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Best rescue knife 2020

rescue knife with flint. Knife for extreme situations. Flint for a fire.

If you’re an outdoorsy person, a rescue knife is probably a must in your rucksack. From trekking mountains to fishing, there are many different ways you can use a folding rescue knife. Below, we have put together a list o four top pocks when it comes to pocket knife options, so that you won’t be left questioning which one you should purchase. With so many to choose from it can be a task in itself to identify the qualities that you should look out for.

In our guide below for the best rescue knife you will find stainless steel options that can comfortably be used with one hand, and partially serrated choices for more unique outdoor tasks. We’ve included the best and most high quality knives on the market in this category. Here’s the lowdown on the top models and why we’ve chosen them.

Best Rescue Knives 2020

Whether you are looking for a pocket knife glass breaker or a reliable rescue knife, you’ll find the perfect option for you below. No matter your budget, we’ve covered the higher and lower end models so that you can always be best prepared.

1. Gerber Hinderer Rescue Knife

 

This is an image of the Gerber Hinderer Rescue Knife [22-41534] with red-colored handle and a silver color blade with word "GERBER" on it.

 

Blade Length: 3.5″ | Overall Length: 8.5″  | Weight: 5.6 oz

This top quality Rick Hinderer rescue knife is amongst the best available and it certainly delivers on quality. Weighing in at 12oz, this is a rescue tool with a solid stainless steel blade that can be used with one hand. It includes a spring loaded base so that you can easily use it one handed opening and a safety hook cutter for webbing needs and to be used as a belt cutter. The oversized thumb stud make it easy to use and release with a safe spin.

It is an ideal firefighter Rick Hinderer rescue knife as a pocket knife with glass breaker so that you can punch it through windows. In addition, the oxygen tank valve opener adds further to its safety aspects making it great for a first responder. A belt clip accessory makes it easy to transport around and it comes with handy added features including a blade lock, hex wrench, liner lock, mov blade, and plastic liner.

The 9 piece tool kit means you’ll be prepared for every type of emergency situation. This is one of the best rescue knifes out there. You will love the partially serrated blade and the included nylon pouch which will keep the knife safe in your car for emergencies.

Pros:

  • A reliable product offering many different features
  • Super sharp with many uses as a rescue knife

Cons:

  • Serration edge does not work as well as comparable knife options

2. Anvil Bladesmiths Bullshark G-10 8CR13 Knife

 

This is an image of the foldable ANVIL BLADESMITHS - BULLSHARK G-10 8CR13 Knife w/Glass Breaker and Seatbelt Paracord Cutter in matte black.

Blade Length: 3.5″ | Overall Length: 8.25″  | Weight: 5.5 oz

This partially serrated Anvil edge knife is designed to perfection and better yet, it’s even waterproof! Measuring 8.25 inches with a 8CR13 MOV blade that is 3.25 inches long, it’s the ideal hunting companion. While the regular model comes with the serrated blade making it a highly effective rescue tool and seatbelt cutter, the option for a straight blade is also there. The stainless steel blade has been professionally designed and made to be a glass breaker and it comes with a pocket clip and blade lock for additional safety too.

Overall, this is a fantastic knife that looks smart at the same time. Its deployment technology allows you to release the rescue knife blade using the thumb stud. It’s a great option for first responders and is a best rescue tool that is popular across the board. The edge retention is impressive too as one of the best rescue knives we’ve reviewed. Capable of cutting through any material due to its sharp stainless steel blade, it’s a must-have if you’re planning a big outdoor excursion.

No matter the emergency that you could potentially face, this knife comes with a blade you can trust. Doubling up as a glass breaker, it’s one of the best in the knife industry. Use it as a strap cutter, cord cutter, for breaking a car window, and much more. We think that this survival rescue knife is at the top of its game.

Pros:

  • This product comes at a slightly higher cost than most
  • Delivers a super sharp cut thanks to the durable coating and tip

Cons:

  • Does not include a sheath

3. Snake Eye Tactical Spring Assisted Rainbow Blade

 

Image of the Snake Eye Tactical Spring Assisted Rainbow Blade Tactical Rescue Pocket Hunting Knife with rugged handle design, lying on a ground with dried twigs.

