scissors shouldn’t not only feel comfortable in your hands but should also be capable of allowing you focus as you tie your flies. However, these are not the only considerations to keep in mind when out shopping for scissors. Here are some more factors you should consider to guide your purchasing decision.

The type of tying scissors

Essentially, you will find about six types of scissors when you go out shopping or scour online for the best fly tying products for fly fishing. Read on to learn more on what makes them distinct, mostly according to the purpose they serve.

  • Arrow: These scissors come with short blades, which make them ideal for achieving fine cuts. Therefore, it would be great for detailed jobs. Also, they are good for cutting natural materials, but could still manage cutting synthetic ones.
  • Hair: These kinds of scissors tend to be heavier and come with long blades because they are designed to work with heavy hair, threads or materials.
  • Micro-tip: If you want to work with very fine or natural materials and you want the best scissors fit for purpose, these fly tying products would do the job just right. Also, they can handle delicate flies like nymphs and dries.
  • All-purpose: If you are a novice tyer, this would be a good tool, to begin with. It can work with small, medium and large flies. Therefore, you will save a lot of time by avoiding to have to look for the perfect sized scissors. They are also ideal for travelling.
  • Razor: You may have to be more careful while handling razor scissor because they are the sharpest you can find on the market. They are characteristically thin and work pretty fast.
  • Open-loop: Although the scissor comes with finger loops, these finger loops are open t allow you to adjust how your fingers fit in them. They would work for people who have small or larger hands because you can customize it to fit. It can easily work for natural and synthetic materials.

Tungsten Carbide vs. Steel

Inasmuch as you will mostly find most scissors made of different grades of stainless steel like ice tempered, surgical, Japanese or Switzerland steel, the best ones are made of Tungsten carbide (TC).

However, that is not to say that scissors made of stainless steel are not great. In fact, they will last you a very long time that is if you use them appropriately.

Nevertheless, TC is stronger and highly durable. However, the price point on these scissors would be much higher compared to their counterparts. But if you can afford it, you will enjoy how well it holds an edge, its sharpness and longevity.

Long vs. Short

long vs short

Most scissors come with blades measuring about ½-2 inches long. This means that the length of the blade you choose should be guided by your tying needs.

For instance, if you want to achieve short and small cuts, shorter ones would do the trick. Also, they can do great for cutting thread or trimming your feathers.

On the other hand, longer ones will be perfect for achieving longer cuts, making them suitable for cutting longer pieces of material like elk hair.

Type of blade

Essentially, these are the two major blade types you can buy from a shop:

  • Serrated: If you want the best scissors for helping you get that incredible grip on your fly tying material, a serrated blade is just about it. Since it only has significantly less contact area, it will let you apply more pressure to achieve a sharper cut. Furthermore, they can work on a variety of materials, including coarse and heavy ones.
  • Non-serrated: These are mostly great for achieving fine cuts on natural materials. Moreover, if you want to get a cleaner edge, this is the pair to go for.

Finger holes

You will often get varying sizes of finger holes. This is to ensure that even tyers with smaller or bigger hands find something that works for them.

Always keep in mind that if you buy scissors that feel either too tight or too loose, you will be uncomfortable the whole time out fly fishing. Therefore, find something that appropriately fits you to let you fully concentrate on your tying. We highly recommend that you try fitting before going ahead with your purchase.

Pivot points

This is a central point on your scissor where your two blades will slide against each other to allow you to cut or trim.

Even though there are some that come with a set tension, you can always find ones with adjustable tension knobs. If you are a beginner, it would be great to start with the already set fly tying products.

Verdict

After reading through this guide, you now have a better picture of the kind of scissors you wish to buy. However, our recommended pick is the Dr. Slick Tungsten Carbide Scissors because they are serrated and at the same time strong. They also have a very comfortable grip to let you work for long hours on end.

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