There are many types of medical scissors, so keeping them straight can be a struggle. Here, we’re going to dive into the 5 most common types of medical scissors, sharing the benefits of each, and when you may need each type of scissors.
The 5 types of medical scissors that will be detailed in this article are:
- Trauma Shears (Trauma Scissors)
- Bandage Scissors
- Surgical Scissors
- Mayo Scissors
- Iris Scissors
These scissors can be utilized by EMTs, nurses, doctors, vets, and pretty much anyone in the medical field who finds him or herself cutting materials ranging from skin tissue and sutures to clothing. These medical scissors can be found in trauma centers and emergency rooms as well as operating rooms.
Types of Medical Scissors
View our Best Trauma Shears Buying Guide
Trauma shears are powerful utility shears that are generally used to cut through tough man-made materials. As the name suggests, trauma shears are for emergency medical situations and can be used by paramedics, military medics, nurses, and other emergency medical personnel.
What Are Trauma Shears Used For?
Most trauma shears are for external use (not for surgical or invasive procedures). Many of these trauma scissors tout the ability to cut through a penny. Although you will rarely find yourself cutting through such metals, they can come in especially handy when cutting an injured victim out from a seat belt, cutting through leather, or denim clothing.
Common Features of Trauma Shears
- Wide, blunt tip slides across skin when cutting off clothing
- Curved design (150 degrees) and durable build
- Titanium blades that are both strong and able to be sterilized
Our Top Trauma Shears Pick:
View our Best Bandage Scissors Buying Guide
Bandage scissors, also known as bandage forceps, are quite similar in design to trauma scissors, but are a bit smaller. Their main purpose is for sizing and removing dressings and bandages. Bandage scissors are made from stainless steel and, like trauma scissors, have an angled tip that is blunt at the edges. The longer bottom blade of the scissors goes under bandages easily and the angled, blunt edges ensure that you don’t cut your patient’s skin underneath.
What Are Bandage Scissors Used For?
Bandage scissors are often used by nurses and other medical personnel and serve 3 main functions: trim bandages to size, remove bandages from an individual, and cut through clothing or gauze.
Common Features of Bandage Scissors
- Angled tip
- Blunt tip on a longer bottom blade
- Serrated edge for cutting fabric and gauze
- Stainless steel or titanium blades
Our Top Bandage Scissors Pick:
Related: Shop Our Favorite Shoes for Nurses
Surgical scissors are created for use in surgical and medical procedures that include cutting human tissue and bandages. Surgical scissors are different from other scissors in that they are extremely sharp and made of stainless steel that can be sterilized. There are many different types of surgical scissors depending on their medical application.
What Are Surgical Scissors Used For?
In surgery, surgical scissors may be used to trim away dead skin or dissect tissue. Outside of surgery, they can also serve as a tool for preparing bandages or sutures.
Common Features of Surgical Scissors
- Stainless steel
- Extremely sharp but also able to be sharpened when they lose their edge
- Blades can be curved, canted, straight, and have ends that are sharp or blunt (depending on their purpose)
Here’s a fun fact – Mayo scissors were designed by the Mayo Clinic. Hence, the name. Kind of cool, right? Well, anyways, mayo scissors are a type of surgical scissors that are frequently used for cutting thick tissues like fascia. They are generally made from stainless steel or titanium, both of which can be sterilized. There are a couple additional varieties of mayo scissors including straight-blade and curved-blade.
What Are Mayo Scissors Used For?
Mayo scissors have a semi-blunt end, which makes them a bit different from most surgical scissors and are used in different types of surgery including podiatry and veterinary surgeries.
The straight-blade mayo scissors variety can cut tissues near the surface of a wound and are also used for cutting sutures. These are sometimes referred to as “suture scissors.”
The curved-bladed mayo scissors can penetrate deeper into a wound than the straight-blade variety. Some thick tissues that a curved-blade mayo scissors would typically cut through include muscles, uterus, breast, and foot.
Common Features of Mayo Scissors
- Stainless steel or titanium
- Around 6 inches long
- Blades can be blunt and rounded, curved, or straight
Our Top Mayo Scissors Pick:
Another surgical scissors, iris scissors are small scissors with a tiny sharp point made specifically for eye surgery but can also be used in other surgeries requiring detailed work. These scissors come in curved or straight styles. The curved iris scissors is best for following tissue contours in small areas and the straight style cuts along flat surfaces.
What Are Iris Scissors Used For?
Known as iris forceps in the UK and Asia, these iris scissors are used for ophthalmic surgery. Outside of healthcare, you may also see iris scissors being used in crafts and in the production of fabric-related items.
Our Top Iris Scissors Pick:
We hope you found the right pair of medical scissors to fit your needs. Have any other recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know by commenting below!