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Reviews > Knives > Multi-tools > Victorinox Rescue Tool > Test Report by Andrew Preece

The rescue tool.

Photo courtesy of Victorinox
TEST SERIES BY ANDREW PREECE
INITIAL REPORT January 29TH, 2009



 

Contents  
Initial Report

Description
Functions
First try
Field Report

One-handed blade
Phillips screwdriver
Window breaker
Screwdriver, Cap lifter-wire stripper

Punch and reamer
Belt cutter
Key ring
Tweezers

Toothpick
Disc saw
Luminescent grip shells

Nylon cord
Nylon case
Impression thus far
Long Term Report
Personal Details
Name: Andrew Preece
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 188 lb (85 kg)
Waist: 39 in (100 cm)
Sleeve Length:  20 in(53 cm)
Chest: 42.5 in (108 cm)
Neck:  16 in (40 cm)
Email: andrew_at_teamgunnparker_dot_com
Website: www.teamgunnparker.com
City: Perth.
Western Australia.
Australia.
Backpacking Background
I have done a lot of hiking over the years but now carry a hammock and gear for over night stays of one to two nights. I normally carry approximately 35 lb (16 kg) which includes food and water. My trips are usually between one to two days duration mainly over weekends. I hike all seasons with winter temperatures ranging from 39 F (4 C) to 64 F (18 C) including periods of heavy rain at times to summer conditions with the temperature ranging from 68 F (20 C) to 95 F (35 C) and very dry.

 

Initial Report
January 20th 2008
 
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Victorinox
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.victorinox.ch/

MSRP USD: $97.00

RescueTool 0.8623.MWN
Comprises following parts and functions:

1. One-handed blade
2. Phillips screwdriver
3. window breaker
4. strong 6mm screwdriver with
5. - cap lifter
6. - wire stripper
7. punch and reamer
8. belt cutter
9. key ring
10. tweezers
11. toothpick
12. disc saw
13. luminescent grip shells
14. nylon cord
15. nylon case

Weight without case: 6.35 oz (180 gm)
Weight with case: 7.73 oz (219 gm)

 


 

Description
The Victorinox rescue tool is a folding knife sized tool designed to be used in an emergency medical and rescue situation. Everything from the bright yellow slab sides of the tool to every one of the twelve tools that nest into the handle have been designed to be tough. The main functions of the tool are designed to be opened while wearing gloves and this tool is suitable for left or right handed people.
The one-handed blade and strong screwdriver (crate opener) are fixed in position when opened thanks to the liner lock mechanism. The window breaker and disc saw tools are replaceable should they become worn with use.
 
Functions
1. One-handed blade
The one handed blade has a hole near the base of the blade so that it may be opened with a thumb while holding it in one hand. The blade has a small section of plain blade while the balance is serrated.
Dimensions
3.15 in x 1 in (80 mm x 25 mm)
2. Phillips screwdriver
Standard small Phillips screwdriver.
Dimensions
1.30 in x 0.22 in (33 mm x 5.6 mm diameter)
blade
3. Window breaker
A small pointed replaceable section at the end of the tool.
Dimensions
1 in x 0.28 in (25 mm x 7 mm)
4. Strong 6mm screwdriver with, cap lifter-wire stripper
Flat screwdriver with a small bottle cap opener and wire stripper.
Dimensions
1.38 in x 0.75 in (35 mm x 19 mm)
window breaker
5. Punch and reamer
A small but very pointy tool for making holes and reaming holes in various items.
Dimensions
1.18 in x 1.18 in (30 mm x 6 mm)
6. - Belt cutter
A curved, serrated blade to cut seat belts without harming the occupant.
Dimensions
3.35 in x 0.47 in (85 mm x 12 mm)
reamer
7. Key ring
Dimensions
11 mm in diameter
Can be seen in picture four.
8. Tweezers
Small metal tweezers with plastic piece on the end.
Dimensions
1.77 in x 0.12 in (45 mm x 3 mm)
 
9. Toothpick
Small plastic tooth pick.
Dimensions
1.97 in x 0.12 in (50 mm x 3 mm)
Tweezers
10. Disc saw
A long serrated blade designed to cut windscreens.
Dimensions
3.35 in x 0.35 in (85 mm x 9 mm)
11. Luminescent grip shells
The bright yellow plastic slabs on each side of the tool. They have a slightly rough feel to them.
disc saw
12. Nylon cord, Can be seen in picture four.
Helps with removing tool from the case.
 
 
13. Nylon case
The case that holds the tool. In pocket, glove box or on belt.
Weight
1.38 oz (39 gm)
 
nylon case
First try  
All of the tools open and close very smoothly. The main blade and the flat screwdriver lock in place and lock very firmly. Opening this blade with the hole in the blade is easily done. Some of the tools when closed are a little hard to open, needing a strong finger nail to open them. The tooth pick and tweezers are both very small.
The pouch looks to be made of black vinyl with a red nylon covering. It stays closed with a small square of hook and loop under the metal logo. Under the lid is what appears to be a serial number.
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Field Report
15 April 2009

During the two months of this testing period I have use the tool while on two camping trips, while on two day hikes and around my house. Most of the real testing has been done at my place of work.
The reason for this testing at work is for two reasons, first of all the tool is designed to break and cut through car windows. Side windows and front and rear windscreens can be broken through and then cut with the tool. For this reason I did not want broken glass at my home. The second reason was that I work next to a car panel repair shop and the owner kindly gave me a complete car door plus two windscreens to test the tool on.

