Top 14 Best Emergency Rescue Multi-Tools And Folding Knives For First Responders

For those who respond when a life is on the line, having a quality emergency rescue multi-tool or folding knife can mean the difference between life and death. Critical situations require high-quality rescue tools that withstand the demands of daily use. 

In this article, we have picked the top 14 best emergency rescue multi-tools and folding knives for you to review and consider if any one of them is the right fit for you.

Of course what you carry as an emergency everyday carry rescue tool is solely up to your discretion. When you are the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency such as an accident, natural disaster or terrorism, the last thing you need is equipment failure while rendering life-saving assistance.

High-stress situations require specialized rescue multi-tools and folding knives that meet the demands of professionals. The emergency rescue multi-tools and folding knives listed below are overbuilt, durable, manufactured from high-quality materials and efficiently perform multiple tasks when seconds matter.

Your choice simply depends upon your specialty in what you deem the most appropriate rescue multi-tool is for you. 

In this ProSurvivalStrategies.com Guide, we will look at the following:

  • Why is a First Responder’s choice of a rescue multi-tool or folding knife for everyday carry important?
  • Why is versatility the most important feature of any rescue multi-tool or folding knife? 
  • And much more!

Of course, as a First Responder, your time is precious. We have provided a quick comparison chart of our top 14 best emergency rescue multi-tools and folding knives below for your review. 

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Leatherman Raptor Shears
  • Developed with the input of special operatives.
  • 6 essential rescue tools in one compact design.
  • Safe and quick to operate.
  • Developed with the input of special operatives.
  • 6 essential rescue tools in one compact design.
  • Safe and quick to operate.
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Victorinox Rescue Tool
  • Designed with input from professionals.
  • 13 tools including a seat belt cutter, window breaker and a disc saw.
  • Tough and corrosion-resistant stainless steel.
  • Designed with input from professionals.
  • 13 tools including a seat belt cutter, window breaker and a disc saw.
  • Tough and corrosion-resistant stainless steel.
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​Spyderco Assist Salt
  • Tough durable rescue tool.
  • H-1 stainless steel corrosion-resistant blade.
  • Unique retractable carbide glass breaker.
  • Tough durable rescue tool.
  • H-1 stainless steel corrosion-resistant blade.
  • Unique retractable carbide glass breaker.
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​Leatherman OHT
  • 100% one-hand operable multi-tool.
  • 16 durable tools.
  • Jaw lockout feature.
  • 100% one-hand operable multi-tool.
  • 16 durable tools.
  • Jaw lockout feature.
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​Leatherman Skeletool RX
  • Most popular Skeletool platform.
  • 7 high-quality specialized tools.
  • All tools are accessible in the folded or closed position.
  • Most popular Skeletool platform.
  • 7 high-quality specialized tools.
  • All tools are accessible in the folded or closed position.
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​SRT - Survival Rescue Tool
  • 14 functional everyday and life-saving tools.
  • Doubles up as a self-defense tool.
  • Ergonomically engineered for maximum comfort.
  • 14 functional everyday and life-saving tools.
  • Doubles up as a self-defense tool.
  • Ergonomically engineered for maximum comfort.
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StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool
  • Designed by a New York City Paramedic.
  • Unique versatile design.
  • Spring-loaded steel tip window punch.
  • Designed by a New York City Paramedic.
  • Unique versatile design.
  • Spring-loaded steel tip window punch.
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Benchmade Triage 916
  • Equipped with a blunt tip blade, safety hook and glass breaker.
  • Axis lock making it fully ambidextrous.
  • Micarta handle is tough and impervious to moisture.
  • Equipped with a blunt tip blade, safety hook and glass breaker.
  • Axis lock making it fully ambidextrous.
  • Micarta handle is tough and impervious to moisture.
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CRKT M16-14ZER
  • Tanto blade profile.
  • Patented Triple Point Serrations.
  • Equipped with seat belt cutter and carbide glass breaker.
  • Tanto blade profile.
  • Patented Triple Point Serrations.
  • Equipped with seat belt cutter and carbide glass breaker.
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Kershaw Barricade 8650
  • Built-in seat belt cutter and carbide glass breaker.
  • 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel blade.
  • Extremely affordable.
  • Built-in seat belt cutter and carbide glass breaker.
  • 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel blade.
  • Extremely affordable.
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Benchmade SOCP Rescue Tool
  • Unconventional yet effective rescue tool.
  • Rescue hook, carbide glass breaker and oxygen tank wrench.
  • Finger loop provides a secure grasp.
  • Unconventional yet effective rescue tool.
  • Rescue hook, carbide glass breaker and oxygen tank wrench.
  • Finger loop provides a secure grasp.
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​StatGear Supervisor XT
  • Designed by a New York City Paramedic.
  • 2 life-saving tools, a seat belt cutter and carbide window punch.
  • Fluorescent green "see me" handle.
  • Designed by a New York City Paramedic.
  • 2 life-saving tools, a seat belt cutter and carbide window punch.
  • Fluorescent green "see me" handle.
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​Benchmade-7 Rescue Hook Strap Cutter
  • Effective for cutting through restricting materials.
  • Designed to work effectively and quickly.
  • Includes a MOLLE compatible carrying sheath.
  • Effective for cutting through restricting materials.
  • Designed to work effectively and quickly.
  • Includes a MOLLE compatible carrying sheath.
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Gerber Gear Strap Cutter
  • Quickly cuts through straps and belts.
  • Large finger hole and rubber overlay.
  • Curved design protects delicate areas.
  • Quickly cuts through straps and belts.
  • Large finger hole and rubber overlay.
  • Curved design protects delicate areas.
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All of the above-mentioned rescue tools are ideal for any critical situation and a great upgrade to your everyday carry. Of course, you’re the specialist and in the best position to determine what’s best for you. However, after a comprehensive and exhaustive review of our Top 14 Rescue Multi-Tools and Folding Knives, the Leatherman Raptor Shears was our best choice for Military and Civilian First Responders. 

OUR #1 TOP-RATED PICK 

LEATHERMAN RAPTOR SHEARS

Leatherman Raptor Shears

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 5 inches.
  • Shear Length: 1.9 inches. 
  • Weight: 5.8 ounces. 
  • Width: 1.9 inches. 
  • Materials: 420HC stainless steel with glass filled nylon. 
  • Number of Tools: 6 (including the ruler) Technically 5 life-saving tools. 
  • Lanyard Ring: Yes. 
  • Pocket Clip: Yes. 
  • Sheath: MOLLE compatible holster / Kydex belt carry sheath sold separately.
  • Special Features: Right balance of multipurpose features without an overkill of tools to complicate life-threatening situations.
  • Removable Belt Clip: Yes.
  • Warranty: 25-year warranty so you can be confident this multi-tool lasts a lifetime.

For those who rush to the scene when a life is on the line, Leatherman presents the revolutionary Raptor medical shears for military and civilian emergency medical responders. This is your high-quality state-of-the-art replacement to your traditional disposable shears. Leatherman took this life-saving tool and incorporated a number of powerful tools specifically designed for First Responders.

We have all heard the expression “A soldier goes into battle with the equipment he has”. However, insufficient and aging equipment is never an excuse when a life is on the line.

Leatherman undoubtedly understood this concept and worked closely with special operations medics, firefighters and EMT personnel to find out what these professionals wanted in Leatherman designed shears. Armed with valuable feedback from operatives in the field, the Raptor was designed to meet the daily rigorous needs of professionals. 

The Raptor is extremely versatile and well-equipped with 5 durable life-saving tools. 

  • Superior 420HC stainless steel shears - quickly cut through various materials such as clothing, seats belts and medical supplies. They can be easily taken apart for thorough cleaning. When a medic is on site, you know the situation is extremely critical. You don’t want to exacerbate a critical situation by having cheap unreliable shears that are going to fail and break when you use it.
  • Sharp 420HC stainless steel strap cutter - quickly slices through seat belts and webbing. 
  • Innovative ring cutter - not twisting or turning, easy to use, all you have to do is clip and it cuts right through rings. 
  • Slot for opening oxygen tanks. 
  • Carbide glass breaker - located on the handle. 

