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.