To carry with an IFAK- what’s the general consensus on this?
Medics in the house- which do you prefer- shears (aka, scissors) or a safety cutter like a Benchmade 7-hook or such?
This is something I’ve been mulling over- I can ditch the shears for a safety cutter, save a little weight/bulk, but the shears I have right now are some nice big green-handled heavy duty feeling things (came with a D.A.R.K.IFAK) that I think may be a more all-round useful tool. I mean it’s practically a “big boy” set of scissors.
For me the decision is easy.
The shears can serve in ways the hook cannot.
I haven’t seen one, but benchmade gear is good quality. If you are gearing up with an expectation you will need to rip fabric or belts etc more often than not, than that hook might be pretty sweet. The shears will be able to serve that purpose but maybe not as quickly.
Almost everyone can work scissors and if they need to be used on you, you might be glad that they are almost universally recognized.
If you carry both, the hook is the tool you use.
The shears are there for whoever has to work on you.
As a note I have been working for more than 2 decades on an ambulance.
What I like is both, for different reasons. The Rescue Hook is small and compact and great for cutting fabric fast. The suck is that the Rescue Hook is a bit of a pain to sharpen, so I have two of them so one can be getting sharpened at by Benchmade and the other at work with me, but they are only need to be sharpened once or twice a year on avg. I have not tried any of the newer zip cutters.
Shears are a lot better for bulky clothing and the rare need to cut leather.
As a back up the Emerson in my pocket still works very well for all cutting jobs, you just need to be very careful and not cut blindly.
Clothing that is full of sand or other dirt will dull what ever you are using to cut with very quickly (read one pant leg).
I’ll go with shears every time, mostly because it’s what I’ve got experience with. The shears can also be used for everything else: cutting restraints, packages, pennies…..
I don’t mind the little bit of extra bulk for the added utility.
Closing in on 10yrs in the ER and FWIW my vote is for shears. If you are ever around a medical flight crew they generally will give you a pair as they carry them for promotional reasons (at least the ones I work with do).