Its size is impressive, instead of carrying multiple tools, all you have to carry is the Raptor. Overbuilt and durable, it has a lot of meat to it. You will not have to worry about it breaking or becoming dull unlike inferior aging equipment. It’s crafted with the right balance of multipurpose features for emergency response without the overkill or unnecessary tools to complicate life-threatening situations. This is a high-quality rescue multi-tool that is going to work every time for a lifetime of use.

Another immediate advantage is you can make the Raptor compact by simply pushing the two buttons and rotating the handle down making it half its size. Even closed, you have immediate access to the strap cutter, oxygen wrench, carbide glass breaker and the lanyard attachment.

The Raptor’s Zytel handles not only provide you a secure grip while operating in wet conditions, it’s also comfortable when used in hot or cold environments. A lot of times, small pocket tools are not easily accessible with heavy-duty gloves. The Raptor is easy to operate with extraction, firefighting and EMS gloves.

The Raptor also features a multi-functional carry system. A lanyard hole designed on the body of this rescue multi-tool allows you to attach it safely and securely. A removable pocket clip gives you a secondary option of carrying it on your duty belt. However, it can be removed and sheathed into a Kydex sheath that is MOLLE compatible or clipped onto your belt.

The Raptor is a welcomed addition to any First Responder’s emergency kit. It’s excellent for all aspects of mission prep and everyday uses as well.

Created with valuable input from professionals in the field and brought to life by the multi-functional experts at Leatherman, the Raptor is built for the most demanding conditions when every second counts. 

Top 14 Best Rescue Multi-Tools And Folding Knives For First Responders!

Why Is A First Responder's Choice Of A Rescue Multi-Tool Or Folding Knife For Everyday Carry Important?

Your choice of a rescue multi-tool or folding knife for everyday carry is extremely important. As a First Responder, you are expected to carry a variety of equipment that corresponds to your specific profession. Equipment can range from radios, trauma bags, flashlights, oxygen tanks and firearms. Unfortunately, you can’t sacrifice your most important gear.

However, the only compromise you can make is deciding the personal gear you choose as your everyday carry. That’s why it’s important to find the right rescue multi-tool or folding knife that provides you with the most utility in any critical situation.

Of course, every First Responder’s needs are substantially different with regards to everyday carry tools. The same applies to EMT’s, firefighters, paramedics and police officers. Your personal everyday carry specifically depends upon your role and responsibilities as a First Responder. For example, if you are a firefighter in the field, breaking into buildings to rescue victims from raging fires, then your needs are not the same as a firefighter who’s mainly tasked with operating the fire truck or front office work.

However, the advantage of rescue multi-tools and folding knives is that they are extremely versatile and can be used for numerous life-saving tasks. Ultimately, just make sure you choose the right one that fits your specific needs. Remember when it comes to rescue multi-tools and folding knives, they must be suitable for everyday carry and provide immediate on the job support.

Procuring a rescue multi-tool or folding knife assists you for daily-fixes as well as your professional tasks is understandably a bonus for anyone who doesn’t want to be overloaded with gear or looking for the right tool in any critical situation when time is of the essence.

Rescue multi-tools and folding knives are compact and lightweight. These features give you the flexibility to clip one onto your duty belt, vest, webbing or simply tuck it away in your everyday carry bag. 

Why Is Versatility The Most Important Feature In Any Rescue Multi-Tool Or Folding Knife?

To veteran First Responders, the reason is immediately obvious. However, it’s noteworthy to explain this significantly important feature to novices and those rising through the ranks.

Modern rescue operations demand specialized equipment, such as multi-tools and folding knives designed for the task at hand. Simply put, your average multi-tool or pocket knife is not specifically designed for critical rescue operations.

For example, the Leatherman Raptor is a revolutionary design perfectly fit for civilian and military use. It is the most versatile and revolutionary in its class. Fully equipped with stainless steel shears, a strap cutter, ring cutter, slot for opening oxygen tanks and carbide glass breaker, it allows you to slice through clothing, seat belts, remove rings, break tempered glass and open an oxygen tank. It brings together the utility and power of a single tool maximizing your effectiveness when critical seconds are ticking away.

As you are well aware, extrications don’t always take place outside the vehicle. Sometimes you have to get inside to move and cut material, assess a victim's condition and quickly administer life-saving treatment. That’s when a compact rescue multi-tool or folding knife really matters. This allows you to effectively rescue a victim even in cramped quarters.

The versatility of a rescue folding knife simply cannot be overlooked. For example, at first glance, the Spyderco Assist Salt may seem like an average folding knife. However, it’s equipped with a partially-serrated blade, a unique retractable carbide glass breaker and scissor-like cutting tool. The sheepsfoot blade profile prevents you from inadvertently injuring a victim in cramped quarters when cutting through a seat belt.

Some rescue multi-tools even double-up as a self-defense tool. A quick example is the innovative and unorthodox Shuki IV SRT (Survival Rescue Tool). Extremely utilitarian, it's well-equipped with 14 tools - including a glass breaker, oxygen valve opener and seat belt cutter. This wolf in sheep’s clothing also functions as an extremely versatile self-defense tool.

EMTs, firefighters, paramedics, police officers and search and rescue teams need the best versatile tools for their demanding jobs. A rescue tool must be adaptable and provide you with multiple functions when critical seconds are ticking away. 

Why Does The Size And Weight Of A Rescue Multi-Tool Or Folding Knife Matter?

Apart from a rescue multi-tool or folding knife’s versatility, you have to take into consideration its size and weight. Often there is a trade-off between size, weight and features. It’s a delicate balance because you are already ladened with your most important gear.

You may choose a rescue multi-tool or folding knife that is compact and even small enough to fit in your gear and go unnoticed. This is extremely important because every additional ounce of weight is important.

However, there is always the risk that a more compact rescue multi-tool or folding knife may not have the necessary additional features you may need. Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that most rescue multi-tools and folding knives are bulky or extremely heavy. In our extensive review down below, we’ve included 14 rescue multi-tools and folding knives that are lightweight and extremely versatile.

For example, our top pick, the Leatherman Raptor Shears is 5 inches long when closed, and weighs 5.8 ounces. Aside from the shears, it’s equipped with a strap cutter, innovative ring cutter, slot for opening oxygen tanks and a carbide glass breaker.

On the other hand, the Leatherman OHT is 4.5 inches long when closed, weighs 9.9 ounces and features 16 tools including an oxygen tank wrench, spring loaded pliers and replaceable wire cutters.

Immediately, you see the distinguishable “trade off”, the Raptor is lighter but is only equipped with 5 functional rescue tools. The OHT on the other hand is heavier but equipped with 16 rescue tools. So when it comes down to it, you have to decide which are the most important tools you need and how much weight are you willing to add to your equipment.

Sometimes it is not such an easy decision when you have to take into consideration size, weight and utility. For your convenience, we have included the size, weight and number of tools in our Top 14 Rescue Multi-Tools and Folding Knives. This will assist you in making a well-informed decision. 

How To Choose The Right Rescue Multi-Tool Or Folding Knife For Everyday Duty-Carry.

There is no set standard or bright line rule when choosing a rescue multi-tool or folding knife because certain rescue tools are better suited for some professionals than others. As you have already observed, there are rescue tools of all shapes, sizes and prices that fall into this category.

Some are suitable everyday duty-carry folding knives with added enhancements. Others are standalone specialty tools. However, “hands that save lives” deserve nothing but the best! 

