Leatherman Raptor Shears Review for 2020: Hands-On for Survi

Between three and four thousand years ago, somebody somewhere thought up the idea of having two opposing bronze knife blades slice SHTF Leatherman Scissortowards each other and thus the spring shears were born.  But it wasn’t until about AD 100 that the recognizable X-shaped pivot shears were invented by the Romans.  By placing the pivot point in between the handles and the cutting edges the user’s hand-power could control both the opening and closing of the blades allowing cutting chores to be more controlled and varied.  Massive improvements in scissor design, materials, and capabilities followed rapidly from tiny shears to those that took two hands to operate. In this article, I review the Leatherman Raptor Shears. Keep reading!

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Karambit Knife

Leatherman Raptor Shears Review: Hands-On

Today we have more options than ever from those scissors used in neurosurgery to the familiar gas-powered opposing blades known as “The Jaws of Life.”  There is also a neatly carved-out niche for tactical-medical survival shears, but in most cases the so-named scissors are little more than tough yet conventional kitchen shears.  On the other side of that same coin Leatherman ripped a page out of their own multitool playbook by combining the aggressive chops of military-grade medical shears with the bling of a multitool.  Leatherman produced a ridiculously powerful, durable, and lightly feature-filled set of shears that appears to have no direct competition in the Survival Scissors space.  In essence it is a replay of the early days of Leatherman where the “Multitool” was the only serious contender in its self-created space so prepare yourself for a flood of tactical shears entering the marketplace over the next few years.

Sale
LEATHERMAN - Raptor Emergency Response Shears with Strap Cutter and Glass...
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: The Raptor features the necessary tools for medical professionals to handle...
  • INSTANT RESPONSE: Equipped with 6 essential tools, including folding emergency response shears, a...
  • SIMPLE, SAFE ACCESS: The specially designed sheath allows you to carry your Raptor open or closed so...

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 21:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Raptor’s Talons

Taking its orders from medical and special ops professionals, the Leatherman’s Raptor Shears have six distinct tools including scissors, a Leatherman Tool Reviewstrap cutter, a ring cutter, a glass breaker, an oxygen tank wrench, and a ruler. Limiting these Survival Scissors to six tools is like thinking a hammer only does one thing. In reality, there are so many uses for powerful pair of Survival Scissors that once you have a pair, you will no longer miss the money they cost. And taking a nod from their oh-so successful multitools, these cutters fold up to about half their operational length, and store neatly in either configuration in their matching plastic belt sheath.

The blade steel is Leatherman’s house band of 420HC Stainless.  The high carbon (HC) content of the steel gives these shears the same bite and durability as the rest of the non-supersteel Leatherman tool line.  Of the five tools beyond the scissors I think the ruler is a wash. Five centimeters or 1.8 inches might be handy for reporting a medical situation to higher-ups, but when soloing in a SHTF, the rest of the tools are the real winners.  But let’s start at the top.  The shears are the obvious necessity and whose talents alone make this survival tool a necessity.  These aren’t your grandma’s sewing scissors.  The Leatherman Raptors will cut a penny into a curlycue, or a quarter in half, not to mention anything of lesser material.  The Raptors, like their dinosaur namesake, are a formidable foe for anything they can sink their teeth into.

The strap cutter has the familiar form factor of a stand-alone cutting tool when the Raptor's handles are folded up. The cutter extends out on Top Survival Blogits  own and forms the rough point on a triangular grip.  Using a liner-lock design, the cutting tool swings from a flush mount parallel to the thumb-side of the scissors into position where the hook faces the user allowing full pulling strength to be applied to the cutting hook.  The position of hook relative to the natural gripping platform provides plenty of confidence and finesse when slicing through the clothing of a victim, or I assume freeing yourself from a tangle of parachute shroud cords.  In my controlled tests, the cutter slices through any non-metal cord that fits into its mouth.  The entire blade seems replaceable but for heavy users of the strap cutter, it might be nice to have replaceable blades like the MUT.

Lord Of The Rings

The ring cutter is a specialty tool designed to slice through wedding bands, engagement rings, and all manner of circular body wear that Top Survival Blogmight create a problem if the appendage constrained by the metal hoop begins to swell.  The ring cutter does not need deployment and sits almost unnoticed tucked into the outside-bottom of the main scissor blades. To use the ring cutter, you simply back up the scissors with blades open until the ring snags the small but hideously powerful cutting jaws.  Then close the shears like normal and “ping” goes the ring. If you do have to use the ring cutter, be kind to the ring’s owner by gently cutting on the side opposite the main attraction on the ring. It will be much easier to repair later.

Rather than waiting for an injury that would cause some swelling to my ring finger, I went ahead and just snipped ring with the cutter to test its effectiveness. I got two words for you: Dangerously Effective.  Don’t even play around with the ring cutter in case you step over the line and accidentally cut yourself into the doghouse.  Unless the ring is stainless steel or titanium, be careful because the ring cuts precious metals like scissors cut fabric.

