Review: Leatherman Raptor - Folding Shears/Multi-Tool

subwoofer

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Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.
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An essential part of every medic’s kitbag, shears are also an excellent tool for anyone to have on hand. Many cutting tasks are more controlled and safer using shears rather than a blade and this is the reason I won’t be without folding scissors in my EDC.

The Raptor from Leatherman are not just shears though, they are a six-function multi-tool and the main function folds making them super compact for easy carry.

06%20Raptor%20folded%20P1120070.jpg

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Taking a more detailed look:

Leatherman’s standard cardboard packaging.

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As well as the Raptor, you have a plastic sheath, instructions and a Leatherman Sticker.

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Starting off with a look around the sheath. You will notice it has some holes in the bottom. The notched dome on the front is due to the sheath being double sided and you can attach the clip to either side.

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The Clip on the back is a multi-purpose belt and PALS mount. There is a screw head to allow you to adjust the rotation of the clip and sheath.

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In its basic configuration the folded Raptor is held in the sheath by its clip.

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One of the Raptor’s tricks is that it can be put into the sheath in the open/unfolded state as well. Like this it is no longer held into the sheath with its clip, but instead the shear’s pivot clips into the back of the sheath.

10%20Raptor%20holstered%20open%20P1120103.jpg



Starting to really look closely at the Raptor, here the Belt-cutter / Oxygen wrench has been opened. This tool has a lock to keep it safely open.

07%20Raptor%20cutter%20P1120072.jpg



Like many Leatherman tools this is a liner lock type of configuration with a sprung metal leaf lifting into position.

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The ring cutter is opposite the shears and has a great leverage advantage in this position. This is for non-ferrous materials and is NOT a wire cutter. I would have reservations against using this for steel wire if you want it to last. (makes me think about those who choose exotic damasteel rings who might have a problem if the ring ever needed to be cut off).

11%20Raptor%20ring%20cutter%20P1120106.jpg



The main shears have a triangular lock button which pops out when the shears are unfolded. There are two, one for each side of the shears. Note: these do not carry the load when using the shears, instead there are protrusions on the shears that bear against the handle.

12%20Raptor%20lock%20button%20P1120111.jpg



And here are those main shear blades. The lower blade has a ruler printed onto it.

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The last feature is a Tungsten Carbide glass breaker point in the butt of the shears.

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The reverse side of the shears.

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Looking from the back you can see one of the shears’ blades has a plain edge.

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The other jaw has a serrated edge for exceptional bite.

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These serrations deserve a closer look.

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In fact they deserve an even closer look. Now that is bite!

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These are full size shears, no messing with smaller less capable shears when the Raptor gives you all that cutting power in a compact folding tool.

21%20Raptor%20in%20hand%20P1120140.jpg



Though PALS compatible, the version of clip on the sheath I’m testing is not ideal for webbing. As you can see it fits well enough, but does not hold the sheath tightly in place. Instead it can move about quite a lot.

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Though shown on PALS webbing, also imagine the sheath on a belt. This is one of many options; the folded shears are held vertically.

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And without changing the sheath, here the shears are open.

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After first loosening the clip screw, the sheath can be set in a horizontal position, or any of the 12 stop positions.

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Troubleshooting

This is a new section I am adding to mention any minor niggles I came across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.

No issues were encountered during testing.

As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar 'issue' that might be fixed in the same way.



The Raptor in use

As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t be without scissors in my EDC. Shears are even better and I’ve tended not to carry them due to size. The Raptor resolves the size issue, and I now do EDC full size shears!

With their fantastic power, I’ve always preferred shears as they can tackle thin sheet metal and thick cardboard as well as smaller ropes and normal scissor tasks like paper. The Raptor is a revelation for me, as unlike other folding shears I’ve used you have the proper handles of normal fixed shears, the serrated blade which grabs onto the material being cut and the resulting control these features give you.

Opening is quick and easy. Unfold, cut.

Raptor%20opening-500.gif



Having used the shears for all manner of everyday tasks including perfectly cutting thin paper and super thin plastic (which can be troublesome to lesser scissors), I decided that as they are medical shears I would sacrifice a shirt to test how well the shears cut fabric.

This is a stiffened double cuff, so is more than equal to jeans or other tough clothing (as tough as I was willing to test it on).

