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Rescue knives

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by toemke, May 25, 2012.

  1. toemke

    toemke Loaded Pockets

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    I've found that knifecenter has the best price for the triage, but shipping to Europe is darn expensive! Take tower's offer, it is much cheaper if you order it to a friend or forum member, and he ships to you. I'm sure that Dan (xbanker) is willing to help out as well and I can't talk highly enough about him. But watch out, the cheap relaying has it price: once you start ordering from the US through a friend, you gonna spend a LOT more cash than you would spend on shipping for just a single item! :D
     
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  2. powerring
    • In Omnia Paratus

    powerring Loaded Pockets

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    It's not in the same class as the Vic and Benchmade rescue knives reviewed here but the Ka-Bar K2 is an inexpensive alternative at less than $20. I have one and it's not bad for the price. You did a great job on the review.
     
  3. xxForceTenxx

    xxForceTenxx Loaded Pockets

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  4. toemke

    toemke Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, I'he heard about it, but somehow it's not too appealing to me. But I'm sure it gets the job done.

    Sure I know about it, I just don't have it, that's why I didn't write about it:)
    Point of this review wasn't really to compare specific rescue knives, but to display the different design approaches.
     
  5. Dok J

    Dok J Loaded Pockets

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    That kinda defeat your "Evil person" title... ;)
    Might take you on that offer when moneys aren't running this low, thanks.
     
  6. tower
    • In Omnia Paratus

    tower Loaded Pockets

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    I'm always happy to help out a member of our rescue professional community. Just let me know.
     
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  7. Senserazer

    Senserazer Loaded Pockets

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    Once used this on a drill while in the Danish Emergency Management Agency, it snapped in half as I tried to cut a seat belt. Bwah!

    Thanks a lot for the review! It's nicely done, I considering getting one as well, but I will need a permit in order to carry it off-duty...bollocks.
     
  8. malamalama

    malamalama Loaded Pockets

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    A while ago I looked into rescue knives/hooks, but didn't purchase any. I looked at the Victorinox but felt it was a bit too much since I already have other blades and tools in my car. At the time, I was leaning towards a Benchmade 5.

    For someone who's not a first responder and has no training, how difficult would it be to break auto glass with a Benchmade hook or just a regular folder (closed, just holding it in your palm and using it to strike)? I have heard a windshield is hard to break. Thanks.
     
  9. temujin

    temujin Uber Prepared

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    Car windshields will stop small caliber handgun rounds. Break a side window.
     
  10. tower
    • In Omnia Paratus

    tower Loaded Pockets

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    It's difficult, but not that difficult. What's hard is doing it without shredding your had or arm. If your on a rescue squad, you'll already be outfitted with protective gear. The great thing ab out the spring loaded carbide tipped glass breakers is that they don't take a lot of swing force to fracture the glass. You could put a fire extinguisher through a windshield, but you might kill the vehicle occupants. Try something a little more civilized. Did you not see post #18? look at about 30 seconds in.

     
    Last edited by tower, Jun 4, 2012
  11. Halligan

    Halligan Loaded Pockets

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    For your own car the cheapo seat belt cutters are fine, they all work at least once. We carry some of them in the crash bag on our rig and they last a while and don't hurt too much when lost. I've used brass spring loaded center punches for years to break side window glass. Super reliable and again, cheap. We use a saw on windshields, leave them alone and go for a side window. Like the OP I prefer a serrated or partially serrated blade for seat belts and general rescue duty. I keep a SOG Flash II in my uniform pants and whatever el cheapo serated I see on sale in my turnout coat. I have a decent commute to work (40 miles) and stop at a number of accidents over the course of the year. 98% of those don't require much more than a pair of gloves, knife and the window punch.
     
  12. Templar

    Templar Loaded Pockets

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    I really enjoyed this thread (I need to get a life). But being someone who has had to cut people free from car crashes twice in the last few years I have used the following:

    An old Swiss Army Knife, and a pair of scissors. I am going to invest in a better knife at some point, but to be honest (and maybe this will make me seem like a bad guy) I just don't see the need for a dedicated blade?
     
  13. Lane DeCamp

    Lane DeCamp Loaded Pockets

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    We run a company focused on planning for major catastrophes and are always experimenting with new equipment, high tech or otherwise. We did a series of tests with DHS, looking for better ways to cut firemen and other first responders free from harnesses, tangled wires (especially the very dangerous thin telecom wiring that fills walls in buildings on fire), and so on. We also duplicated some of these studies later, looking at what US Airlift Command used on troop transports and at what Navy pilots used to cut themselves free.

    Our findings were pretty simple. Nothing worked well enough to recommend it except a simple sheepsfoot serrated fixed-blade knife. All the rest of the tools either didn't work, or worked so badly that a panicked user couldn't use them to get free. If you really need to get cut free immediately (i.e., you can't wait for professional first responders), you need to do so very fast, and none of these tools were reliable. We also had prototypes engineered by various tool companies and even after providing the results of the studies we did, these companies couldn't get anything to work better. There are professional firefighting tools that go in the thigh pockets of firemen's suits, but they still failed at a high rate and consistently took longer than that simple sheepsfoot serrated fixed-blade knife. We collected extensive anecdotal data that basically told the same story: firemen and military pilots would choose specialty tools and practice with them, but in a crisis they could not consistently or reliably free themselves. Men would be found burned to death with a specialty tool in their hands, but unable to free themselves.

