Best Trauma Shears Medical Illustration

The 7+ Best Trauma Shears for Nurses and EMTs (2024)

by | Updated: Dec 20, 2023

In the high-pressure world of medical emergencies, every second counts, and having the right tools can make all the difference.

This is something I experienced firsthand as a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) while working in the ER.

Therefore, for nurses, EMTs, and other healthcare professionals, trauma shears are a critical tool that provides life-saving assistance in a variety of situations.

These specialized medical scissors are specifically designed to cut through clothing, bandages, and other materials quickly and efficiently while ensuring the patient’s safety.

With numerous options available on the market, it can be challenging to identify the best trauma shears for your specific needs.

In this article, we will explore the best trauma shears for medical professionals, considering factors such as durability, sharpness, and ergonomics to help you make an informed decision and enhance your quality of patient care.

Best Trauma Shears

Madison Supply 7.5
Best Overall
  • High-quality stainless steel blades
  • Milled serrations for secure grip
  • Angled design for easy maneuverability
  • Comfortable grip handle
  • Clothing lift lip and rounded tip for patient safety
MEUUT 8
Budget Pick
  • Affordable, budget-friendly option
  • Sharp, stainless steel blades
  • Extra-long 8-inch design for improved leverage
  • Ergonomic handles for comfortable grip
  • Two-pack for added convenience and value
XSHEAR® 7.5” Black Titanium Coated Trauma Shears
Upgrade Pick
  • Black titanium-coated stainless steel blades
  • Exceptional cutting performance and durability
  • Unique curved design for optimal cutting angle
  • Ergonomic handles and integrated safety features
  • Protective holster for easy access and storage
If you click a link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Madison Supply 7.5″ Trauma Shears Medical Scissors

The Madison Supply 7.5″ Trauma Shears Medical Scissors are a top choice for medical professionals due to their unbeatable combination of performance, durability, and value.

Our Top Pick
Madison Supply 7.5

These trauma shears are great for medical professionals because they are made of high-quality stainless steel and are designed to cut through tough materials with ease, making them a reliable tool in emergency situations.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

These shears feature high-quality stainless steel blades that provide a precise and reliable cutting experience, even in the most demanding situations.

The milled serrations on the lower blade ensure a secure grip on a variety of materials, while the angled design and comfortable grip handle allow for easy maneuverability.

These shears also include a clothing lift lip and rounded tip to protect patients from accidental injury.

With their exceptional functionality and long-lasting design, the Madison Supply Trauma Shears stand out as the best overall option.

MEUUT 8″ Trauma Shears Medical Scissors (2 Pack)

For those seeking an affordable yet reliable option, the MEUUT 8″ Trauma Shears Medical Scissors (2 Pack) is an excellent choice.

Budget Pick
MEUUT 8

These trauma shears feature high-quality stainless steel blades with serrated edges, ergonomic handles for comfortable use, and come in a pack of two for added convenience.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Despite their budget-friendly price, these shears offer impressive performance with sharp, stainless steel blades that can cut through various materials with ease.

The extra-long 8-inch design allows for improved leverage and control, while the ergonomic handles ensure a comfortable grip during prolonged use.

This pack includes two shears, making it an ideal choice for medical professionals in need of backup tools or those who want to share with colleagues.

With the MEUUT Trauma Shears, you can expect solid performance without breaking the bank.

XSHEAR® 7.5” Black Titanium Coated Trauma Shears

For medical professionals seeking the ultimate in performance and durability, look no further than the XSHEAR® 7.5” Black Titanium Coated Trauma Shears.

Upgrade Pick
XSHEAR® 7.5” Black Titanium Coated Trauma Shears

These trauma shears are made of high-quality steel, are coated with black titanium for durability, and feature a patented design that allows for maximum cutting power and control.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

These premium shears boast an incredibly sharp, black titanium-coated stainless steel blade that not only provides superior cutting performance but also resists corrosion and wear.

