The 7 Best Bandage Scissors for Nurses [Buying Guide for 2021]

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We’ve put together a guide for how to pick the best bandage scissors for your unique needs. Though often overlooked, the bandage shears that a nurse uses makes a big difference.  Regardless of where you work, you can expect to need gauze cutting scissors to dress wounds and bandage needle punctures.  

Our top pick for the best bandage scissors is the Madison Supply pair of medical scissors.  The stainless steel bandage scissors have a fluoride-coated surface and long-lasting handles.

OUR FAVORITE BANDAGE SCISSORS

Madison Supply Scissors

5/5

With a blunt tip, these scissors are safe with patients and are autoclavable for thorough sterilization. 

The 7 Best Bandage Scissors for Nurses

Madison Supply 7.5-inch Medical Scissors

5/5 Stars
5 of 5 stars

Madison Supply - Medical Scissors, EMT and Trauma...

These scissors are our top pick among this list of best bandage scissors because of their durability and versatility.  They can suit nurses in a wide variety of fields.  In addition, they’re available in both a black and pink option, so you can get a pair of cute bandage scissors to match your accessories.

The fluoride-coated surface is durable enough to last for years, and the high-impact handles shear easily through gauze and bandages.  These scissors have the best non-stick handles when dealing with sticky tape.  Thanks to the milled serrations on the blade, the scissors can cut through tougher materials as well.

In addition, the tips are blunt, which helps with patient safety.  Since the scissors are autoclavable, it’s easy to sterilize them between uses.  This is a vital component of nursing equipment, particularly if you work with many different patients.

  • Designed for professionals in the field including nurses, doctors, and EMTs
  • Non-stick milled shears work on sticky tape and tough materials
  • Fluoride-coated handles for maximum durability
  • Autoclavable to 290 F
  • 60 day money-back guarantee offered by manufacturer
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Madison Supply - Medical Scissors, EMT and Trauma...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Durable, Fluoride-coated...
  • TACTICAL DESIGN: Stealth black-handled, EMT...
  • MEDICAL FIELD TESTED: Professionally designed for...

Utopia Care 5.5-inch Nursing Lister Bandage Scissors

5/5 Stars
5 of 5 stars

Utopia Care Medical and Nursing Lister Bandage...

These scissors are our top pick of the best bandage scissors for anybody who wants a smaller pair of scissors.  Since these nursing shears are 5.5 inches, they’re easy to carry.  They don’t take up too much space in the medical kits of nurses on the go.

The silver blades are made with alloy stainless steel polished to a high shine.  In total, they weigh less than two ounces.  In addition to the light weight, the shears have a comfort grip and angled blades that make cutting easy.  They can dip below fabrics and tight bandages without posing any danger to the patient.

  • Durable ice-tempered stainless steel construction
  • Angled blades for easier cutting
  • Comfort grip
  • Long-lasting edges cut through both bandages and tough fabrics
  • Manufacturer guarantee
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Utopia Care Medical and Nursing Lister Bandage...
  • Made from 100 percent ice tempered stainless steel
  • Hand-crafted for optimum control and comfort;...
  • Extra sharp long-lasting cutting edges

Related: Shop These Amazing Watches for Nurses 

PhysiciansCare First Aid 7-inch Titanium Bonded Bandage Shears

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

PhysiciansCare by First Aid Only by First Aid Only...

These 7-inch scissors use titanium bonded blades instead of stainless steel.  In addition to being durable, titanium bonding makes the blades 3 times stronger than their stainless steel counterparts.  This makes them ideal for nurses and other medical professionals who may need to cut through thick fabric.

The blades can cut through tape, gauze, and bandages.  They are also resistant to stickiness, so you don’t need to worry about using them with glue or sticky tape.  The angled design makes them easier to use than a pair of straight scissors, and the dull tips protect the patient’s skin. These are some of the best bandage scissors you can buy!

  • Bonded titanium is 3x stronger than stainless steel
  • Great for ER nurses and those who often need to cut thick fabric
  • Resistant to sticky materials
  • Soft handle grips that reduce fatigue
  • Bent blades make it easy to cut at an angle
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PhysiciansCare by First Aid Only by First Aid Only...
  • Blunt-tip 7" shears for cutting gauze, tape,...
  • Suitable for use by emergency room personnel,...
  • Blades are made of bonded titanium, which is...

Lister 5.5-inch Multi Color Rainbow Bandage Scissors

4/5 Stars
4 of 5 stars

LISTER BANDAGE SCISSORS 5.5' MULTI COLOR RAINBOW...

