Trauma Shears

Several years ago I needed about half a dozen tools for a series of workshops I was hosting. I needed a hand tool that could safely and easily shape plastic and thin sheet metal, but not break the bank. I found trauma shears at the local hardware store for a couple dollars each and bought every pair they had. Although I had misgivings about the price they worked great. I still have them and they all get constant use and abuse.

Sometimes called EMT or Paramedic scissors, they were originally designed for emergency responders to cut through seat belts, zippers, denim and leather. The rounded tip and bent handle made to safely cut along skin also make them useful for cutting along other surfaces without snags or jabs.

They’re somewhat famous for being shown cutting through a penny, which they’ll do without too much trouble. More practically they’ll cut sheet metal, wire, cable, plastic, cardboard, staples, rubber, foam, branches, and small bolts, to name a few. They’re the scissors I reach for when I don’t want to ruin my good scissors, and you’ll find them scattered throughout my workshop. They’re also great for opening plastic clamshell packages and I’ve tied them into bows on presents to help get into gifts.

-- Steve Hoefer  

Trauma Shears
About $3

Available from Amazon