Blade Length: 3.75″ | Overall Length: 8.5″  | Weight: 1.5 oz

Fantastic for rescue volunteers, first responders, and anybody else who may face emergency situations, this Snake Eye knife is a fantastic option given its affordable price point. Made using cold steel, the blade can be used as a seatbelt cutter, window breaker, tactical knife, and even a carbide glass breaker. The rainbow serrated titanium coated blade also has a lanyard hole so that you can attach it to your belt.

Measuring 4.5 inches when closed, the knife is highly portable and comes with a carbide tip for extra strength. At the top of countless rescue knife reviews and our buying guide it’s not hard to see why this knife is a favorite. Appearance-wise it’s totally awesome and it has a belt clip for added convenience. Anybody in emergency medical services will appreciate this cheap and quality model as will an outdoorsy person.

As far as multi tools go, the Snake Eye tactical rainbow blade knife is one of the top pocket knives on the market. It’s a belt cutter, window punch, and swiss army knife wrapped in one.

Pros:

  • Great range of features for on the go survival needs
  • Easy to carry as its light in weight and easy to attach to clothing

Cons:

  • While it can cut well the blade isn’t as sharp as other models

4. Kershaw Barricade Multifunction Rescue Pocket Knife

 

Image of the Kershaw Barricade Multifunction Rescue Pocket Knife with 3.5 Inch Stainless Steel Blade, orange-colored handle.

Blade Length: 3.5″ | Overall Length: 5″  | Weight: 4.5 oz

Are you looking for a belt cutter knife that is designed especially for emergency responders? The Kershaw Barricade is just for you. Capable of cutting through seat belts, and providing the strength of a swiss army model, there is lots to appreciate about this tactical knife design. The speedsafe opening ensures safety is in place when you need to resolve an emergency with the rescue knife. It also comes with a glass breaker stainless steel blade which can be used as a window punch due to its carbide glass smashing ability.

At a cheaper than average price point, the Kershaw Barricade is an effective belt cutter with a blade that locks into position when you use the spring assist. The addition of a pocket clip makes it that extra bit more convenient and the locking mechanism is totally reliable. You can also use this rescue knife for everyday tasks too. It fully functions as a bottle opener, and is going to come in handy for just about any situation. As one of the best products in our list, the design of this knife is supreme.

Use the knife as a glass breaker and attach it to yourself using the belt loop. You will be able to tackle all situations using the safety switch blade feature and thumb studs that are easy to handle. The overall construction and looks of this knife make it suitable for just about anyone looking for a rescue purpose knife.

Pros:

  • Great seat belt cutter capabilities due to extra sharp blade
  • This resuce knife is super safe to use with assisted opening

Cons:

  • Does not have corrosion resistance coating

5. Cold Steel SRK Kraton Handle With Black Blade

 

This is an image of the Cold Steel SRK Kraton Handle, Black Blade with Concealex Sheath below it.

Blade Length: 6” | Overall Length: 6”  | Weight: 8.2 oz

Great for both military personnel and all types of rescue operations, this cold steel Kraton rescue knife has a ton of rescue features that are worth paying attention to. With a glassbreaker tip, clip point, comfy handle, and liner lock, you will love this knife. Picked as one of the best rescue models available, it can be used as a window breaker and seatbelt cutter. The non-stick coat on the rescue knife will help keep it from damage in the elements while the well-designed stainless steel blade can cut through just about any outdoor material.

The strong and durable clip point allows for extra detail making it fantastic for a first responder. If you’re worrying about manual handling, there’s no need to with this product. Assisted opening means that you can deploy the blade with confidence when needed for any type of rescue job. The tip is sharp enough to be used as a glass breaker tip while the handle offers a firm grip for a firefighter rescue knife you can trust.

Exceptional versatility is offered through use of this rescue tool and its design does not falter with a range of features. Whether you are an emergency responder or someone looking for an emergency knife with many rescue purposes, this is a solid contender.

