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Hands-On with Leatherman’s “Raptor” Multi-Tool for Medics

Being an EMT and a gigantic nerd, nothing makes me quite as happy as playing with new medical gear. This piece of kit from Leatherman I’ve been waiting to get my hands on for some time, namely because it does everything I could possibly want my trauma shears to do.

Want a glass breaker? Its on the handle. Belt hook and clothes ripper? folds out of the middle. Oh, and that square hole? Yep, you guessed it, O2 tank wrench. So instead of having a wrench tacked onto every single tank on the rig, you just need to remember to clip your own to your pants before going on shift. There’s even a ring cutter built into the blades so you don’t have to pull out that medieval looking tool that’s currently in the bag.

There’s also a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t think I needed, but are well thought out upgrades. Like a ruler on the side of the shears, especially helpful for, um, measuring things.

In short, I like it. And for the $70ish they’re asking, downright reasonable.

Oh crap, I need something gun related or RF will get me with the hose again…


There. That should hold him off.


  1. avatar In Memphis says:

    You know what they say about us EMTs Nick, the more stuff on your belt the newer you are. I never carried much, even in the begining but I WILL check this out.


  2. avatar Javier says:

    I’m not an EMT but I LIKE IT! Good to have in a first aid or emergency kit.

  3. avatar Dave S says:

    You should always have enough gear if your ambulance is stolen on scene!
    we use the toggles on the bottles if they arent missing! So i dont carry a wrench anymore.

    You always need a hose strap! LOL

    1. avatar In Memphis says:

      Careful, thoes toggles break off, then you will wish you had a wrench.

  4. avatar Aharon says:

    Don’t be too harsh on yourself Nick. The Raptor is more functional than an ammo-free AR and an AR on backorder.

  5. avatar Graybeard says:

    As a former EMT-B and a Scout leader who takes kids into remote places where it’s 3 days to help, I love things like this. Thanks Nick.

  6. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

    Good save, Nick. 🙂

  7. avatar FatKid says:

    I’m a FF/PM also. Nice, although a little pricey. My concern is decontamination if/when it contacts body fluids. Can it be completely disassembled to clean in between all the little parts?

    1. avatar SentMKG says:

      Since it does not look like it can be disassembled completely I imagine a good sterile bathing will be the best one can do which is really unfortunate. There might be a way around that issue who knows. Hopefully the plastics they are using are good ones otherwise the harsh cleaning chemicals might start to compromise the strength of it.

    2. avatar In Memphis says:

      Make freinds with whoever runs the autoclaves at your nearest hospital, or maybe your doctors office

    3. avatar Heroftoday says:

      Autoclave that sucker!

      LoL Memphis beat me to it…

    4. avatar Lthom says:

      They actually can be taken apart as long as you have the correct sized star wrench.

  8. EMT/Instructor and Shears are one tool you have to have so you might as well carry one of these. I am going to have to check them out. I really like the carry case.

  9. avatar avenger1 says:

    WAIT!! Something that is useful, multi-purpose, and assists in saving lives…. BAN IT!!!

    (that is actually how I feel about “weapons of war” A tool that is useful, multi-purposeful, and assists in saving lives. **not the ban it part, I was being sarcastic!)

    But really, this is defiantly something I will be looking into. Anything I can add to my kits to better help in ANY situation always perks my interest.

  10. avatar AZRon says:

    Scissors I can run with. How tactical . Please Mother Superior, may I have some more after you attend my nappy?

    Will the pussification of males never end?

    1. avatar 16V says:

      The utility shears/scissors have been round-nosed since forever, as one wishes to cut fabric off a patient in a hurry, not demonstrate alacrity.

      Trauma scissors/shears are just a tool. The one that works the fastest with the least risk is the proper one for the job when one has the luxury of picking it.

    2. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      The last trauma care class I went to had a former Navy corpsman as one of the instructors. He had a funny story about the time he went to treat a senior NCO (can’t remember if it was a Master Chief or lower) and managed to stab him in the leg while cutting clothing free of the wound with a knife.

      Sometimes, safety is good for its own sake. He kept round nosed shears with him from then on.

    3. avatar Lthom says:

      Have you ever had to cut the clothes off of a trauma victim or no? Sharp ends = cut up patient.

  11. avatar Thumper says:

    I personally feel every article needs to come with a photo of a Tavor.

    I don’t care what the article is about, it just needs to have at least one Tavor picture.

    Thank you.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      It would be better if it just came with a Tavor…

  12. avatar TJ says:

    Would like to see the ring cutter, as I have never found anything that works as well as “those medieval looking tool” in my bag.

  13. avatar ensitu says:

    1st Responder from the Great North Woods here (Yeah, a Guthrie Call Back, trust me, he barely made grade as a dish washer. There were standards. As a dish washer he was a great FA!)