When choosing a rescue multi-tool or folding knife, here are a list of features to consider:

  • Versatility - as discussed above. 
  • Size and Weight - as discussed above. 
  • Not crammed with gimmicks - as you already know, emergency operations take place in dangerous, time-sensitive environments. A slight delay in accessing the right tool can adversely affect the outcome of the incident. The rescue multi-tools and folding knives listed below are not crammed with unnecessary tools. For example, the StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool (listed below) is equipped with a partially-serrated blade with a drop point profile, a hook blade, spring loaded window punch and a 5 Lumen LED light. Quick access life-saving tools readily accessible for immediate deployment. 
  • Durability, toughness and ruggedness - the below mentioned rescue multi-tools and folding knives definitely have some meat to them. Overbuilt and durable you will not have to worry about them breaking or becoming dull unlike inferior aging equipment. Take a quick look at the Leatherman OHT (pick number 4) a heavy duty rescue multi-tool that weighs 9.9 ounces equipped with 16 tools forged from 420HC stainless steel known for its edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance and toughness. Simply put, equipment failure can mean the difference between life and death. 
  • Ergonomics - smaller sized rescue multi-tools and folding knives suffer from reduced ergonomics making them less powerful. The rescue multi-tools and folding knives listed below give you a better grip maximizing strength when put to use. Having a rescue multi-tool with better ergonomics means less hand fatigue when operating in critical environments. 
  • Carry Options - quick access to any rescue multi-tool or folding knife is dependent upon your carry preference. The rescue multi-tools and folding knives listed below are equipped with durable pocket clips and other rescue tools that are MOLLE compatible and can be attached to webbing and vests. At the end of the day, make sure it’s immediately accessible during any rescue operation. 
  • Cost-Effective “Benefit outweighs the cost” - the rescue multi-tools and folding knives featured below are constructed from premium materials and resistant against wear and tear. Inferior and outdated rescue tools constantly have to be replaced or repaired time and time again. Fixing and replacing inferior rescue tools costs time and money. Remember, you get what you pay for. 

In-Depth Review Of Our Top 14 Best Rescue Multi-Tools And Folding Knives For First Responders.

Leatherman Raptor Shears

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 5 inches
  • Shear Length: 1.9 inches. 
  • Weight: 5.8 ounces. 
  • Width: 1.9 inches. 
  • Materials: 420HC stainless steel with glass filled nylon. 
  • Number of Tools: 6 (including the ruler) Technically 5 life-saving tools. 
  • Lanyard Ring: Yes. 
  • Pocket Clip: Yes.
  • Sheath: MOLLE compatible holster / Kydex belt carry sheath sold separately.
  • Special Features: Right balance of multipurpose features without an overkill of tools to complicate life-threatening situations.
  • Removable Belt Clip: Yes.
  • Warranty: 25-year warranty so you can be confident this multi-tool lasts a lifetime.

The Leatherman Raptor Shears are a full-on hardcore pair of shears built for the professional. Golden hands that save lives deserve nothing but the best. With the input from experts in the field, the Raptor is a robust straightforward emergency design.

Premium in every sense of the word, the Raptor is not your cheap $5.00 pair of shears that break after several uses. This is your overbuilt viking that is extremely capable of withstanding prolonged use. This life-saving tool is not overloaded with gimmicks. You will immediately notice that you have an efficient emergency design in your hands. A folding set of extremely sharp 430C stainless steel shears, a strap cutter, an innovative ring cutter, a slot for opening oxygen tanks and a carbide glass breaker. With an unsurpassed overall quality, the Raptor can be carried for years.

Even in its folded position, you have immediate access to 3 main tools - the window punch, seat belt cutter and oxygen wrench. The seat belt cutter can also double up as a rip shear for clothing such as shirts or pants.

The Raptor fuses ingenuity with a clever overall effective design. The trauma shears can be secured in a fully extended position in the MOLLE compatible sheath.

Once included in your kit, you can effectively use them when you need a sturdy, reliable pair of shears. 

Pros:

  • Designed from the input of special operations medics, firefighters and EMT personnel.
  • Tough, durable and made from high-quality materials. 
  • Superior 420HC stainless steel shears - quickly cut through various materials such as clothing, seats belts and medical supplies.
  • Innovative ring cutter.
  • Multi-functional carry system.
  • 25-year warranty so you can be confident this multi-tool lasts a lifetime. 

Cons:

  • None. 
Victorinox Rescue Tool

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 4.4 inches.
  • Blade Length: 3.25 inches.
  • Blade Profile: Drop point.
  • Edge: Partially-serrated. 
  • Lock: Strong and Secure Liner lock.
  • Weight: 5.9 ounces.
  • Materials: Swiss Stainless Steel. 
  • Number of Tools: 13
  • Handle: Polyamide - Yellow or Black
  • Lanyard Ring: No. (It features a key ring with a cord fob).
  • Pocket Clip: No.
  • Sheath: Red and Yellow Nylon Sheath with belt loop.
  • Special Features: Disc saw that cuts through shatterproof glass.
  • Removable Belt Clip: No.
  • Warranty: Victorinox provides a lifetime guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship.

First Responders need first class tools and the Victorinox Rescue Tool is tested and trusted by fire and police departments worldwide. The Rescue Tool was designed and developed as a 5-year project, in cooperation with medical and rescue service professionals in Switzerland. This is a high-quality state-of-the art rescue tool that won the IWA-International Knife Award - Knife of Year in 2007. 

Extremely durable and versatile, it’s applicability in emergency situations exceeds those of a conventional rescue tool. Specifically designed for First Responders, it features the following rescue tools:

  • One-handed opening locking blade with large thumb hole for quick access - if someone is trapped in a vehicle you can engage the blade and quickly cut the windshield’s rubber sealant and then quickly engage the pry bar to lift the glass.
  • Special glass disc saw - auto glass is extremely tough and faces rigorous safety standards. If you need to cut through shatterproof glass, you engage the windshield saw. You will notice some teeth are longer than others. This irregular pattern is the most effective when cutting through glass. If the tool becomes dull over time, you can easily replace it.
  • Seat Belt Cutter - similar to automotive glass, seat belts are designed to a notoriously high-standard and can be difficult to cut with a normal knife. If a victim is trapped by their seat belt, engage the seat belt cutter. Immediately noticeable is the round shape. The curve allows you to bring the tool under the seat belt easily and its blunt tip ensures you will not injure the person during the process. Simply bring the blade underneath the belt and pull up while applying pressure.
  • Window Breaker - quickly turns thick, tempered glass into glitter on the first strike. If it becomes dull overtime, you can purchase a spare part and easily replace it yourself.
  • Pry Bar / Screwdriver / Crate Opener.
  • Phillips Screwdriver.
  • Bottle Opener.
  • Wire Stripper.
  • Reamer/Punch.
  • Tweezers.
  • Toothpick.

The Rescue Tool features a new liner lock that was developed to address the more demanding requirements of public service agencies in rescue situations and was proven to be stronger and extremely more reliable than slide-lock mechanisms. The liner-lock-blade is also one-handed-opening and features a large thumb hole giving you immediate access when seconds count. The tools are forged from Swiss-quality stainless steel for optimized toughness and corrosion resistance.

The handle is designed from Nylon luminescent scales. Should you need to rescue someone in the dark, this feature makes the Rescue Tool easy to find.

The Nylon case is a quality item, matching the Rescue Tool’s build quality. The material is thick and durable, with protected edges and metal rivets. The stiff and strong back also includes a durable belt loop. However, it can’t be attached to MOLLE gear.

With the Victorinox Rescue Tool, you’re not just buying a multi-tool, you’re buying confidence. 

Pros:

  • Designed and developed with the input of medical and rescue service professionals.
  • 13 tools.
  • Special glass saw and window breaker tools can be replaced when they become worn out, without the need for any special tools.
  • Quality stainless steel and new liner lock gives you a secure blade lock up.
  • Specifically designed to work equally well for left and right hand users.
  • Tough Nylon red and yellow sheath. 

