Best Rescue Knife


With all different types of tactical, survival and EDC knives out there, rescue knives often get overlooked. That being said, rescue knives are very diverse and reliable. They have the ability to get you out of many hairy situations and even at times have the ability to save yours or someone else’s life.  

Best Rescue Knife

Rescue Knives are used by many different people in many different occupations such as SWAT teams, paramedics and EMS responders, firefighters, coast guard, even the Navy Seals.  Rescue knives do not only cut through different types of materials but can perform other tasks too such as breaking windows and more. Think of rescue knives more as a “rescue multi-tool”.

It can be a little challenging selecting the best rescue knife for yourself at times and its application. Compared to other tactical knives, they may not look the prettiest but their reliability is unmatched in the knife world.

Things to look for...

It’s ok if the rescue knife you select is a little bit on the hefty side, this is a good thing, it just means that your rescue knife is well built. Remember, rescue knives are not your average keychain knives. These babies need to be robust and have the ability to cut through heavy materials, be able to take a beating, smash through windows and give you the confidence it can get the job done.

Do not lose sight of comfortableness either though. You want a knife that is easy to carry with a solid pocket clip and a high quality, well fitted handle

Serrated knives are not always popular, but remember, we are talking Rescue Knives here. Rescue knives of course need to have the ability to cut through clothing, rope, woven materials and much more in order to be useful. Serrated rescue knives have this ability and tend to stay sharper longer than non-serrated knives, another nice feature of a rescue knife.

Plain edged knives work just fine as well, a lot can be personal preference. Whatever edge you decide upon, make sure you go with a rescue knife (for the most part) that has a blunt tip in order to prevent any type of laceration injury to whomever it may be that you are rescuing. 


When it comes to the quality of the blade, this is very important. You want a blade that will last, stay sharp and you can rely on.  Look for steel blades with 440C, AUS8 or 154cm. All these blades maintain their edge and tend not to chip. 

Due to the nature of the occupations rescue knives are applied to, if you can find a knife with a stainless steel blade you will be good shape. Police officers, firefighters, EMT’s, all these professionals involve working in dangerous situations and environments where you can be covered in rain, snow and other types of fluids (oil, gasoline). You do NOT want your blade to rust or get contaminated. High carbon blades are built well, good quality and usually lighter than stainless steel, but do have the rust factor you have to consider.

Handles are a big part of a rescue knife, literally and figuratively.  A good solid well sized handle gives you a strong grip and maneuver ability. Good grip and comfort are all personal preference as there is a number of different sizes, shapes and grips available for rescue knives. If there is an option for a bright reflective color, keep it in mind.

High pressure situations with minimal to no lighting can be tough to see and if you are in an emergency situation you don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find your rescue knife when time is of the essence. Something that stands out, is easy to locate and highly visible will prevent a situation like this evolving before you.

​ Early I had mentioned how rescue knives these days are basically multi-tools. They can come with some nice features such as seatbelt cutters and glass breakers to make your job a little easier and more sufficient.  From my experience in the Fire Service for 4 years seatbelt cutters are definitely a quick easy way to cut someone’s seatbelt safely preventing any lacerations to the victim. Glass breakers are very efficient and a much less intimidating and invasive way of gaining access to a patient trapped inside a vehicle.

These extras are nice features, but when you are choosing a rescue knife, really focus on the quality of the blade and handle, especially the blade as this is what will make your knife worthwhile and takes the most beating.

Top 5 Rescue Knives on the market...

1. Gerber Hinderer Rescue Knife (22-41534)

Gerber are well known for their Knives. They are built well and have rugged reliable designs in all their products. Not only can this knife be used in rescue situations, but military, hunting, survival, tactical, industrial and any outdoor situations as well. The serrated blade is as versatile as they come. The over-sized thumb stud and external blade release allow very smooth and easy operation of the knife.

The Gerber Hinderer Rescue Knife (22-41534) has many nice extras including the safety hook cutter for webbing, clothing and even seatbelts. It also comes with a window punch for gaining safe access to patients and an oxygen tank valve opener for any EMS workers. There is a 9-piece tool kit with added features. Pay a little more, but you will receive a lot more. Great rescue knife, good price.

2. Smith and Wesson First Response Knife

The Smith and Wenson SWFRS First Response Knife is a rescue knife designed with the intentions to perform in any type of emergency from natural disasters, to car accidents. This is a very well constructed knife that comes at a very fair price. It is perfect for anyone starting out in the rescue/emergency response field and looking to get a rescue knife that they can afford and start off confidently.

