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Where to stow seatbelt-cutter?

If you have a folding knife with seatbelt-cutting ability, say a serrated blade, where do you keep in when you're driving your car?

I would naturally carry it in my pocket. If I had to exit my car, but the seatbelt release failed to function, I would reach for my seatbelt cutter. I wouldn't be able to reach it because it would be in my front pants pocket, which has been rendered rather inaccessable because of the malfunctioning seatbelt.

I seem to have reached a bit of circular logic. If anyone here has resolved this question in a logical manner, I would love to hear it.

Would I have to buy a separate knife for this and keep it in the car? If so, what location in the car would be secure yet instantly reachable?
Oct 26, 2000
You could clip one on your seatbelt

The driver side sun visor gets my vote.

Or you could get something like a small Spyderco and keep it on your keyring.
I drive a 1997 F-150 Ford. There is an oval recess under the steering column where my selt belt cutter goes. My logic is that since my vehicle is a two-seater, not a king cab, my passenger can access the knife if I'm knocked unconscious in a crash. Since it is always there, I don't have to remember to place it there everytime I drive. (BTW, I recommend the SW EMT model with the spring loaded window punch.)--OKG
Thanks for the suggestions and recommendations. You've given me food for thought, and tasty food at that!

I keep an old Spyderco Rescue on the underside of the center console lid with double sided tape. On the last car I had w/o a center console, I used double sided tape to attach it to the center of the dash, low enough that it could not easily be seen from outside. Velcro with adhesive backing would also work. The thick double sided tape from 3M hold quite well and have not had the Rescue pull lose yet. A heavy knife might pull free in a crash.

It is not the fall that kills you. It is the realization that "yes, you did something that stupid."
Mine is clipped on the top side of the drivers side visor right alongside my pepper spray. If ever a target for car-jacking I will whimper and beg for mercy with both hands up but my hands won't be empty for long.
One thing to remember when cutting a seatbelt is that there is a large artery (sp?) on the inside of the leg that if cut, would mean almost certain death. That said, I have a Rescue above the sunvisor, a 110 between the seats, an Odyssey behing the seat, and a multi tool in the glove box. Oh yea, there is a BM 450, I think, somewhere inside. I dont have them there for any reason other than I always forget to bring them inside

"Dream as if you'll live forever, Live as if you'll die today"
-- James Dean

-Jesse Foust

[This message has been edited by scouter27 (edited 11-10-2000).]
Those who have been around here before know that whenever the topic of keeping knives in the car comes up, I feel compelled to recount my major accident. If you've read it before, then skip this post.

In a nutshell, the road veered left, but thanks to some ice on the road (and my foot on the accellerator a little harder than it should have been that day), the car did not. So, the car (a 1989 Oldmobile Cutlass Supreme (what else would a knife collector drive? Well, maybe a Mercury Saber.), and I went flying off the road. But not just any road. This one has a rather abrupt shoulder. Only a few feet from the pavement, it abruptly drops about 15 feet into a field. So, when I say we went flying, well, it was more of a carrier take-off than anything. Unfortunately, the car was not designed to fly. Try as I might, I couldn't get the nose up. Gravity exceeded lift and down we went. But, with a bit of "English" from coming around the curve, the car did manage to flip 180 degrees in the air and so landed on its roof. It then rolled two and one-half times on the ground coming to a rest upright with the engine still running. Had the car not promptly sunk to the axles in the mud, I'm convinced I'd have driven it out. I don't think the CD player didn't even skip a beat. I opened the door and stepped out. It's highly significant that the door opened normally after such an incident and gives strong witness to the structural integrity of that car. (I was distraught when the insurance company declared it a total loss. But, my grief turned to joy when I checked the want ads and there was another 1989 Olds Cutlass for sale. So, I still drive an '89 Cutlass to this day.).

Anyway, having been kept securely in my seat by automatic seatbelt tensioners, and suffering no injury at all, I got out of the car and realized that all of my stuff was everywhere. Every compartment in the car, the glove box, the arm rest, the map compartment, had come open and everything that I had stored anywhere in the car was now loose and had been loose and floating around in the air as the car turned over and over and over.

Even my briefcase which had been on the floor in the back seat area had come open and spilled its contents into the fray.

I found my Benchmade 970, which had been closed and in the glove box, locked open and stabbed into the back seat. That's right: among the many things flying around my head during the accident there was a BM 970 locked open.

I very quickly realized that it was amazing that I had not been stabbed or hit on the head by anything.

Folks, if you have never been in one, take it from someone who has: a roll-over accident can be a very violent event. Expect everything that is in the car to be flying around you.

My new rule: I don't care what it is; if you wouldn't want to get hit in the head with it, then put it in the trunk.

