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Thursday, December 12, 2013

REVIEW: 6th Finger Scissors

An Ergonomic Scissor Choice


When I first saw the 6th Finger scissors, from www.singlebarbed.biz, a few years ago, I was a pretty dedicated "scissors-in-hand" tyer, so these scissors had an immediate appeal. It wasn't too long before I had a pair in my dirty little mitts and started to tie with them. I also ended up doing a short review on our Youtube channel that I've posted below for your viewing pleasure.

Now to the nitty gritty...

First off, in full disclosure, I am no longer a dedicated "scissors-in-hand" tyer. I won't go into a lot of detail as to why I switched, but a lot of it has to do with a recent article Cheech did on the virtues of tying with scissors in your hands. Nonetheless, I wanted to give this cool scissor design a fair review.

With that in mind, I believe these are likely the "best" solution if you wish to tie with scissors in your hand. I definitely don't advocate tying with super-sharp "regular" scissors in your hands because you cannot easily hide the blades as easily in your hands as you can with scissors like this or other similarly designed scissors. Plus, the 6th finger scissors give you more dexterity, I believe, than most other scissors that you might want to keep in your hand as you tie.

So, here's the breakdown of the pro's and con's...

PRO's:

  1. The scissors are truly designed to be kept in your hand as you tie and to "hide" the blades as completely as possible while not in use.
  2. The scissors are very lightweight and, as such, don't impact your hand dexterity as much as would a bigger pair of "regular" scissors.
  3. The loop on the scissors is big enough to fit more regular-human fingers, but not so loose as to become an impediment.
  4. If you're looking for good finishing work in tight spots, these blades have very fine points with some precision cutting capabilities.
  5. I believe that your cutting stroke is inherently going to be shorter and require less effort because the blades are relatively short when compared to the blade joint. This makes the "mouth" of the scissors smaller, which means less distance to travel to complete a cut. (this is also a CON...read on)

CON's:

  1. My biggest challenge with the 6th finger scissors is that, because of the smaller "mouth" on the blades (see #5 above), I could not very easily cut bigger chunks of materials without having to take multiple chops/cuts with them. This actually slowed down my tying quite considerably because I was then required to either take more cuts or to put them down and pick up a pair that could do that type of cutting -- which sorta defeats the purpose of using them. Granted, I could always try to plan better on my material cutting and try to do those types of cuts in advance with different scissors, but ultimately, this was a fairly big limitation.
  2. When compared to some other "regular" scissors, I ended up finding that the 6th Finger scissors blades were not quite as sharp as I'd like or need. Again, the scissors are plenty sharp for most things -- especially in close detail work with thread and small feathers, fibers etc. But where I felt things got a little challenging was in trying to cut materials like antron or other synthetics in larger amounts or in situations where I could not put tension on the material itself (realizing, of course, you can cut most any material well with a dull pair of scissors as long as you keep good tension on the material as you cut it).
  3. As I considered the two "CON's" mentioned above, I realized I ended up grabbing a different pair of scissors to perform some cuts even while I had these in my hand. That sorta defeated the purpose of the in-hand design and I realized the 6th Finger scissors aren't as versatile as I would have hoped.

Summary

So in all fairness, I think these scissors are worth a try -- especially if you're wanting to go in-hand on your scissor work. For me, personally, I ended up needing scissors that were a bit more versatile and knowing I typically use different scissors during my tying sessions anyway, I didn't feel the in-hand design was something that benefited me enough to use them on a more frequent basis. But the 6th finger scissors are a great design and a great way to get in and do some tight detailed scissor work.

Here's the original review from 4 years ago...



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