These bandage scissors are a great choice for anyone seeking a cute, colorful design.  The stainless steel blades shimmer with a multicolor rainbow coating.  They may be favored by both pediatric nurses and medical professionals who like to have stylish tools while they work.

The small size makes them the best bandage scissors for anyone needing a pair of portable shears.  They’re also lightweight, coming in at less than two ounces.  The manufacturer hasn’t weighed the scissors down with a comfort grip or extra materials.

These scissors will work as the best bandage scissors for professionals on-the-go.  If you need a more heavy-duty pair of blades or a strong comfort grip, though, you might be better served by another model.

  • Funky rainbow coloration
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Short and lightweight for maximum portability
  • Ship within 2 business days
  • Satisfaction guarantee from manufacturer
LISTER BANDAGE SCISSORS 5.5" MULTI COLOR RAINBOW...
  • SUPREME GRADE !! STAINLESS STEEL !!
  • ULTRASONIC CLEANED !! PASSIVATED !!
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED !!

Prestige Medical 5.5-inch Fluoride Scissor

4/5 Stars
4 of 5 stars

Prestige Medical Fluoride Scissor, Hot Pink, 5 1/2...

Like other 5.5-inch designs, these scissors are lightweight and easy to carry.  They’re also available in six colors, ranging from professional to snazzy: black, purple, royal blue, neon yellow, neon pink, and hot pink.  You’re sure to find a color option that suits your style.

The blades are crafted with durable 420-grade stainless steel.  An additional fluoride coating gives them non-stick properties, so they can be used to cut both sticky bandages and tape.  You can disinfect the shears in an autoclave, so they’re the best bandage scissors for nurses who frequently need to disinfect their equipment between patients.

  • Short, lightweight, highly portable scissors
  • Fluoride coating makes them non-stick
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Available in 6 different colors
  • Autoclavable
Prestige Medical Fluoride Scissor, Hot Pink, 5 1/2...
  • Revolutionary Flouride coating that provides a...
  • 5 1/2" Premium Utility Scissor
  • High quality 420 Stainless Steel

PhysiciansCare First Aid 7-inch Non-Stick Titanium Bandage Shears

4/5 Stars
4 of 5 stars

PhysiciansCare by First Aid Only by First Aid Only...

These 7-inch shears are another great choice for anyone seeking a design that’s stronger than stainless steel.  Like the other titanium-bonded scissors on the list, these blades are 3 times stronger than the average stainless steel construction.  Titanium is also a non-stick material that can be used on glue and tape.

The stylish blue handles add a pop of color while still remaining professional, and the angled handle makes cutting bandages easy.  One huge selling point of these bandage nursing scissors is that you can adjust the blade tension to different materials.  This makes it much easier to cut through thick fabrics without wearing down the blades on thin materials.

  • Extra-strong titanium bonding for multiple different materials
  • Comfortable, stylish blue handles
  • Non-stick blades can be used with glue and tape
  • Adjustable blade tension allows you to cut through thicker fabrics
PhysiciansCare by First Aid Only by First Aid Only...
  • With Non Stick Titanium blades, shears will...
  • These superior products make Titanium Bonded the...
  • Non Stick Titanium Bonded blades are 3x harder...

7.5-inch EMT Trauma Shears with Carabiner

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

Trauma Shears with Carabiner - Stainless Steel...

These curved stainless steel blades are designed specifically for nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals.  Thanks to the carabiner, the blades can clip to your waist.  This makes them much easier to carry than other 7.5-inch standardized blades.

The shears are strong enough to cut through bandages, tape, seatbelt material, and even leather.  Since they can clip to your waist, they’re easily reachable at all times, allowing you to grab them in emergencies without needing to fish through a medical kit.

In addition, the scissors are autoclavable at temperatures of 290 F, so they can be sanitized during hospital shifts.  The smooth handles allow for easy cleaning and a comfortable grip.  You can choose from four colors: black, red, neon pink, and blue.

  • Autoclavable at 290 F
  • Carabiner clips to your waist
  • Most portable standard-sized shears on the market
  • Capable of cutting through thick materials
  • Available in 4 different colors
Trauma Shears with Carabiner - Stainless Steel...
  • TRAUMA SHEARS THAT MAKE THE CUT: Our medical grade...
  • PRECISION CRAFTED FROM STAINLESS STEEL: Made from...
  • FEATURES A BUILT-IN CARABINER: Our heavy duty...