Cons:

  • Not MOLLE compatible. 
Spyderco Assist Salt

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 4.87 inches. 
  • Overall Length: 8.55 inches. 
  • Blade Length: 3.25 inches. 
  • Blade Profile: Blunt tip.
  • Edge: Partially-serrated. 
  • Lock: Back lock. 
  • Weight: 3.9 ounces. 
  • Materials: H-1 steel.
  • Number of Tools: 4
  • Handle: FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon). 
  • Lanyard Ring: No.
  • Pocket Clip: Yes. 
  • Sheath: No.
  • Special Features: Innovative carbide glass breaker. 
  • Belt Clip: Reversible wire pocket clip. 
  • Warranty: Warranty covers the owner of a genuine Spyderco product for the life of the product. 

The Spyderco Assist Salt is another multipurpose rescue tool that combines versatility with the ultra-corrosion-resistant qualities of H-1 steel that sets a new standard in rescue tools.

The Assist Salt features one large 3.25 inch locking blade equipped with rip-through-anything serrations excluding the first ¾ inch near the tip where it has a plain edge design. Its tip is blunter than a butter knife and rightfully so. It allows you to cut through seat belts, clothing and the like without the risk of inflicting further injury to the accident victim.

One of the most defining features of the Assist Salt is the H-1 steel blade. According to Spyderco, H-1 is a unique material that uses nitrogen instead of carbon that ultimately creates a steel that is tough, holds an impressive edge and is just about impervious to corrosion. This makes it a superb rescue tool for professionals and civilians. It’s ideal for rafters, divers, kayakers, saltwater fisherman - anyone who spends significant time on the water and wants a knife without a pointy blade that may puncture a raft or flotation gear.

A tough ambidextrous back lock is extremely reliable and well-suited for heavy duty use. It gives you a piece of mind that the blade will not close during a critical situation. When properly maintained, it's not sensitive to dirt, dust or other debris causing it to jam.

If you look closely at its design, the blade features Spyderco’s Trademark Round Hole. It gives you a swift, positive, one-handed opening, even while wearing heavy gloves. The blade’s spine has finger grooves that turn the Salt into a unique, scissor-like cutting tool. You can place a rope or cord to be cut between the blade and the handle. Think of it along the lines of a cigar cutter.

What’s extremely unique about this rescue tool is the retractable carbide glass breaker. You simply use the same finger grooves as discussed above and squeeze the blade against the handle when the knife is closed. A retractable carbide glass breaker immediately engages from the butt’s end. It’s fully exposed when you need it most to safely and efficiently break windows to extricate a victim.

We’re not done yet. Integrated within the yellow handle is a survival whistle for extra utility. In the event you are lost or need to signal fellow rescuers, it’s readily available.

The yellow handle is made from tough FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon) and has Spyderco’s Bi-Directional Texture pattern. Its finger grooves give you a solid and secure grip when performing rescue duties in wet and unsuitable conditions. It’s bright yellow color gives you the confidence that you will not lose it if you set it down.

It comes with a reversible wire pocket clip for tip-up carry also. Unfortunately, this rescue tool is not MOLLE compatible. 

Pros: 

  • Serrated blade edge / plain edge with blunt tip design.
  • H-1 steel blade is extremely resistant to corrosion.
  • Ambidextrous and tough back lock.
  • Spyderco’s Trademark Round Hole for quick blade opening.
  • Unique integrated retractable carbide glass breaker and integrated whistle.
  • Tough yellow FRN Handle with finger grooves. 

Cons:

  • No sheath.
  • It’s pricey - however, you are purchasing a very unique high-quality rescue tool. 
Leatherman OHT

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 4.5 inches.
  • Primary Blade Length: 2.37 inches.
  • Weight: 9.9 ounces.
  • Materials: 420HC stainless steel with blade oxide finish. 
  • Number of Tools: 16 tools (including an oxygen tank wrench, spring loaded pliers and replaceable wire cutters). 
  • Included Bits: None.
  • Lanyard Ring: No. 
  • Sheath: MOLLE compatible sheath, clip and carry KYDEX sheath sold separately. 
  • Special Features: Jaw lock-out, pliers are locked in place preventing them from slipping into the handles during use. One-handed operation. 
  • Warranty: 25-year warranty so you can be confident this multi-tool lasts a lifetime. 

Whether you are a paramedic, firefighter, law enforcement or just a prepared citizen, another essential rescue multi-tool is the Leatherman OHT (One-Hand Operation Tool). This multi-tool is worth its weight in gold. When vital seconds are ticking away, this one-handed workhorse makes retrieving the tool you need quick and easy.

For years, First Responders could only choose from two distinct options, “one-handed operable pliers” or “one-handed operable blades”. The OHT fuses both concepts into one unique quick deploying multi-tool. Its design allows you to deploy and collapse every one of the 16 tools with one hand. This “quick deploying system” minimizes hand fatigue and grip adjustment.

A quick wrist flick deploys the pliers in seconds. They are disengaged by squeezing two buttons (one on each handle) and drawing the pliers down into the frame. A safety toggle locks them into place. The jaw “lock out feature” securely locks the pliers in place preventing them from slipping back into the handle. This feature further allows you to apply the adequate amount of pressure to complete the tasks at hand.

The OHT gives you the benefit of one-handed operable tools. This enables you to keep your other hand free for critical situations requiring multi-tasking or a free hand. In support, the tools are readily accessible and mimic the functionality of a folding. 

Leatherman is known for their high-quality tools and the OHT is no exception. It is well-equipped with the following: 

  • Spring-action Needle Nose Pliers.
  • Spring-action Regular Pliers.
  • Spring-action replaceable 154CM Wire Cutters.
  • Spring-action replaceable 145CM Hard Wire Cutters.
  • 420HC Knife.
  • 420HC Serrated Knife.
  • Saw.
  • Strap cutter.
  • Oxygen Tank Wrench.
  • Phillips Screwdriver.
  • Small Screwdriver.
  • Medium Screwdriver.
  • Large Screwdriver.
  • Can Opener.
  • Bottle Opener.
  • #8-32 Cleaning Rod Attachment. 

All of the above-mentioned tools have a nice black oxide finish which reduces glare and reflection and protects them from corrosion.

The handle has a unique touch by incorporating icons showing you what one-handed tool is at that location. This gives you quick access to the tool you need at that specific moment. It further allows you to easily feel for the correct tool while in the dark or limited-visibility situations.

A thick MOLLE compatible nylon sheath protects the OHT. It’s geared more to First Responders. A nice durable strip of velcro flips over keeping the OHT securely in place. The sheath also features a drainage hole and two stages of MOLLE. It allows you to lace it through your duty belt or through MOLLE webbing on gear or packs.

The Leatherman OHT was created to serve an extremely vital role for First Responders' one-handed use. At the scene of an accident, having the ability to reach and use a tool without having to use both hands makes a huge difference. 

Pros:

  • 100% operable with one hand.
  • All locking blades and tools.
  • 16 tools - including a sharp strap cutter, oxygen wrench and serrated 420HC Knife.
  • Stainless steel body.
  • MOLLE compatible durable Nylon sheath.
  • 25-year warranty so you can be confident this multi-tool lasts a lifetime. 

Cons

  • Black oxide coating can rub off after years of usage. (After all, tools are meant to be used).
  • Beware of knock offs made in China. You can expect it to break within a matter of months. Not something you’d want to have in your hands as a First Responder tasked with saving the lives of others. 
Leatherman Skeletool RX

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 4 inches.
  • Primary Blade Length: 2.6 inches. 
  • Weight: 5 ounces. 
  • Materials: 154CM Stainless Steel, Carbide and Cerakote. 
  • Number of Tools: 7
  • Replaceable Pocket Clip: Yes.
  • Carabiner: Yes.
  • Sheath: No.
  • Included Bits: Phillips # 1-2 & 3/16” Screwdriver, Carbide Glass Breaker & 1/4“ Screwdriver.
  • Special Features: Every feature on this tool can be opened and operated with one hand enabling you to keep the other hand free while multitasking. 
  • Warranty: 25-year warranty so you can be confident this multi-tool lasts a lifetime. 

