11 Best EMT Knives and Rescue Tools

An EMT knife can come in handy during emergency situations. The good thing about these knives is that they provide you with multiple utility tools that can be lifesaving.

Most EMT knives are fitted with tough glass breakers that can punch through windshields with the utmost ease.

They also have razor-sharp seat belt cutters and blades that will allow you to cut through fibrous fabrics while applying minimal effort.

As such, they can be used for vehicle extrication or any other rescue operation that may require you to use a multi-tool knife.

But, that is not all; some models even have oxygen keys that you can use when opening medical air cylinders.

As you can see, EMT knives vary in terms of features and performance, so it would be wise to pick the tool that will meet all task requirements.

11 Best EMT Knife

Our Top Pick: Kershaw 8100 Funxion EMT

Kershaw Funxion EMT (8100); Multifunction Folding Pocketknife; 3...
  • Emergency-ready, multifunction EDC featuring a carabiner clip, cord cutter, screwdriver tip, hex wrench and carbide glass-breaker tip
  • Partially serrated 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade had excellent edge retention and wear resistance

If you are looking for a high-quality EMT knife, the Kershaw 8100 is one of the options that should top your list.

The main reason why we chose this knife as our top pick is that it has an emergency-ready design and also comes with a wide range of tools that can come in handy during a rescue operation.

To add to this, the materials used in the construction are of superior quality, so the knife won’t fail you when you need it the most.

For starters, it comes with a 3″ 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade that is designed for performance. Also, the blade is partially serrated to increase the knife’s overall performance.

Thanks to its high chromium content, it offers excellent corrosion resistance, so it won’t stain easily. In addition to this, the blade has great edge retention and is equally wear-resistant.

Aside from the blade, it is fitted with a reliable flathead screwdriver tip, glass breaker, bolt wrench, carabiner clip, and a seat belt cutter.

All these tools can prove helpful in different stages of a rescue operation, making the Kershaw 8100 an ideal option for Emergency Medical Technicians.

Furthermore, it has an ambidextrous design, meaning it can be used by both right-handed and left-handed persons.

Not just that, the opening system is designed in such a way that you can easily deploy the blade by simply pressing the flipper. And because it is SpeedSafe-assisted, you can operate the knife using one hand.

The liners making up the locking system will ensure that the blade does not close unintentionally during usage.

To top it all up, the nylon handle is glass-filled to increase strength while the grip area has a unique K-texture pattern that provides users with a secure grip.

Pros

  • Oxide-coated to maximize corrosion resistance
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Ergonomically designed

Cons

  • The pocket clip is not adjustable

Best for Beginners: Swiss Safe 3-in-1 EMT/EMS Tactical Knife

Swiss Safe 3-in-1 Tactical Knife for Military and First...
  • SOLID DESIGN: Built for EMT & EMS Paramedics with High Performance Steel Blade, Lightweight Aluminum Handle, Pocket Clip
  • FAST DEPLOYMENT: Assisted Opening With Flipper Tab For Reliable One-Handed Opening

Next on our list is the 3-in-1 EMT knife by Swiss Safe. This knife has great features that can assist you during emergencies. It is professionally crafted for safety, so you can fully rely on it in all scenarios.

The knife is 5″ when folded while the blade measures 3.5″ long. Plus, it offers a plain cutting edge and serrated edge, so you can use the section that matches the task description. The former can help you make smooth cuts while the latter is more suited for sawing applications.

Additionally, the included seat belt cutter performs exceptionally when it comes to cutting tough fabrics, so it will enable you to get the job done within a limited duration.

That is not all; the handle is equipped with a glass breaker that you can use when accessing inoperable doors during an auto accident or any other emergency situation that may require you to break through glass.

Besides, the point of contact is hardened to ensure that the glass breaks with just a few strikes. The blade is made of stainless steel and also comes pre-honed for user convenience.

On the other hand, the handle is crafted from aluminum to minimize weight. However, the frame features a steel construction to prolong durability.

The finger grips will provide you with a comfortable user experience, allowing for extensive usage. Attached to the blade is a well-designed thumb stud that you can use during deployment.

There is also a thumb ramp that will give you maximum control when maneuvering the blade.

Pros

  • Conveniently designed
  • Easy to work with
  • Has a built-in safety lock

Cons

  • The seat belt cutter is not as sharp

Best High-End: CRKT M16-14ZLEK

CRKT M16-14ZLEK EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Law Enforcement...
  • Safe And Secure: Automated liner safety provides extra layer of lock security
  • Cutting Power: Triple Point serrations cut fibrous materials with ease

The CRKT M16-14ZLEK is one of the most expensive EMT knives on the list, but the price shouldn’t worry you because the tool will provide you with excellent results.

