A proper rescue knife can make the difference between life and death in dire survival circumstances. Just as the name suggests, a rescue knife comes in play whenever you’re in need of an escape route of some sorts. Its razor sharp blade can cut through seat belts, ski jackets, and other materials that may incapacitate you and limit your movements.
An Introduction To Rescue Knives
More than that, a rescue knife can also serve as a glass breaker, being able to shatter a window at moderate strength and, thus, to open a path away from danger. Specifically with this in mind, these knives are designed as survival tools: they’re sharp, they’re multi-purpose, and you can easily carry them around.
You may see a rescue knife on a firefighter or army personnel since they’re incredibly useful in the eventuality of a dire situation. Firefighters make use of the belt cutting feature that some rescue knives come equipped with to release people trapped in their cars. Most rescue knives tend to follow the same formulaic design choice: a clip blade tip, a black handle made of nylon or fiberglass, and some eventual finger grips.
One of the oldest and most renowned types of rescue knives is Victorinox Company’s Swiss Army knife, a classic model that pretty much set the foundation for all the other types to follow.
Unfortunately, a cheap or low-quality rescue knife may end up underperforming, which is why you need to make sure that your tool is able to deliver what it promises it can do. We’re going to spare you the trouble of researching yourself and list ahead our top picks. We’ve chosen them according to user reviews and experiences, as well as according to the opinions of knife experts.
Let’s get started: first, an introduction to rescue knives.
#1 Benchmade Triage 915
We’re kicking off this list in style, with one of Benchmade’s finest products. The Triage 915 is quite the looker and this is all only a bonus to the myriad of special features it provides the user with. This rescue knife’s overall length is of 8.5’’ while the blade itself is a solid 3.5’’. It weighs 5.1 ounces, which is pretty hefty for a knife in general. We may even compare the Triage with one of Benchmade’s other products, the Griptilian, which caps in at only 3.2 ounces.
We need to consider that all the extra weight that makes this rescue knife so beefy comes with the addition of its highly important features, which you’ll see below.
The Triage 915 sports a 420J stainless steel plain-edge that serves as a cutter for general purposes. It comes with a pocket clip that favors an easier means of transportation since you can attach it to your belt. For the safety part, the Triage makes use of Benchmade’s Axis lock, a sturdy yet easy to maneuver feature.
In the handle, you’ll be able to find the special additions we’ve previously mentioned. On one hand, we get the safety cutter, a pretty intimidating and sharp hook that comes in play when the normal blade isn’t going to “cut it anymore” (get it?). Also in the handle we get the glass carbide glass breaker. It’s nothing flashy or impressive, but it IS practical and that’s all that matters.
#2 Smith and Wesson SWBG2TS BORDER GUARD Rescue Knife
The Smith and Wesson search and rescue knife has quite the reputation. This might be one of their finest specimens, so there’s no wonder we’re choosing to include it on our list. The overall length of the knife is a whopping 10’’ and the blade stretches at 4.4’’. If you thought the previous rescue knife was a weight load, this SAW’s 9-ounce weight might be a bit difficult to wrap your head around.
It’s definitely a beefy knife, but that doesn’t mean it’s less maneuverable. In fact, the really outstanding thing about it is the speed of the blade’s release and how swiftly you can move it DESPITE the weight.
This Sam and Wesson is yet another rescue knife with glass breaker features and, if you ask us, it might be one of the best of this category. The glass breaker is pretty sturdy and flashy and we imagine that paired with the impressive weight of the knife overall, it’s going to be pretty effective.
Overall, this knife is definitely one you’d need on you, especially if you see any extreme situations rising at the horizon. It’s a bulky knife whose mere appearance makes you think of the fact that it means business.
#3 Cold Steel SRK
With every entry on this list, we keep getting to specimens that are more and more extreme. This Cold Steel model is called SRK, which stands for ‘survival rescue knife.’ That implies that it’s a tool designed with this very attribute in mind, but wait! There’s even more to its history. The SRK has been a frequent apparition in the hands of soldiers of the US Navy that undergo basic training.
The SRK’s numbers are 10-3/4 inches of overall length, 6 inches for the blade, and a weight of 8.2 ounces, making it the lightest of the bunch so far. Its blade is a classic case of clip point, so it doesn’t flaunt a necessarily revolutionary design choice. In fact, their aesthetic choices might be one of the negatives of the SRK since the black coating on the blade can easily come off when you use the knife.
Unfortunately, it’s not as reach in features as the aforementioned models, BUT it does get major style bonus points for the incredible sheath that comes with it. It’s a molded plastic sheath which really makes you want to step back and snap a photo of the knife while slipped inside.
Do you need a rescue knife? That’s highly debatable. Their advantage stems from the fact that they can create escape routes in the eventuality of a car crash or other perilous situations. If you’re a driver and considering to acquire a pocket knife, might as well make it a rescue knife.