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Review: T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool


September 14, 2013

The T3, trackside at the Castrol Raceway

The T3, trackside at the Castrol Raceway

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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.

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 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

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

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!

Pecos Pete

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.

The Skud

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


@ Pecos Pete

The need is to stop thinking weapons are the problem and make security that works.


This is OLD tech, rescue tools been around for years. Can buy a spring-loaded center punch for $5 at Harbor Freight.

Norm Frey

"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.


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.


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.


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.

Doug MacLeod

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...


Sometimes it feels like people are just plain dumb. In a crash if one is pinned down in the seat by the seat bets, how does he/she get to the knife ? Or is one supposed to fish out in anticipation ? The seatbelys on the plane are the easiest to get out of. With a simple lift of a lever. Far easier than trying to cut the belt. In fact That was the kind I had on my 4 door 1973 Pontiac LeMans with bench seats. What one can now have are the kind of harness used in suitcases to keep the clothes in place with a single center button to release them.

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