With that being said, if you are not on a fixed budget, this is one of the go-to options that you can consider buying.

The blade is made of AUS-8 stainless steel for durability purposes. This type of steel has high vanadium content, so it is extremely hard.

As such, the blade holds its edge well and will provide you with maximum cutting power in all cutting applications.

The 3.75″ tanto-style blade features a titanium nitride coating for added corrosion resistance. More to this, the cutting edge is hollow ground to increase performance.

Part of the blade has sharp serrations that can effectively cut through fibrous materials. The seat belt cutter is just as sharp as the blade and will enable you to cut materials effortlessly in demanding situations.

The glass breaker is strategically placed on the rear side of the handle, so the other tools that are on the knife won’t get in your way.

When it comes to blade deployment, the knife is fitted with an easy-to-use flipper that will simplify your work when operating the opening system.

The safety liners will engage automatically when the blade is deployed, so it won’t close when the knife is in use. Also, the handle is ergonomically designed for user comfort.

Pros

  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Automatic locking mechanism
  • Great for EDC

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a pocket case

Most Versatile: Gerber 22-01870 Hinderer Combat Life Saver Knife

Gerber Hinderer Combat Life Saver Knife, Serrated Edge [22-01870]
  • Oversized thumb stud for one hand opening with gloves
  • Black 440A stainless steel partial serrated blade

If you are after versatility, the Gerber 22-01870 may just be the right knife for you. The 440A stainless steel blade provides users with a great combination of hardness and good corrosion resistance.

However, the steel used in the design has a low carbon content compared to 440C and 440B steel. Still, it retains its edge extensively, so you won’t have to hone the blade from time to time.

Nevertheless, this may vary depending on the type of materials that you are dealing with. The thumb stud is not only oversized but is also textured to prevent slippage when pulling out the blade.

In addition to having a window punch, the Gerber 22-01870 is equipped with a cylinder valve opener that you can use when opening oxygen tanks.

For your safety, the manufacturer has designed this knife with a dependable linear lock system that will ensure the blade stays in the position that you want it to. It also has a pocket clip that offers additional carrying options.

Users can also attach a wrist lanyard to the included lanyard hole. That way, you won’t lose the knife even if slips from your grasp during usage.

The edge is part serrated-part plain, so it is up to you to choose the most appropriate side for the task at hand.

What’s more, the handle is both contoured and textured to give users a solid grip. It feels good in the hand and will enable you to work for long hours without straining.

Pros

  • Multi-tool
  • High performance
  • Reliable

Cons

  • The opening mechanism is not automatic

Best Value: Benchmade – Triage 916

Benchmade - Triage 916SBK-ORG, Orange Handle, Triple Utility...
  • HIGH-QUALITY: The N680 stainless steel blade has the best corrosion resistance of any blade steel, making it ideal for saltwater applications. The G10 handle is durable, impervious to moisture, and stable under extreme temperatures.
  • MADE FOR RESCUE: The Triage 916's opposing bevel blunt-tip blade style, safety hook, and glass breaker make it ideal for rescue. It's also recommended for tactical and everyday use.

Benchmade has been making knives for decades, so the manufacturer knows all the do’s and don’ts when it comes to crafting high-quality blades.

The Triage 916 is no different since it is specially designed with every user’s needs in mind. It can particularly assist Emergency Medical Technicians when in the field or when handling any emergency situation that may require you to use a knife.

Like all EMT knives, it is fitted with a wide range of tools that you can choose from when tackling different tasks. It even has a glass breaker that can help you smash through automobile windows.

Moreover, the manufacturer has only used high-quality materials in the construction, so you won’t have to worry about durability. The blade as well as the seat belt cutter is made of N680 stainless steel, which offers great corrosion resistance and decent edge retention.

On top of that, it has a rating of 57-59 on the HRC scale. The other thing that we liked about the Triage 916 is that it has a blunt tip that will allow you to cut fabric close to the body without piercing the skin.

The front part of the blade is plain while the rear section is serrated. Best of all, you can open or fold the blade with one hand. The built-in locking system allows for quick blade deployment.

Pros

  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Ambidextrous design
  • The handle is textured to prevent slippage

Cons

  • Not SpeedSafe-assisted

Most Reviewed: TAC-FORCE Spring Assisted Opening EMT Knife

TAC-FORCE Spring Assisted Opening EMT EMS ORANGE Rescue Folding...
  • Snake Eye Tactical Spring Assist Knife
  • 3.25" 3MM THICK BLADE, STAINLESS STEEL

From the products that we have handpicked, this EMT knife has the most reviews. It comes with a 3.25″ blade that is made of stainless steel.

When closed, it measures 4.5″, so you can easily fit it inside your pocket. This makes it a suitable option for EDC since you can carry the knife to wherever the work may take you without experiencing any problem.

