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IR: Victorinox Rescue Tool--Rick D.

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  • Rick D.
    Happy New Year to all gear guys & gals! Below, is my Rescue tool initial report. The htm test file is here:
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 2, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Happy New Year to all gear guys & gals! Below, is my Rescue tool
      initial report. The htm test file is here:




      Victorinox Rescue Tool
      Test Series by Rick Dreher
      December 23, 2008


      NAME: Rick Dreher
      EMAIL: redbike64(at)hotmail(dot)com
      AGE: 54
      LOCATION: Northern California
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 0" (2.10 m)
      WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)
      TORSO LENGTH 20 inches (50 cm)

      I enjoy going high and light and most often take shorter "fast-
      packing" trips; my longest trips are about a week. I've lightened my
      pack load because I enjoy hiking more when toting less, I can go
      farther and on tougher terrain, and I have cranky ankles. I use
      trekking poles and generally hike solo or tandem. I've backpacked all
      over the west and now primarily hike California's Sierra Nevada. My
      favorite trips are alpine and include off-trail travel and sleeping
      in high places. When winter arrives, I head back for snowshoe outings
      in the white stuff.


      Product Information & Specifications


      Manufacturer: Victorinox
      Year of Manufacture: 2008
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
      "http://www.victorinox.ch/" LINK TEXT = "Victorinox Web Site
      MSRP: US$ 90
      Listed Weight: 6.4 oz (180 g)
      Measured Weight: 5.6 oz (159 g)
      Case weight (measured): 0.8 oz/ 23 g
      Length (closed) spec: 4 3/8 in/111 mm
      Length (closed) measured: 4 5/8 in/117 mm

      Other Details

      Main Blade Length (hilt to tip): 3 3/8 in/ 85 mm
      Features: Main blade (one-handed, locking), belt-cutting blade, disc
      (glass) saw, window breaker, pry tool/screwdriver/bottle opener/wire
      stripper (locking), awl, Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, toothpick,
      lanyard and anchor.
      Accessories: Carry case

      Initial Impressions

      Victorinox ships the Rescue Tool in a slim cardboard box containing a
      nylon carry case and instructions (in eight languages). No assembly

      includes a storage case.">>

      Materials, Fit and Finish

      The knife's materials, construction, fit and finish all are top-
      drawer. The six hinged tools (blades and bits) open and close
      smoothly, if a bit stiffly at first (initial stiffness is common to
      every folding knife I've owned). They were practically dripping with
      oil, a reasonable precaution against corrosion. Virtually all the
      metal parts appear to be stainless steel and all blades except the
      saw are mirror-polished. The plastic grips are textured which, along
      with the knife's coutouring makes it easier to grip. The lanyard,
      attached by a small split ring, seems only useful to aid removal from
      the case. (It's identical to zipper pulls frequently used on
      backpacks and jackets.)

      The Rescue Tool comes in a nylon case that can slip onto a belt. The
      case has a hook-and-loop flap closure and the belt loop runs the full
      length of the case, meaning it can fit onto a very wide belt indeed
      (including many backpack hip belts). It's about 4 ΒΌ inches (110 mm)
      deep, and is bright red with bright yellow-green trim. Like the knife
      itself it's highly visible.

      case are both highly visible.">>

      Instructions and On-Line Support

      I'd normally scoff at instructions for a knife, but in this instance
      they're required because I'd never look at, for example, the window
      breaker or glass saw blade and ascertain their intended purpose on my
      own. The instructions (available on the maker's Web site) pictorially
      show the seatbelt cutter, window breaker, glass saw, "crate" opener,
      and main blade in operation, and illustrate how to replace the glass
      break bit and glass saw. They do a reasonable job showing the tools'
      uses, but the online video offers critical additional information.
      (Note: Victorinox vacillates between "glass saw" and "disc saw for
      shatterproof glass" in its description of this blade. Either way, I
      get the point.)


      I consider the video on the Victorinox Web site invaluable in
      demonstrating the Rescue Tool's correct and safe use. Incorrect
      technique and/or the lack of protective clothing could lead to injury
      when smashing and cutting glass. While the printed instructions do
      show heavy gloves in use for breaking and cutting, and use of a
      backhanded swing with the window breaker, for me the video
      communicates the techniques much more fully than the instruction
      sheet. I add that automotive glass differs significantly from common
      window glass, and there is no recommendation for using this tool on
      anything other than a vehicle (e.g., common window glass).

