• best quality "penny cutter" utility scissors

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  • there are a lot of these on amazon. many seem to be from the same manufacturer, sold under different names. it's a very useful tool that i use constantly. mine is finally wearing out and i'm looking to replace it with the best quality version available.

    they all look very similar to this

    i need to add that i'm aware of the leatherman raptor. little too pricey for me.

    15 2
    Question by erasmus

I have a couple pairs of the Harbor Freight Multipurpose Shears $3.99 and they are of very decent quality, and a lot cheaper than the Leatherman ones (heh, what isn’t? :) ). Haven’t actually tried them on pennies though.



Answer by laral

This question opens up a much larger area of contention, namely that of cheap Chinese imitations that masquerade on Amazon as the real thing, only significantly cheaper. Notwithstanding Jack Ma’s recent assertion to the effect that fakes are better quality than the originals, I have decided to no longer buy stuff from Amazon that says ”fulfilled by” but rather hunt down the originals, even if pricier and more trouble to buy because I have to do so from a small company rather than with One-Click.

Answer by Joe Stirt

I have owned a pair of Cutco (https://www.cutco.com) scissors since 1965, and routinely cut pennies which was one of the demonstrations while selling them. They’re the only scissors I’ve seen that come apart, and though they’re not cheap their durability, quality and life-long guarantee make them an excellent choice.

Answer by thevidman

I carry EMT shears daily and use them more than my knife or leatherman – second only to my flashlight in how often I use them.

I have purchased many of these shears from vendors on the internet and they are usually made in China or Pakistan. The quality varies somewhat but they have always been fine – more important than finding the best quality one is to be willing to throw them out when the hinge rivet gets loose or the edges get nicked – they are only like $4-7. So try a few that look good on Amazon and when you find one you like, get a dozen and be set for a long time.

One more unsolicited tip – because my primary use for these is not cutting off the bloody clothing of trauma victims, I cut off and sand smooth the bottom protective bend ”underbite” portion of these shears, which makes them much better and easier for cutting wires, zip ties, and the like.

Answer by philtulju

thanks to all for the responses.

seems that what i’m seeking might not be available. i have good quality scissors, and cutting ability alone isn’t my sole interest in this case. i really like the configuration as seen in my linked image and was hoping for higher quality version in around the $20-$30 range.

so, for now at least, philtulju’s conclusion that just buying the cheap ones, and replacing as needed, is probably the thing.

i’ve pretty much come to your conclusion myself, Joe Stirt

Answer by erasmus

These are called ”trauma shears” or ”rescue shears”. EMTs and firefighters use them to get to patients quickly, cutting through anything in the way.

They are expected to get dull and be replaced, so you probably won’t find super high quality ones. You’ll find a lot of them around $10 and under.

Unlike other cheap stuff, these probably work just fine, since they are designed as disposable medical equipment. With the plastic handles, these are not designed to be sterilized after they get blood on them. I bet they get tossed in the red bag and restocked.

Answer by wunder

This seems to be a good deal for 2 pair of  Madison Supply, Premium Quality Fluoride Coated Medical Scissors, EMT and Trauma Shears



Everyone speaks positively about them. No one or two star ratings out of over 275 reviews!

They seem to be Taiwan made from Japanese stainless steel.  Autoclaveable.


Answer by genehalpern
2 Favorites

While the design of these kinds of cutters appeals to me, I’ve never found any that I’ve enjoyed using. But I have a few pairs of Wiss scissors that are amazingly tough, enough forged steel for decades of sharpening and great leverage. A version of what I use has an attached ”ball” on the end to prevent piercing just like EMT shears (though these are called Poultry Shears).

These things are bad-ass and built to last generations. I think most everything by Wiss can take that description, too.

Answer by Wayne Ruffner

These are the ones most of the paramedics in my area carry. I have a set and they are the quality you would expect from Leatherman…and the price. I am an ER doc - since 1980..


Answer by redaily
Answer by chuckd1952


I notice that most of the recommended shears don\'t look anything like the original pair in the OP, but the ones you recommend do.

Amazon.com: Madison Supply, Premium Quality Fluoride Coated Medical Scissors, EMT and Trauma Shears 2 pack: Health & Personal Care

These look awesome and $9.00 each is not at all expensive for such quality. You\'re going to spend at least $4 for an unknown Chinese knock-off, so why not spend the extra cash on something like this, which is obviously of very high quality and has hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon. It doesn\'t get much better than this.

There is also the uncoated version as well.
Amazon.com: Madison Supply, Premium Quality Stainless Steel EMT Shears, Medical Trauma Scissors, (2-Pack): Industrial & Scientific $15.50 ($7.75 / Item)

$7.75 each, and at least one reviewer said the coating flakes off of the other kind with rubbing alcohol.
Don\'t get rubbing alcohol on it...

If you get rubbing alcohol on the blades, the black coating flakes off onto all surrounding surfaces.

Answer by laral

thanks again for all the thoughtful responses. helpful and informative.

Answer by erasmus

Already spending way too much precious time shopping for things on the internet, I found the hunt for ”penny cutter” utility shears particularly  addictive–no doubt due to the vast amount of input and reviews from paramedics and EMT personnel. To put it mildly, tools that are used in life or death situations are beyond cool.  Everyone hopes that the paramedic who happens to find you at some roadside accident is equipped with the best possible pair of scissors.  If someone is cutting your pants off to get to your busted up knee, you at least want that part of the job to go quickly and smoothly.

Topics like this one remind me of many pages of the Whole Earth Catalog that  I completely wore out several decades ago.  Hearing about a tool that is used in some unique profession becomes a window into that kind of work–a window that perhaps you never considered glancing at.  Only a few of us would be tempted to buy a nifty set of tree-climbing equipment or beautifully made cooper’s tools… but I figure that every one of us could use something that is capable of cutting a penny in half.

I’m getting of an age where it is far more likely that I will be visited by an EMT than work as one… but I am going to buy two pairs of these scissors — if only for the fact that they just seem so undeniably cool. I’ll probably give the extra pair to a friend who is an EMT.



Answer by genehalpern


I still have several WE catalogs and issues of CEQ and WER. I loved spending hours reading about all the cool stuff I would never buy or couldn’t afford. Tool fetish? ;)

Answer by laral

I think I just found what may be what you’re looking for.

The Best EDC Scissors Just Got Cheaper

Amazon.com : Engineer PH-55 Tetsuwan Scissors GT  $18.89 & FREE Shipping

They got a 4.7/5 rating at Amazon and ToolGuyd gave a great review.


Answer by laral
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