Also, be especially carefull about anything that "mounts" in your car with suction cups or double-sided tape or Velcro. They will come loose. Getting hit on the head with a radar detector or cell phone could easily knock you unconscious.

If you want to keep a knife or other such dangerous object in your car, then make very sure that it very securely mounted (screwed into a structural member) so that it will not come loose in an accident.

Also, please wear your seatbelt. Without mine, I'd have been flying around inside that car too.

Oh, and one more thing: Think W!

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
Trauma shears, also known as EMT scissors are the best seat belt cutters. No sharp points, they will cut through thin sheet metal, and they are cheap; about $5.

If they hit you when your car goes upside down, they won't hurt you.

If you have to cut someone else out of a car, consider that you would do so only if the car were about to catch fire or someting equally disastrous were about to happen. You would be dealing with an obtunded or unconscious (or possibly hysterical) person. Bending over an obtunded person with a knife is likely to be misinterperted by the confused person, and result in his lack of cooperation (putting it mildly). Even if you successfully cut the person free, what do you then do with the knife? Remember, seconds count here, or you wouldn't be cutting them free. Going to stick the knife in your waistband? With trauma scissors, you can do exactly that, safely. Further, scissors with blunt plastic tips aren't likely to be misconstrued as a weapon.

IMHO, the only way to go is trauma shears.

I was in a place the other day that sold new school busses. I seen a sign on the parts counter that said "seat belt cutters sold here." I would describe them as a version of the wyoming knife. They are made of a plasic handle that looks much like a suite case handle, and they have a replaceable razorblade that looks like a gut hook, or wyoming knife. They also come with velcro tape, so you can attach them about anywhere. They are very light weight, which would make them less likley to come loose in an accident, and if it did, I doubt it would do serious damage.
Good post. I have given this a bit of thought and still have not come to a really good conclusion. My theory: if you need to be cut out of your seat belt, you have been involved in a fairly violent collision. As alluded to earlier, any thing not well-secured will become a projectile (as my wife recently demonstrated in a fairly minor crash). The cutter must be secured in a location where you can reach it while you are locked into the seat belt (I am assuming worst-case scenario of the shoulder strap locking too); then the cutter must be secure enough to not go flying around, but you must he able to get the durn thing out to use (no good if double-bolted to the center console). So, the cutter must be secure enough not to go flying around upon impact, but gettable(!?) enough for an injured person to use.

BTW, JW, I heard a funny (because it did not happen to me) story about a guy who left his pepper spray clipped to the visor on a hot summer day. When he got back in the car, he could not figure out why he felt like ants were crawling on his back. The pepper spray had exploded and gotten into the fabric upholstery. Took a long time to get the car driveable again.
Here's an inexpensive seatbelt cutter that you could stick (with double-sided tape) to your dashboard, steering column, center console lid, keyring, or whatever.

This is useful, couldn't accidentally stab anyone, wouldn't look threatening to a police officer, wouldn't hurt (too much) if it hit you in the head, and is easy to use. Of course, that would also apply to EMT shears.

What do you folks think?
My "seatbelt cutter" will most likely be whatever knife I have clipped to my pocket or in my waistband. Trauma shears would be the best bet; however, I bet I won't be carrying them on the odd chance that whatever accident has damaged the seatbelt release to the point I can't release it has NOT damaged me to the point I don't care.

Anyway, though, whatever knife is clipped to my front pocket has alway been easy to reach while I have been sitting in my car. It is the getting it back in my pocket after using it that has been the problem.

Gollnick and Walt speak from experience learn from them. What I've learned from both my own crashes and 11 years on the job as a firefighter/emt goes right in line with what they say.I love knives but I will no longer use them inside cars,to tight,freaks out victims ,and I don't want others blood on a sharp anything.Now I know the question was about self-rescue and blood may not be of a concern,however emt shears are still the way to go.While we're at it,please do not run up to a car crash cut the belt and drag the person to "safety".Keep them still,check airway,breathing ,and circulation,stabilize the neck and wait for help.Only move them if there is an immediate threat to life,(fire,sinking in lake ect).
I'm going to weigh in with the opinion that vecro is pretty tuff stuff. With a good size piece crazy glued to the flat of a light zytel folder, it should hold in a rollover.

How is that cheap "seatbelt cutter" different from the magnetic latter opener you get as a freebie promotion from the local cleaners or gas station ? Would the blade in one of those be enuff to cut a belt ?
A lightweight knife on your keychain fits the bill. You will always have it nearby. It is relatively secure in the ignition (given todays anti-theft provisions which secure the keys in the lock till you turn the engine off). It should be accessible to driver and passenger.

Keep this knife light so that it doesn't break free. May it one-hand opening, in case you break a wrist. I like the little Christy slide blade knives (with adjustable blade extension) or the little plastic belt cutters (that are like some of the modern letter openers).