Whether you work in a hospital, an ambulance, or on the battlefield, a good pair of trauma shears is an essential part of your equipment.
Trauma shears are used to cut through every type of material from clothing to metal and even occasionally bone.
To withstand this kind of punishment, shears need to be made of the toughest materials possible with extremely high tolerances. We’ll go through our 3 top picks for the best trauma shears for any occupation.
While Leatherman Raptor Shears have all the tools for field work, it is hard to justify paying extra for an entire toolset that is not needed in a hospital setting.
X Shears have the same extremely high quality blades that mark the Raptor without all the extra tools that increase the weight and the cost.
X Shears are made for frequent use in hospitals, and they solve all of the major problems associated with the Leatherman Raptor. They are easy to clean, can be autoclaved, do not rust, and are lighter weight.
- Weight: 4 oz (113 g)
- 7.5 x 0.3 x 3.5 in (19 x .75 x 8.9 cm)
- Hardened stainless steel blades
- Designed in the USA, Made in Taiwan
Pros and Cons:
- Pros: Easy to clean. Autoclavable. Do not rust. 90-day, money back guarantee. 5 year warranty.
- Cons: None.
Use our discount code to get 10% off all X Shears products at XShears.com. Just click the link below, copy the discount code, and type it into the discount code box at checkout.
Leatherman Raptor Shears
Made from 420 high carbon steel, these trauma shears are built to cut through the toughest materials. But other shears make the same claim for a less expensive price point, so what’s the difference?
Leatherman built its reputation in the multitool world with groundbreaking inventions like the Leatherman Wave, and it has done the same thing for trauma shears in the medical world. The 6 featured tools on Leatherman Raptor shears are designed to account for any situation where trauma shears are necessary.
Although these shears are a great purchase for first responders and military personnel, they have some downsides that make them impractical for hospital staff.
The variety of tools, folding pieces, nooks, and crannies make Leatherman Raptor shears difficult to clean, and they cannot be autoclaved.
The tool set is also not designed for hospital use; glass breakers and strap cutters are usually reserved for extractions in the field.
The other impracticality for hospital staff is the weight. Without a belt holster or MOLLE straps Raptor shears can be uncomfortably heavy for pocket carrying.
- Weight: 5.8 oz (165 g)
- 6 x 4 x 9 in (15 x 10 x 23 cm)
- Reinforced thermoplastic handles to reduce weight
- 420 High Carbon Steel serrated blades
Comes with your choice of either a MOLLE compatible holster or EMT belt holster.
Leatherman Raptor Tools
- Trauma Shears: 420HC Steel. Angled for cutting across flat surfaces.
- Ruler: 5 cm (2 in)
- Strap Cutter
- Ring Cutter: Slim enough to fit between swollen skin and tight jewelry.
- Oxygen Tank Wrench
- Carbide Glass Breaker: Built into the tip of the large handle.
Pros and Cons:
- Pros: Adaptable functions for a wide variety of situations. High quality, trusted, American-made brand name. 25 year warranty. Collapsible for easier carry.
- Cons: Not autoclavable. Difficult to clean during frequent use. Develops surface rust on blade.
Madison Fluoride Coated Trauma Shears
While Leatherman Raptor Shears have all the tools for field work, they may be too expensive and cumbersome for working in a hospital where all you need is a light pair of trauma shears that clean easily.
Madison Supply makes an excellent value pair of trauma shears for daily use with fluoride coated blades to prevent tape from gumming up your scissors.
- 7.5 in (19 cm) tip to tip
- Autoclave max temperature: 290 F (143 C)
- Fluoride coated, serrated, stainless steel blades
Pros and Cons:
- Pros: Inexpensive but reliable. Autoclavable. Non-stick fluoride coated blades
- Cons: Only serve one function. Not as durable as more expensive models
- The shear handles are on the big side. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how large your hands are.
- Made in Taiwan
The Bottom Line
For nurses and other hospital staff, X Shears may be the best fit as many of the Raptor’s tools are unnecessary, plus frequent use and the fact that the Raptor cannot be autoclaved makes cleaning and sterilization cumbersome. Also, in hospitals specialized tools are immediately on hand, so the higher price for a multitool is not justified.
For EMTs, firefighters, medics and other field personnel, Leatherman Raptor shears are an excellent addition to prepare for any situation that might arise.
If people keep “borrowing” your trauma shears permanently, Madison Supply makes a fairly high-quality set of shears for a low price.
Other Multi Tools:
I’m sorry but I don’t
I’m sorry but I don’t completely agree with this review, because the Leatherman Raptor was never meant for in hospital use. It was clearly advertised for paramedics, firefighters and rescue officials. So to bring them into a hospital setting would be a choice, but Leatherman was clear in their advertisement as to the audience they were trying to reach. So if you use the shears in the settings they were made for, there are really no cons. They were made primarily for a pre-hospital setting and for pre-hospital providers.
The Raptor multi tool needs to be cleaned somehow to prevent cross contamination between calls regardless of who is using it, and my point is that all the nooks and crannies make it hard to wash, let alone sterilize. I know that autoclaving is something that you would do in a hospital, but typically EMTs and paramedics drop patients off in hospitals on a regular basis. They would have access to hospital sterilizing equipment.
Besides that, many people find that they develop rust on the blades after some time. I imagine Leatherman decided to go with a higher-carbon stainless to make the blades harder, but that is causing some rust to form. It's a design trade-off, but it's still a con.
Don't get me wrong, I love Leatherman, and personally I never go far without my Wave, but with multi tools there's always a trade-off.
I am an Anesthesiologist with 30 years of experience and I consider the Leatherman Raptor a useful tool in my daily practice. We encounter different scenarios than EMS providers do, however, when dealing with trauma, CV surgery or anything else that come to the OR, the Raptor is always a reliable, safe and effective piece of equipment we count on.