Pros:

  • Feels light in one hand with an easy to carry weight
  • The assisted opening makes it quick for professionals such as firefighters

Cons:

  • Clip point features could be improved for more convenience

6. Buck Knives 753 Redpoint Tactical Rescue Knife

 

Image of the Buck Knives 753 Redpoint Rescue Tactical Folding Knife with serrated blade and a rugged handle design.

Blade Length: 2.75″ | Overall Length: 4.375″  | Weight: 2.9 oz

Buck Knives are renowned for stability, sharp accuracy, and multiple rescue benefits. Used by a variety of professionals including both paramedics and firefighters as well as others such as hikers, this rescue knife really can be used everywhere. The level of durability offered is really exceptional making the rescue knife one of the best products in this category. Capable of breaking through glass and operating as a seat belt cutter, it can be also be used for hunting due to its easy access and guaranteed performance.

The sharpness of the stainless steel blade ensures precision cuts while the handle delivers comfort when in use. Using SafeSpin deployment, there is little to no chance of injury with correct use which flips out the blade at a push of a button. Either side of the knife is smooth making it seamlessly designed for professionals and it comes from a reputable brand that you can trust. Added contouring makes it perfect for emergencies and it provides total stability while being lightweight at the same time. This is one of the best styles that we have come across in a budget best resuce knife with the pocket clip for extra comfort and convenience.

Whether you are a first responder or are looking for a climbers tool capable of cutting through rope, this could be the product for you. With a multitude of purposes and an outstanding 4 inch long saw blade, you’ll get exceptional quality for money with one of the top rescue multitool objects.

Pros:

  • Very reasonable price point with something for all emergencies
  • SafeSpin deployment for extra confidence for the user

Cons:

  • The grip could be made a little more comfortable for the job

7. BlizeTec Survival Knife

 

This is the image of a BlizeTec Survival Knife 5-in-1 Tactical Pocket Folding Knife with LED Light, Seatbelt Cutter, Glass Breaker & Magnesium Fire Starter.

Blade Length: 4.17″ | Overall Length: 8.6″  | Weight: 4.86 oz

This is a BlizeTec rescue knife you should be proud of holding with an impeccable stainless steel blade and added features such as an LED flashlight. Working as both a carbide glass breaker and seatbelt cutter, there is lots to admire about the Blizetec’s survival knife that is ideal for a first responder on duty. A sturdy tool, this product certainly belongs on our list and it comes with a nylon pouch too. Thanks to its 5 in 1 function it is capable of cutting through different materials varying carbon fiber to breaking glass. It’s an ideal tool for both work and leisure in the case of camping and provides a means of tackling the great outdoors.

You won’t need to apply lots of pressure to the knife either and can carry it around comfortably making it suitable for someone who is on the go a lot. Coming out at the top of many different reviews lists, it’s not hard to see why this rescue knife has the reputation it does. Delivering ultimate safety for buyers it is one of few experts designs that also offers exceptional value for money. Functioning as a magnesium alloy fire starter, a seatbelt cutter, a glass breaker, and with a liner lock, it really is a phenomenal paramedic or hunting tool that delivers clean cuts.

Overall its construction is fantastic and it is an ideal item to have handy for rescues. The range of diverse features coupled with a solid design and 3.5 inch long stainless steel blade make it easy to carry and one of the best knives to carry and have on hand.

Pros:

  • Safety opening is fantastic for the user
  • Reliable multitools ideal for paramedics faced with any type of problem

Cons:

  • Liner lock is a feature that is a bit difficult to use

8. Smith & Wesson SWFRS Folding Knife

 

Image of the Smith & Wesson Folding Knife with 3.3in Drop Point Serrated Blade and G-10 Inlay Handle.

Blade Length: 3.3″ | Overall Length: 8″  | Weight: 5.8 oz

As one of our top rescue knife options, this affordable Smith & Wesson folding knife tool provides everything you need to face an emergency situation. With a folding opening it is easy to carry and even easier to deploy the reliable carbon stainless steel blade which acts as a seat belt cutter and liner lock for total cutting confidence. The handle is comfortable to hold with added grip and with the addition of a belt pouch you’ll have a super portable tool which can be carried anywhere due to its portable size of 8 inches.