Subtle But Effective

The Raptor's glass-breaker is a small carbide spike on the finger-grip side of the handles. It points in the opposite direction of the scissor blades and Leatherman Tool Raptor Reviewworks best, in my opinion, when the Raptor is folded up. That way your hand can wrap around the entire mechanism with the design increasing in width as it heads towards the glass-breaker.  By widening, it reduces the chance you will slip and have your hand go flush with the shattering glass.  Unlike many other add-on glass-breakers, this one, although perpetually deployed, does not seem to get in the way or risk the user much during other chores. It will, however, be a wake up call to your palm if you shove the Raptor in its holster like you do your sidearm.

The oxygen tank wrench is little more than a small roughly rectangular cutout in the shaft of the strap cutter.  While a clever design because the single wrench on this thing can be isolated from the grip fairly well, it is mild survival use given that tanks of oxygen will be as rare as hollow point .223 ammo.  But for the working paramedic, O2 is a daily reality so this wrench might come in handy when running out of hands.  The wrench also doubles as a deployment hole for the strap cutter in the spirit of the Spyderco hole.

Sale
LEATHERMAN - Raptor Emergency Response Shears with Strap Cutter and Glass...
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: The Raptor features the necessary tools for medical professionals to handle...
  • INSTANT RESPONSE: Equipped with 6 essential tools, including folding emergency response shears, a...
  • SIMPLE, SAFE ACCESS: The specially designed sheath allows you to carry your Raptor open or closed so...

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 21:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Also Read: Leatherman MUT Review

As mentioned before, the final feature Leatherman considers a tool on the Raptor is the ruler. Running along the outside of what would be the top or left-side blade (for a right-handed user) is a short but detailed ruler. It is quite easy to read being black marks on a silver steel background, but at less than two inches, it has a pretty narrow use. Plus, the zero point is not at the end of the blade so flush measurements are out. The ruler is better at making sub-five centimeter measurements than those involving inches and their fractional offspring.

Above The Fold

The Raptor folds up through the use of two push-button releases found one on each side of the blades just above the pivot point. The Leatherman Tool Raptortriangular buttons are release-in only meaning that if somehow you push a button under stress or pressure, the scissors will not fold up since the handles fold outward only. Therefore the buttons do not take any of the force generated during heavy use.

The comfort of the Raptors is on par with most other shears of this size. The glass-filled nylon grips covering the steel internals of the Raptor do an excellent job of distributing the force across fingers and thumb. However, cutting a penny into a curlicue is not the most comfortable experience, but neither is it something you will do more than once for fun. If you need to push these scissors to anywhere near their limits, you have bigger problems than a little poking pressure on your paw.

Also Read: Gerber GDC Money Clip Review

The included plastic belt holster holds the Raptor's in either open in a tip-down configuration , or when folded in a grip-down position. When open, the blades stick out through the bottom of the holster with the thumb hole to the front for a natural grab by a right-handed user. Luckily, the holster pocket is reversible on the belt hook so lefties can experience the same deployment success as the rest of the us. When folded, the pocket clip on the shears slides to the outside of the sheath and snaps into place more for easy removal than serious security.

Buyer’s Remorse

Here are a few things that I wished for when testing the Leatherman Raptor: 1.  A high-visibility version  2.  Electrically SHTF Scissorsinsulative handle that would allow cutting up to 220 volt lines  3.  A light mount of some sort (holding a flashlight while using scissors is not the most desirable of situations to find yourself).  Even though scissors only fit one hand, a second hand is almost always required for controlling the workpiece, pant leg, or rope.  It seems Leatherman has addressed the visibility issue and now offers an orange-handled version. I won’t hold my breath for an insulated version, but given that Leatherman has dipped its toe into the flashlight space, I don’t think it too much of a stretch to have a clip or snap-on lighting solution for use in dark spaces.

Survival shears such as the Raptor are not just a great gift for the prepper who has everything, they are also darn close to essential. And the Raptors are one of those wonderful tools that you didn’t know how much you needed it until you have it.

Sale
LEATHERMAN - Raptor Emergency Response Shears with Strap Cutter and Glass...
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: The Raptor features the necessary tools for medical professionals to handle...
  • INSTANT RESPONSE: Equipped with 6 essential tools, including folding emergency response shears, a...
  • SIMPLE, SAFE ACCESS: The specially designed sheath allows you to carry your Raptor open or closed so...

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 21:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

11 thoughts on “Leatherman Raptor Shears Review for 2020: Hands-On for Survi”

  1. This thing lists for about $70, rather high for a pair of scissors IMHO! I have carried a pair of 6" pruning shears in my waist belt multi-tool carrier for many years because they make some cutting tasks easier. They cost about $10, and I purchased them at a ACE hardware store. Two inches of cutting edge with a semi-circle notch near the joint (which cuts cord or light wire or small tree limbs/trigs very well) has served me well. IMHO, this leatherman tool is a bit too ga-ga, with unneeded options like the strap cutter and the ability (?) to fold; if you have a holster (?) to carry it in then what good is it to be able to fold? My pruning shears may or may not cut a penny, I don't care because I see no use for a dismembered penny! Good Luck!

