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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Streamworks Scissors: Review

Another player on the market

Adjustable Tension 5" 

After a vigorous effort in cleaning up my desk last month it's almost back to the point of no return.  The thread is exploring all the nooks and crannies of my desk like little cobras looking for trouble, and the marabou is basically honey badger marabou because it just does whatever it wants. I'm OK with that, because a disaster zone on my desk spawns creativity.  Aside from the fact that I have a maze of thread snippings and tufts of marabou orchestrating a hostile takeover of my desk, I realized that I have a pretty impressive collection of scissors right now.  I use all of them for different purposes and for different time frames, and I'm not about to stop aquiring new models.  See, for the addicted fly tyer, new scissors being introduced to the market is like a fat kid (Cheech) going to the gas station and seeing a new flavor of Cheetos...  The fat kid buys Cheetos...  I digress, even though I love Cheetos (but my keyboard doesn't...  Which leads me to think that I should invent an orange keyboard...  yep.  anyone want to start a kickstarter campaign with me?)

Ok, so the above is a very good example of the adult onset ADD-ish scatterbrainedness that I deal with every day;)

I'll try to stay on track here, because there is some important reviewing to do with the new Streamworks scissors that we have been playing with lately.  I used to have some Streamworks fly boxes and tools a long time ago, but I hadn't really seen any of their scissors until they showed up a few weeks ago.  One thing that we have heard over and over again from tool startup companies is that their stuff is just as good as the "expensive" stuff that the other guys sell because it comes from the same factory in Pakistan.  Usually the "other guys" means Dr. Slick.  I say that because Dr. Slick is usually the brand that holds the standard for quality in the fly tying tool arena, especially for scissors (even though I have gotten a pair or two from Slick that were less than spectacular).  The reality is that the majority of tying scissors come from Pakistan, and for the most part, the factories over there do a decent job.  If the same product were made in the USA, we'd probably be paying upwards of $100 per pair.  The issue with the scissors from Pakistan is that their quality control is usually not up to US standards even though they promise up and down that they are "very very good my friend...  I'll make you a deal my friend."  To make a Pakistani scissor into a premium product, some good ol' 'Murican quality control needs to take place.  Dr. Slick does it, Rising does it, and after talking with Streamworks, we verified that they do it too.  A claim that quality control takes place could mean anything from "we break down each pair and put it through rigorous tests," to "we make sure the color is right," so we were very interested to see where the Streamworks products fell in line.  They sent us each the 4.5" arrow point, the 4.5" spring action scissors, 4" all purpose curved scissor, the 4" all purpose tungsten scissors, and the 5" adjustable tension scissors.  Of all the scissors, I was immediately most interested in the 5" adjustable tension scissors (similar to razor scissors), and the 4" tungsten scissors.  We have had really good luck with the Dr. Slick Tungsten scissors, so I was curious to see how these would hold up; and the adjustable tension scissors were listed at a much lower price point than other comparable scissors.  The initial inspection definitely showed that there was additional tweaking and polishing done to these - kudos to Streamworks...

I have been tying with these for about a month now, and I do my best to change them all out for different applications so I can get a good idea of how they will perform.  Here are my top 3.

1st place: 4" All Purpose Tungsten Scissors
The Tungsten scissors are definitely my favorite because of the nice edge that they can keep.  The
Add Tungsten 4"
harder metal allows them to perform for a longer period of time than regular scissors, and I even accidentally dropped them tip first onto a concrete floor with very minimal damage. My concrete floor has been the kryptonite for many a pair of fancy scissors (which subsequently get thrown across the room like Nolan Ryan aiming at Robin Ventura's face.)  I was stoked to see that these scissors were still usable after their fall.  The only thing that I'd like to see better on these is a finer tip for precise cutting behind beadheads etc.  They are absolutely comparable to Dr. Slick Tungstens (I wish they were finer too.) MSRP $24.95 BUY HERE

2nd place: 5" Adjustable Tension Scissors 
These scissors were intriguing to me because they are basically a razor scissor at the price of a regular scissor (MSRP $14.95), AND they have the good serration situation that I really like.  One blade is serrated and one blade is smooth, and for whatever reason, that combination cuts through materials like Curtis cutting in line to buy a new pocket protector.  Obviously a 5" scissor is a bit much for most general tying situations, but they really found a home on my bench when it came to trimming game changer style flies.  The blade was long enough to maintain the angle I needed, and the blades cut through the body wrap material with no problem.  If they come out with a 4" version of this scissor, it will be a force to be reckoned with.  Downfalls? Nothing really, except for they need finer tips. BUY HERE

3rd place: 4.5" Spring Action Scissors
This was the biggest surprise to me because Curtis and I did a review on similar scissors a while
Adjustable Tension 4.5"
back, and we were less than impressed.  My expectations weren't very high at all, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they actually had a really good edge on them!  I tied a bunch of midges with them, and I think that's where they will fit into my rotation due to the limited opening space.  Even though they are 4.5" scissors, the actual blade is really short, so they are designed for finer tying.  They felt a bit weird in my hand at first, but I eventually got used to them after tying a few bunny midges.  This scissor would benefit from a very very fine blade, but they performed well enough right out of the box. MSRP $11.95 BUY HERE

The other two pair of scissors were good, but I really didn't tie with them very much because I typically don't like arrow points or curved scissors.  One thing I will say about the curved scissors is that they are just slightly curved, which is something that I prefer if I'm using them.  My last pair of Dr. Slick curved blade scissors were curved so much that they were almost unusable...  All in all, these are very solid scissors that are from overseas, but get a lot of good ol' American elbow grease to make sure they are up to par quality wise with what we expect.  

~ Cheech

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