The Leatherman Raptor vs X Shears vs Disposable Trauma Shears

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.

Index

Leatherman Raptor Shears

Leatherman raptor trauma shears

Made from 420 high carbon steel, these 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.

Leatherman raptor shears closed

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.

Specifications

Leatherman shears in belt holster or molle straps
  • 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

Detail of the leatherman raptor tools
  1. Trauma Shears
    1. 420HC Steel
    2. Angled for cutting across flat surfaces
  2. Ruler
    1. 5 cm (2 in)
  3. Strap Cutter
  4. Ring Cutter
    1. Slim enough to fit between swollen skin and tight jewelry
  5. Oxygen Tank Wrench
  6. Carbide Glass Breaker
    1. Built into the tip of the large handle
Trauma shears carbide glass breaker

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
  • Expensive

Additional Resources:

User Manual

X Shears

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.

Specifications:

  • 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:

  • Easy to clean
  • Autoclavable
  • Do not rust
  • 90-day, money back guarantee
  • 5 year warranty

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive for a fancy pair of scissors

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.

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.

Specifications:

  • 7.5 in (19 cm) tip to tip
  • Autoclave max temperature: 290 F (143 C)
  • Fluoride coated, serrated, stainless steel blades

Pros:

  • Inexpensive but reliable
  • Autoclavable
  • Non-stick fluoride coated blades

Cons:

  • Only serve one function
  • Not as durable as more expensive models

Notes:

  • 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 EMTs, firefighters, medics and other field personnel, Leatherman Raptor shears are an excellent addition to prepare for any situation that might arise.

For nurses and other hospital staff, X Shears may be a better 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.

If people keep “borrowing” your shears permanently, Madison Supply makes a fairly high-quality set of shears for a low price.

Related Topics: 

Share this article

Recommended Products

Support our research ¡Just like us on Facebook!

About Peter Oldani - Author of Inside First Aid

About the author

Peter Oldani graduated college with a B.S. in biomedical engineering, worked as an EMT to gain hands on experience in emergency medicine and completed active shooter training as part of New York State’s initiative to prepare civilian organizations for disaster response.