The unique curved design ensures an optimal cutting angle, while the smooth, ergonomic handles and integrated safety features provide comfort and protection for both the user and the patient.

Additionally, XSHEAR® offers a sleek protective holster (sold separately) that ensures easy access and storage.

When it comes to the best trauma shears in terms of quality and longevity, the XSHEAR® 7.5” Black Titanium Coated Trauma Shears are the ultimate upgrade.

Note: Our users can check the latest price on Amazon or get a 10% discount by purchasing directly from the XSHEAR website.

Best Multi-Tool Trauma Shears

This model combines the versatility of a multi-tool with the functionality of trauma shears, making it a great all-in-one tool for medical professionals.

Our Top Pick
LEATHERMAN Raptor Rescue Emergency Trauma Shears

A versatile and compact multi-tool featuring folding medical shears, a strap cutter, a ring cutter, an oxygen tank wrench, and a glass breaker, designed for rapid response in emergency situations.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Trauma Shears for Nurses

These trauma shears are specifically designed for medical professionals who need a reliable and easy-to-use tool for cutting through clothing and bandages.

Upgrade Pick
XSHEAR® 7.5” Black Titanium Coated Trauma Shears

These trauma shears are made of high-quality steel, are coated with black titanium for durability, and feature a patented design that allows for maximum cutting power and control.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Trauma Shears for EMTs

EMTs and first responders may benefit from trauma shears with for features; therefore, this multi-tool is our top recommendation.

Our Top Pick
LEATHERMAN Raptor Rescue Emergency Trauma Shears

A versatile and compact multi-tool featuring folding medical shears, a strap cutter, a ring cutter, an oxygen tank wrench, and a glass breaker, designed for rapid response in emergency situations.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Trauma Shears for Scuba Diving

This model is designed to withstand harsh underwater environments and is made of high-quality materials that resist corrosion and rust.

Our Top Pick
Dive Rite Trauma Shears with DC Sheath

A pair of durable stainless steel trauma shears designed for underwater use, featuring an easy-release sheath and attachment points for secure storage while diving.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Trauma Shears with Ring Cutter

This multi-tool features a built-in ring cutter that allows for easy removal of rings in emergency situations, making them a versatile and essential tool for first responders.

Our Top Pick
LEATHERMAN Raptor Rescue Emergency Trauma Shears

A versatile and compact multi-tool featuring folding medical shears, a strap cutter, a ring cutter, an oxygen tank wrench, and a glass breaker, designed for rapid response in emergency situations.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Trauma Shears with Carabiner

These trauma shears are designed to be easily attached to a belt or backpack, making them a convenient and portable tool for use on the go.

Our Top Pick
SC 7.5

A robust pair of medical shears with a carabiner integrated into the handle, offering convenient and secure attachment options for easy access during emergencies.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

What are Trauma Shears?

Trauma shears, also known as medical scissors or emergency scissors, are a specialized type of scissors designed for use in medical emergencies and other high-pressure situations.

These shears are specifically created to quickly and efficiently cut through clothing, bandages, tape, and other materials without causing harm to the patient.

Featuring stainless steel blades, one serrated edge to grip materials, and an angled or curved design, trauma shears are built to withstand rigorous use.

They typically have a blunt, rounded tip to prevent accidental injury to the patient’s skin when cutting through materials.

The handles of trauma shears are often made of plastic or other durable materials and are designed to be comfortable and easy to grip, allowing medical professionals to work quickly and effectively in emergency situations.