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The first part of the cut is effortless and as you can see perfectly clean with no tearing.

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The thick seams needed a little more force, but it popped through to the thinner sleeve material easily. Cutting the thinner fabric felt no different to just opening and closing the blades with nothing to cut.

28%20Raptor%20cutting%20sleeve3%20P1150521.jpg



In my own EDC, I have taken the clip off the sheath and carry the Raptor folded and secured in the sheath.

A staunch knife user, I still EDC a folding knife and use it for many cutting tasks, so I don’t see the Raptor as edging out a knife. What it does is make EDCing shears much easier.

For serious shears users, I suspect that normal fixed medical shears will not be replaced, just as an outdoorsman will use a fixed blade knife over a folder. However if I were a medic, I would carry the Raptor as my own personal carry backup to supplement the kit bag shears.

In my normal day, the Oxygen wrench doesn’t get a look in, but the strap cutter is a great tool box opening boxes. If you carry a strap cutter for emergency release, then leave it untouched so it is as sharp as possible should you need it. I have a strap cutter in the car anyway so wouldn’t use the Raptor’s for emergency release. Similarly the glass breaker is not a constant use tool and fortunately I’ve not tested it.

A ring cutter…well I don’t need that either, but despite me saying this is not a wire cutter, I have trimmed some electrical wire using this (instead of the shears’ blades). Cutting copper and plastic insulation is no worse than a ring, so even this feature has been everyday useful.

Lastly the small ruler, well you just never know when you need to size something, so having this scale on the Raptor comes in handy when you have nothing else.

From the first moment I saw these on the Leatherman stand at DSEI 2015, I knew they were for me. Folding scissors on steroids, who wouldn’t find a use for them?



Review Summary

______________________________________________________________________________________________
Things I likeWhat doesn't work so well for me
______________________________________________________________________________________________
Folding shearsSheath clip not great on PALS webbing
Leatherman build quality
Plastic sheath carries shears folded or open
Five additional tools



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subwoofer

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Thanks for the review :)

Ordered one myself, a few weeks back. Couldn't be any happier :)


I was trying to find more 'cons' to list, but actually couldn't find anything else sensible to include. That clip does need improving, but the tool itself great.
 

tech25

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Nice review!

I have used this in NYC EMS and have cut through boots and wool coats folded over- so as to cut through 2 parts at once. These are the best shears that I have used. My cons for using it on EMS is it's hard to get dried blood out after a call to prepare for another, without soaking it or spending some time on it. I would love to see a "fixed" (non folding) version.

For EDC- as you are using them- I can't find any cons. They are perfect and convenient!
 

subwoofer

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Nice review!

I have used this in NYC EMS and have cut through boots and wool coats folded over- so as to cut through 2 parts at once. These are the best shears that I have used. My cons for using it on EMS is it's hard to get dried blood out after a call to prepare for another, without soaking it or spending some time on it. I would love to see a "fixed" (non folding) version.

For EDC- as you are using them- I can't find any cons. They are perfect and convenient!


Thank you for that excellent feedback. Great to know they can cope with far more than I tested them with. The point about cleaning them after an EMS call is well made and I can see this being a fiddly job.
 

Str8stroke

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Nice review. I have been looking into these over the last few months. I own several pairs of scissors and sheers. But these, They seem so handy. I carry a set of the cheapo medical shears for emergency use. I have a pair in all my transportation devices. Even the cheap ones will cut a penny in half in short order.
This review has pushed me over the edge. I will have to order a pair. I want black though.

Thanks Sub!
 

RWT1405

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tech25, might i recommend these to you, the Kretzer Safety Boy Rescue Scissors

I bought them about 5 years ago, and will tell you they are the best scissors available, for EMS.

I have been in EMS for 37 years, a full time career Paramedic for 32, so I've seen some scissors before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5ZXYQryiig
 

RWT1405

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Str8stroke, while I know cutting a penny in half can be fun (well, at least 35+ years ago when I was new to that), just understand that after you do that, you have ruined your scissors and they will never be the same again.
 

subwoofer

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tech25, might i recommend these to you, the Kretzer Safety Boy Rescue Scissors

I bought them about 5 years ago, and will tell you they are the best scissors available, for EMS.