Guide to the Best Nursing Bandage Scissors

The best bandage scissors for you will depend on a variety of factors.  We’ve broken down some of the key components to take into account when comparing different options and choosing the best bandage scissors for your needs.  The more you know about what you’re looking for, the easier it will be to narrow down your choices.

Size

The size of the bandage scissors makes a difference.  You’ll often find that 7.5-inch scissors are standardized in hospitals and doctor’s offices.  Some manufacturers also offer 7-inch scissors, which are slightly smaller while still having a similar cutting range.

Sale
Madison Supply - Medical Scissors, EMT and Trauma...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Durable, Fluoride-coated...
  • TACTICAL DESIGN: Stealth black-handled, EMT...
  • MEDICAL FIELD TESTED: Professionally designed for...
Sale
PhysiciansCare by First Aid Only by First Aid Only...
  • Blunt-tip 7" shears for cutting gauze, tape,...
  • Suitable for use by emergency room personnel,...
  • Blades are made of bonded titanium, which is...

Small bandage scissors are usually 5.5 inches, though there are 6-inch models.  People often think the best bandage scissors are the 5.5-inch models because the blades are less than half a foot long, making them extremely portable.  Small scissors can be easily tucked into medical kits, and they’re often designed to be lightweight.  In fact, several models weigh less than 2 ounces in total.

Sale
Utopia Care Medical and Nursing Lister Bandage...
  • Made from 100 percent ice tempered stainless steel
  • Hand-crafted for optimum control and comfort;...
  • Extra sharp long-lasting cutting edges

There is a tradeoff, though.  Small blades may be more difficult to use when you’re cutting through large swaths of fabric.  They may also be more prone to breaking, though this depends largely on the materials that they’re made with.

Larger blades are more likely to be built with comfort grip handles.  They’re also more likely to include non-stick coatings and strong metal alloys like bonded titanium.  For nurses concerned about portability, you can get standard-sized blades with a carabiner to clip to your waist.

Autoclavable

Depending on your work environment, you might prioritize scissors that are autoclavable as the best bandage scissors for you.  The same is true of other equipment you use frequently during your shifts.  Autoclaves use pressurized steam to sanitize medical equipment.  They kill spores, fungi, viruses, and bacteria.  Sanitization is a key component of working in the medical field.

Sale
Madison Supply - Medical Scissors, EMT and Trauma...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Durable, Fluoride-coated...
  • TACTICAL DESIGN: Stealth black-handled, EMT...
  • MEDICAL FIELD TESTED: Professionally designed for...

Autoclaves can damage equipment that isn’t built to withstand pressure, steam, and high temperatures.  Most autoclaves are recommended for use at temperatures of 275 F, 270 F, or 250 F.  If you do look for an autoclavable option, you’ll want to be sure that the blades are rated to withstand the temperatures your autoclave uses.  Most autoclavable equipment works at temperatures of up to 290 F.

Hospitals are the most common environments that use autoclaves regularly.  If you frequently need to sanitize equipment between patients, an autoclave is convenient and reliable.  Some doctor’s offices and dental offices may also have autoclaves, though these are likely to be smaller and used less frequently.

In addition to sterilizing scissors, autoclaves are often used to sterilize surgical tools, surgical linens, and implanted devices.  The FDA must clear an autoclave for medical use before it can be implemented in a healthcare setting.

Angled Blades

Regardless of your specific needs, you’ll want to look for bandage scissors with angled blades.  Angled blades allow for more versatile and easy use.  Almost every pair of shears designed for medical professionals will use angled technology.

By positioning the bandage scissors at an angle, you can cut through fabric, tape, dressings, and bandages without potentially injuring the patient.  Straight blades make it difficult to cut through bandages without nicking the patient’s skin.  In the same vein, dull blade tips are ideal for patient safety.

Another benefit of angled scissors is that you can easily open and close the blades without the patient’s body obstructing the handles.  Ultimately, angled blades allow for more efficient use of your scissors without causing potential harm to the patient.  Whether you’re working in an emergency setting or a typical doctor’s office, correctly angled blades will reduce fatigue and optimize your job performance.

Materials

The best medical bandage scissors will be made from durable, easily-sanitized materials.  The blades are typically crafted from metal alloys rather than plastic, as these can stand up to sanitizing heat more easily.  The materials are also typically non-porous.

The materials used in a pair of scissors can affect the performance, longevity, and price.  Stainless steel is the most common component in both standard and compact blades.  This is because stainless steel is durable, autoclavable, and tends to last for long periods of time.  Blades may be plated with stainless steel even if their initial material is something else.