Trauma shears animated gif

Factors to Consider When Choosing Trauma Shears

When selecting the ideal trauma shears for your needs, several factors should be taken into consideration to ensure that you pick the right tool for your professional use.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Durability: High-quality trauma shears should be constructed from durable materials, such as stainless steel or titanium-coated blades, to ensure they can withstand rigorous use and maintain their sharpness over time. The handles should also be made from sturdy materials like plastic or metal that can endure repeated use.
  • Sharpness: A sharp pair of trauma shears is crucial for efficiently cutting through various materials in high-pressure situations. Look for shears with serrated blades that can grip materials effectively while cutting and ensure that the shears maintain their sharpness over time.
  • Ergonomics: The design of the trauma shears should allow for comfortable and easy handling, even during prolonged use. Consider the shape of the handles, their grip, and the overall size of the shears to ensure they fit well in your hand and can be used comfortably.
  • Safety Features: To minimize the risk of accidental injury to patients, it’s essential to choose trauma shears with a rounded, blunt tip. Some shears also feature a clothing lift lip, which helps to further protect the patient’s skin when cutting through materials.
  • Size and Weight: Trauma shears come in different sizes, usually ranging from 5.5 to 7.5 inches or longer. Consider your personal preference and the types of materials you typically need to cut to choose the appropriate size. A lightweight pair of shears can also reduce hand fatigue during extended use.
  • Versatility: Some trauma shears come with additional features such as oxygen tank wrenches, strap cutters, or ring cutters, which can be useful in various emergency situations. Consider whether these additional functions are relevant to your work and could be beneficial in your daily tasks.
  • Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance: Choose trauma shears that can be easily cleaned and sanitized to maintain proper hygiene standards in medical settings. Opt for shears with minimal crevices and removable parts for easy cleaning.
  • Price: Trauma shears come in a range of prices, from budget-friendly options to more expensive premium shears. Determine your budget and consider the balance between price and quality to find a pair of shears that offers the best value for your specific needs.

By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to choose the ideal trauma shears for your professional use, ensuring that you have a reliable and efficient tool to assist you in providing life-saving care in emergency situations.

How to Use Trauma Shears

Using trauma shears effectively and safely is important to ensure that you can provide prompt care during medical emergencies. Here are the steps to properly use trauma shears:

  1. Hold the shears correctly: Hold the trauma shears with your dominant hand by placing your thumb in the larger handle hole and your ring or middle finger in the smaller handle hole. This grip allows you to maintain control and apply the necessary pressure while cutting.
  2. Lift the clothing or material: Gently lift the clothing or material away from the patient’s skin. This creates a small gap between the material and the skin, reducing the risk of injury.
    Insert the rounded tip: Place the rounded, blunt tip of the trauma shears under the material, making sure it is not in contact with the patient’s skin. The rounded tip is designed to protect the patient from accidental injury during cutting.
  3. Cut along the material: Apply pressure to the shears and start cutting along the material. Ensure that the serrated edge of the blade is facing the material, as it helps grip and cut more effectively. Keep the material taut while cutting to maintain a smooth, controlled motion.
  4. Work in sections: If you’re cutting a large area or heavy material, work in small sections to maintain control and precision.
  5. Dispose of cut material safely: Once the material is cut, carefully remove it from the patient and dispose of it in a designated area to prevent any tripping hazards or contamination.
  6. Clean and maintain your shears: After use, make sure to properly clean and sanitize your trauma shears according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store them in a protective pouch or holster when not in use to maintain their sharpness and longevity.

Remember: Practice is essential to develop the skills necessary for using trauma shears effectively in emergency situations. It’s a good idea to participate in training sessions or simulations to hone your skills and build confidence in using this essential tool.

Trauma Shears vs. Bandage Scissors

Trauma shears and bandage scissors are both essential tools in the medical field, but they serve different purposes and have unique design features to cater to their specific functions.

The primary differences between trauma shears and bandage scissors lie in their intended purpose, design, blade size, blade strength, and handle design. Trauma shears are built for versatility and efficiency in emergency situations. In contrast, bandage scissors are tailored for the precise cutting of bandages and dressings in both emergency and non-emergency settings.

Selecting the right tool for the task at hand is crucial for ensuring patient safety and providing the best possible care.

For comparison, our top recommended bandage scissors are the Utopia Care 7.5″ Medical Scissors.

Best Overall
Utopia Care 7.5

A reliable and budget-friendly pair of stainless steel medical scissors featuring a comfortable grip and sharp, serrated blades for efficient cutting during various medical and emergency situations.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQ

How Sharp are Trauma Shears?