Leatherman is a pioneer in the multi-tool market. The Skeletool RX is simply the company’s popular Skeletool platform styled more for use as a rescue tool by First Responders and citizens on the scene. This durable lightweight titan features specialized tools - a deeply serrated blade for cutting clothing and fibrous materials and a carbide glass break bit - making it an essential part of your emergency kit.

Unlike the above-mentioned OHT, the Skeletool RX is .5 inches smaller and 4.0 ounces lighter than it’s heavier counterpart. Lightweight, versatile and equipped with a built-in carabiner, it’s a great option that fits comfortably in your pocket or attached to a belt loop. Be ready to respond efficiently, quickly and safely in any emergency situation. 

The Skeletool RX is well-equipped with the following high-quality tools:

  • Needle Nose Pliers.
  • Regular Pliers.
  • Hard-wire cutters.
  • Wire cutters.
  • 154CM serrated knife blade - (deeply serrated for more cutting surface on clothing or fibrous materials).
  • Carabiner / bottle opener.
  • Large bit driver - includes a carbide glass bit that shatters tempered glass.
  • Bits Included: Phillips #1-2 3/16” Screwdriver, ¼” Screwdriver and Carbide Glass Breaker that shattered tempered glass.

All tools are immediately accessible while the Skeletool RX is in its folded or closed position. Similar to the OHT, every feature on this rescue tool can be engaged with one hand, giving you swift access to the right tool in critical situations.

The handle is constructed from aluminum that allows you to conveniently store tool bits in it. It gives you both easy access and safe-keeping when not in use. The Red finish gives you the confidence that you will not lose your rescue tool if you set it down during a critical moment.

A built-in carabiner gives you multiple carrying options. Simply clip it to your belt loop, a PDF (Personal Flotation Device) or rescue gear properly secures it in place.

If you are in the market for a lightweight, durable and versatile rescue multi-tool, the Leatherman Skeletool RX would be a welcomed addition to your rescue kit. 

Pros:

  • 100% operable with one hand.
  • All locking blades and tools.
  • 7 tools including a 154CM serrated blade.
  • Aluminum handle with Red finish. 
  • Replaceable pocket clip and built-in carabiner. 
  • 25-year warranty so you can be confident this multi-tool lasts a lifetime. 

Cons: 

  • No oxygen wrench.
  • No specialized strap cutter. (Serrated blade is utilized to cut through clothing and fibrous materials). 
Shuki IV SRT - Survival Rescue Tool

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 5 ½ inches. 
  • Primary Blade Length: N/A.
  • Weight: 3.50 ounces.
  • Materials: 440C Stainless Steel.
  • Number of Tools: 14 versatile multi-tool components.
  • Lanyard Ring: No. 
  • Key Chain Recess: No. 
  • Built-in Carabiner: No.
  • Clip: Yes. It’s suitable for securing it to interior or exterior pockets, bags, backpacks or a rescue vest. Provides a secure method of keeping the tool readily accessible for any possible need.
  • Special Features: This deceiving design also makes a suitable self-defense tool.
  • Warranty: Unknown at the present time. 

The Shuki SRT (Survival Rescue Tool) is a compelling and unique design in every sense of the word. As a First Responder, you are well-versed on the importance of carrying a high-quality multi-tool. When seconds count, you don’t have the luxury of looking through gear. The SRT is definitely not your conventional multi-tool or folding knife. It’s extremely different from anything on the market today.

This ingenious design is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It fuses survival, self-defense, rescue and multi-tool functions in one patented ergonomic design.

A quick example is its state-of-the-art feature such as the ability to break tempered glass in two different ways. The all-important rescue utilities within its design allow you to perform multiple life-saving functions. It is equipped with a dual glass breaking feature that is executed by a kinetic spin application using the double prong or by direct force using the single prong. It cuts through seat belts like a hot knife through butter. A securable windlass allows you to apply a tourniquet. Let’s not forget about the rescue hook that quickly slices through seat belts and webbing. 

This unorthodox design feature the following 14 tools:

  • Hammer Strike Glass Breaker.
  • Oxygen Valve Opener.
  • Wire Stripper.
  • Gradual Hex Driver
  • ¼” Nut Wrench.
  • Self-Defense (pressure point control)
  • Bottle Opener.
  • Seat Belt Cutter.
  • Ruler.
  • Gripper.
  • Box Cutter.
  • Kinetic Spine Glass Breaker.
  • Nail Puller.
  • Flat Head Screwdriver.

All of its integrated components allow for quick access to a variety of well-placed tools with a design giving you proper leverage and overall control.

The SRT has an extremely ergonomic design to fit securely in your hand while performing a variety of rescue tasks. You can take this life-saver anywhere because it can easily be secured to your belt, keychain, rescue vest or backpack. You decide on what carrying option is best for you.

So let’s meet the wolf! The SRT also doubles up as a self-defense tool in a moment of crisis. Its fundamental self-defense design allows for an incredibly effective variety of dominant self-defense actions and methods “of course with the right training”. Each component allows for various bio-mechanical hooks, traps, pressure points, grips, blocks and strikes. It can be effectively used by civilians and professionals alike.

The SRT is an unorthodox rescue multi-tool that is clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. 

Pros:

  • High-quality diverse rescue multi-tool.
  • Revolutionary design incorporating survival, self-defense, rescue and multi-tool functions.
  • 14 tools. (Including glass breaker, seat belt cutter, oxygen valve opener).
  • Ergonomic design gives you proper leverage and control.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Doubles up as a self-defense tool. 

Cons: 

  • Proper training is required to use this multi-tool as a self-defense tool.
  • Warranty is unknown at the present time. 
StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 5 inches.
  • Blade Length: 3 ¼ inches. 
  • Blade Profile: Drop point. 
  • Edge: Partially-serrated. 
  • Lock: Liner lock. (for blade and seat belt hook). 
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces.
  • Materials: 440C stainless steel blade and cutting hook. 
  • Handle: ABS plastic with a rubber non-slip coating. 
  • Lanyard Ring: No. 
  • Belt Clip: Yes, stainless steel.
  • Sheath: Heavy Duty Nylon belt sheath.
  • Special Features: Spring loaded steel tip window punch that retracts automatically and LED light with replaceable batteries. 
  • Pocket Clip: No. 
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty that every StatGear product is warranted to be free of defects and material for the life of the owner. 

Another interesting and unique multi-tool is the StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool designed by a New York City paramedic. In a city of approximately 8,230,290 residents, First Responders are ready to provide life-saving assistance in critical situations. The T3 is a perfect life-saving tool for professionals and citizens alike. 

DID YOU KNOW?

The Association For Safe International Road Travel states that, “38,000 people die every year in crashes on U.S. roadways. The U.S. traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. An additional 4.4 million are injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Road crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people aged 1-54”. These are extremely frightening statistics. 

The T3 is a revolutionary design that is 5 inches long, weighs 6.4 ounces and features the following:

  • 440C 3 ¼ in. partially-serrated blade edge with a drop point blade profile.
  • 440C stainless steel hook blade.
  • Spring loaded steel tip window punch.
  • 5 Lumen LED light. 

As indicated above, the blade is made from 440C steel and has a black coated finish that makes it durable and corrosion-resistant. The front half has a plain edge blade while the back half has serrations. This dual design gives you cutting versatility. The plain edge is perfect for cutting through ropes and cables, gives you increased accuracy and is excellent when performing push cuts.

The serrated portion gives you the benefit of cutting through tougher materials such as seat belts or ropes. Overall, this blade style is a specialized feature useful for First Responders. A thumb stud located on the right side of the blade gives you quick deployment of the blade. It is securely locked into place by a durable high-quality liner lock.

A 440C stainless steel hook is also equipped with a thumb stud for quick deployment. It’s designed to cut through seat belts, webbing and clothing if it’s your last option. Any victim in a state of distress would rather see a hook blade being deployed than a large blade. It’s very design further prevents you from inadvertently further injuring the victim.