One thing about this knife that some may find useful is the combo edge. The partially serrated blade can be a very instinctive choice especially when dealing with cutting through a seat belt, different types of clothing or even rope, which, would not be as achievable with the normal flat blade. Composed of 440C carbon stainless steel and measuring at 3.3”, this combo blade is strong and maintains a sharp edge.

The Smith and Wenson SWFRS First Response Knife also comes with a nice added feature in the seatbelt cutter at the butt end of the blade. The advantage of a seatbelt cutter over your blade in a rescue situation is the fact that you don’t have to worry about cutting the victim you are rescuing. It may not seem necessary at the time but it will speed things up.

Another added feature is its built in glass breaker. Glass breakers can be a very handy tool when trying to gain access to a patient trapped inside a vehicle. Glass breakers rupture glass with little effort and prevent glass spraying all over the place. Its quick, easy and most importantly more safe for you and the patient.

This is a great knife if you are just starting in the rescue business as it is extremely affordable and covers all essential areas rescue knives need to have covered.

3. Blizetec Survival Knife

An amazing and very popular folding knife, with plenty of nice little details to add to it’s quality. This knife not only has a fantastic appearance but has fantastic quality as well.  This best rescue knife has a high carbon stainless steel combo serrated blade (420) for cutting through anything from clothing to rope to many other materials. The BlizeTec Survival Knife comes with a life time warranty so you will not be concerned about your blade deteriorating.

The comfortable handle comes with a window punch and seatbelt cutter, two essential tools for gaining access to a patient safely and efficiently trapped inside vehicle. These features allow you to have the ability to extricate the victim. Another neat feature of the BlizeTec Survival Knife is the LED light on the handle to for maximum visibility at night while making any sort of cut. The pocket clip makes this knife easy and comfortable to carry, along with the knife being super light weight.

BlizeTec backs their Survival Knife with a lifetime warranty and have a very good reputation in the best rescue knife business. Speaking of business, if you mean business when it comes to rescue knives, the BlizeTec Survival Knife is the knife for you. A little pricier, but still very reasonable for the high-quality knife you will be receiving, I highly recommend this knife for any badass rescue worker ready to up there kit.

 4. Gerber Hinderer Combat Life Saver Knife

Gerber Hinderer has always been known to have rugged, reliable designs. The same can be said again for the Gerber Hinderer Combat Life Saver Knife. This knife has many applications such as hunting, survival, outdoor situations, military as well as a best rescue knife.

The blade of the Gerber Hinderer Combat Life Saver Knife is partially serrated with black 440A stainless steel for ultimate strength and durability. The nice part of the serrated blades is the variety of different materials you have the ability to cut through.

This best rescue knife comes with its fair share of extras. It has an exceptional  patented liner lock release constructed within the side of the handle. The seatbelt cutter and window punch are no-brainers again giving you the ability to get to and cut out a patient in a sticky situation.  A nice little extra as well is the 02 tank wrench designed within the handle for firefighters and paramedics. The pocket clip is very comfortable and you will not even know you have a best rescue knife in your pocket.

Overall, the Gerber Hinderer Combat Life Saver Knife is a good knife with excellent features at an respectful price. You will not be disappointed with this blade, it will meet your needs.

5. Smith and Wesson CKSUR1 Bullseye Search and Rescue Fixed Blade Knife

This is a top fixed blade knife on the market and used by rescue personnel everywhere.  The only downfall of this blade is its inability to retract and fold-in for safe easy storage and carry. After that though, the benefits outweigh its weaknesses.

The grooved blade allows maximum and smooth cutting ability. Not to mention the solid rubberized aluminum handle gives you great grip and dexterity so you never have to worry about the knife slipping out of your finger and causing you or anyone else any harm.

It comes with cross guard, butt cap, and even a front-mounted nylon storage pouch. The state of the art nylon sheath has metallic backups and lashing slots.


Best Rescue Knife

So remember, when looking for the best rescue knife, think durability, quality and don’t forget about the extras. In no time you will be finding great use, whatever it may be, with your rescue knife and know that you made the right choice and had good information of what to look for when purchasing. 

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About the Author

Top Turn Buckle Rock Bottom

I am currently a first responder as a professional career Firefighter. I have many work experiences such as construction and working in the oil patch. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, being active and exploring. Having these work experiences has lead me to wanting to help others find the proper equipment and avoid some of the mistakes I myself have made. I am hoping that these articles help people of all types out there improve their lifestyle and work environment leading eventually to a happier, healthier more satisfied way of life. Take care and cheers!!!

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