  14. avatar ensitu says:

    So do I see a theme here?
    Is there a Buncha, Buncha Burning EMTS here?
    If all civilians mustbe disarme to make”US” all safe, if guns equal violence
    why do the pigs carry guns?
    I’m all into EMTs having some sort of defense

  15. avatar 16V says:

    I love the theory, but like lotsa theories…

    All-in-one/manypurpose tools are always a compromise. Always. If you’re on a day off and want something useful to carry that’s light – perfectly reasonable and potentially useful field expedient.

    But, you don’t work on cars with an adjustable wrench, or a Gerber unless there’s nothing else. Multiple specialized tools exist because that’s what needs to be. Even the most Ricky-Ranger-Galted-up newb EMT/PARA carries almost nothing compared to even a boonies deputy. That’s why you have the tackle boxes.

    You may need two tools at once, or in rapid succession. You know exactly where those individual tools are on the batbelt/multipocket pants. It’s far quicker to reach for the next tool and deploy it than to reconfigure a tool you’re already using for another purpose.

    As a friend who trains EMTs for a major metro observed, “Cute gadget du jour and nice to have as a backup. Anyone thinking of using it as a primary will be smacked in the head and will face action when someone dies. Especially after the departed’s attorney learns you were too lazy to carry the right tools for the job.”

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      Excellent points there, agree completely. I see this as a useful backup to put in the glovebox of your car, or in the first aid kit for someone who doesn’t do first aid as a primary job. I may get one for exactly that purpose.

  16. avatar Mark says:

    I like that thing and may pick it up. My friend bought me an 02 wrench from and I use it almost daily either to change out cylinders or crack open a beer.

  17. avatar AmbulanceMonkee says:

    We have one ED around here that gives out trauma shears for EMS week annually. Every year, I get a sharp, shiny new pair. I’m all about spending my own money on stuff that makes my job easier, but I usually invest in stuff I can use outside of work as well. Examples include nice boots and good flashlights. The best money I’ve spent so far is a Fenix TK11 and a SureFire speed holster for it.

    While I’m not a fan of the provided ring cutters, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used one in a decade of high volume urban EMS. Certainly not enough times to worry about providing my own. I tried Kershaw’s version of the rescue hook because it was on sale for five bucks. I used it once, and decided to stick with shears. The one time I had to take out a window at an MVC, I used a big flashlight. When I lost a d-tank wrench, I used a leatherman tool I already carry.

    Basically, $70 bucks is a lot of my own money for something I’m only going to use at work and can’t clean easily. I also figure shears are easier to replace than sharpen. I’d rather take the $70 and buy a speaker mic for the portables my employer provides without separate mics.

    Just my opinion, though. Guys like you are the ones that always have a roll of tape handy when I stick an IV in someone and realize my roll is missing. I won’t knock anyone for carrying extra equipment as long as it’s reasonable.

  18. avatar Alan Rose says:

    I’m a Paramedic and on first glance I like it. I wonder if the glass breaker has been tested. I recently saw a video of some other EMS purpose built glass breakers; several didn’t. Something about carbide (yes) veersus steel (nope) tip. The one thing every EMT needs to have nearby is the trauma shears. This gives you extra options when your tool box is not nearly. I wonder how it handles with gloves on, both exam and extrication. Also how well it carries in the pocket with clip. I haven’t had the need to break glass in years, likewise cutting rings is rare but not unheard of, and these procedures are certainly necessary at times. We only have one ring cutter, and it stays on the front line medic, not in the bag. The price may be reasonable but is still a bit steep for us low paid medics. Send me one (to keep…) and I’ll stress test it with a review. Now the burning question: Does it cut pennies? And more importantly, how many pennies can you cut before the hinge pin loosens up?

    1. avatar Alan Rose says:

      BTW about the rounded tip, it’s supposed to be that way so that you can dig in and go to work without having to worry about stabbing your patient. All medical scissors are designed this way. Now a funny story. Once, I was working a padiatric cardiac arrest. I went to cut the baby’s clothes off and was using my opposite fingers to lift the clothes off of the skin that were bunching up and binding the (cheap) pair of shears. I placed a nice little cut right across my finger. Oops.

    2. avatar Alan Rose says:

      OK I did a little poking around, and here’s what I found out: Release date possibly May 2013, carbide tip on glass breaker, comes with hard plasticky sheath that can be rotated into custom position and holds tool locked in open or closed configuration, 25 year warranty (standard Leatherman), edge can be sharpened. Ring cutter is a cutout on bottom of blade but I still haven’t seen how it works.

  19. avatar Matt says:

    The Leatherman Raptor is available for pre-order now only from North American Rescue:

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