The T3 is further equipped with a spring loaded steel tipped window punch. It is an invaluable asset for any First Responder to have in his or her possession. Having a simple tool like a window punch minimizes the risk of injury to yourself or the victim from flying glass. Using a nightstick, flashlight or even a pry bar to break a windshield can have a traumatizing effect on the victim.

The 5 Lumen LED feature is extremely handy when operating in the dark. It uses a CR1220 battery that is easily replaceable. It has an on/off switch that clicks giving you the ability to hear when it's on or off. In any triage situation, it's an invaluable asset for any First Responder. For its size, it provides you with a fair amount of light with an effective distance of 3-5 feet, which is more than suitable in emergency situations.

The T3’s handle is designed from durable ABS plastic, known for its strong impact resistance, heat resistance, tensile strength, shock absorbance and scratch resistance. The rubberized grip ensures the T3 will not slip out of your grasp when rendering critical assistance.

You have the option of carrying the T3 via a stainless steel belt clip or a durable nylon sheath that is quickly attached to your belt.

Designed by a NYC paramedic, the T3 is another life-saving rescue tool for professionals and citizens. 

Pros:

  • Designed by a New York City Paramedic.
  • Revolutionary design (compact and lightweight).
  • Equipped with 4 essential rescue tools - including a spring loaded steel tipped window punch.
  • Specialized blade edge (partially-serrated).
  • Durable ABS plastic with rubberized grip.
  • Durable Nylon Sheath. 

Cons: 

  • Black oxide coating can rub off after years of usage. (After all, tools are meant to be used). 
  • Not MOLLE compatible. 
Benchmade Triage 916

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 4.70 inches. 
  • Overall Length: 8.20 inches. 
  • Blade Length: 3.50 inches. 
  • Blade Profile: Blunt Tip. 
  • Edge: Partially-serrated. 
  • Lock: Axis Lock (one of the strongest locking mechanisms on the market. 
  • Weight: 5.10 ounces. 
  • Materials: N680 highly corrosion-resistant steel blade and 440C hook-shaped seat belt strap cutter.
  • Handle: Orange textured G-10 with full stainless steel liners. 
  • Lanyard Ring: Yes. 
  • Pocket Clip: Reversible, Tip-Up, Deep Pocket. 
  • Sheath: No.
  • Special Features: Safety hook and Carbide window breaker. 
  • Belt Clip: Yes. 
  • Warranty: Limited Warranty.

The Benchmade Triage 916 is a dedicated rescue knife. Tested by some of the world’s foremost rescue experts, this triple dynamic utility tool includes a knife, safety hook and a carbide glass breaker. If you are carrying the right knife, you might be able to save a life.

This dynamic triple utility rescue knife has an overall length of 8.20 inches, weighs 5.10 ounces. Immediately noticeable is the blunt tip blade profile. It doesn’t appear as a threat unlike conventional fighting knives. It’s flat tip design can be used safely to remove a victim from a vehicle without the fear of accidentally cutting or stabbing them. It also helps you move quickly should you need to use it for its intended purpose which is a rescue tool.

It’s an ideal design for First Responders, Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue Teams and Marine Rescue Units - where you don’t want a sharp knife puncturing inflatable craft or equipment.

The 3.50 inch partially-serrated blade is manufactured from N680 steel. Benchmade describes it as “A chromium-molybdenum produced stainless steel with the addition of vanadium and nitrogen”. It gives you excellent corrosion resistance, (especially in salt water), high hardness and wear resistance.

It further gives you an extremely versatile partially-serrated blade edge. The serrated edge makes it easier to quickly cut through tougher materials such as plastics, synthetics, seat belts and ropes.

The Triage features one of the strongest locking mechanisms on the market today. Benchmade’s signature Axis Lock which is reliable and solid. If you take a quick look above, you will notice a steel bar that goes through both sides of the handle which means you can access it with either hand immediately. It’s a great rescue feature when quick deployment is necessary. It also ensures your safety by keeping your hands away from the path of the blade.

The hook-shaped safety cutter is forged from 440C steel, described by Benchmade as, “A high-chromium stainless steel with a perfect balance of hardness and corrosion resistance. It takes a nice edge and is easy to resharpen". It is another great rescue tool for safely getting in close to a victim to quickly cut through seatbelts and clothing.

As seen above, the blade portion of the hook is only in the inner gap of the bend. This design allows you to create a strong pull force on the concentrated area to quickly cut through a restraint without injuring yourself or the victim. Despite being a safety cutter, it’s extremely sharp and demands your full attention.

Another important rescue feature of the Triage 916 is the strong carbide glass breaker located on the butt of the handle. At the scene of an accident, a vehicle may sustain serious damage preventing you from gaining access to the victim by opening the doors. A firm strike with the glass breaker shatters the temperate glass allowing you to gain immediate access to the victim and render life-saving treatment.

The bright orange handle is made of aggressively-textured G-10. This design provides exceptional traction for your hand. It gives you a solid and secure grip when performing rescue duties in wet and unsuitable conditions. Its bright orange color further gives maximum visibility and ensures you will not lose it if you set it down.

It is well-equipped with a deep reversible tip-up pocket clip. Unfortunately, this dynamic rescue tool does not come with a sheath.

The Benchmade Triage 916 is a perfectly designed top-notch rescue tool. It’s functionality makes it a First Responder's dream tool. 

Pros:

  • Dynamic triple utility rescue tool - partially-serrated blade, safety / rescue hook, carbide glass breaker. 
  • N680 stainless steel.
  • Ambidextrous thumb stud opener.
  • Benchmade has an incredibly strong and reliable Axis Locking Mechanism.
  • Bright Orange G-10 textured handle.
  • Made in the USA - with lifetime warranty and LifeSharp service. 

Cons: 

  • Not well-suited as an all-purpose knife for camp chores and duties. (It’s specifically designed as a rescue knife - a professional’s tool).
  • Does not come with a sheath. 
CRKT M16-14ZER

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 5.50 Inches. 
  • Overall Length: 9.25 inches. 
  • Blade Length: 3.75 Inches. 
  • Blade Profile: Tanto.
  • Edge: Partially-serrated (Triple Point Serrations). 
  • Lock: Liner Lock.
  • Weight: 6.20 ounces. 
  • Materials: AUS 8 stainless steel.
  • Handle: Orange GRN (Glass Reinforced Nylon)
  • Lanyard Ring: No.
  • Pocket Clip: Yes.
  • Sheath: No.
  • Special Features: Seat belt strap cutter and a tungsten carbide window breaker. 
  • Belt Clip: Yes. 
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty

The CRKT M16-14ZER is another rescue knife with multiple rescue features to consider. Designed by Kit Karsen, at the request of those in the emergency services field, it is a modification of one of CRKT's most popular designs, the CRKT M16-14.

The CRKT M16-14ZER is just as tough as its predecessor. It’s equipped with a unique seat belt cutter located on the flipper and a tungsten carbide window breaker on the butt of the handle. This is a solid design purposely built to withstand abuse.

This dedicated rescue knife is not small by any means. With an overall length of 9.25 inches and a weight of 6.20 ounces, it’s definitely a full-sized working knife. Immediately noticeable is the Tanto Blade Profile. It’s strong tip shape is specifically designed to puncture through strong materials.

The 3.75 inch partially-serrated blade is manufactured from AUS 8 stainless steel. AUS 8 gives you great edge retention, wear resistance, toughness, corrosion resistance and is incredibly easy to sharpen.

The blade features CRKT’s patented Triple Point Serrations. This unique serration pattern creates angled teeth that feed material into the cut as you pull. Think of it like multiple guillotines all set to glide through fibrous materials with surgical precision. The patented serration will easily cut through tougher materials such as plastics, synthetics, seat belts and ropes.

It features CRK&T’s Auto Lawks redundant security system (which prevents accidental release of the lock) that automatically engages upon opening blade, and a large flipper that allow for easy deployment of the blade even when wearing heavy gloves. It gives you a piece of mind that the blade will not disengage when operating under a stressful situation.

