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Seatbelt Cutter

My wife is pregnant and before the bump gets too much bigger I have impressed upon her the need for a blade to enable her to cut the seatbelt if needed (also for when the baby is born the same type of belt holding the car seat in place)

She has agreed to this with not too much arm twisting on my part (perhaps she is coming round to my knife carrying ways) and my thought was a Spyderco Rescue Jnr probably clipped to the sun visor.

Do you folks think this is a good idea or is she better off with a line cutter of some sort??
A Rescue or Rescue Jr. would be a great choice. When you get one, go to the local junkyard and scavenge some seatbelts. The two of you can practice slashing through them. Not that important, but it'll let your wife know what to expect when/if she has to cut her way out of a belt (hopefully never!).

Also, impress on her the importance of not trying to cut the belt that's directly in front of her. For the shoulder belt, grab with one hand, pull out and cut it above your shoulder with the other hand. For the lap belt, figure out where a good spot is to cut for her. If the belt is jammed and no slack can be pulled (some are designed that way), don't be afraid to cut down through the belt and into the side of the seat. If it's time to cut yourself free of the belt, don't worry about the seat.

The worst thing would be for her to take a bad situation and make it worse by cutting herself.

I have one of the newer Rescue Jrs, and it cuts through seatbelt material effortlessly. I find that the serration pattern used on the Cold Steel rescue type knife is rather difficult to sharpen.
Oct 8, 1998
You could also search around and get one the old Becker Knife and Tool, Hoffman Design seatbelt cutters, they are a big hook, but with no point...

Or you can get a product made completely for cutting seatbelts sold at aircraft safety places. It looks like a letter opener, blade recessed at end of groove. They have one at equipped.com, at least they did...

Something along the lines of a Spyderco Mariner with its sheepsfoot blade should be very on the list. Points are nice for piercing, not what you want around friendly flesh.

I'd recommend the Buck Crosslock with the seat belt cutter (Law Enforcement Model). When I designed that blade, that was it's intended use - to safely reach under the belt, hook the belt, and pull it toward you. It was very effective but I'm not sure Buck still has it in their line. Similiar to the gut hook but narrower.

The ultimate is the Myerchin A500 4" fixed-blade sheepsfoot. See also www.myerchin.com - I wear mine strapped to my left elbow/forearm motorcycle strap-on armor in "sleeve rig" fashion for post-crash helmet strap cutting, clothes removal, whatever.

And a last-ditch backup weapon, of course...

Jim March
If this knife is for emergency use only (or even primarily), the CS Land and Sea Rescue knife might still be a good choice. The reasoning is, if it is not going to be used frequently to dull it, the difficulty in sharpening the serrations is not so important. And the CS style serrations are very aggressive cutters.

CS also makes a cheaper rescue knife, the ER1, which is like one of those cheap razor knives you get at the hardware store.

Also, and I didn't find this on-line (it was in the SMKW catalog), Remington has a cool knife, called the Law Enforcement Tool, that has regular spearpoint blade and a "seat belt cutter/freedom hook" -- both of which are one hand openers. Their cost is a little steep at $69.99, however.

If this knife is for your wife to cut herself out of the seatbelt, the specialized hook type cutter may not be as good as a regular sheepsfoot. The hook blades are made to be pulled toward the person using them, aren't they? It seems that it would be easier for your wife to take a regular blade and slice away from herself.
Dear fellow posters; you show a great deal of knowledge about knives in the above posts.

However, as an Emergency Dept. MD with 20 years of experience, I suggest a different approach entirely. Trauma scissors.

These are those large scissors with plastic handles, blunt tips, and the blades angled off about 30 degrees. They will cut through light sheet metal, and certainly through seat belts. These are what I carry with me when I approach an accident scene (OK, I also have a few knives also, but the trauma shears are what I would use to cut a person out of a seat belt).

WHY, you ask? Well, consider that if you are in an accident, your fine motor skills are gone, and even opening a knive may be difficult. The scissors are much easier to operate.Also, the scissors are larger than the average knive you might employ, so are probably going to be easier to find. Further, with blunt tips, you are much less likely to accidentally cut yourself or others. One last consideration; the only time you would need to cut a person out of a seat belt (assuming the release mechanism is operable and accessible) is if there is some other element of urgency; such as you standing in a pool of gasoline, trying to get a person out of a car, and can hear zzzzzt noises coming from the engine compartment. In this instance, it is far better to be reaching over a semi-conscious person with scissors in your hand, rather than a knife. It is less threatening.

One final point, the trauma scissors sell for about $6 to $8. you can afford to have them in all your cars, in your purse, pack,etc. In other words, you will be more likely to have them.

Hope this helps, Walter Welch MD
Walt, and it would be easier to consecrate a pair for seatbelt extraction only...

Bagman, get here both, that way you can get her hooked on knives...

MDP fka Eye
Thanks for all the input, I think I will get her a Spyderco Rescue Jnr (the orange one for high vis) as to making her love knives, I found my Indian Army model Kukri yesterday when sorting out my moving boxes and she wasn't impressed at all
perhaps it was a little large.

Walter, I have been looking for trauma shears here in the UK since reading a previous thread of yours on the subject but cant find anywhere that stocks them, I have put the large version of the Rescue in my car fist aid box instead.