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Rescue Knives – Unusual Suspects

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We prefer an everyday carry (EDC) knife that is slim and built to last, with a quick opening. But there is some logic in carrying a slightly brawnier knife if it can do more than just slice or penetrate. This month, we shine the spotlight on rescue knives, from those that help extract an accident victim trapped in a car to the kinds that can give you an edge in a survival situation. There’s sure to be an EDC blade you’ll find worthy, whether you’re a first responder, a service member, or just a prepared citizen.

Buck Knives Redpoint Rescue

OAL: 7.13 inches
Blade Length: 2.75 inches
Blade Material: 420HC
Weight: 2.9 ounces
MSRP: $55

As the lightest and most compact of the bunch, the Redpoint Rescue is an EDC tool that's easy to operate. Plus, the yellow handle makes it easier to find if it's dropped out in the field or in low-light conditions.

buck knives redpoint rescue knife


  • The rubberized handle offers an assured grip in wet weather
  • Affordable three-in-one tool: blade, glass-breaker, seatbelt cutter — all Titanium coated
  • Lightweight and compact


  • Buck's patented SUR-Lock SafeSpin opening mechanism is a cool concept, but also slower to operate than conventional folders
  • The seatbelt-cutter guard digs into our palms when we grip the handle tightly
  • For right-handers only

Kershaw Funxion EMT

OAL: 7.25 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade Material: 8Cr13MoV
Weight: 5 ounces
MSRP: $60

Kershaw Funxion EMT rescue knife
The Kershaw Funxion EMT is more than just a knife; it's a well-designed multi-tool for paramedics, firefighters, or good Samaritans. It has a blade, cord cutter, hex-bolt wrench, glass-breaker, screwdriver tip, and built-in carabiner.


Kershaw Funxion EMT cutter


  • Smart engineering in a sleek package
  • The blade features both a flipper and large thumb-studs for easy opening
  • Glass-breaker is at the top of the handle — not on the butt-end — so it doesn't dig into your palm when you hold the handle or poke your thigh as you clip it to your pocket


  • More tools means jamming all that good stuff in a plump handle
  • The pocket clip has only one position


OAL: 7.31 inches
Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade Material: AUS-8
Weight: 3.6 ounces
MSRP: $90

CRKT M16-12ZLEK rescue knife
Built on CRKT's respected M16 platform, this rescue knife is compact yet sturdy and made with high-quality materials. It was designed by Kit Carson, a renowned knife-maker who retired from the U.S. Army as a sergeant major.

CRKT M16-12ZLEK glass breakers


  • The semi-serrated, AUS-8 tanto blade is as impressive as it is aggressive looking
  • The versatile flipper contains a seatbelt cutter that doubles as a finger guard once the blade is deployed
  • The textured glass-filled nylon scales provide a confident grip


  • The tungsten carbide glass-breaker protrudes 1/4 inch from the handle's butt-end, which could catch on your clothes or poke your leg as you clip it to your pants
  • Like the glass-breaker, the flipper is rather obtrusive when the M16 sits clipped in your pocket

Coast Products DX335

OAL: 8.12 inches
Blade Length: 3.25 inches
Blade Material: 7Cr17
Weight: 4.2 ounces
MSRP: $33



Coast Products DX335 Rescue Knives
Low on funds? Then consider the DX335. Designed with first-responders in mind, the blade is curved so you can slice clothes or seatbelts without harming the person you're helping. There's also a glass-breaker and a dedicated seatbelt cutter in the handle.

Coast Products DX335 glass breaker


  • At just $33, this is an affordable option that you can put to hard use and not be too broken up if it gets thrashed
  • The ergonomic handle is relatively narrow with finger groves
  • The blunt, rounded blade tip prevents accidental harm to anyone you need to free or assist


  • The pro is the con: a blunt tip means this blade can't be used for penetrating
  • The aluminum handle's coating scratched almost immediately under light testing
  • The glass-breaker sticks out an annoying 1/4 inch from the handle

SOG Escape

OAL: 8.2 inches
Blade Length: 3.4 inches
Blade Material: 9Cr18MoV
Weight: 4.8 ounces
MSRP: $55


SOG Escape Rescue Knife
The Escape makes for a good medium-size EDC knife, while working double duty as a rescue tool. Integrated into its hard-anodized aluminum handle is a line-cutter, glass-breaker, and wire stripper.

SOG Escape folded


  • Large thumb-studs make for a smooth blade opening
  • Integrated rescue tools means fewer moving parts and less chance for breakage
  • Comes with extra line-cutter blades, which can be accessed by unscrewing the handle cover


  • While it has various grooves and a good shape, the handle is made of aluminum, which can get slippery when wet
  • A lock-back mechanism means a two-handed operation when closing the blade

Spyderco Assist Black Blade

OAL: 8.44 inches
Blade Length: 3.69 inches
Blade Material: VG-10
Weight: 4 ounces
MSRP: $155


Spyderco Assist Black Blade Rescue Knife
The high-quality Assist is a formidable tool for both survivalists and those who arrive first on the scene. As the name implies, it can help you in numerous ways, whether you need to cut rope, shatter glass, slice seatbelts, or get someone's attention with its whistle.

Spyderco Assist Black Blade


  • Incredibly lightweight for its size
  • A genius blade design, constructed from awesome VG-10 stainless steel and a non-reflective, carbon-nitride coating
  • The glass-breaker is retractable, extending only when you squeeze the closed blade into the handle


  • Due to a sizeable but comfortable handle, Spyderco's Cobra Hood-and-thumb-hole design, and the way the blade rests when closed, the Assist will take up plenty of real estate in your pocket
  • Did you glance at the MSRP ($155)? Ouch

Gerber Hinderer Rescue

OAL: 8.5 inches
Blade Length: 3.5 inches
Blade Material: 440A
Weight: 5.6 ounces
MSRP: $100


Gerber Hinderer Rescue Knife
This Gerber was designed by Rick Hinderer, a firefighter and knife-maker who took vital compact rescue tools and combined them in a folder. There's a serrated blade, hook cutter, glass-breaker, and oxygen-tank valve opener. It even comes with a sheath and tool head bits.

Gerber Hinderer Rescue


  • Large thumb-studs make opening the blade a breeze
  • The ergonomic handle has subtle finger grooves and textured scales, providing a great feel in hand
  • When closing the blade, the liner lock can be disengaged quickly by pulling down on a thumb-stud on the side of the handle


  • The glass-breaker juts out from the handle way more than we'd prefer
  • The safety feature of a blunt tip means the blade is not meant for penetrating

Boker Plus CFR

OAL: 9 inches
Blade Length: 3.88 inches
Blade Material: 440C
Weight: 6.2 ounces
MSRP: $129

Boker Plus CFR rescue knife
Its name stands for Combat First Responder, so it's no surprise that this model can serve as a tactical folder knife and an emergency tool. The CFR has a seatbelt cutter on the blade's spine and a removable glass-breaker on the butt-end.

Boker Plus CFR base


  • Large thumb-disc works better than most thumb-studs
  • The glass-breaker is stubby and conical, so it won't snag like other models
  • The textured handle has deep finger grooves
  • The seatbelt cutter is used when the blade is closed, ensuring no harm to the ones you're helping


  • The high-quality materials and design don't come cheap at $129
  • Another lock-back knife, another two-hand operation when closing the blade


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