With all the marketing surrounding tactical, EDC and survival knives the function specific rescue knives, rescue multi tools and rescue blades often go unnoticed. This is a real shame as you never know when you’ll be in a situation that requires this specific set of tools for survival. Remember it doesn’t have to be you; it could very well be a loved one and you want to know you were prepared and did all you could.
Rescue knives aren’t always the coolest looking, they are purpose built. They often feature blunt tips and include extra tools like seatbelt cutters and glass breakers and funky bright colors. These are the go-to for first responders and prepared individuals.
When selecting a good rescue knife or multi tool size matters. Most rescue knives are heavily built and carry extra tools which is a good thing. Of course you still want something comfortable and easy to carry because it won’t do you any good if you leave it at home. You’ll often find serrations or partial serrations on a rescue knife. This for a few good reasons- they stay sharp for a longer period of time than plain edges and are very good at cutting seat belts, rope, cord, clothing and shoe laces. You’ll also find a blunt tip which helps avoiding punctures and stabbing of the victim, yourself and even can help limit damage to a vehicle.
Look for a knife that has high quality stainless steel. High carbon steel is not a bad choice in that is what is available, but there is a chance that the knife will get wet and/or soaked with other fluids which carbon steel doesn’t take kindly to. Many choose brightly colored handles, like yellow or orange. Visibility is important, especially in high stress situations or where you might be in the middle of an emergency. You want to identify the tool quickly and if in the case you do drop your rescue knife, which happens more than you’d think, and you’ll be able to find it easier on the ground, in low light or amongst the leaves.