Trauma shears are designed to be very sharp to efficiently cut through various materials, such as clothing, bandages, and tape, in emergency situations.

The blades often feature serrations, which grip materials effectively and help maintain the sharpness of the shears over time.

Can You Sharpen Trauma Shears?

Yes, trauma shears can be sharpened to maintain their cutting efficiency. Sharpening can be done using a sharpening stone or a specialized scissor sharpener, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

However, in some cases, it might be more cost-effective to replace the shears with a new pair, especially if they are a budget-friendly option.

What Can Trauma Shears Cut?

Trauma shears are designed to cut a wide range of materials, including clothing, bandages, dressings, medical tape, seat belts, and other items that need to be quickly removed or cut in emergency situations.

The sharp, serrated blades can also cut through thicker materials like leather, denim, and plastic.

How to Clean Trauma Shears?

Cleaning and sterilizing trauma shears is essential to maintain hygiene standards and ensure patient safety.

Begin by wiping off any visible debris using a soft cloth, then wash the shears with warm water and mild soap, scrubbing gently with a brush if necessary to remove any stubborn residue. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and dry with a clean towel.

For disinfection or sterilization, consider using an appropriate disinfectant or sterilizing solution, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

One of the most effective sterilization techniques for trauma shears is autoclaving, which uses high-pressure steam to kill any microorganisms that may be present.

Before autoclaving, ensure that the trauma shears are made from materials that can withstand the process, such as stainless steel, and that all parts are fully disassembled if possible.

After sterilizing, allow the shears to air dry completely before storing them in a protective pouch or holster to maintain their sharpness and longevity.

Note: Regular cleaning and proper sterilization of trauma shears are crucial for maintaining a safe and sterile medical environment.

Can you Bring Trauma Shears on a Plane?

Trauma shears may be allowed in checked luggage, but they are generally not permitted in carry-on luggage due to their sharpness and potential to be used as a weapon.

It’s important to check the specific airline and TSA guidelines for any restrictions or requirements before traveling with trauma shears.

What is the Notch on Trauma Shears for?

The notch on some trauma shears, also known as a clothing lift lip, is designed to protect the patient’s skin when cutting through materials.

By lifting the material away from the skin, the notch helps ensure that the patient isn’t accidentally injured during the cutting process.

Where to Buy Trauma Shears?

Trauma shears can be purchased through various channels, including medical supply stores, online retailers like Amazon or specialized medical equipment websites, and sometimes even local pharmacies.

It’s a good idea to compare prices, read reviews, and consider the factors outlined in this article to select the best trauma shears for your needs.

Final Thoughts

Having a reliable and efficient pair of trauma shears is an essential tool for nurses, EMTs, and medical professionals who work in high-pressure environments.

With various options available, it’s important to consider factors like durability, sharpness, ergonomics, and price to determine the ideal shears for your specific needs.

We’ve highlighted the best overall, budget, and upgrade picks in this article, including the Madison Supply 7.5″ Trauma Shears, the MEUUT 8″ Trauma Shears, and the XSHEAR® 7.5” Black Titanium Coated Trauma Shears.

By selecting the best trauma shears for your toolkit, you’ll be better prepared to provide life-saving assistance in a variety of situations, ensuring that you can perform at your best when it matters most.

John Landry, BS, RRT

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.

References

  • Hurtado TR, Montoya C. Trauma scissors vs. the rescue hook, exposing a simulated patient: a pilot study. J Emerg Med. 2009.
  • Cummings C, Sibley A, Jain T, Nicholson B. A Randomized Comparison of Clothing Removal Techniques in a Simulated Trauma Patient Exposure. Cureus. 2022.
  • Sibley AK, Jain TN, Nicholson B, Atkinson P. Cut and rip and cut alone techniques versus usual practice in the removal of trauma patient clothing. CJEM. 2018.

Recommended Reading