It seems appropriate, as we end one year and begin another, to take a look at a few tools that could play an intricate role in the job we do. Whether you're in law enforcement or the military, the reality of having to assist or extricate someone who is in a bad situation exists. Obviously, some situations require very specialized tools you may not have. Other situations can be solved with something as simple as a pocket knife. This week I thought I'd review a few rescue tools, all pocket or handheld size, that are specifically designed for that rescue / extrication situation.
The three rescue tools I'd like to take a look at are the:
- Buck Bravo Rescue
- 888 Professional
Let's start out with the Buck Bravo Rescue...
Manufactured by Buck Knives, a LONG trusted and well known name in knife making, the 855 Bravo Rescue was specifically designed as a Rescue Tool first, and a Knife second. When designing the knife it's as if the folks at Buck Knives had listened to all those cops across the past couple decades give reasons for why they carried that pocket knife - and then they built a knife to fit all the reasons given. "To break out the window in case someone is stuck in a burning car." Okay. The Bravo Rescue has a window breaking tip built into the end of the handle. It is shaped like a pyramid and is designed to break tempered glass. The 3.5" blade is easily opened by levering out the stainless steel thumb stud and the liner lock engages with authority. Made from 420HC steel, the blade is shaped like a Tanto but actually has multiple cutting surfaces thanks to the Besh Wedge design. This method of beveling allows the blade to maintain full thickness all the way to the tip, increasing its strength. The handle is stainless steel with thick rubber overmolds made from Santoprene. The handles themselves are cut so that there is a definitive place for your index finger. The overall handle design shape combined with the thick rubber slabs make this a very comfortable knife in the hand.
The second "Knife" I want to look at really isn't a knife much at all. It was truly designed as a Rescue Tool for police officer to have handy, available and on their person virtually anytime they're in uniform (or off-duty too). When I first got this relatively small tool I almost thought it was too small to handle effectively. Testing proved me wrong - but its compact size (3" total length foldes shut or 4.25" open) makes it ideally suited for environments where you want such tools to be less conspicuous. The blade is made from 440 Stainless Steel while the handles and clip are made from 420 Stainless Steel. Three tools are combined into the 1.25" blade:
- A seat-belt / line cutter
- A blade for prying or scraping (or VERY small cutting jobs)
- A serrated cutting edge
Weighing a scant two ounces the 888 Professional Folding CopTool has a small lanyard loop molded into one of the steel handles allowing you to carry it on a keychain, neckchain, or tied to your belt / vest somehow. Priced at $49.95 on the 888 Professional CopTool products page, this is a handy little tool I'll either keep on my keychain or use as a money clip.
That brings me to the HawkHook from BLACKHAWK! With a 2.25" "blade" and measuring only 5.5" overall when opened, the HawkHook is amazingly versatile for a single-blade small tool. The blade is manufactured from AUS8A stainless steel and finished in a matte bead-blast non-reflective fashion. Incorporated into this single-blade tool are:
- A glass breaker
- A flat screwdriver / pry tip
- A seat belt / nylon webbing / cord cutter
- A bottle opener (THAT's a cool "church key")
- A serrated cutting edge (for rope)
- A wire stripper
SIX tools in one compact package. The ambidextrous thumb stud means you can open it with either hand, BUT (and this is my only potentially negative comment) the entire tool is so small that it isn't easy to open. The tolerances are so tight... It uses a liner lock to secure the blade open and has textured nylon scales as grip panels. Given the size and single blade design, the amount you can do with it is quite impressive.