A top quality economy line of instruments based on some of the most popular items in the Dr. Slick line-up.
Trust me when I say that scissors are an extremely important part of fly tying. You’ll find good scissors, freaking awesome scissors and then you’ll find garbage scissors.
I always say you get what you pay for and scissors are no exception. But, there are some economical options out there and the ECO line from Dr. Slick is exactly that. Dr. Slick is a clear favorite in the fly tying arena and with good reason; their products are top notch and the quality is superior to most everything else on the market.
Since I own several pair of Dr. Slick scissors, as well as a few of their other tools, I decided to give the ECO line a try and see how they compare to the standard line of tools. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.
All of the scissors in the ECO line are made of 400 grade stainless steel. The fit and finish of the ECO line is very similar to their standard products, meaning a very minimal reduction in overall quality.
In comparison, their standard line is made up of 410 Japanese stainless steel or 440 J2 stainless steel and then hardened to a certain dimension.
The ECO series scissors are priced extremely well for the beginning fly tyer or the person looking to get quality scissors on a budget. You’ll typically find the ECO series priced at just about HALF of their standard counterpart.
Where the standards will run you $12-15 a pair, the ECO equivalent will be in the $6-8 range. You can also find the ECO series on sale quite often at several online outlets or your local fly shop.
So how does Dr. Slick produce a line of scissors that are around half the cost while still providing the quality? Well, part of that is in the packaging of the product (or lack thereof). The ECO series tools do not come packaged.
This means less cost to produce and less waste for you to throw away in a landfill at some point. I think it’s a great move on their part and a great way to keep a quality product more affordable.
Putting them into action
I purchased the all-purpose 4″ scissors and also the 3 1/2″ arrow scissors from the ECO line. I purchased those two because I already own the standard versions of both. I wanted to compare the two while tying to see just how different they may be.
Here are the differences that I found:
- The ECO line scissors are heavier. Not that big of a deal for me, but the difference is noticeable and might be important to some folks.
- Blade quality is slightly diminished. The ECO series blades feel slightly rougher to me, not quite as fine of a sharpness to them.
- The standards feel better. The ECO line does not have quite the machining that the standard line does. The standards feel better in-hand and seem to just “fit better”.
Both the standard and ECO series scissors cut really well, but the slight downgrade in blade quality and sharpness is certainly evident when you have both to use and compare. That, along with the slight differences in overall fit and finish give the standards the upper hand, but I’d be hard pressed to buy another set of standards after using the ECO line.
The ECO line of scissors from Dr. Slick are nice. Really nice. They do the job while being super affordable. Some may argue that the difference is drastic. I’d argue that those people are too picky.
Is there a difference between the standard series of Dr. Slick scissors and the ECO series? Yes. Is it enough of a difference to pay almost double the price for the standards? No.
I’d certainly recommend that you give the ECO series a try if you’re looking for affordable scissors that will get the job done. There is a reason that Dr. Slick is the preferred brand in the fly tying community. I don’t they have skimped one bit on their ECO line, which I believe is a solid alternative to their more expensive line of scissors.
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