Another option for scissors is bonded titanium.  Bonded titanium is often favored by emergency nurses and EMTs because it has 3 times the strength of stainless steel.  While stainless steel is enough for most medical applications, bonded titanium shears can cut through thick leather and fabric.  In addition, bonded titanium has non-stick properties.

PhysiciansCare by First Aid Only by First Aid Only...
  • With Non Stick Titanium blades, shears will...
  • These superior products make Titanium Bonded the...
  • Non Stick Titanium Bonded blades are 3x harder...

Stainless steel shears may be treated with fluoride coatings to make them non-stick.  This allows them to be used with sticky tape and glue without sacrificing the easily-sanitized construction.  Most medical blades are serrated to allow for precise, no-slip cutting.

Some scissors may have padded handles to allow for an easier grip.  It’s important to make sure that the padding can be easily cleaned, however.  Padded scissors might not be autoclavable, so you’ll have to double-check the manufacturer specifications.

Many scissors also come in different colors.  Stainless steel blades are available in every color of the rainbow, with some even available in multi-color or iridescent patterns.

Key Differences Between a Bandage Scissor and Trauma Scissor

When you’re looking for medical equipment, you might see the terms “trauma shears” and “bandage scissors” used interchangeably.  However, there are several vital differences between these scissors.  Each type comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to shop for the right choice.

Still unsure of the differences between medical scissors. Check out our Medical Scissors Guide

Bandage scissors, also known as bandage forceps, function best when used with bandages.  They are designed for lightweight and thin materials like gauze, medical tape, and medical dressings.  The shears have a blunted tip and thin blades, so they can be slid underneath tight bandages without harming the patient.

Bandage scissors work best for patients whose skin is abraded or who have wounds beneath their bandages.  Since the scissors are compact, they’re unlikely to damage the thin bits of healing skin.  They’re also unlikely to cause pain to the patient, since they will have minimal pressure.

But bandage scissors do have a disadvantage when it comes to tougher fabrics.  Trauma shears are built to handle tough materials like leather, webbing, and denim.  They can cut through fabric and wire as well.  Because the shears are larger, it might be more difficult to use them to cut through thin bandages.  However, they still can cut gauze and thin materials.

Trauma shears are usually favored by emergency room nurses, paramedics, and nurses in trauma care situations.  In survival situations, it’s vital that nurses be able to cut through constricting fabrics and materials within seconds.

Bandage shears are a type of medical scissors that combine certain aspects of both trauma shears and bandage scissors.  They’re more small and lightweight than the unwieldy trauma shears.  But they are a little larger, and they can handle tougher materials than bandage scissors.  With that said, they may struggle to cut through materials like leather and tough denim.

What Kind of Bandage Scissor Is Best for Nursing School

Nursing school is a little different from being in the field.  You’ll need to talk with your professor about the activities that you’re doing to find the best bandage scissor for nursing school.  Some of the requirements will vary depending on what environments you’re working in, what hands-on experience you need, and what other equipment you’re using.

For most nursing students, compact scissors are a perfect choice.  Many thin blades are available in 5.5-inch options.  These can be easily packed into a medical kit or brought from place to place with your school supplies.

If you’re a student who needs to cut through tougher materials than typical tape and gauze, you’ll want to look for trauma shears rather than bandage scissors.  Standard 7.5-inch options are a good choice.  If you work in emergency settings or with EMS teams, you may even want trauma shears. If you’re interested in trauma shears, view our guide for the best trauma shears.

For those struggling to find info about the best bandage scissors you should be using, you can find out from your school store what scissors are typically purchased by other students.

Still Prepping for the NCLEX? Start Here

Conclusion

Having the best bandage scissors for your daily medical activities is a vital component of nursing.  The best bandage scissors for you will vary depending on your specific needs.  Our favorite all-around choice is the pair of Madison Supply scissors.  These blades are stainless steel, tested in the medical field, comfortable to use, and autoclavable at temperatures of up to 290 F.

OUR FAVORITE BANDAGE SCISSORS

Madison Supply Scissors

5/5

With a blunt tip, these scissors are safe with patients and are autoclavable for thorough sterilization. 

Some nurses may prefer a more lightweight and portable option.  If that’s the case for you, we recommend these scissors from Utopia Care.  They weigh less than two ounces while still being crafted from durable materials.  They’re a perfect choice for nurses who need to conserve space in their medical kits.

And for ER nurses and medical professionals in the field, we recommend the PhysiciansCare titanium bonded scissors.  Titanium bonding has three times the strength of stainless steel, so it’s great for situations in which you may need to cut through tough materials like leather and seatbelt straps.

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