1. One-handed blade
The blade is very sharp right out of the box and has needed no sharpening. I have used it to cut smaller branches in the bush and packaging at work and home. I used it once to cut and fashion a tent stake from a small branch. I have used it to cut through cardboard boxes at work that are .5 in (12 mm) thick.
The blade is very strong and has stayed sharp. The blade does not move side to side in the frame of the tool. The blade is held in place when open by a spring steel liner lock that is apart of the frame. To close the blade I press the liner lock in with my thumb and then close blade.
I am very happy with this blade but find the lock seems back to front somehow. When I want to close the blade after I have been using it with the sharp edge facing down, I have to turn the tool over so that the sharp edge is now facing up toward my fingers then I am able to open the lock with my thumb and shut the blade toward my hand. I have had to be very carful when closing this blade.
I have noticed that now I have used it to cut glass a few times, tiny fragments of glass have worked their way into the frame of the tool. These fragments are causing a slight grinding noise and a slight rough feel to the tool when I open some of the items.

The window showing the hole I cut through it.
windscreen

2. Phillips screwdriver
The Phillips screw driver works well as I would expect. But it is fairly large in size and is not suitable for smaller screws for example at the back of my GPS or my tripod. The screwdriver once opened springs into place and is held in place at a ninety degree angle to the frame of the tool. If I push on the screwdriver it will open past this ninety degree a little.
I like this screwdriver but would prefer it locked into place better.

3. Window breaker
The window breaker works very well indeed, my first attempt at breaking the quarter window on the car door I was given went very well. So well in fact, that I had to make a mental note to hit the window with a lot less force next time.
The tool when used as a window breaker is held in the hand as I would a tennis racket. The breaker is facing down from my palm by my little finger and is swung down onto the glass window. I wrapped my thumb over the top of the tool to hold it tightly in place.
I found that I swung with a lot of force on my first try and the tool went right through the window and my wrist hit upon the frame of the car door. The next time I hit the window a lot softer and was still able to break the glass. The window breaker will break through side window glass very easy indeed.
Next was one of the windscreens I was given. I propped the windscreen up in a large cardboard box to catch the glass that would break away from the windscreen and after donning a pair of gloves and a pair of safety glasses I took aim at the windscreen, at first I stuck it a little softly after my experience with the side window but quickly found that a lot, a very lot more force was need to break through the windscreen. So much so that I found after about ten blows I need to stop to catch my breath and that it took about sixty blows to penetrate right through the glass.
Windscreens here in Australia are generally made of two sections of glass with a film of some rubbery substance sandwiched between. This is that that the windscreen does not just shatter when hit by a flying rock. But this does make it hard to cut through.
So far I like this part of the tool and look forward to using it more.


In this photo below damage of the shells is shown as is tiny glass fragments in the blades.
sides

4. Strong 6mm screwdriver with, cap lifter-wire stripper
The flat screwdriver which is also a bottle cap lifter, a wire stripper and can be used as a small pry bar. As a screwdriver it does a good job as I would expect and as a bottle opener it works just as well. I had to buy a few bottles of beer with the right cap to test this item out on.
I used it as a pry bar a couple of times, once to pry off a part of the door handle of the door I had to test on and a few times on some of the packing at work. The wire stripper left me wanting a little though. To be able to test the stripper I had to search to find the right size of wire because if it is too large it will not fit into the groove of the stripper and if it is too small it just pulls right through.
This screwdriver when opened looks into place with a liner lock, a part of the inside of the frame that is spring steel flicks out and holds the screwdriver in place. To close the screwdriver I press this lock back away from the screwdriver and then close it. This system works very well and the screwdriver is held very firmly in place.

Back to top

5. Punch and reamer
This part of the tool is very sharp as well. It has a sharp point and a sharp edge perhaps three quarters of the length of it. When opened it stays in place opened ninety degrees to the body of the tool. I used this tool to punch some holes into the bottom of a coffee can and it did a good job of it, a bit of twisting around and I was able to ream out the hole and make it larger. The only thing that put me off about this tool was the fact that when I pressed down hard to punch through the can the reamer opened out more than ninety degrees, simular to the Phillips screwdriver. It first I thought I was going to cut my fingers but I did not and now that I am aware of it I am make sure I am carful.

The car door showing my first attempt at a quarter window.
the car door

6. Belt cutter
The seatbelt cutter was tested on a car in the panel shop next to my work. They had an older car there and told me I was able to cut the belt if I wanted. I jumped in the car put on the seatbelt belt and started to cut the belt. First thing I noticed was the belt would pull out more when I tried to cut it and go back in when I stoped cutting. I found that I had to grasp the seatbelt near my neck with my left hand and hold the belt tight while cutting the belt with my right. This means my view is blocked slightly by my left arm. I found the belt cutter cut through the belt quick enough but no where near as quick as the normal straight blade.

