February 8, 2014, 01:07 AM
My brother is becoming an EMT soon, and he's looking for a knife.

Requirements are that it's AO, 4" or less, tanto blade, metal grips, and a window breaker.

What fits this (or most of this) description?

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February 8, 2014, 11:22 AM
I use a CRKT M21 knife, although it meets none of the requirements you posted.
Most states don't allow auto open, and metal grips are a bad idea because the knife can get slippery with blood and cut yourself even with rescue gloves on.
Tanto is a good blade profile and to be honest, the window breaker placed on some knives is not all that necessary.
I busted a driver's side window with my knife by striking the corner of the window with the butt of my knife and it shattered easily.
I highly recommend CRKT knives..

Stay away from Smith & Wesson or any of the cheap Chinese made stuff.
In an emergency it'll fail at the worst possible time.

I also highly recommend carrying a Gerber Multiplier or Leatherman Multi-tool as well.

February 8, 2014, 11:57 AM
I hope your brother doesn't really think he will be using his pocket knife to enter cars. He won't want to be seen attempting that by veteran personnel.

That's why rescue vehicles carry axes, Halligan bars, and hydraulic spreaders.

Entering or exiting a vehicle (patients and personnel) through a broken window was generally disapproved when I rode as an EMT-B.

February 8, 2014, 12:07 PM
Smalls, I have a son in the Coast Guard and for their multiple duties they're issued a Spyderco in the size range you mentioned. In a career in the cops I always carried a single blade folder that locked open in the size range you've mentioned. The closest thing to it currently available is probably a full sized Case Sodbuster.

I've popped a few windows on the street -any blade will do for that. Simply place the tip of the blade against the glass then lightly strike the butt with your free hand. This has to be seen to be believed by the way. Windshields will never break away (that layer of plastic between the laminated glass sheets is designed to prevent it. Glass on the side of any vehicle is so easy to pop that you have to be very careful not to overdo it and either hit an occupant or bloody your own hand as the blade over penetrates.

Anyone with the opportunity to train a bit with wrecked cars and a blade will quickly learn how easy it is to penetrate side glass in any standard vehicle.... Bad boys on the streets where I was generally just used an old spark plug with a snap throw to shatter automotive side glass (and it made so little sound that you might not hear it if you were watching it go down... -one of those "ask me how I know" moments).

Just re-read the original post and if by AO you mean an automatic... I'd advise to forget that right now. Nice to have but extra bucks, extra hassle, and very tempting to thieves of every sort. Just hanging on to your decent quality blade in the absolute chaos of a hot call with folks needing serious life-saving is a test that almost all of us will fail at some point.... another one of those "ask me how I know" moments...

February 8, 2014, 12:32 PM
Requirements are that it's AO, 4" or less, tanto blade, metal grips, and a window breaker.

You mean he wants that, right?, not that they're requiring those, some useless, features.

If you just look for folders with window breakers your search narrows considerably with the Gerber Hinderer being the closest knife of any quality. http://www2.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_store.html?usrsearch=window+breaker

You could invest in one of the old Whitewolf/Blackhawk Dieter autos, but they didn't bother with the silly broken tip excuse for "modern tantos". http://policelink.monster.com/products/products/111-blackhawk-masters-of-defense-mod-dieter-cqd-mark-i-combat-375-auto-knife-ra

February 8, 2014, 06:08 PM
For the record, I'm not in a habit of busting people out with my knife.
But in this case the guy decided to do a U-turn in front of a gravel truck on a rainy day and ended up in a bar ditch.
I had gone up to make patient contact and had noticed the guy wasn't breathing.
The engine was up on the road and one of the guys went back to fetch the Hurst tool but I went ahead and popped the window with the butt of my knife and we unlocked the door and pulled him out and began CPR.
He ended up being DRT, but we tried.
In all the years I've been doing this one thing remains true, Keep It Simple Stupid.
The more gimmicks you have on a knife, the more likely they're apt to break at the worst possible time.
I always prefer tools that the Police and Military use and that includes knives.
This job is tough on people and equipment so whatever you choose make sure it'll last.
It doesn't have to be expensive, but it needs to be tough.
As far as auto knives go, most of the guys in my Department and some of the P.D. Guys use the Benchmade AFO.
I might get one eventually myself.

Sam Cade
February 8, 2014, 08:58 PM
My brother is becoming an EMT soon, and he's looking for a knife.

Trauma shears will cover the vast majority of cutting tasks that an EMT or paramedic will encounter.

Having a point on a knife can be something of a liability if you have to use it around a PT, especially one who doesn't want to be your PT.

He needs tools not toys.

February 9, 2014, 01:36 AM
This would be the most used tool next to his shears.

You say he is becoming an EMT. Unless he is also a firefighter the likelihood of him needing anything beyond his shears is slim. EMT's are not usually making heroic rescues. That rarely happens and when it does your best tool is a good pair of medical shears.
Sorry to bust your bubble, but that is the real worlld

February 9, 2014, 07:54 PM
Sorry to bust your bubble, but that is the real worlld

Not my bubble. My brother asked for recommendations for a knife, and I said I'd ask around because my knowledge of both knives and EMT duties are pretty limited.

I do appreciate the advice given, and if my brother still decides he wants a knife I'll show him the recommendations you guys gave.