The seat belt cutter is uniquely designed on the flipper. It can be used to cut seat belt material without opening the knife. This is extremely important for avoiding further injury or a distraught or panicking individual in an accident. It is especially useful in the case of a child who really doesn’t understand what’s taking place. The safety cutter is extremely sharp and demands your undivided attention. The flipper / seat belt cutter also doubles up as a guard and will not cut your finger wrapped around it.

A strong tungsten carbide glass breaker is located on the butt of the handle. You know from experience that a vehicle can sustain significant damage during a collision. Doors are jammed and a victim is trapped inside. A firm strike to the window gives you immediate access to the helpless victim.

The bright orange handle is made of textured GRN (Glass Reinforced Nylon) giving you exceptional traction and control. GRN is a durable material that lasts longer, resists wear and tear and is extremely durable. Its bright orange color provides maximum visibility that you will not lose your knife if you set it down.

A fully reversible 4-way pocket clip designed for tip up or tip down carry on either side of the handle comes standard with the CRKT M16-14ZER.

If you are a rescue professional, the CRKT M16-ZER is another excellent choice for daily duty carry at a very reasonable price. 

Pros:

  • Tactically-inspired rescue knife. (Partially-serrated blade, seat belt cutter, tungsten carbide glass breaker).
  • Tanto Blade.
  • Unique seat belt cutter located on the flipper can be used without opening the knife.
  • Patented Triple Point Serrations.
  • CRKT Auto Lawks redundant security system.
  • Bright Orange GRN handle. 

Cons:

  • No sheath.
  • Some users feel the blade guard is too long. (However, this is a safety feature preventing your hand from sliding into the blade). 
Kershaw Barricade 8650

Specifications:

  • Closed Length: 5.0 inches. 
  • Overall Length: 8.5 inches. 
  • Blade Length: 3.5 Inches. 
  • Blade Profile: Modified Clip Point. 
  • Edge: Plain. 
  • Lock: Liner Lock. 
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces. 
  • Materials: 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with black oxide blade finish. 
  • Handle: Orange GRN (Glass Reinforced Nylon).
  • Lanyard Ring: No. 
  • Pocket Clip: Yes.
  • Sheath: No.
  • Special Features: SpeedSafe assisted opening allows you to engage the blade quickly and easily with a manual push on the thumb stud or pull back on the flipper.  
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty.

If you are on a tight budget, the Kershaw Barricade 8650 is a great value-priced multi-functional rescue knife. It is well-equipped with the essential life-saving amenities such as a seat belt cutter, a carbide glass breaker and a 3.5 inch modified clip point blade.

The Barricade 8650 features an overall length of 8.50 inches, weighs 4.5 ounces and is equipped with a 3.5 inch plain edge blade forged from 8Cr13Mov. This is a low-end Chinese made steel but let's not count it out.

This budget steel gives you excellent qualities for its price and is almost comparable with mid-range steel. It offers you great edge retention so you don’t have to continuously sharpen the blade. Since it's stainless steel, it is resistant to corrosion and due to the mixture of Chromium and Vanadium, it has great wear resistance. Finally, it’s easy to sharpen yourself. The black oxide coating on the blade further enhances corrosion resistance.

Kershaw’s revolutionary SpeedSafe Assisted Opening System gives you smooth, secure and fast one-handed blade deployment. Simply apply manual pressure to the flipper or thumb stud with a light push or pull back to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. The blade quickly deploys and locks into place for confident handling without premature closure.

If you look at the handle in the picture above, you will notice that the seat belt cutter is conveniently located in the handle. This built-in feature easily cuts through seat belts, but also serves as a wire stripper and can even cut through laminate.

A strong carbide glass breaker is built into the end of the Barricade 8650 giving you unhindered accessibility to a victim who may be trapped in a vehicle underwater or in extreme wreckage situations.

The handle is made of a very tough, durable and versatile GRN (Glass Reinforced Nylon). This reinforced synthetic polymer has incredible stiffness giving you a secure and stable grip whether breaking a windshield, cutting cord, seat belts or using the blade. Its bright orange color provides maximum visibility, preventing you from losing it when you set it down.

For convenient carry, the Barricade features a deep-carry pocket clip.

If you want a great value rescue knife that doesn’t break the bank, the Barricade 8650 is your answer. 

Pros:

  • Well-equipped with essential life-saving amenities.
  • 8Cr13MoV blade steel takes and holds and edges, resharpens easily, black oxide coating adds blade protection against corrosion.
  • SpeedSafe assisted opening for easy one-handed blade deployment.
  • Bright orange “see me” GRN (Glass-Filled Nylon) handle is easy to see, durable and provides a secure and solid grip.
  • Excellent value-priced everyday carry rescue knife for First Responders.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Cons:

  • If a victim is actually sitting in the seat, the tip of the Barricade 8650 has a very sharp point (unlike a sheepsfoot blade) and not the best option for extricating a victim if rapid extraction is necessary.
  • Black oxide coating can rub off after years of usage. (After all, tools are meant to be used). 
Benchmade SOCP Rescue Tool

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 6.75 inches.
  • Blade Length: 2.5 inches.
  • Blade Profile: Rescue Hook.
  • Edge: Plain.
  • Weight: 1.88 ounces.
  • Materials: 440C steel.
  • Mechanism: Fixed blade.
  • Number of Tools: 3
  • Handle: 440C with finger loop giving you a way to grasp it securely for fast deployment and uses. 
  • Lanyard Ring: Yes.
  • Pocket Clip: Yes
  • Sheath: Injection molded plastic. MOLLE compatible.
  • Special Features: Glass breaker and O2 wrench.
  • Belt Clip: No.
  • Warranty: Limited Warranty. 

The Benchmade SOCP Rescue Tool was designed by Greg Thompson of Special Operations Combatives Program (SOCP) for rescue performance and less-than-lethal self-defense. As you can see this is not your conventional rescue tool. At first glance, its streamlined design closely resembles a dagger. However, its utility is priceless.

This efficient rescue tool is forged from 440C stainless steel described by Benchmade as, “A high-chromium stainless steel with a perfect balance of hardness and corrosion resistance”. It accommodates a fine edge and is fairly easy to resharpen. Best yet, it’s a full tang, just one solid piece of metal. 

The SOCP is well-equipped with the following rescue features:

  • Rescue hook.
  • Integrated Carbide glass breaker.
  • Oxygen tank wrench. 

As you can see above, the SOCP has a proven finger loop retention system. It gives you the benefit of immediate deployment and a secure grip when slicing through seat belts with the hook or breaking a windshield with the carbide glass breaker located at the tip. In any critical situation, the SOCP is guaranteed not to slip from your grasp in any stressful situation.

A tough Black MOLLE compatible injection molded plastic sheath is standard issue with the SOCP. The sheath is also well-equipped with a pocket clip. It can be securely clipped to your pocket or front and center to your vest ready for emergencies.

The Benchmade SOCP Rescue Tool is an excellent choice for any First Responder looking for an upgrade to their daily duty carry. 

Pros:

  • Rescue Tool designed by Greg Thompson of Special Operations Combatives Program.
  • Forged from high-chromium stainless steel with balanced hardness and corrosion resistance.
  • Unconventional design featuring a rescue hook, carbide glass breaker and oxygen tank wrench
  • Proven finger loop retention system.
  • Tough durable Black MOLLE compatible sheath.
  • Made in the USA, with Benchmade’s LifeSharp warranty. 

Cons:

  • Some users don’t really like the jimping/notches on the SOCP.
  • Not the most ideal for everyday civilian carry because it can easily be mistaken for a dagger. 

For example, Section 2C:39-3 of the New Jersey Criminal Code makes it illegal to carry any gravity knife, switchblade knife, dagger, dirk, stiletto … without any explainable lawful purpose.” Furthermore, you are forbidden from possessing any other weapon “not manifestly appropriate for lawful use.” 

