Sometimes semi-disposable items are a better choice than those designed to last a lifetime.
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Take scissors, for example. I have many beautiful, high quality, expensive, and definitely not semi-disposable scissors Klein Tools and Engineer. But if you abuse them by cutting things you don’t need, then your really nice scissors quickly turn into not-so-nice scissors.
Ask me how I know. It brought back memories of my grandmother yelling at me for using her best scissors; scissors that he will use to make clothes, to cut things like wire and metal.
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ADC 320 Medicut EMT Shears
The world’s best-selling brand of medical grade utility shears, with a 7.25″ length for maximum leverage and strength they can cut through the toughest materials.
A few years ago, someone suggested that I take medical scissors, and I bought a few pairs. I’ve used these tools before for first-aid purposes, but I didn’t think they could handle the rigors of use and abuse in the workshop.
I was wrong.
- Height: 7.25-inch
- Weight: 2.7 oz
- Blade material: Surgical-grade stainless steel
- Blade hardness: Rockwell hardness of C56
- Material management: Polypropylene
- Tip style: Stainless-steel safety bandage tip
- Autoclavable: Yes, up to 143ºC (290ºF)
Medical scissors have many advantages over scissors.
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The main advantage is the price. You can easily find very high quality medical scissors for around $7, which puts them in the Bic pen-price category. In short, it’s something you can use without worrying about throwing it away.
They are also durable, and feature hardened, micro-serrated, stainless steel blades, and are secured with strong rivets. Combine these features with comfortable polypropylene handles and you can put a lot of pressure on these shears without having to worry about damaging the blade or giving up a rivet.
Speaking of handles, they come in a variety of colors, from black to neon yellow. I prefer brighter colors because they stand out on my workbench from all the other clutter, but others may prefer more subdued colors.
Another thing I like is the tip. There are no sharp points to accidentally poke people, making them safer than traditional scissors.
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Scissors can be put through an autoclave for sterilization, and while most of us don’t have an autoclave, this means they can be safely thrown into a pan of boiling water for cleaning.
I also have a pair of expensive — and definitely not semi-disposable — medical scissors, in the form of Leatherman Raptor. It takes the concept of medical scissors and adds features like a carbide glass breaker, ring cutter, and oxygen tank wrench. I love everything about the Raptor shears except the sheath they come with, so made a custom sheath from kydex and a belt clip.
At $100, you can buy over a dozen cheaper medical scissors for the same money, but I’ve had them on my belt or backpack when hiking in the wild for over a decade, and they cut through everything. kind of material that a pair of scissors can usually cut through — and it’s still strong.
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But for general workshop or around-the-home use, you can’t go wrong with medical scissors. They are cheap, strong, durable, but the blunt tips make them safe around children and others who might injure themselves with pointed objects.