In Life or death situations, having the best Trauma Shears for EMS is a major advantage. That’s why we decided to write this guide on the 5 best Trauma Shears for EMS.
Whether you are cutting through thick denim, motorcycle jackets, removing jewellery or even breaking glass to get to a trapped patient, you need to be able to rely on the tools you choose to carry and use for the task.
We’ll talk about the best trauma shears for EMS, as well as evaluating their reliability, cost, functionality and other factors in order to list the best trauma shears for your convenience.
Choosing the best trauma shears for EMS is so important, as you really do end up relying on these simple pieces of equipment.
Here’s the “Too long; Didin’t Read (TL;DR) Version for those of you not interested in reading the full reviews.
The 5 Best Trauma Shears for EMS:
Continue reading the article below for the reasons why.
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Leatherman Raptor Shears
The Leatherman Raptor Shears are the pinnacle of EMS Trauma Shears, and in our opinion, are the Best Trauma Shears Available.
When it comes to determining the best trauma shears for EMS, you need to know that the shears you buy are dependable, robust and perform well.
The Leatherman Raptor Shears meet all of those requirements (and more!), providing you with a highly dependable and robust pair of EMS Trauma Shears that are more than capable of tackling even the toughest of jobs you choose to use it for.
Whether you are cutting off thick denim jeans, motorcycle jackets, seatbelts, or even diamond rings, you can rest assured that your Leatherman Raptor Shears are up to the task!
Leatherman Raptor Shears include 6 important tools:
- Stainless Steel Folding Trauma Shears
- Strap/Seatbelt cutter
- Ring Cutter
- Oxygen Tank Wrench
- Glass Breaker
- Ruler – Including ECG Ruler
They also come with a rigid, reliable holster so you can keep your shears on your belt for easy access. You can also choose the configuration to store your shears in, for example keeping them folded in their holster, or unfolded and ready to use, but still fitting perfectly in their holster.
Also, being a Leatherman tool, you can expect the same high quality, lasting product from the Leatherman Raptor Shears, as you can from any other Leatherman pocket knife or multitool.
- Heavy Duty
- More expensive than other Trauma Shears
X Shears come in as the second Best Trauma Shears for EMS.
Thicker than most Trauma Shears, X Shears also feature a titanium coating to enhance their durability & strength.
Like the Leatherman Raptor Shears, they will cut easily. However, they do not fold up, or offer any other features like a ruler or holster.
Adding to their features is a curved blade design, with a blunt tip for added protection to the patients skin as you’re cutting.
Although the X shears are an extremely high quality pair of trauma shears, they ultimately don’t offer enough to earn them the title of the best trauma shears for EMS.
If you want extra features with your Trauma Shears, then we recommend paying just a bit extra to get the Leatherman Raptor Shears instead.
- Heavy Duty
- More expensive than other Trauma Shears
Surviveware Trauma Shears
The Surviveware Trauma Shears are third on our list of the Best Trauma Shears for EMS. They are a more “standard” design, offering a blunted tip to the blade in order to help protect your patients skin.
Despite the more typical appearance, they are a strong and dependable pair of trauma shears.
An extra bonus of the Surviveware Trauma Shears is that they are also Autoclavable. That’s right, these shears can be put in an autoclave at up to 143 degrees in the event you need to sterilize them for repeated use. This makes them a great option for anyone working in an Emergency Department, or other healthcare facility with the ability to autoclave your equipment.
They are also a lot cheaper than the Leatherman Raptor Shears and the X Shears, and are a good option, especially for EMT & Paramedic Students that need a basic but reliable pair of trauma shears while they complete their training.
- Very Affordable
- Strong & Durable
- Not as capable as the Leatherman Raptor Shears or the X Shears
Madison Supply Trauma Shears
Coming in at fourth place, these definitely aren’t the Best Trauma Shears in the world, but they are still a decent option, especially for those that don’t want to over-spend on their trauma shears.
The Madison Supply Trauma Shears are remarkably similar to the above Surviveware model, except these have a fluoride coating and non-stick blades.
You might wonder why having non-stick blades and a fluoride coating are advantages in the race to being named the Best Trauma Shears for EMS, and to that we ask – “Have you ever used Trauma Shears to cut adhesive strips to size?”
Any features that can help prevent the build up of sticky residue on my shears when cutting adhesive dressings to size are a much welcome addition to my kit.
- Non-stick blades
- Slightly more expensive than the Surviveware Shears
- Not as capable as other models
Coming in as the fifth Best Trauma Shears for EMS are the Carabiner Shears.
These shears incorporate a carabiner into the handle, helping you keep track of your shears and attach them somewhere they are easily accessible.
This feature proves extremely useful, especially at night when it’s dark and you’re fumbling around for your shears at 1am. The Carabiner is steel reinforced, so you can count on it’s strength and durability for extended use.
