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Singlebarbed debuts the “Sixth Finger” Scissor – Can fly tying be improved by a fellow with mud between his toes?

My childhood was interspersed with some family member saying, “Hmm” and disappearing into the basement to craft the “John Wayne Super-Sport Rubberband Gun” – allowing me to cut a swath through the opposition forces which were armed with antiquated single shot muzzleloaders.

… as Hisself was the local paperboy with access to millions of rounds of ammunition, life was good for a few short weeks until the partisans discovered rocks …

The lesson is the same, the better mousetrap exists in countless garages and only the occasional product is pursued from napkin illustration to vendor countertop. Those that make the journey can always be improved upon to accommodate new functionality the original design didn’t anticipate.

I had my “Ah-ha” moment last year while doing a little research on surgical scissors. I stumbled across a design that looked promising, bought a couple of sets to try, and liked the result but also recognized it had shortcomings.

Without a foundry and metallurgical skills, I managed to mock up a pair using wire – and that was close enough to be a proof of concept. I had something and the idea was good enough to pursue.

The Sixth Finger from Singlebarbed

The Singlebarbed “Sixth Finger”, designed to remain in the hand for the duration of the tying session. One over-sized finger hole allows the scissor to be worn like a wedding ring – at the base of the finger and keeps the points away from your work and them precious eyeballs.

Wear them like a ring

If you watch fly tiers they fall into two groups; those that keep the scissors in their hand at all times, and those that set them down. Bulky finger holes make it more difficult to close your hand around the scissor – and can slightly restrict the use of the fingers during material preparation.

Points out of the way - and away from your eyes

Absent that extra wad of metal, the hand can close naturally around the scissor and give the fingers a full range of motion during material staging and placement.

Thumb makes the cut

Simply open your hand to make a cut, using the thumb to press on the spring-loaded handle.

These are light scissors with fine points and a finger hole designed for big hammy hands, not the smaller style common to other scissors and the embroidery trade. 4.5” inches long and made of surgical stainless steel with faux gold handles. These will work with either left or right hands.

Angling products are normally colored by Madison Avenue’s blessed action words; “revolutionary”, “extreme modulus”, “laser engraved”, “sublime action”, and “rocket-taper” … Singlebarbed would rather skip the heavy platitudes – rather we’ll let the testimony of our peers divulge just how tasty these scissors perform:

The plastic container said “tear at notch to vent” and I placed the spaghetti and meatballs in the in the microwave and pushed the start button. I was leaning against the sink and watching the table rumble around when I heard the “cla-clunk” of the mailbox lid. I opened the front door and reached into the box and found your package and returned to my lean on the sink while cutting away the clear tape. As I lifted the top of the box I was startled by a large pop and looked up to see that the top had blown off the ready-to-eat-meal and now my lunch was sticking to the ceiling of the microwave.

Luckily for me, I was holding a box full of “quilted packaging material” to assist in red sauce removal. I can’t thank you enough.
Oh, and the knuckle-scissors are neat too.

Even the packing material is multi-purpose – as we’ve spared no expense.

The scissors are available via Google Checkout on this site, simply click on the advertisment to initiate the purchase.
 How to Use the Sixth Finger

Most will find it completely intuitive as the scissor shape and gravity dictates most of the motion.

Three basic positions are used to “holster” or cut with the points. Depending on the size of your fingers most will find the holster position somewhere behind the knuckle and the base of the finger.

Scissor in holstered position

Absent that big metal second finger hole – your hand can flex naturally while positioning materials in preparation for them to be secured to the hook shank. So long as the hand is tilted upward the scissors remain out of the way.

Full range of motion for the fingers containing the scissor

Once the materials are secured with thread just tilt the hand downward and the scissors will fall into the “cut” position. The overly large finger hole allows the scissor more motion on the finger than traditional tying tools – and accommodates larger hands – so chafing is at a minimum.

Gravity assists in reaching the cutting position

All that remains is to press your thumb against the spring loaded scissor and the cut is made. Tilt the hand and the “Sixth Finger” falls back into the holstered position.