7. Key ring
The key ring is quite small and is ok for holding the nylon cord in place.

 

8. Tweezers
The tweezers are quite small to use. I found when trying to remove a splinter I picked up in camp that I had to put my glasses on as they are so small. I think they would be handy enough in a hiking tool but wonder what place they have in a rescue tool?

9. Toothpick
The tooth pick has been handy enough and I have used it quite a few times now.

The size of the tweezers and toothpick next to a box of matches in my hand.
size

10. Disc saw
This saw is a good piece of gear. When I was punching a hole through the windscreen with the window breaker and once I had made a hole through it the glass saw cut through it fairly easily. It was not very easy and still took quite a bit of work to complete a hole in the windscreen as is shown in the photo but if I had to; I could cut all around the windscreen with out to much sweat.

11. Luminescent grip shells
The side grips on the tool feel nice to grasp with my bare hand but I found that with a pair of gloves on and with the force needed to break through a windscreen the tool would slip through my glove.
One thing I did notice with the shells was that one day I had the tool out in camp and was making a tent stake. I was getting ready to cook my evening meal and I saw that the tool was glowing in the dark. The sides of the tool are made from some very bright glow in the dark material and I was very surprised by it. I have noticed that the end of the shells have started to sustain some damage. This will have been caused by the breaking of the windscreen. I hope it does not get any worse.
They are very good indeed.
 
The windscreen showing the two areas where I punched through and cut a hole in it.
The cut windows

 
12. Nylon cord
The cord is good for helping me pull the tool from its pouch but not much more. I will replace it with a longer lanyard when the test period is over.

13. Nylon case
The case is quite good and feels very sturdy although I would have been happier to have had a press stud on the top closing flap rather than hook and loop. The belt loop is very good and allows me to easily pass it over the hip belt of my pack.

14. Impression thus far
This tool is typical of the Victorinox knives I have seen and is constructed very well. All of the parts close very well and there is no movement in the parts other that the Phillips screwdriver and the reamer.
I like very much that the window breaker and disc saw parts are replaceable. So if these parts become blunt or wear out in some way they can be pulled out from the frame and new parts pushed in place. But in my quick look online in Australia following links from the Victorinox site I was unable to source these parts. Over the next two months I will try again to source these parts.
I have noticed that some parts have become a little stiffer to close now. Very small pieces of glass have worked their way into the tool when I have been cutting glass and this is causing some friction with the moving parts.
As far as hiking goes it does feel a little heavy for me but this is subjective and others may not find it as heavy. I was able to use only a few of the tools in a hiking situation and think that the tool is made for and better suited to a paramedic or fire fighter type situation.
I think that this tool will have a place in my four wheel drive for emergencies but not in my back pack.
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Long Term Report
June 17th 2009

I have been using the rescue tool off and on over the last couple of months now. And in that time I have completed a three day hiking trip, a one night, two day hike, plus a couple of smaller day hikes up in the hills and to the South of Perth.
I have used the tool mostly in camp for various camp chores and cooking chores while preparing my meals. I have been using the knife most of the time to slice food with.
In my field report above I tested the tool out as it is meant to be used e.g. breaking and cutting glass and so on, so there is no need to go over that ground again. I have found the tool to be a little heavy to carry in my pack at 7.73 oz (219 gm). I did wear the tool in the pouch on the hip belt of my pack where the weight is less noticeable, but I was concerned that the hook and loop at the lid of the pouch may open while hiking and Id lose the tool. Because of this I took it off the belt and put it back into my pack. I think that now that the testing is over I will leave it in my car for emergencies only.

 

The rescue tool and some of my gear at Ball creek hut.
The tool at Ball Creek.

I tried to saw a small piece of branch I found on the ground, about the size of a pencil. I used the disc saw to attempt to cut it but found other than making a small groove in the branch it did not cut at all. The teeth on the saw are more like the teeth on a file and not like on a wood saw, so this would explain why it did not work.
The tooth pick has had a little use as so has the tweezers, but there is little else on the tool that I found I could use in the bush.
I wanted to find out if the replacement blades for the tool were available in Australia so I sent an email to Victorinox in Europe asking if they new where I could get them. They did not respond. I sent another off to a website I found through the Victorinox website and they did not respond. I finally sent another to another site listed at Victorinox and over night I did get a very nice reply.
I was told that they did not carry the blades but would be happy to check and see if they were able to source them from Europe for me and which ones did I want, very good I thought.
So to sum up I feel this is a very nice, well made piece of gear that would have a place in the right industry but for me it will stay in my four wheel drive hoping that I never have to use it as it is intended for an emergency. I would hate to come across a car accident while out in the bush.
The tool is in good condition even though I have used it to break through and cut three windows, one being a windscreen. The base of the handle does show some wear as is shown in the photo above. But over all it is quite like new.


Thank you Victorinox for allowing me to test this tool. And Backpackgeartest.com for arranging the test.

Andrew Preece

 


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