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The Leatherman Raptor: a multi-tool built to save lives


November 26, 2012

Leatherman has revealed the Raptor, a pair of medical shears built like a multi-tool and designed to help field medics get people out of dangerous situations

Leatherman has revealed the Raptor, a pair of medical shears built like a multi-tool and designed to help field medics get people out of dangerous situations

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Having the right tool can make all the difference in a life-or-death situation, as multi-tool manufacturer, Leatherman, knows full well. That's why the Oregon-based company's latest product is a pair of medical shears designed specifically for military and civilian emergency medics. The Raptor is equipped with a range of features and tools aimed at helping field medics get people out of dangerous situations and into proper medical care as quickly as possible.

Designers at Leatherman spent 18 months gathering feedback from EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) with a variety of backgrounds to develop and test the Raptor. The team was careful to only include tools specifically requested by the professionals they worked with, since having too many tools could create potentially life-threatening confusion.

The shears themselves are composed of 420HC stainless steel and can have their tension adjusted to suit a user's needs. Additionally, the Raptor contains a strap cutter, oxygen tank wrench, 5 cm ruler, ring cutter, and carbide-tip glass breaker – almost anything a emergency responder might need to free someone so they can be taken to safety. The handles are made of a glass-filled nylon, which can stand up to hot and cold conditions and provide a firm grip when wet with water or blood.

Since every second counts in a crisis, Leatherman also took portability and quick access into account. As such, the Raptor can fold almost in half into a more compact position with all the tools other than the medical shears themselves still easily accessible. It also comes with a molded sheath that holds the multi-tool whether it's open or folded and can be rotated and locked in place at a user's side, depending on their needs. The shears also have an optional pocket clip and lanyard for those who prefer to not use the sheath.

Looking at all the tools contained in this one small package, it's not hard to imagine plenty of scenarios where the Raptor could potentially save a life. Just the glass breaker and strap cutter alone could help an EMT free an injured person from a wrecked car. Hopefully that proves to be the case when the shears become available next year.

Leatherman plans to begin shipping the Raptor worldwide in spring of 2013 with a suggested retail price of US$70.00.

Source: Leatherman

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

Does it come apart easily for cleaning? It looks like it has a lot of nooks and crannys that would make it tough to clean after being potentially contaminated. If so, are all parts able to take multiple rides in an autoclave? This idea looks good, and I will consider buying one if only to test it IRL but $70 is a bit pricey for a tool that would essentially have to be thrown away after a potential BBP exposure.

The other thing that I can see is that the strap-cutter looks like it would be a bastardo to sharpen, as it has a funky angle. IMO the Benchmade rescue cutters have everyone beat with their combo of materials and blade shape. You can easily sharpen a Benchmade with a wooden spoon and a piece of sandpaper.

Alan Belardinelli

It would be far better to allow a self customization of the many tools selected by a person in a trade if any and then have the custom later,,, man self assembled and delivered. Rather then a bunch of other peoples ideas forced upon us.


I think I would rather have separate tools sometimes you need to use multiple tools at once. Its really sad they sent so much R&D money on this.. fail

Michael Mantion

Wow, some harsh comments. Richardf, if you want a custom made tool I'm sure you can find somebody to make one for you...just be prepared to pay several hundred to well over a thousand for such a one of a kind tool.

Michael, I assure you Leatherman won't be able to force you to buy one of their tools. I'm sure you will be permitted to use your usual tools.

The autoclave question seemed very valid!

Btw, I have to admit to not being a rescue professional. However, I'd think this tool would be a good one to have on hand when not working out of your vehicle, say when off duty. Even the untrained would be well served by the glass breaker, belt cutter, and shears if coming up on an accident scene where evacuation was indicated.

Paul Hoglund

I agree wtih Paul - People can get all critical. Good point about autoclave though. I'd really like to see some sort of insurance discount for ideas like these or other 'car-crash assist' tools so everybody would be encouraged to have one on hand. Even professionals can't always work from their vehicle - down a cliff face? - a pocketable tool(s) could save lives.

The Skud

It's yet another tool in the tool box, possibly progress towards a better product and it was private R&D money anyway.

Smitty Jl
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