Thumb presses spring loaded bar to make the cut

Having tied flies for thirty years and used a wide range of scissors – from four dollar specials to surgeon’s scissors, I’m personally quite thrilled at the result. Having the scissors at the ready cut an additional 30 seconds off of my tying time – compared to regular scissors – and if you’re not used to holding the scissors in your hand you should save at least a minute or two versus hunting for them in the debris at the vise base.

These are fine point – light duty; no cutting of bead chain or prying open tuna cans, heavy work is best left to larger shear-style scissors. These will cover the bulk of your cutting and should provide great service. They will not tire your hand or chafe the ring finger.

From innocent angler to state and local taxes, lawyers, patent discovery, and all the ills I’ve preached against. Not something a fellow does willingly. I suppose it’s moot testament to the rigors of paper napkins and the “better mousetrap.”

I’m counting on you seeing the difference at first use.

Dealer inquiries are welcome.

Tags: Singlebarbed scissor, sixth finger fly tying scissors, surgical stainless, fine point scissors, shameless commerce, fly tying tools, EBAY

35 Comment(s)

  1. Ulf Hagstrom | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    Wow, now that’s a pair of scissors I could easily have tons of use for! Where can I buy it, I want id bad! =)


  2. KBarton10 | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    You can get them off ebay by clicking the ad on the top right of this page – or send me an email.

  3. the roughfisher | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    I poked my eye out with one of these. Can I get a refund?

  4. KBarton10 | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    Sure, send me the bad eye and I’ll get a refund out to you immediately.

  5. A. Wannabe Travelwriter | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    “These are fine point – light duty.”

    Damn; just when I was going to order a pair for nasal, eyebrow and ear hair removal.

    Can you guarantee they will hold up for such use?

    The wife had thoughts of other areas on me but that would be like using a push-lawnmower on an 18-hole golf course.

    (Regardless, I want to buy one!)

  6. Ariel | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    I can’t believe this. Yesterday I was lamenting over the fact that I can’t hold my favorite Dr. Slick spring scissors in my hand while I tie and presto! You’ve solved the problem. Brilliant…. Just Brilliant. Now to purchase a pair of make my own.

  7. bad fish | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    Absolutely brilliant idea! I wish I thought of it first.
    My only concern is if it will fit my gigantic banana-fingered gorilla-paws, and still function smoothly? fly fishing product developers and marketing gurus just can’t seem to understand that Sasquatch-sized fellows like myself actually fly fish. but here I am casting away and leaving tracks in the mud with tight waders and sleeves that strain to reach my hairy wrists.

  8. KBarton10 | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    Bad Fish – if you want to test them, I’d be pleased to send you a pair. If they’re too small I’d be surprised.

    Interior diameter of the fingerhole is approximately 26mm x 22mm. That’s bigger than any fly tying scissor I’ve seen.

    Drop me an email with your address – if they don’t work, ship them back. My email address is on the “About” page at the top of the screen.

  9. Don | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    Don’t forget about your silent partner when the profits start piling up. So silent a partner not even you knew we were partnered. And that’s the way I like it.

    It’s about time you marketed one of your great ideas instead of just giving it away on this board!

  10. Clif | Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    Interior diameter of the fingerhole is approximately 26mm x 22mm.

    If only I knew Chinese so I those dimensions would make sense to me.

  11. Reed | Sep 15, 2009 | Reply


    They turned off the gravity at my house, will the scissors still work?


    P.S. – Do you have a banner ad I can put on my blog? May I use that nice one in the upper right?

  12. KBarton10 | Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    Reed you are always welcome to use anything from my site.

  13. Reed | Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    Too late, I already took it!!!

  14. Don | Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    I couldn’t help myself, I just ordered a pair. When tying I have at least five pairs of scissors on my bench and still have to search to find one when I need it.