I have been in EMS for 37 years, a full time career Paramedic for 32, so I've seen some scissors before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5ZXYQryiig


RWT1405 thanks for your input. Obviously your vast hands-on experience is unquestionable and you will have had to get the job done in all sorts of scenarios.

Watching that video leads me to ask a few things:

Those Kretzer scissors look very heavy and large - how does this affect their handling?
On the subject of weight, does it have any impact on the total gear you might carry and what you leave out?
They are a more conventional scissor format without the angle shears usually have. I thought this offset angle of the cutting blades was very important for access - how does this affect cutting in awkward areas?
The standard EMS shears in the video seemed to do pretty well considering you can carry a spare pair and even discard one blood covered pair. Do you have to autoclave the Kretzer after each use?

Str8stroke, while I know cutting a penny in half can be fun (well, at least 35+ years ago when I was new to that), just understand that after you do that, you have ruined your scissors and they will never be the same again.

I suspect the amount of damage they suffer does depend on the shears, but just like a 'tactical' knife might stab through a car door or oil drum, you will only do it if you absolutely HAVE to.
 

RWT1405

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subwoofer, they are larger and heavier, for sure! I carry them on my duty belt, but then again I'm a bigger guy. I also carry more equipment then most in EMS, but that doesn't bother me.

As to use, I can only tell you that everyone that has ever used them, wanted them, at least until they heard the price, LOL! Also many are not willing to carry them with them, due to the weight, which means many times (and usually when they are needed the most) they are not available.

The standard shears do ok, what finally got me to buy the Rescue Shears was having hiked off road for almost a mile for an ATV accident, had multiple patients with multiple fractured femurs. Trying to cut thru the "gear" the riders were wearing was difficult, at best, and as happens so many times, I had the only pair of shears there. Afterwards I just threw them away. Having done this many times, over the years, I decided it was time to buy the "real deal". So, when I got home the next morning, I ordered the Rescue Shears.

Now, don't get me wrong, the Raptor is an excellent cutting tool. As a matter of fact I consider them the second best EMS shears available, and if I didn't have the Rescue Shears I no doubt would have the Raptor. I recommend them to many, as most won't make the commitment necessary to carry the Rescue shears.

As to cutting pennies, many do that for "fun", to show they can (as I did, when I was young and dumb, can't even begin to tell you how many I ruined, LOL). It is a bad idea, if you want them available for real use afterwards, as it ruins them.

BTW, you gave an excellent review of them! Thanks!
 

Str8stroke

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Str8stroke, while I know cutting a penny in half can be fun (well, at least 35+ years ago when I was new to that), just understand that after you do that, you have ruined your scissors and they will never be the same again.

Yes indeed sir you are correct. I think you misconstrued my comment. My penny cutting reference was merely a example of the cheap shears, one time, capabilities, not a reference to my personal entertainment preferences. :) I grew up a few years ago. I still like Chuck E. Cheese, but now I chop Sacagawea Golden Dollars with a MOAB Busse for fun! :D

Seriously, thanks for the tip on the Kretzer. That is a serious tool and I had never seen those before. If I were in you field of work, I would have the Kretzers on a shoulder rig along with the Raptors. Then a ankle holster for the cheap sheers as backup. I would be so over board, my coworkers would be telling me to cut it out!
 

RWT1405

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Trust me Str8stroke, I'm with you on growing up, I still haven't gotten there!

I do still carry the cheap shears,and when someone wants to borrow my Rescue Shears, guess which they get! :grin2:
 

tech25

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Thanks for the suggestion.

I have used those or a similar brand, Big Shears. However, I find them too heavy and bulky and a bit costly. The main reason that I didn't get them is the size, I cant carry them comfortably. But in use they are amazing!

I currently carry
Clauss Titanium Bonded Bent Snips, which do a MUCH better job than the regular cheap shears. The Raptors are my next step up, I have bought a few as gifts- just for me they are relegated to edc type work.

There was a trauma Doctor from NY Columbia/Presbyterian who was designing a pair of shears in between the cheap shears and the
Kretzer/Big Shears prior to the Raptors coming out, but I haven't seen any production out yet.

I have to say, Subwoofer- you have a very detailed and clear review on the Raptors, I sent people asking about them to this review. Thank you!
 
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