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Recommendation? non-tacticool emergency response knives

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Lodd, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Lodd

    Lodd Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    So, a few weeks ago I got certified as one of my company's, well, for lack of a better term, emergency responders. Although I'm not sure if that is the right translation for it. Basically, you get a 2 day course: 1 day of 'first aid' and one day of 'fire safety' (putting out small fires, evacuating a building etc.). It's nothing too glorious, mind you. Basically, we're expected to bridge the time between an accident and the arrival of the actual professionals (ambulance, fire brigade).

    I figure this is a fine excuse to look at some knives. I was wondering what knives/features firefighters and medics find useful?

    As an added challenge, I can't have any knives that look too tacticool or intimidating in my office. Right now I have a spyderco native 5 in fluted titanium and a buck 55. I'm not looking for anything that looks too military or intimidating.

    I don't really have a budget in mind as I might save up a few paychecks if something nice enough comes along.

    I was thinking a glass breaker could be handy (for breaking glass when people get locked in the toilets or feel ill in there) or maybe some scissors for cutting open clothing when you need to apply a defibrillator (although the defibrillator should come with scissors). But maybe all these fancy things are awkward to use in practice? I would love to get some input from more experienced people.

    Some fancy Lionsteel folders have a glassbreaker, and of course Victorinox has quite a few models with scissors.
  2. gzb


    Jan 24, 2003
    GBD's (Glass Breaking Devices) aren't made for plate glass such as house windows. They're made for tempered glass like the kind you find on the side/rear windows of cars/trucks. They don't work on laminated glass (windshields) either.
    Using one to break plate glass would be endangering the wannabee rescuer to the risk of severe lacerations.
    A rock would be better...

    AED's (defibrillators) don't come with scissors.
    19-3ben likes this.
  3. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    Heh? o_O

    Maybe a Leatherman Raptor is worth considering. In addition to shears it has a glass breaker for breaking into...the..toilet stalls.
  4. Lodd

    Lodd Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    Thanks for the tip. These kinds of things are good to know. After all, they can only teach you so much in 2 days.

    Yeah I guess it sounds kinda weird. The guy who gave the first aid bit of the course said they often find people who get heart attacks on the toilet, because often, just before the heart attack, people feel like they need to go. I can tell you, this course is NOT FUN if you are a slight hypochondriac.:)
  5. gzb


    Jan 24, 2003
    That part he told you is true sometimes. Not sure a knife with a GBD would be the tool of choice though.
    Get the smallest responder to crawl under or over and unlock the stall door, or force the interior bathroom door if that is the case.
  6. jimmyd1982

    jimmyd1982 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 23, 2011
    I'd say either a vic sak or a leatherman skeletool. Very functional and non threatening for a work environment.
  7. ME4KOB


    Nov 17, 2014
    Kershaw 8100 is cheap and works good
  8. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    :D And, I don't know about you, but the stalls where I work dont have glass doors.
  9. sabre cat

    sabre cat

    Jul 4, 2014
    You can make searching for the perfect rescue knife your life's work.

    I have owned three rescue knives (Spyderco Clip it- Rescue, Gerber, and SOG Flash 2 Rescue) and handled everything that has crossed my path. Out of what I owned, I liked the Spyderco the best. Nice rescue knife. It sucks as an EDC, though, so you end up with two knives to carry.

    Now, I just carry a pair of shears and a Benchmade strap cutter in my bag plus what ever knife I have as my EDC. Benchmade offers (or used to offer) a sheath that would fit both a small Grip and a strap cutter.

    Out of everything I've have handled, I like the Benchmade Triage, the Victorinox Rescue Knife and my Spyderco more than any others. If I was working EMS full time, all three knives would be on my list for serious consideration. In your case, I would recommend the Victorinox Rescue Knife. It has plenty of extra tools that you may find useful. And, it's work and office friendly. Cost less than the Benchmade, too. Victorinox has a great video about it. Well worth watching even if you don't buy the knife.

    If you really feel that you need a glass breaker for car windows, get yourself a spring loaded center punch. It works better than any carbide bit on the back of a knife and you have less chance of cutting your arms. Also, the glass breakage is easier to control.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    spykez likes this.
  10. hexenjager

    hexenjager Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2016
    This was my first thought as well. That's based solely on what I've read others say on BF about them, though.