For all sorts of outdoor environments with this rescue knife, you can ensure that you have the equipment to face unfortunate cicumstances. At first glance, it may appear like a regular 4.8 inch knife, however, the serrations provide options to cut a range of materials that may be found in the woods. Campers will love the protection that this lightweight tool also provides them. Providing a purpose for just about everything with no exception, this lockup knife will literally allow navigation around any challenges. This is one of our favorite best rescue knife options and while it doesn’t come with any fancy extras such as an led light or survival whistle, it really is going to give heaps of use.

The highlights of the particular tool include the handle which is extremely comfortable to grip with just one hand and the opening mechanism. This is a must-have for any outdoor survival kit and it offers supreme locks compared to other similar style knives.

Pros:

  • The blade offers excellent value for its price
  • Comes with a range of additional features including fold mechanism for ease of use

Cons:

  • A more expensive tool in our list

9. Smith & Wesson High Carbon Fixed Blade Knife

 

This is the image of a Smith & Wesson 10.5in knife with 6in Bowie Blade and Rubberized Aluminum Handle.

Blade Length: 4.06″ | Overall Length: 8.69″  | Weight: 6.6 oz

Next on our list, we have a top performer in the best rescue knife category from one of the best brands – Smith and Wesson. Capable of cutting through everyday things such as a seat belt, and utilizing as a window punch, there really is a lot to admire about this robust design. While it does not fold, which you may notice in our comparison table, it does come with a  ballistic polyester sheath which may be an added bonus for some. At a moderate size, measuring 10.5 inches with the handle included, you can use this knife comfortably and with ease thanks to a rubber handle. The weight of the knife is surprisingly light too considering it has a black oxide stainless steel blade. And, this bit of kit even comes with a nylon storage pouch if that’s another reason to buy.

For the user, you won’t need to apply much pressure at all to cut through a seatbelt or break a window in the case of an emergency. It’s ideal for a paramedic who needs a reliable tool and even for a firefighter, all in all, it’s one of the top items for the quality we have come across on the market. From the strength of the screws uses to ensure the bottom part is attached securely to the handle to the sleek finish, all components work in harmony together for a fantastic overall product.

What stood out for us about this particular best rescue knife was not only its construction but the high carbon finish which makes it seem completely professional. It can be used on just about anything and is ideal if you have ‘premium’ in mind. This version isn’t foldable which may slightly impact portability none the less when compared to other kinds, it’s certainly a brand worth trusting.

Pros:

  • Has a precision sharp blade built for survival situations
  • Comes with a storage pouch for added protection

Cons:

  • Is not a folding option

10. StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool

 

This is an image of a multi-tool StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool - knife, seatbelt cutter, spring-loaded window punch, light, with sheath included.

Blade Length: 3.25″ | Overall Length: 5″  | Weight: 6.4 oz

Our final choice for the best rescue knife options out there is this awesome StatGera T3 auto rescue knife. Compact enough to fit in a pocket it comes with a blade sharp enough to cut a seat belt, a window punch, screwdriver tip, carabiner clip, and led. You can attach this to your clothing and have it handy whenever you may be faced with an emergency making it ideal for firefighters, police officers, or any other circumstances where rescue may be needed. The point at the end of this rescue knife has been specially designed for precision angle cuts, and the serrated side makes it extra sharp. There’s no need to worry about handles either as the grip offered is completely comfortable allowing you to cut at a speed.

This budget knife is extremely lightweight despite its multiple functionalities and the blades can be released using just one finger on the button. Whether you need to cut through a seatbelt quickly or are faced with a different problem, this tool will fulfill every need. Capable of breaking glass, this is one of the sturdiest tools that you can find that is still a small size.

A rescue tool that you need and will use, when it comes to this category of knives this one packs a lot. No matter the direction in which you want to use this knife, the cut provided and overall features are supreme. From the handle scales to the name, every aspect screams survival.