    Reply
    • The main reason for this tool is for rescuers who may need those other tools unlike a civilian, so putting them on was a good idea in this case IMHO.
      Anyway I get your idea I use inexpensive shears too
      As I see no need to have them on their unless you are putting it in the console of your car.

      Reply
  2. I hear you Roger. The price is high compared to basic shears. In fact the orange-handled ones in the comparison photos were my go-to emergency scissors for many years. I picked up half a dozen pairs of them on sale for about six bucks a pop and they have served me well.

    But, alas, that is not the point of reviewing gear. Here at Survival Cache we have to focus on the alternatives and new takes on old ideas. That's how our gear evolves into the must-haves and every day carries we all swear by. Most of us own at least one Leatherman product so the company must be doing something right.

    Reply
  3. I like the concept, but yeah – a bit high in price. Good equipment though. I can definitely see a use for metal cutting scissors – making an arrowhead / spear point out of found metal would be a handy feature to have. These tools also take down (I think) so you get two short knives out of it as well. That ring cutter – I bet it would make short work out of galvanized chain link / barbed wire fencing, another handy feature for an outdoor tool. I carry pruners (and the small battery cable pliers) in my tool bag, but they generally stay there until they are needed – the Rapter is sized small and light enough to carry on your personal kit.

    Expensive – yes, there are no free rides.

    Reply
  4. I have bought trauma shears for 2 bucks each when buying a 12 piece carton or more now don't get me wrong they are ok but I can carry a couple of pair as they weigh nothing and I have a chisel for chopping pennies.

    I like shears they can cut many things well but I have surgical shears for hair and cloth.
    I carry a pair of Klein electrical pliers for hard cutting jobs.
    I have a mini sissors on my Swiss army explorer and another on my classic and even another on a multitool
    comes a point where you can't take or have everything.

    Reply
  5. Being an EMT… Maybe I should sit in on this… Though many of you may not see the need in all the tools on the Raptor, this pair of scissors is on almost every belt I see around the station.

    The O2 wrench is a no brainer. Seat belt cutters are good for removing clothes and cutting cords or if a patient has hanged themselves with a small diameter rope, or been tied up by a kidnapper. They are very well suited to the supine patient on a spine board as well…. And if you have a lady with a gaping chest wound, we do cut bras. And for that, the ability to cut through an under wire is precious. That's why our shears are able to cut pennies and such.
    Many people may ask why we don't just use a knife. I carry a knife as my EDC for work and off duty and can tell you, in a tight space, with a fidgeting patient screaming about their broken leg, you don't want a knife blade being flashed around. Not only unsafe for them, but we emergency personnel as well.

    So in total, everyone I know that has these Leatherman Shears love them. I'll be adding a pair to my kit when I'm able.

    Reply
    • Ralph…. you will NOT be sorry! I've had my for about a week and already 3 of my coworkers (EMS) have bought their own after seeing mine only once… They're a BEAST at cutting anything and all the hoop-de-doo about being hard to clean is just that… Ka-ka jealousy! They do disassemble for cleaning or you can just soak them. I have mine on a tool leash 'cause $60-70 bucks for shears is a bit harsh… but once you hold them your concerns will disappear (just like these will without a leash to secure them). Enjoy and be safe….

      Reply
  6. These scissors are a total no brainer for any EMT. I do rotations up in the high arctic and am the only paramedic for hundreds of miles. There are several situations in the past where the these would have made all the difference in the world to my patients, not to mention my hands (working for ten minutes try to cut off VERY heavy arctic boots (my regular shears were half knawing/sliding/sawing….anything but cutting!). I now carry one pair of Raptors on my belt in a Kaydex holster with a NAR leash, and also a spare pair in my bag. There is no substitute when you need them. I know of two hospital trauma centers who have used my scissors in the trauma bay and have ordered their own the same day.

    Reply
  7. Cheap, they are not but I'd say worth every cent. We use them in our ER after my own pair came in handy for a situation not other tool would cut through. We use the ring cutters nearly daily, saves time and labor not having to use an electric ring cutter and has come in especially handy cutting through fishing hooks (accidents happen) they cut through rings like butter, in a second.
    The seat belt cutter works especially well once you do the first cut at the belt line on a pair of jeans, the seat belt cutter glides through pant legs down in one fell swoop after that first snip, great for use in our trauma rooms.
    I like how I can bunch a t-shirt and cut through the middle in one cut, you can't do that with the cheap trauma shears.
    These don't snag on women's stockings either, for anyone who has tried to cut stockings off of a patient, the cheap $6 shears just make mess not these.
    They aren't for everyone but for major trauma and a deft ring cutter there's yet to be a match.

    Reply

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