A GREAT TOOL JUST FEELS RIGHT
March 1, 2015
I carry the Raptor trauma shears multi-tool on me every shift. Less common on Fire/Rescue and EMS rigs probably, but it's amazing how in an Emergency Department, often when you need this basic necessity for rapid exposure of injuries covered by clothing, or when casting/splinting or even applying basic wound dressings, a pair of good (and sharp) trauma shears can be hard to find (that would never have flown back when we were residents).
I was lucky one of my physician colleagues was carrying some one shift when I borrowed them, and immediately once in my hand, the balance and weight perfect, as they sliced through the thick, padded, fiberglass splinting splinting material effortlessly, I knew I had to get a pair. Once things settled down a bit, I actually went and found my co-worker again just to finish checking them out. I was really impressed with how thoughtful their design was as an emergency medicine and rescue multitool with each and every feature high quality and useful, in true Leatherman fashion, none of them flimsy or half-hearted after thoughts; all well designed and fabricated tools in their own right.
Easy to carry whether using the clip on the tool itself or the rugged holster (initially a bit difficult to remove and replace the tool in and out of it, that went away after the first day of use), they are light and compact, folding and unfolding quick and easy.
Very sharp and capable shears with high level of precision in the blade effacement when scissoring (action a little stiffer than the cheap ones for this reason, but I'd choose the greater precision when cutting that they offer and strengthen my grip a bit over sloppy blade effacement anytime). The "belt-cutter" is likewise sharp and capable, and depending on the clothing and occasion, sometimes the tool of choice for zipping open the pant leg of a pair of jeans to get at an unstable fracture or other injury ASAP.
ECG ruler on the blade? Brilliant inclusion! Better than calipers (one more tool none of us carry anymore otherwise, but would love to have when trying to figure out if that rhythm is atrial fibrillation vs. second or third degree block for example)
Including the ring cutter as well was a brilliant add, and I feel a little guilty about my newfound anticipation to lay waste to a wedding band in the name of saving a finger.
Lastly, let's be honest, who of us doesn't love the fact that it puts a real life, functional "Transformer" on our belt or in our pocket?
My only suggestions for consideration by Leatherman would be:
1. Either add a little rubber on the outside of one of the handles to double as the striking surface of a reflex hammer vs. offer an attachable accessory for this purpose.
- As is, the handle doesn't have enough weight or protection to really use the Raptor for this, but again, part of that I'm sure is to keep the tool as light and compact as possible, and the added weight/bulk that this would add would likely be a turn off for tactical and pre-hospital rescue/EMS providers, so no complaints here. An ER Doc like myself however, would find it really useful.
2. If there were a way to add a useful blade to this tool to double as a pocket knife, it would always be with me even on those precious "off-days". As is though, I'm never without it when I work.