Furthermore, it has all the basic tools that an EMT knife should have, and the best part is that it comes at a favorable price.

The blade is factory-sharpened and is specifically designed for emergency situations. As such, you’ll be able to cut through tough fabrics without breaking a sweat.

With the seat belt cutter in place, you can easily free accident victims from car seats. The blade features a reinforced spine and a well-placed thumb stud for your convenience. Additionally, the handle is contoured to maximize grip.

The fact that the opening system is spring-assisted makes it even better because it enables users to deploy the blade in a matter of seconds.

Pros

  • Well-designed
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The glass breaker is of questionable quality

Honorable Mention: SOG FF25-CP Emergency Knife

SOG Escape Tactical Folding Knife- 3.4 Inch Serrated Edge Blade...
  • QUICK ACCESS POCKET EMERGENCY KNIFE: The SOG Escape is a quick open tactical knife that serves well as a rescue knife for SWAT team, paramedics, and firefighters; measures 4.8 inches in closed length.
  • FIRST RESPONDER RESCUE KNIFE: Features a cord-cutting groove for cutting cords, lines and seatbelts; includes a glass breaker, wire stripper, and extra line cutter blade under the pocket knife handle.

Equipped with a dependable in-handle glass punch, the FF25-CP from SOG will allow you to break through glass with minimal exertion.

Aside from that, it has a long list of features that can greatly assist you during emergencies. Furthermore, its design makes it a suitable option for EMTs and other professionals in the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) field.

The knife has an overall length of 4.8″ while the 9Cr18MoV stainless steel blade is 3.4″ long. You can tell that this knife was designed for performance just by looking at the blade.

It comes with a razor-sharp plain cutting edge and a serrated section that will make your work easier when cutting through tough fibrous materials.

Apart from that, you can use the serrations when dealing with materials that may dull or damage the plain edge.

It features a convenient one-hand opening system that allows for easy and smooth blade deployment. In fact, you can even operate the knife with your gloves on.

This knife offers exceptional corrosion resistance, great edge retention, and good wear resistance. It won’t lose its integrity over time, thus making it even more reliable.

The handle scales are made of lightweight aluminum, but that does not mean that they are not durable. They are tough and will enable you to take on heavy-duty tasks without damaging the knife or hurting yourself.

Pros

  • Fitted with a pocket clip
  • Reliable strap cutter
  • Ideal for left-handed and right-handed use

Cons

  • No oxygen valve opener compared to most EMT knives in its class

Best Multi-Tool: StatGear SG48339 T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Knife

StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool - Folding Rescue Knife,...
  • AUTO EMERGENCY RESCUE TOOL – Multipurpose steel rescue tool perfect for saving lives. The blade, seatbelt cutter, window puncher, LED light and carrying sheath make it an essential for first responders OR ANYONE LOOKING TO BE PREPARED!
  • BLADE RUNNER – Made of 440c stainless steel, our razor sharp blade is a true steel! Partially serrated, this multipurpose blade is perfect for any emergency, cutting, sharing, slicing through obstacles.

StartGear’s SG48339 is also another excellent choice that you can consider adding to your emergency kit.

The window punch on this knife is a bit unique in that it is spring-loaded, so you won’t have to apply a lot of effort when breaking through the glass.

According to the manufacturer, the carbide tip can deliver approximately 5 to 7 pounds of force. As such, it will allow you to accomplish the task within the shortest time possible.

The partially serrated blade is crafted from high-quality 440c stainless steel to ensure that you get an efficient cutting tool that you can count on in all emergency scenarios.

To add to its list of features, the StatGear SG48339 is equipped with an LED light that will illuminate the item that you are cutting.

This feature will allow you to make accurate cuts even when working in low-light conditions. You can as well use the light for assessing pupillary response.

The seat belt cutter is made of the same material as the blade and is also designed with a locking mechanism for user safety. This means it won’t fold accidentally as you apply pressure to the handle.

And since the grip area is contoured, your fingers won’t slip when pulling on the blade or the seat belt cutter. Instead, the knife will provide you with maximum leverage, making the SG48339 a convenient option for all Emergency Medical Technicians.

Pros

  • Innovatively designed
  • Well built
  • Comes with a durable nylon sheath

Cons

  • The LED battery requires replacement over time

Best Mid-Range: TAC Force EMT Rescue Knife

1 X EMT EMS Rescue Knife With Clip
  • Spring Assisted Knife
  • 3.25" 3MM THICK BLADE, STAINLESS STEE

TAC Force presents you with yet another high-quality EMT rescue knife that will provide you with top-class results when in the field.

The opening mechanism is designed such that you can safely deploy the blade without cutting your fingers.