    The conclusion was that if you're in a situation where you really have to cut yourself free, you probably won't make it. If you want a chance, a serrated blade that takes no extra action or thought is your best option. It's a very tough conclusion, but it's the reality without all the hype. Just have a basic serrated knife with a blunt point available, and it'll do the best job. Remember that if your loved ones are trapped and trying to figure out anything more complicated or anything that requires cutting in any way that isn't completely intuitively obvious, they are likely to panic and then likelihood of survival decreases. Tough facts, but once you think about it it makes sense. If you can't get out of your car and can't wait for a first responder, you are in a panicked and high stress situation and need a very simple, intuitively obvious solution that works every time.
     
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  14. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Interesting post. Buy how does firemans harnesses, wires, etc. compare to a seat belt? Are they similar thickness and materials? Are the angles and cut points going to be the same cutting a harness off or a seatbelt off? Do you know of any testing that has specifically tested these devices for seat belts?

    Remember, big brother is watching
     
  15. Templar

    Templar Loaded Pockets

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    I would love to see your evidence to support this.
     
  16. Lane DeCamp

    Lane DeCamp Loaded Pockets

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    Dept of Homeland Security had a large program reaching out to first responders to identify their major hardware and technology needs (the program is actually ongoing and going through various morphings as various events and needs occurred). This was in part contracted through various providers, our company being one. For firemen, a major risk was identified in commercial building fires where firemen would encounter webs of fine telephony wire that could immobilize them. There were a variety of tools developed for firemen, but they were either two-handed or simply couldn't clear the entanglement quickly. Various prototypes were developed and tested in live fires, but didn't give any significant improvement in performance. The two keys to survival were to avoid crashing through internal walls, and to travel in pairs so that one fireman could free the other. There were a series of deaths identified in fires because of this issue. Firemen asked only to be able to cut fine gauge stranded, insulated wire (Romex, BX, cat cable, etc. were not viewed to be as much a problem because they were immobilized on the framing of the wall or were run through dedicated conduits or trays. They aren't comparable in terms of cutting to seatbelt fabrics, but the point was that a fireman trapped in a web of wires rapidly lost the ability to cut the wires efficiently.

    The same was found when fabric harnesses had to be cut in burning military aircraft, or when infantrymen with phosphorus contamination (mostly found in African armies where phosphorus use has been frequent) had to cut off their harnesses and armor to remove the clothing that was spreading burning phosphorus to their skin. The information on aircraft was anecdotal and scarce, but the stories were pretty definitive. There were many more cases of phosphorus burns and the need to cut harness and clothing, and in those cases the med techs responsible for decontaminating the victims prior to admitting them were not much better than the soldiers themselves. This was a surprise because in tests in the lab, most of the tools were surprisingly slow but they did get the job done. In actual crisis use, the largest problem lay with the victim who panicked or was otherwise unable to accomplish what he knew he needed to do. I don't remember the precise numbers, but there were over 600 phosphorus burn victims interviewed and fewer than a hundred had succeeded in cutting their own harness off. The med techs who were efficient at harness removal in these situations almost all were using straight knives rather than a hook cutter. Note that the victims and the med techs also were unable to remove the harness at the buckles either, a testament to how much panic was limiting their success (though the trained process for removing harnesses was to cut them off to minimize contact with phosphorus). (To clarify on the panic even among med staff, phosphorus contamination gets on the med tech and produces smoke and fire right on the body of the victim, so everyone tends to be highly stressed in a large phosphorus attack.)

    The point is that a tool that either didn't work or didn't work fast brought about panic and led to failure to cut the harness (or wire). The cutters tested on military harnesses were in most cases tested and approved by military procurement and were standard issue devices. These weren't spectra harnesses or anything fancy. I'd also point out that there are a wide variety of harness materials in automobiles, plus some harnesses with embedded wires, so one can't just posit one particular test material. I read Kertap's question as comparing different materials to be cut (apologies if I misinterpreted your query) but it didn't really matter -- the point was that the cutting movements and potential patience required weren't going to happen. Even in the hands of first responders the tools didn't do well.

    As for the evidence that Templar asked for, most was, as originally stated, "anecdotal". When we looked for statistically significant data samples, the phosphorus burn cases were the best we could find, and the results were consistent with the anecdotal cases.

    Hope that answered both of the questions above.
     
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  17. Prætorian ®

    Prætorian ® Loaded Pockets

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    Any thoughts on the Tool Logic SL6? I'm fairly comfortable the belt cutter, but I have not had the luxury of testing the glass breaker. The note about glass breakers failing got me thinking...

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  18. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I'm not questioning your information at all, just curious as to how to properly apply it to my life. I'm probably never going to have to cut a fireman out of a harness. Or deal with phosphorous. So the fact that a tool doesn't function well in that role doesn't mean much to me. But I might need to cut myself or someone else out of a seatbelt. So I was hoping you might know of some studies that have tested various tools in that role. A fixed blade might turn it to be the best tool still, but the hassles of carrying one in a way as to be accessible in a car wreck might be problematic
     
  19. Lane DeCamp

    Lane DeCamp Loaded Pockets

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    The issue is that in any situation where the user may be panicked and have to operate fast, their ability to use even a simple tool goes down fast. Something as simple as a belt cutter doesn't take a moment of thought when we're looking at it at the kitchen table, but in a auto crash with injuries, blood, and perhaps leaking fuel or fire, and perhaps an injured and unconscious child in the back seat, a spouse behind the wheel may not be able to do even what she/he practiced at home. The evidence with soldiers and medics working in a high stress environment (such as phosphorus burns) was that despite their training, they were unable to accomplish such simple tasks on their own equipment. One has to pick a tool to fit the need, and the need in a crisis is a very simple tool that doesn't take any thought or any patience -- the experiences with infantrymen and even med techs was that even a folding blade or multitool or an unorthodox cutter with a gut-hook type device were too much for people to handle.
     
  20. Strayz

    Strayz Loaded Pockets

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    To the Op have you tried the spider co series of rescue knives?