Automotive

Review: T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool

Review: T3 Tactical Auto Rescu...
The T3, trackside at the Castrol Raceway
The T3, trackside at the Castrol Raceway
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The T3 was smaller than I expected it to be, but that's a compliment
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The T3 was smaller than I expected it to be, but that's a compliment
The T3 with its blades displayed – the hook blade isn't fully extended in this shot, so the whole semi-serrated blade can be seen
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The T3 with its blades displayed – the hook blade isn't fully extended in this shot, so the whole semi-serrated blade can be seen
To use the window punch, you just place it against the glass ...
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To use the window punch, you just place it against the glass ...
... then apply steady, even pressure
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... then apply steady, even pressure
The T3 going through the Chevy's seat belt
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The T3 going through the Chevy's seat belt
The T3 going through the Porsche's harness
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The T3 going through the Porsche's harness
The T3, trackside at the Castrol Raceway
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The T3, trackside at the Castrol Raceway
The T3's packaging
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The T3's packaging
The T3 has an integrated steel belt clip, and comes with a belt-mountable nylon case
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The T3 has an integrated steel belt clip, and comes with a belt-mountable nylon case
The T3's stainless steel semi-serrated blade
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The T3's stainless steel semi-serrated blade
The T3's stainless steel hook blade
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The T3's stainless steel hook blade
The T3's spring-loaded window punch
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The T3's spring-loaded window punch
The T3's light isn't brilliant, but is more than adequate for seeing what's what in close quarters
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The T3's light isn't brilliant, but is more than adequate for seeing what's what in close quarters
The T3's 5-lumen LED light
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The T3's 5-lumen LED light
The T3 has a grippy, rubberized body
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The T3 has a grippy, rubberized body
The T3 with both blades partially extended
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The T3 with both blades partially extended
View gallery - 16 images

It was just last month that we heard about a nifty little gadget known as the T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool. The device was created by New York City paramedic Avi Goldstein, for freeing accident victims from their wrecked cars – it's intended for use by both first responders and everyday drivers. Goldstein recently sent me a T3 to try out firsthand, so try it out I did ... at a race track.

The 6.4-oz (181-gram) T3 consists of four tools – a folding stainless steel hook blade for slicing through seat belts, a 3.25-inch (82-mm) folding half-serrated blade, a spring-loaded window punch for breaking tempered glass, and a 5-lumen LED light.

Originally I just planned on trying it by myself in a wrecking yard, but then I got the chance to take it somewhere better. Michael Elhard, vice-president of the Northern Alberta Sports Car Club, invited me to bring it out to Edmonton's Castrol Raceway, where some of the on-site paramedics could check it out. That sounded like a good idea, so we went with it.

First of all, Mike and I tried the T3 out on a junked Chevy Cavalier and Porsche 924. The window punch easily popped the Cavalier's windows, which was accomplished simply by placing the tool against the glass, then applying steady, even pressure. Goldstein chose to incorporate a spring-loaded punch, as he figured that drivers trapped in a mangled car might not have room to take a swing with a hammer-style punch.

... then apply steady, even pressure
... then apply steady, even pressure

The hook blade made fairly quick work of the Chevy's seat belts. The 924's racing harness put up a bit more of a fight, but still gave way without too much fuss.

The light, which I tried out by myself in my basement, isn't brilliant but is more than adequate for seeing what's what in close quarters. Its battery can easily be changed, which is handy. At one point, I did notice that the light had come on by itself when the T3 was in my pocket, presumably due to its side-mounted power button being pressed accidentally. That's something which probably wouldn't be an issue as long as the tool was kept in a glove compartment, or worn on a belt (using its built-in steel clip, or its included nylon case).

The T3 with both blades partially extended
The T3 with both blades partially extended

The club's volunteer paramedics certainly seemed to like the T3. In particular, they commented on its light weight, grippy rubberized body ... and its snazzy tactical black paint job. One paramedic did point out that her existing rescue tool included heavy-duty scissors for cutting away clothing, although it lacked the T3's LED light and semi-serrated blade.

For his part, Mike plans on ordering several for the club. At US$39.99 a pop it's also plenty affordable for regular folks to buy and throw into their car, then hopefully never need to use.

Product page: StatGear

View gallery - 16 images
11 comments
Pecos Pete
Take the pointed blade off! Then you can carry on plane! People in the San Francisco crash could not get out of their stuck set belts and no one had a blade to cut them out!
kellory
Pecos Pete, that is called Darwinism. We are becoming too much like sheep to survive. Do not remove the blade, but allow for common sense when boarding public transportation. Small children wearing Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer are not potential bombers, neither are grannies, or old men with canes. The list of banned items on planes is both staggering, and stupid. And I have gotten less from a hot date than during the grope down. A knife is just a tool, used by many in their everyday lives. I carry two, for different jobs, and use each at least a dozen times a day. And if someone does get stupid with a knife on a plane, the air Marshall will not being dueling with him with blades, but will put him down with a gun full of Glaser-slugs or a tazer. Do not accept any further dumbing down and fear response, stand up for some common sense. Military Air crews were issued survival kits for the craft. including break down guns, knives, and first aide kits. They aught to be standard equipment on ALL aircraft, in my opinion.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
Slowburn
@ Pecos Pete
The need is to stop thinking weapons are the problem and make security that works.
Norm Frey
This is OLD tech, rescue tools been around for years. Can buy a spring-loaded center punch for $5 at Harbor Freight.
MikeFromHC
"Take the pointed blade off! " Normally scissors would be used to cut off clothing but a drop point blade does almost as well and is much safer to use. The LED will be nice in some cases but in an emergency will be of little use. The nooks and crannies on this thing look neat but getting blood out of them will be a pain. I carry a Spyderco rescue knife, Cheap EMT scissors and a cheap but very bright LED that can be held in your mouth.
The Skud
The previous are all good points, insurance discount mandate it to keep one of these or variations on the same theme in every car or purse. Airline security has gone - and is still going - mad! Sack all these rent-a-cop wanna-be 'heros' and spend the money saved on simple systems that work.
BigGoofyGuy
http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2013/03/05/tsa-knives/1964941/ The TSA now allows pocket knives on airlines.
This would be great if one is trapped by a seat belt on an airline and need to get out after a crash landing or other situations.
I think it would be great for cars.
DavidB
BWG, I believe that decision (to allow small knives on planes) was suspended almost immediately in the face of objections from airline company crew members.
Doug MacLeod
An eminent UK surgeon who has dealt with lots of stab victims points out that most knives pointed for no good reason, for example kitchen knives . This tool has the same problem. None of its uses require a point, but the habitual design of a pointed knife turns it in to a weapon, not a tool. Our surgeon says that most stabbings have two very surprised people: the victim, and the perpetrator who had no idea that the pointed knife would go in so far and so easily and do so much damage that he would be facing a murder charge.
Mayhem
This is a cheap version of a very nice Benchmade tool. Benchmade makes a plethora of rescue tools that are very effective even after multiple cuts (so long as you are not cutting tech-12 or the likes.
This tool looks cool, but I am sceptical that it would hold its edge over time. The downside of all integrated tools is that, after I get it contaminated cutting someone out of a mess, or cutting their boot off after a mishap, there is a good chance I am going to want to clean the sucker and throw it in an autoclave. Dedicated tools do this with ease, these hybrid tools would be hard as hell to sterilize and I doubt that the LED would survive an autoclave or statim...