In terms of durability, the manufacturer has used good quality materials and all the parts are firmly riveted, so the knife won’t fall apart when you are using it.

The blade comes razor sharp right out of the box, so you can use it right away. This knife is exceptionally lightweight, meaning it won’t weigh you down when you are working.

To add to this, the seat belt cutter and the glass punch are conveniently placed on the rear end of the handle to give you easy access.

The blade has a raised thumb ramp that will provide you with optimum traction when gripping the knife.

Plus, the handle is checkered, allowing for non-slip performance. The blade and the steel liners have a black protective coating that shields the base material from corrosive compounds.

In addition to this, the handle has a tight-fitting pocket clip that you can easily attach to your pants. The locking mechanism features a smooth action system that allows the blade to glide effortlessly during deployment.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Stylish design
  • Easy to hone

Cons

  • Does not have an oxygen key

Best Serrated EMT Knife: Spyderco C89 Atlantic Salt Knife

Spyderco Atlantic Salt Lightweight Knife with 3.68" Corrosion...
  • Reliable High Performance - Spyderco's Rescue knives are long favored by seafarers and the design has since been embraced by rescue workers, EMT's and ranchers-anyone cutting around flesh in an emergency.
  • Superior Blade Steel - This version offers a LC200N steel blade; a nitrogen-enriched martensitic steel that is also fearlessly corrosion resistant yet offers enhanced edge retention.

Spyderco knives are some of the most reliable cutting tools in the market. This particular model is of the salt series and is made of LC200N steel to increase durability.

It is highly resistant to corrosion, so the blade won’t acquire rust easily. Unlike most of the knives that we have reviewed, the Spyderco C89 comes with a fully serrated blade that can assist you in countless ways.

Moreover, it does not have a sharp tip, so it can cut around flesh without hurting the victim. The blade has great edge retention, making the knife super-efficient.

Since it has an ambidextrous design, you can adjust the pocket clip to match your dominant hand.

The 3.68″ blade is heavily reinforced to prevent breakage when cutting tough materials. It has a durable injection-molded handle that will provide you with long-lasting service.

Besides, the handle is 4.59″ long, so you will have enough space to rest all your fingers when using the knife.

Pros

  • Rust-resistant
  • Blunt-tipped for safety
  • Quick blade deployment

Cons

  • A bit costly

Best Budget Buy: WG EMT Rescue Folding Knife

EMS EMT RESCUE FOLDING KNIFE w/ LED LIGHT STAR OF LIFE - FREE EMT...
  • FREE EMT CAP HAT WITH PURCHASE!
  • SEAT BELT CUTTER POWERFUL MINI FLASHLIGHT ATTACHED

This EMT knife is somewhat similar to the StatGear SG48339 in that both models have LED lights.

The knife is fitted with a 3.7″ 1045 stainless steel blade that is partially serrated for your convenience.

It also has an ultra-sharp seat belt cutter that will boost your performance during emergency rescues. The materials from which this knife is made are not only reliable but also durable.

Additionally, the handle is designed with strong liners and a tough glass breaker that will assist you when breaking through windshields or windows.

More on the handle, it has an EMT medallion and is also ergonomically contoured for user comfort.

If you are in need of a high-performance EMT knife, this may just be the right tool for you. In as much as it is fitted with multiple tools, it is not as heavy and is equally versatile.

Pros

  • Built to last
  • Pre-sharpened
  • Very efficient

Cons

  • Somewhat heavy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an EMT knife?

In a nutshell, an EMT knife is a specialized rescue tool used by Emergency Medical Technicians. Most of these knives look like regular tactical knives but the only difference is that they have additional tools such as glass breakers, seat belt cutters, oxygen tank keys, just to mention but a few.

Can EMTs have knives?

Yes. Most states allow EMTs to carry rescue knives because they can come in handy during emergencies.

What is the best EMT knife?

The best EMT knife is one that is durably built, has a seat belt cutter, a glass punch, and other useful tools like screwdriver tips, oxygen tank valve openers, etc.

We have covered a wide range of options in the detailed review list above to increase your chances of finding the best EMT knife based on your needs and preference.

Are EMT Knives worth it?

EMT knives can be lifesaving during emergencies, so you should consider carry one at all times if you are in the EMS system.

Can EMTs carry automatic knives?

This will depend on the laws provided by the local authorities because the regulations that govern the use and carrying of knives may vary from one state to another.

Final Verdict

There you have it! With the help of our review list, you will stand a better chance of finding the best EMT knife that matches all your needs.

We recommend these knives to all Emergency Medical Technicians who spend most of their time in the field or the emergency room (ER).

Furthermore, the knives highlighted above are designed for performance, so they won’t let you down provided that you use them the right way.

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