    Folding scissors aren't at all tacticool looking and it would have some emergency tools that you could always have with you. Sounds like you aren't in a particularly knife friendly environment, so carrying multiple knives might be looked down upon as well. Having your emergency tool be something other than a knife will still allow you freedom to carry what works best for you as a personal day to day knife and change that as circumstances change... or you buy shiny, new sharp and pointy toys and want to carry them... cause they're new... and shiny...:D
  11. clearkevin

    clearkevin Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 7, 2014
    I think the leatherman Raptor is a good option for scissors and it has an O2 wrench, and res-Q-me's work really well I've broken many car windows with them it's almost amazing how well they work. As for a knife in an emergency best keep it in your pocket the chance of cutting yourself or someone else is really high when adrenaline is flowing. BTW if the Leatherman Raptor is to much a good pair of medical shears is not that hard to carry.
  12. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    It seems you can always pull off a Leatherman even in the least knife-friendly environment. People don't feel like its a knife. It's like "pliers." I have one on me all the time and have, many times, "rescued" office co-workers needing pliers or a screwdriver. Or glasses screwdriver! Even the tweezers. Helped somebody with a sliver once.

    Saved the day! "My hero!" :cool:

    For the record I'm not an EMT, but I work in a hi-rise and we get tons of training. Defibrillator, fire/tornado drills, ... just recently had "active shooter" training.

    And, honestly, I can't envision using anything other than scissors/shears in an emergency there.
    hexenjager likes this.
  13. number9


    Mar 5, 2017
    As mentioned, a spring loaded center punch will break tempered glass better, and safer, than any pointy thing on a pocket knife. A cheap one will do all you need and are less than 10 bucks at your local crappy chi..., uh, imported tool store. Similarly, a set of EMT shears is also less than 10 bucks. If you're in the US, the big industrial supply house with the big red catalog has 'em for less than $5. Buy two. They are handy. Offset handles, blunt lower blade for sliding along skin. I've had to use a defibrillator once. Honestly, I don't remember opening the shirt to be an issue at all. Either buttons, pocketknife or torn??? (The picture of someone trying to cut open a garment with the scissors in a typical Swiss Army knife is ridiculous.) A cheap flat bar (nail puller) is probably your best bet for a toilet stall.

    That all said, The Spyderco Rescue and Victorinox Rescue both look so cool. Well thought out tools. The video is great. I'd like to have one just for that. But as said, not so hot as an EDC.

    Since no-one (that I know of) makes a pocket knife with a built in ABC fire extinguisher, I'd treat myself to a new, bright orange Mini-Grip, put a flat bar and set of EMT scissors in the bottom drawer of my desk and call myself prepared.
  14. Jisatsu

    Jisatsu Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    I'd say the Spyderco Saver Salt Knife is a good option. Great for first aid applications (no scary point), it's bright and easy to find (yellow frn scales), and the H1 steel is great for just throwing in a FAK (first aid kit) and forgetting about. Any extra features will start getting you into much more expensive knives that look more tactical than functional.
    A.L. likes this.
  15. sabre cat

    sabre cat

    Jul 4, 2014
    What, no flashlight?

    I recently changed the scales on one of my Grips from black to orange. One of the best knife decisions I ever made.
  16. gzb


    Jan 24, 2003
    Well, there is that too...
  17. KAEDC

    KAEDC Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Ah the "terminal turd"! IIRC it isn't so much feeling like you need to go, but when you "push" it can interrupt your heart rate as well as have a strong short term effect on blood pressure. Sometimes cause people to pass out and strike their heads when they fall.

    As to the question? I would think a good multi-tool paired with resuce shears would be ideal
  18. Dallas T

    Dallas T Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2013
    Im a EMT by profession and carry every shift a bm triage. I have used the hook for cutting clothes on multiple occasions and it works great. Haven't used breaker yet and the tip i modded to more of a drop point which is more useful than a safety tip!
  19. number9


    Mar 5, 2017
    VERY good point. My mistake. Scissors, flat bar and a flashlight in the desk drawer. (New) orange mini-grip and another flashlight in the pocket.
  20. Emre

    Emre Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    I like the Victorinox Rescue Tool:


    Pomsbz and R.c.s like this.

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