Rescue knives are the unsung heroes of the knife world. With all the buzz surrounding tactical, EDC and survival knives I feel like the rescue blades often go unnoticed. This is somewhat unfortunate as one of these knives could very well save your life one day, or the life of someone you love.
Rescue Knife Reviews:
- Rick Hinderer Knives XM-18 3.5 Review
In the past I have compared knife collecting to mountain climbing. Certainly there isn't the element of physical accomplishment, as the only thing that really gets a workout is your wallet, but there is that spirit of ... continue reading
- Cold Steel SRK Review
The SRK (Survival Rescue Knife) has been a staple in Cold Steel's catalog for well over a decade. In its role as the company's go to mid-size survival / utility knife, the SRK has been selected as standard issue for U ... continue reading
- Boker S2 Review
I've been drooling over Sniper Bladeworks custom knives for a long time now. For the uninitiated, Sniper Bladeworks is the brainchild of Lance Abernathy and Jody Muller. Jody handles fabrication and Lance comes up wit ... continue reading
- Kershaw Blur Review
While I enjoy reviewing all kinds of knives, it's the mid size edc "working man's" knives that I especially enjoy reviewing because these mid size EDC's are what spend the most time in my pockets and in my hands. The ... continue reading
- Benchmade 915 Triage Review
Rescue knives often go unnoticed in the knife community. There are large groups of enthusiasts gathered around tactical, survival and edc blades, but I have yet to see the rescue knife develop such a loyal following. ... continue reading
- Smith and Wesson SWBG2TS BORDER GUARD Rescue Knife
The Smith and Wesson SWBG2TS Border Guard Rescue Knife is one mean SOB. I've been wanting to review this knife for a while now, and now that I've carried it I can finally do a review. Basic Information This kni ... continue reading
- Smith & Wesson SWFRS First Response Knife
The Smith & Wesson SWFRS First Response Knife is an emergency knife designed for those situations that you hate to think about but have to consider like a car accident or natural disaster. Smith and Wesson has put tog ... continue reading
Selecting the Right Rescue Knife
Rescue knives aren’t always the sexiest blades, but you can’t deny their functionality. Often characterized by blunt tips and including extras like seatbelt cutters and glass breakers, these are the tool of choice for first responders and prepared individuals.
When selecting a good rescue knife I recommend getting something adequately big. This is not supposed to be a keychain knife. Most rescue knives are on the heavy side because they are typically heavily built and carry extra tools. That said, you want something comfortable and easy to carry because it won’t do you any good if you routinely leave the knife at home. Find a knife with a good pocket clip and high quality, ergonomic handle.
While I normally avoid partially serrated knives, I will make an exception for a rescue knife because serrations A) stay sharp and B) and good for cutting clothing, rope and and woven materials. I would even consider a fully serrated rescue knife (and many prefer them). That said, if you habitually sharpen your knives I think you would get by with a plain edge rescue knife just fine. You want a blunt tip to avoid stabbing people when you are trying to cut them free and remove shoes and clothing in the event they have suffered serious injuries.
Look for a knife that has a good blade hearty blade steel like 440C, AUS8 or 154cm. You want something that wont’ chip easily and holds a decent edge. I prefer a stainless steel over high carbon here because there is a high likelihood that the knife will get wet and/or soaked with other fluids.
Like I mentioned before, the handle should be a good size. Also, you may want to consider a brightly colored handle, like yellow or orange. Visibility is important, especially in high stress scenarios or where you might be in the middle of an emergency. If you drop your black handled knife in a pile of leaves you will need to waste precious time or use a metal detector to retrieve it.
Extras like seatbelt cutters and glass breakers are great but it would look at the knife first. A large handle can act as a glass breaker and a sharp blade can cut seatbelts too. Don’t skimp on the blade here as I that is where you will get the most mileage from a rescue knife.