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What are EMT scissors called?

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

What are EMT scissors called?

The scissors used by an emergency medical technician (EMT) are called trauma shears. Trauma shears, which are also known by a brand name Tuff Cuts, are a type of scissors that paramedics, health care professionals, and other personnel in emergency medical services make use of to cut off clothing safely from injured people.

The EMT scissors are usually made up of super-hardened, razor-sharp surgical steel blades with one jagged edge that helps it cut through very tough materials. The scissors also normally come with a plastic handle that is conventionally bent at an angle of 150 degrees.

Due to the angle at which the plastic handle is bent, the trauma shears have a longer lever arm than normal scissors, giving it an unusual appearance. The plastic handle also provides a soft grip, and it does not slip, which helps to give maximum control even when it is wet.

The trauma shears were made specifically for external use only. Therefore, they are inappropriate for invasive or surgical procedures. They can cut through the tough materials due to their rugged construction: leather, car seat belts, thin metal, denim, even a US penny, and some other hard surfaces.

The shears have a wide blunt tip that helps them slide across the skin easily and sit flush on it, and this also helps reduce the risk of the patient being injured while you are cutting off clothing from the injured person. Trauma shears are becoming more and more popular in terms of usage with soldiers, fishermen, scuba divers as they use them as a safer alternative to knives.

Another type of scissors that are similar in design to trauma shears is the bandage scissors, but they are smaller, and their primary use is for sizing or removing bandages and dressings.

The best-selling medical-grade utility shears brand in the world is ADC Medicut. They are made with a polypropylene handle and surgical-grade stainless steel.

They are available in two sizes: the full-size Medicut (320), which is 7 ¼ inches in size, and MiniMedicut (321), which is 5 ½ inches in size. They are durable with a Rockwell hardness of C56. The Medicut shears possess a stainless steel safety bandage tip, while the Minicut shears have a polypropylene safety bandage tip.

To know the authentic ADC Minicut and Medicut shears, they have embossed markings on both sides, on the handles. One side contains the model number and CE markings, while the other has the stainless steel and autoclavable information.


The EMT scissors called trauma shears are very useful for the medical personnel and offer an increased sense of safety. They are important equipment to have at all times.

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