February 9, 2014, 08:29 PM
Smalls, knowing Sam C is an EMT, I sent him a link to the Leatherman Raptor EMT shears that I thought were just super cool. Sam explained to me that, while they are very cool and do indeed work as advertised, the Raptor shears sell for $60. He explained that shears are ALWAYS contaminated by blood or other bodily fluids (or discharges) before they wear out, and they're frequently discarded into the sharps bin. Hence, the "good" shears that sell for $3 are his tool of choice.

Coming back to knives, if your brother wants something that's actually useful, a folder with a serrated sheepsfoot blade would be a great idea. Despite my recent annoyances with US and Taiwanese made Spydercos, I still like really their Japanese made knives, and I've even had good experiences with their Chinese made Byrd line. Keeping in mind that he may have to throw away the knife, a Byrd Cara Cara 2 Rescue ($21 from Amazon (http://smile.amazon.com/Spyderco-Cara2-Rescue-Black-SpyderEdge/dp/B001EBXH04/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391994746&sr=8-1)) would probably be a good idea.

February 10, 2014, 10:36 PM
He explained that shears are ALWAYS contaminated by blood or other bodily fluids (or discharges) before they wear out, and they're frequently discarded into the sharps bin. Hence, the "good" shears that sell for $3 are his tool of choice.

Excellent point, and one I hadn't even thought about. I'm passing all this info along to him, and he also appreciates the advice. I think he still wants a knife, but he's realizing that you guys are right, it may not serve an on the job purpose.

February 11, 2014, 03:02 AM
smalls - M'lady is an EMT, so for Christmas one year, I picked her up the Gerber Hinderer knife (http://www.gerbergear.com/Tactical/Knives/Hinderer-Rescue-Knife_22-41534), and it's one of her favorite EMS tools - bar none.

The serrated blade is FANTASTIC for cutting fabric, latex, and other items - and she doesn't have to worry about "nicking" a patient with a Tanto blade, since the front nose is completely dulled (as in square-cut and rounded). Also, while it's a liner-lock, there is a "switch" on the SIDE of the knife that retracts the liner to close the blade - so you don't have to put your finger in the path of the blade (which may or may not be contaminated) as well as beign MUCH easier to close with gloves on.

The 02 wrench (which is INDISPENSABLE for an EMT, by the way) is her favorite part of the knife - since 02 wrenches are often lost or stolen on most trucks, having one she can keep with her has been a saving grace. The plastic handle around the O2 wrench cut-out is chewed up - but the working surface (part of the metal frame beneath the plastic) is still flawless - and I understand she still uses it frequently.

The belt/fabric cutter on the end is pretty sharp - she's gone through a few patient's clothes with it and not had too much of an issue. It's easy to open and easy to close, and although it's a squared edge (vs a crescent edge found on most belt/fabric cutters), it tends to cut pretty well.

Lastly, the butt on the knife features a keyring hole big enough to fit Paracord through, and a GLASS CUTTER at the end. It's not a diesel 3/8" glass cutter, more like a .177" mini-stud, but I'm sure with a good whack it'll go through glass no problem.

Side note - the knife also comes with a L-shaped adapter and a small socket and driver set. I don't know if she still has these items kicking around, but it's about the only "unnecessary" part of the knife kit.

SO, from someone that has gone through the "what knife should I get an EMT?" experience, I can COMPLETELY recommend the Gerber Hinderer Rescue - and believe me, I've been through EVERYTHING that Boker, CRKT, Ka-Bar, and the rest of the $40-120 knife-makers offer.

February 14, 2014, 12:02 PM
+ 1 on the shears. They typically get used more than knives.

As for Knife recommendations, EMT's that I knew and worked with really liked Spyderco and a good portion of them really liked the Axis style lock like Benchmade puts out.

The Axis style allows for easy one handed opening and closing. Its what I have used in emergency situations with horses (or in general). I typically have one hand grabbing on to something else at the time.

February 14, 2014, 02:44 PM
I can see why he wants an automatic, as EMT is one of those few occupations where automatic knives are "allowed." 4 inch or less sounds like a work requirement as a few EMTs I know carry a small fixed blade for ease of access. Can't really recommend a tanto blade as those are better at piercing or stabbing and not general use. Metal grips can get slippery when exposed to bodily fluids, which are assured as an EMT. G10 or other ribbed material would be better. And no on the window breaker since he will have other tools for vehicle entry. If he is "lucky" his department will give him a hammer and crowbar on a simulated car to see how fast he can take it apart.

Something else he should consider in a work knife, keep the price relatively low so if the knife gets broken/lost, he won't be too bummed about it. I never spend more than 100 on a work knife, and even better if its under 50.

I used this knife for many years, going through about 1 a year. Good workhorse knife that won't make you cry at the price.


February 15, 2014, 07:05 PM
A large Spyderco Rescue fills the bill except for .....

Requirements are that it's AO,***** tanto blade, metal grips, and a window breaker.


If you're gonna cut folks out of seat belts, ropes, or clothes you don't want a pointy end.

Sam Cade
February 15, 2014, 08:19 PM
Meanwhile, this is what the Swedes consider to be a suitable "rescue" knife.

February 26, 2014, 04:55 PM
While not a tanto blade, Kershaw made a rescue version of the Blur that has the requirements, including the glass breaker. Model 1675BLKST
If you look hard enough, they may even have offered one in a tanto blade, but this rounded tip version seems more appropriate for a rescue/emt knife.

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