StatGear SuperVizor XT

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 4 ½ inches. 
  • Materials: 440C stainless steel. 
  • Blade Style: Rescue Hook. 
  • Weight: 3 ounces. 
  • Number of Tools: 2-Seat belt cutter and carbide window punch. 
  • Handle: Rubber handle grip. 
  • Lanyard Ring: No. 
  • Key Chain Recess: No. 
  • Built-in Carabiner: No. 
  • Clip: No. 
  • Sheath: Heavy duty nylon. 
  • Special Features: Sheath clips onto a vehicle's window visor for immediate accessibility. 
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty that every StatGear product is warranted to be free of defects and material for the life of the owner.

From the same paramedic who designed the above-mentioned StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool, the StatGear SuperVizor XT is a visor mounted life-safer that is perfect for both First Responders and civilians alike. This dedicated rescue tool is designed to help you escape from your vehicle should your seat belt become stuck or jammed.

This life-saver is forged from 440C stainless steel, giving you high-chromium stainless steel with a perfect balance of hardness and corrosion resistance. It accommodates a fine edge and is fairly easy to resharpen. Best yet, it’s a full tang, just one solid piece of metal. 

This tough little gem is well-equipped with the following rescue tools at your immediate disposal:

  • A carbide tip glass breaker - ideal to free yourself and passengers from emergency situations. 
  • Seat belt cutter - designed to easily slice through seat belts if it's stuck or jammed. Its very design keeps your fingers away from the cutting edge preventing further injury to yourself or a victim during rescue. 

The solid design featured above has a glow in the dark rubber handle. This gives you maximum visibility when operating in less than ideal conditions. You don’t have to worry about losing this rescue tool in the dark or by setting it down.

Another important aspect of the SuperVizor XT is the visor mounted sheath. It is perfect for any vehicle (rescue or privately-owned). Discrete and compact. it’s always within reach should you ever need it.

The XT is a great visor mounted rescue tool that’s perfect for anyone who needs a quick access rescue tool. 

Pros:

  • With ease of use, accessibility and life-saving in mind the SuperVizor XT was designed by a N.Y.C paramedic. 
  • 440C stainless steel.
  • Seat belt cutter and carbide glass breaker.
  • Glow in the dark rubber handle.
  • Visor mounted sheath.
  • Discrete, compact and readily accessible should you ever need to use it. 

Cons: 

  • No belt loop, not MOLLE compatible.
  • The rubber handle has the potential of wearing off. 
Benchmade-7 Rescue Hook Strap Cutter

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 4.3 inches. 
  • Materials: 440C. 
  • Blade Style: Plain hook
  • Weight: 1.50 ounces. 
  • Number of Tools: 1 seat belt cutter. 
  • Lanyard Ring: No.
  • Key Chain Recess: No.
  • Built-in Carabiner: No. 
  • Clip: No.
  • Sheath: Black durable Nylon that’s MOLLE compatible. 
  • Special Features: 
  • Warranty: Limited Warranty. 

Another considerable rescue tool is the Benchmade-7 Rescue Hook Strap Cutter. This compact life-saver cuts through any fibrous material quickly and can be used for a quick deployment tool for saving lives!

The hook shaped safety cutter is forged from a single piece of 440C stainless steel, described by Benchmade as, “A high-chromium stainless steel with a perfect balance of hardness and corrosion resistance". It takes a nice edge and is easy to resharpen. It’s quick cutting power slices through seat belts, cords, wire, webbing, bandages, rope, clothing and more. The razor sharp blade is specifically designed to also cut through multiple layers of tough webbing.

The design further facilitates safety during use. It prevents inadvertent cuts, while it helps the webbing or seat belt slip through.

A large handle design works well with gloved hands. The finger hole handle of this rescue tool has a black PVC overmold and positive finger treads along the spine giving you a secure grip.

The black durable Nylon sheath included with the Benchmade-7 is MOLLE compatible.

When you need to cut quickly and reliably through any critical situation the Benchmade-7 Rescue Hook Strap Cutter is a razor sharp companion. 

Pros:

  • Extensively tested and used by the U.S military for medical and egress purposes.
  • 440C stainless steel.
  • Razor sharp blade.
  • Ergonomic design prevents inadvertent injury.
  • Large handle design works well with gloves and provides a secure grip.
  • Made in the USA.

Cons:

  • No window breaker.
  • Pricey when compared to other models. 
Gerber Gear Strap Cutter

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 4.375 inches. 
  • Materials: 420HC Stainless steel with blade oxide coating. 
  • Blade Style: Single bevel knife edge with blunt hook. 
  • Weight: 3.0 ounces. 
  • Number of Tools:
  • Handle: Injection molded rubber with extra large finger hole. 
  • Lanyard Ring: Yes.
  • Key Chain Recess: No. 
  • Built-in Carabiner: No.
  • Clip: No.
  • Sheath: Hard plastic sheath with a MOLLE adaptable clip and malice clip included. 
  • Special Features: Cuts through nylon straps and seat belts in seconds. 
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty. 

The Gerber Gear Strap Cutter is another rescue tool featuring an innovative design that shields the cutting edge protecting delicate surfaces. This tool serves its purpose in emergency situations.

This compact guardian is a single solid piece of 420C stainless steel. I’m sure by now you know it provides you with a perfect balance of hardness, corrosion resistance, maintains a sharp edge and it is easy to sharpen.

The rounded hook is wide enough to accept a variety of items to slice through. Its raw cutting strength easily slices through seat belts, cords, wire, webbing, bandages and rope like a hot knife through butter. A well-crafted rounded hook keeps your hand away from harm’s way and protects the victim while you are slicing through their seat belt or clothing.

The back end of the handle also features a durable glass breaker. You know from experience that a vehicle can sustain significant damage during a collision. Doors are jammed and a victim is trapped inside. A firm strike to the window gives you immediate access to the helpless victim trapped in a vehicle.

A molded rubber grip and large finger hole gives you a stable and secure grip. The large cut-out serves as a finger-hole to keep the tool in control even with gloves on.  The finger-hole is big enough to accommodate gloved hands.  Jimping along the top of the spine as seen above further enhances your grip when operating in critical conditions.  

The Strap Cutter comes with a hard plastic sheath equipped with a MALICE clip for attaching it MOLLE/PALS webbing or to your belt. Also supplied is a piece of equipment Gerber calls a “belt clip” but this feature seems to work best with 1 inch webbing.

Compact, lightweight and extremely effective, the Gerber Gear Strap Cutter is another rescue multi-tool that's a perfect addition to your rescue gear. 

Pros:

  • 420C stainless steel, rounded hook design and razor sharp blade.
  • Glass breaker.
  • Molded rubber grip and large finger hole for stability and control.
  • Jimping on the spine enhances your grip.
  • MOLLE compatible sheath and additional Gerber “belt clip”.
  • Extremely easy on the wallet. 

Cons:

  • Case has a cheap feel to it.
  • As with any rubber handle, it’s prone to wear and tear. 

Final Note.

Emergency rescue multi-tools and folding knives are an asset to any First Responder's everyday carry. As a First Responder, you already carry a variety of gear you just can’t sacrifice. However, you decide on the personal gear as your everyday carry. Rescue multi-tools and folding knives are lightweight, compact and fit in your gear practically unnoticed.

They provide you with the most utility in any critical situation. Versatility is the name of the game because they allow you to perform a multitude of “on the spot” life-saving tasks.

When seconds matter, average multi-tools and pocket knives simply don’t cut it. They lack the essential rescue tools such as carbide tip glass breakers, seat belt cutters, serrated blades and oxygen wrenches. Specialists require specialized equipment in any rescue operation. It allows you to react quickly and effectively when time is of the essence.

A special note: To all First Responders worldwide, your hands heal, comfort those in times of despair and protect those who can’t protect themselves. Thank you for your courageous dedication and never-ending drive to help others. Always stay safe and we hope you feel our undivided appreciation and support.

No matter where your adventures take you, always stay vigilant and be safe. Wishing all of you and your families nothing but the best. 

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