    No doubt, I’ll still end up searching even when the scissors are already in my hand! Crazy addiction this fly fishing/tying :<(

  15. KBarton10 | Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    Perhaps you’re stimulating the economy and should be classified as a “Super Patriot?” Obama is gonna kiss you on both cheeks …

  16. erdo | Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    very crafty, I hope it does well, might have to get me one of them

  17. flyfishmagazine | Sep 16, 2009 | Reply

    wasn’t the 6th finger the title of an old Outer Lmiits TV show? Great innovation by the way!


  18. Paul Arbitman | Sep 16, 2009 | Reply

    What a great idea.You F-ing nailed it. I think your going to retire on this one.

  19. KBarton10 | Sep 16, 2009 | Reply

    Retire? I thought they kilt all of those last year?

    We’ll soon know as I’m mailing these out in increasing numbers. I’m hoping we can see some end-user feedback on this thread shortly.

  20. David Roberts | Sep 18, 2009 | Reply

    Good Morning,
    Please contact me as soon as you get a supply of them. I want three. One for home two for the show box. (the one I take to all the shows. Hope you have them before the Lodi show in October.

  21. KBarton10 | Sep 18, 2009 | Reply

    Just send me your mailing address David. My contact information is on the “about” page above. I have an ample supply at the moment, but there’s been a lot of interest of late.

  22. Bill | Nov 21, 2009 | Reply

    I received mine a few days ago. Have not lost them yet! As pointed out, these are for fine work and not for chopping firewood. I’m a bit clumsy so still trying to adjust to having them “in hand” all the time. (I had not developed the knack with other scissors.) I have not had other scissors out except to cut wire since they arrived.

  23. Larry | Jul 24, 2010 | Reply

    Got my scissors this morning in the mail. Took time out from work to try them. Absolutely love the scissors. I use the larger size on my streamers and the smaller ones on the drys and size 18 – 26. Feel good in the hand and not in the way during tying. I am going to recommend these every chance I get. Definitely worth the wait.

  24. Chuck | Sep 18, 2010 | Reply

    Where are the scissors made?

  25. KBarton10 | Sep 18, 2010 | Reply


    The scissors are made in Pakistan, out of burned out soviet personnel carriers.

  26. Chuck | Sep 18, 2010 | Reply

    Tungsten APCs — who knew? So the CIA didn’t overestimate Soviet strength after all. God, I love this country!

  27. KBarton10 | Sep 18, 2010 | Reply

    Sure. The RPG’s went through one side and kind of rattled around a bit before going off.

  28. Jim | Feb 3, 2011 | Reply

    Holding a Fly Tying Class in March
    If you supply a sample of your scissors, I will be happy to let the students have a first hand exposure to their use.


  29. Bob Costa | Apr 10, 2011 | Reply

    Received my scissors the other day. Brilliant! One of the best ideas to come along in some time. I’m not a production tier but I tie a lot of flies for myself and fishing friends. I love good tooIs and this is a GREAT one!!

  30. Ron Gonzo | Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Can these scissors be sharpened?

  31. KBarton10 | Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Yes. The tungsten scissor holds an edge much longer than the stainless and has an adjustable screw that allows disassembly. Scissor sharpening (by professionals) is still very expensive, and will cost more than the scissors.

    Today most scissor sharpeners are mobile vans that frequent barber shops and hair salons.

  32. Gene C | Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Great for fly tying – I have seen them in use but can’t yet get a pair of my own — but — I am wondering if you are going to make a curved pair as well. Would be another great addition!

  33. KBarton10 | Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve resisted adding semi-curved tips despite my preference for that style for fly tying. The issue is it becomes yet another type I need to maintain inventory on – and as I’m a garage business, requires me to double what I keep on hand.

  34. Jan | Feb 18, 2013 | Reply

    I read the earlier comments from a gentleman who stated he had very large hands, and was not sure if they would properly fit.

    I just received a pair as one of the tiers in the fly group recommended them. I was surprised to find that they are “too small” to properly fit my finger, I am using them on my pointer finger instead of middle and they seem to be fine.

  35. Jordan | Jan 4, 2014 | Reply

    Where can you buy these? Would definitely love a pair.

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