- Built-in Carabiner
- Not as capable as other models
Choosing the Best Trauma Shears for EMS
When it comes to choosing the best Trauma Shears for EMS, it’s important to focus on choosing shears that are of high quality, are reliable and are robust.
A good pair of trauma shears, and indeed, the best trauma shears for EMS, are the ones that could be cutting thick material one minute, and then be dropped on the ground and trodden on the next minute. They will be exposed to a variety of environments, covered in bodily fluids, cleaned with harsh chemicals, and then used again, and again, and again, and again…
In deciding on which ones to name as the best trauma shears for EMS, we also evaluated their usefulness, and multi-functionality, as not every call will require the use of trauma shears, so carrying them on your belt, in your pockets, etc. has to be justified and provide usefulness to your abilities. In looking for multifunctional trauma shears, the choices are extremely limited. Obviously, the leader of the pack is the Leatherman Raptor Shears, closely followed by the X Shears.
However, those are two of the most expensive models of Trauma Shears, and while it’s true that you get what you pay for (especially when it comes to the best Trauma Shears for EMS!), it’s also true that our EMS payslips don’t always allow for spending that much money on even the best Trauma Shears available.
When it comes to price, there are many more cost-effective options, and although they don’t have as many features as the Leatherman Raptor Shears, or as nice of a blade as the X Shears, they are still decent trauma shears – not the Best Trauma Shears for EMS – not by a long shot, but still decent options for those of us who are either on a budget, or just not sold on the idea of having the very best equipment available.
Similar to when we were choosing the Best Stethoscope for EMS, cost is an important factor to evaluate, but we as EMTs and Paramedics also need to understand that we must be prepared to pay more for quality products, and of course the entire Emergency Medical Services pay rates should reflect this need as well.
You may be thinking that you simply can’t afford the Best Trauma Shears for EMS, and instead of purchasing one pair of Leatherman Raptor Shears, you buy a pair of cheaper, generic branded trauma shears. After some time, while the Leatherman Raptor Shears are still working perfectly, you’ve already cracked the cheap plastic handle of the generic shears. After buying the amount of replacements necessary to last you the same time that a pair of Leatherman Raptor Shears or X Shears will last, you could have afforded to just buy the Best Trauma Shears for EMS in the first place, and probably have change left over.
While we know some are lucky enough to have free ones available, provided as promotional items, not everyone is that lucky, or has a never-ending collection of them to choose from.
Ultimately, it was a close contest between choosing the Leatherman Raptor Shears or the X Shears as the Best Trauma Shears for EMS, however the extra features of the Leatherman Raptor Shears were ultimately the deciding factor.
But why not just use the trauma shears supplied in our gear?
Unless you are lucky enough to be supplied with the Best Trauma Shears for EMS, then the cheap supplied trauma shears may be prone to breaking, may not cut as well and don’t offer the same features and functionality as something like the Leatherman Raptor Shears.
If you’re a volunteer EMT, only working occasionally, then you may not see the point in spending a large amount of money on the Raptors – and that’s OK! But if you’re doing this work on a daily basis, then you’ll appreciate the need for a reliable pair of Trauma Shears.
Another advantage to having a high-end pair of Trauma Shears is that they usually come with a manufacturers warranty, so if things go wrong and you discover any faults with them, you have some peace of mind in knowing you can get them repaired or replaced by the manufacturer.
There is also a hygiene aspect to this, as sharing a pair of trauma shears can spread germs easily, unless they are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use – which although should be happening, just doesn’t always happen.
The Best Trauma Shears for EMS are therefore a good pick for your personal pair of trauma shears, with the Leatherman Raptor Trauma Sheers being our number one pick!
Why having the best trauma shears for EMS really matters:
When you respond to a major trauma call, you begin thinking en-route about what injuries you might encounter, how you would treat them, what equipment you will use, and how you will need to quickly establish how severe the injuries are upon your arrival.
Often times, wounds are hidden and obstructed from view by the patients clothing. This is where your trauma shears come in to play.
The best trauma shears for EMS will have no problem at all in cutting through even the thickest of clothing and gaining you access to the wound.
Sure, not all wounds require direct unobstructed access in order to control bleeding. For example a large arterial bleed you can put pressure over the top of clothing, or apply a tourniquet over the top of the patients clothing.
However, if the wound is a junctional bleed for example, and requires wound packing, then you need to be able to gain unobstructed access to the wound in order to pack it.
Having reliable EMS Trauma Shears is so important, because you need to be able to rely on your equipment, when your patients are relying on you.
Other examples include the Leatherman Raptor shears having multi-functionality such as a ring cutter and glass breaker.
As a paramedic or advanced EMT you can even use the built in ECG ruler on the shears to measure and interpret ECG/EKG results.
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