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Different Types of EMT Shears?

Discussion in 'Knives and Cutting Tools' started by Marek K, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Marek K

    Marek K Loggerhead Turtle

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    I haven't started carrying a set of EMT shears yet, but I plan to... got a pair like this from LP, but haven't decided where to carry them yet.

    Noting all the discussions about rusting rivets -- and al least a few comments about getting high-quality shears -- I've started looking around on the Internet for replacement shears, for when these rust.

    Shears seem to be a commodity. I'm not finding a huge apparent difference in available ones, at least in the $3-$15 range.

    There seem to be two common sizes -- 5-1/2", and 7-1/4 or 7-1/2" (I think mine are the larger ones). Almost all have plastic finger holes. The smaller ones seem to have a blunt plastic tip, while the larger ones have the bottom metal blade blunted in a shovel shape.

    For each size, almost all the shears from all the vendors appear to be identical. Brand names are seldom given, but when they are the overwhelming brand name I see mentioned is Atwater Carey.

    Looks like they're all stainless; and I'd bet they all have non-stainless rivets.

    So... are they all pretty much the same in this price range?

    Oh... there was one site that mentioned that EMT shears dull quickly. For Army medics, even making a few cuts in BDU fabric made them noticeably harder to use. I guess I'll just trust that they'll cut through pennies, and won't be running around the house trying them out on different things!

    --Marek
     
  2. Walter

    Walter Instructor, Scuba

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    My biggest objection is not the rusting rivet, but the fact they are not all that effective on fishing line. As long as the line runs across the cutting edges of the blades, they work well. I find the line will often turn and slide between the blades so that it only crosses one cutting edge and therefore remains intact. I've recently started using tin snips instead. They work much better. I've not had any problems with rust, but I rinse them with fresh water immediately upon surfacing, followed by a good workover with a dry towel. Yes, I rinse and dry them between dives.
     
  3. Rev. Blade

    Rev. Blade Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sunny California
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    I've had good luck cutting fishing line with my shears. I agree with Walter's suggestion to try your shears on something you might need to cut. I have not heard of any divers tangled in pennies, so that was not a primary concern for me. When I see fishing line where I dive, I like to test my shears on it. It reduces the tanglement hazard for other divers, and gives my the opportunity to practice deploying a piece of gear. (If you practice deploying your "emergency" gear on a regular dive... you'll be a lot more comfortable if an emergency actually happens.)

    I bought some stainless steel garden shears to replace my EMY shears. I tried them on some line (at home, before bringing them on a dive) and had exactly the issue Walter mentioned. My garden shears work in the garden, and never made it into my dive gear.
     
  4. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
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    I can't help you on specific brands, other than the "Sea Snips" brand works well, even though the rivet rusts, and a no-name brand in a department store didn't work. The difference is the problem that Walter and Rev Blade mention.

    More specifically, it seems to do with the tightness of of the pivot point --- shears that work well will cut fishline easily. With other shears, the line will slide down beween the blades.

    Bring a couple different diameter monofilament fish line when you go shopping for shears. If you forget to bring some line to do a test cut, just listen for that distinctive shearing sound that you have with good scissors as the edges rub on each. The sound is hard to describe, but think about how a good pair of paper or sewing scissors sound when being opened and closed.
     
  5. SeaYoda

    SeaYoda Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida Panhandle
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    I used my shears to cut a penny but they would not cut the steel leader on fishing line. Maybe the tin snips would do better on that.
     
  6. sween1911

    sween1911 Angel Fish

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    I recently picked up a pair from a CVS pharmacy. Labelled "bandage scissors", they are pretty stout and go through different materials. Instead of the plastic tip, they had that bent, shovel sort of tip. A good choice for a backup pair if you don't care what happens to them.
     
  7. renpirate

    renpirate Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
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    Bandage scissors are actually different from EMT shears, did they mislabel them or are you talking about the all stainless steel small scissors?
     
  8. Poogweese

    Poogweese Solo Diver

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    Location: Ketchikan, Alaska
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  9. sween1911

    sween1911 Angel Fish

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    Labelled "bandage scissors", but they looked exactly like the ones in the link above. Black plastic handles, offset, serrations, cuts through all kinds of stuff, little shovelnose blunt tip. Even had a stamp on the handles to indicate proper autoclave temp.

    I ran on a rescue squad in Wildwood NJ for a summer. :wink: Basically picking up drunk people that fell off the tram car and cleaning up after bar fights.

    (edited to add: Ah here we go: http://tinyurl.com/h8c7u)
     
  10. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Any low-vis site in South Florida
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    Back when I was an EMT I went through a few pairs of trauma shears. While I wasn't aware I'd ever use shears for diving, I did notice differences in how sets were made. The best set I had had some type of coating on the steel - seemingly like teflon. They cut well, had some different, non-shiny polymer for handles, and seemed to be made of a stronger steel.

    Lately I've got into the practice of applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the shears to protect them. I only apply it on the steel that gets hidden in the sheath to protect my other dive gear from petroleum.

    On the next set I'll probably try protecting the rivet and them with Boeshield T-9. ( Boesheild T-9 )
     

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