      Trying It Out

      The Rescue Tool is a folding, multi-blade pocket/belt knife that
      blurs the distinction between knife and multi-tool. It is foremost a
      large folding pocket knife with a locking main blade. This main blade
      has a combination edge, part plain and part serrated. Unlike every
      other combination blade I own, this one has a serrated tip section,
      with the smooth section next to the hilt. The entire blade is ground
      asymmetrically (on one side only) and has an exposed thumb hole when
      closed, allowing one-handed opening. Fully opened it locks into
      place. It's also very sharp. I've already cut myself on the
      serrations, which took surprisingly little pressure.

      main blade is partially serrated and super sharp.">>

      The Rescue Tool also sports a (disc/glass) saw, a curved serrated
      belt cutter blade and most uniquely, a window breaker. In homage to
      its Swiss "army knife" (SAK) heritage, it has a combination pry
      tool/bottle opener/flat-head screwdriver/wire stripper, an awl, a
      Phillips screwdriver and the requisite toothpick and tweezers. Of
      note: the screaming fluorescent/phosphorescent yellow-green, easy-
      find grip and the user-replaceable glass breaker and disc saw. The
      knife comes in a nylon carry case with a belt loop.

      There are six hinged tools. The main blade swings open a full 180
      degrees, as do the glass saw and belt cutter. The blade can be opened
      one handed while holding the knife, and with either hand. It's a
      little easier to open with my right hand, as the blade is closer to
      my thumb than when in my left hand. The pry tool has a click-stop at
      90 degrees, and also opens to a full 180 degrees. Both the blade and
      pry tool lock into place when fully open. The pry tool is opened from
      the side via a traditional nail groove, meaning no opening with
      gloved hands. By contrast, the saw and belt cutter blade overhang
      extend beyond the knife ends and are easily opened from there, even
      with gloves.

      tools, 2 removeable and glass breaker.">>

      The pry tool/flat screwdriver's 90-degree position would provide
      extra leverage turning large slotted screws. The awl and Phillips
      blade open 90 degrees only. The Phillips screwdriver is exposed when
      closed and easy to access, while the awl must be opened via a barely
      exposed nail groove. The tweezers and toothpick tuck into small
      openings at one end of the handle, and are removed by pulling at the
      ends with a fingernail. They can be switched side to side. The short
      nylon lanyard attaches to a split ring anchor at the same end. At the
      other end protrudes the glass-break bit--a wide steel flange with
      protruding nub to initiate the break by concentrating the blow's

      The main blade and pry tool have liner locks, which deploy
      automatically on opening and are released by pressing to the side,
      freeing the bit for closure. They differ from more common blade locks
      that release by pressing at the back of the knife. While it's tricky
      I find I can unlock and close the main blade one-handed, at least
      with bare hands.

      Testing Strategy

      I will carry the Rescue Tool on hiking, snowshoeing and camping trips
      through the test period to ascertain how well it fits the bill as a
      camping pocket knife. I'll also monitor wear and tear folliwing
      common camp tasks, and see whether the bright color means I'll still
      have it by next spring.


      The Victorinox Rescue Tool is an unconventional knife or multitool
      for backpacking. The big main blade has obvious camping applications,
      as do the screwdriver/opener, awl, etc., but what about the disc saw,
      belt cutter and glass breaker? What uses can they possibly offer? At
      about a third of a pound, this beefy folding knife will have to prove
      its usefulness to earn a permanent place in my kit.


      From a completely different perspective, the Rescue Tool is a very
      prudent device to keep in my car. I live in a river and delta region
      with hundreds of miles of levee roads, where a missed road bend can
      mean a quick excursion into the drink. Local law enforcement and
      rescue teams recommend keeping a window breaking tool in vehicles
      that travel on these roads. I intend to keep this water escape
      function untested, but the Rescue Tool earns a permanent place
      alongside my driver's seat, regardless.

      I have a long, painful track record of losing things camping and
      hiking, so am a fan of absurdly bright-colored important gear. I have
      no qualms stating the Rescue Tool is the easiest knife to find in
      poor light or dropped in forest litter I've ever encountered--it
      looks like a giant trout lure. That's a major plus in its favor. The
      phosphorescent aspect is a bit lost on me, but I'll explore the glow-
      in-the-dark quality further. The lanyard's not long enough to anchor
      the knife to a belt loop or slip over my wrist. Of course it can
      easily be replaced with something longer for use as a dummy cord, as
      I like to call them. A tethered knife is a kept knife.


      I sincerely thank Victorinox and BackpackGearTest.com for the
      opportunity to test the Rescue Tool.

      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
    • Heather
      Rick, It all looks good, html and report. No edits. Thanks. heather
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 9, 2009
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        It all looks good, html and report. No edits.

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