Pros:

  • Offers an extremely comfortable handle with a firm grip
  • Is perfect for paramedics to use as it’s easy to compact and an easy to carry knife

Cons:

  • Springs are in a good place but seem a little bit stiff at times

What Are Rescue Knives used for?

Rescue knives can be used for a variety of purposes and they can be extremely an extremely useful tool to have in your kit. Below we have put together some of the ways in which you can use a rescue knife in the wilderness, giving you an idea of their versatility and multi-purpose design.

Survival

Should the worst happen and you find yourself lost in the wild, a rescue knife will be your best friend. They can be used to help cut down wood to build and emergency shelter or to set a fire. Rescue knives are made sharp enough in their design to assist you with cutting down branches from trees. This knife comes with a serrated steel blade which makes it strong and ideal for a number of outdoor projects.

Cleaning Your Kills

Any hunter is going to need a partially serated knife to assist with cleaning out kills. Part of this task will usually involve gutting or cutting away fur from the carcass itself. Without being able to clean your meat quickly using even with a single hand, you may risk it spoiling entirely rendering the hunt a waste of time. A solid spring loaded rescue knife will enable you to confidently hunt without having to worry about cleaning. Thanks to the stainless steel blade found across most models, you can be sure of good hygiene too.

Cutting

The best rescue knives are designed to cut just about anything! There are a few different features that you should be on the watch out for in your survival knife blade to ensure its top quality. A partially serrated edge is going to allow you to conquer any survival situation as you can cut through tougher materials. It isn’t a necessity, but we highly recommend finding a model that has a serrated edge so that you aren’t left in a sticky situation. Various blade types are available including a hook blade, mov blade, and a partially serrated blade to name a few. However, as long as you choose a stainless steel blade that offers good durability

Self Defense

Self defense enthusiasts will want to carry a reliable self rescue knife. When choosing a pocket knife for self defense purposes you should look out for a few different features. First of all, it may be of interest to choose a rescue tool that allows one handed opening use or has a single handed opening. This ability will increase your overall ability to to open the pocket clip rescue knife fast and when needed in the case of an emergency. Other elements such as a belt clip or nylon sheath may be useful too. View the differences between the different rescue knife models before choosing one for emergency situations.

What to look for in a Rescue Knife

There are a number of things you should look out for in a regular rescue knife. Below we have made a concise list of the various elements to look out for in a folding knife. Included is the overall length, pocket clip features, single handed opening, oxide coating, retention strap, and more.

Material

Firstly and most importantly, you should consider the knife comes in. Preferably choose a steel blade and nylon handle for guaranteed comfort. A survival tool should be strong enough to cut through various materials with one hand. This is super useful in the case of gathering wood for example where you need a single hand on the branch and the other on the survival knife. Steel should be your first choice for this type of tool as it is resistant to rusting and will ensure a sharp edge. Many brands choose to use stainless steel because of its affordability and how versatile it can be. It is easily manipulated into the shape that you need it to be when creating the tool and can be sharpened to have a pointed tip.

Length

The blade length is another important factor to consider as it affects the overall length of rescue knives. Most people will choose this type of folding knife as it is highly portable and can be easily put into a bag. Depending on your preference you may want a knife that has a smaller blade than regular, usually, this type of rescue knife comes with a blade length of around 8 inches. However, you can find models with a longer blade length up to 10 inches. The most important thing to look our for is its stainless steel material which ensures its a good rescue tool that will stand the test of time.

Blade Thickness

Another way if identifying a high quality rescue tool from a cheap model is determined by blade thickness. In a folding knife, this can again vary spanning 1.4mm on the tip to 3mm on the blade’s base. Edge retention is largely affected by the thickness of a blade and some rescue knives have serrated edges which can make it even thicker. Again, there is not a right or wrong answer to ideal blade thickness though we advise you to think about the materials you will be cutting. If the steel blade is going to be cutting through thicker materials, the likeliness is, that it will need a thicker high quality blade.

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