A car escape tool maybe isn’t the first thing you would go out your way to buy as a driver or passenger. Most people don’t go around thinking about what they would do in a vehicle emergency situation as you can’t plan for a crash, however, having a little tool on hand may give you that lifesaving advantage of being able to break the car window, slice a seatbelt open or provide a vital bit of light to help you scrambling around in an emergency situation.
Hopefully, you never need to use one, but it gives you that extra bit of confidence that if things were to go wrong, you have an on-hand tool that could save you, or someone else’s life in a worst-case motoring scenario. In an emergency such as being trapped in a burning car or in a sinking vehicle, you don’t have time to reach for things or set anything up, that’s why any tool needs to be compact and on-hand at any given moment.
Best Car Escape Tools in the UK Reviews
#1. Resqme Car Escape Tool
Manufactured in the USA, Resqme is a popular brand worldwide with a huge range of car safety products that are not only reliable, but are typically quite compact and portable.
Originally developed for professional first responders, this is one of the most talked-about and searched emergency motoring tools on the market, simply because it has a few handy and reliable escape tools all packed into one small tool. It’s small enough to be attached to a keyring chain, making it easily accessible thanks to its small, lightweight design.
Despite being very small, it still packs a good enough punch with a spring-loaded spike that is strong and easy enough to penetrate and break most car window tempered glass. Provided you are using it on tempered glass, it should be able to break side, rear and sunroof car glass by placing and pressing the black head against the corner of the glass.
The seatbelt cutter is also very reliable, safe and easy to use. The sharp blade is protected by a clip that you simply unsnap using the keyring or cable tie to use. It cuts through seatbelts fairly easily and has a robust blade designed to be used more than once if required.
Overall this is a very reliable, small compact tool that should definitely be considered, especially due to the fact that it is endorsed by many professional first responders such as firemen and police.
- Compact, light and portable
- Accessible, attaching to a keychain
- Very easy and safe to use
- Endorsed by firefighters and police officers
- Reusable spike and cutter
- Doesn’t have a light included if that’s a requirement for you
- Plastic quality could be better
Verdict: Most Compact
#2. Ipow 2 Pack Ipow Car Emergency Escape
This pick includes a pack of 2 slightly larger safety tools that offer a useful glass breaker and belt cutter in one.
We have chosen this as our second pick as the pointed stainless steel spike hammer is reliable at breaking car windows. It’s also worth pointing out that this is a double-edged hammer on both sides, which is very handy in case of an emergency when you don’t have time to think about how to hit the window, you can just use any side.
The belt cutter is also effective, as can be seen by the reviews from people that actually had to use it in an emergency, which hopefully you never do, but it’s reassuring to see it can cut through seatbelts easily also.
The protective holder is a nice addition to the purchase, as it allows you to attach it anywhere you like in the car, so you know where it is in an emergency.
One thing that we think could be improved is the ergonomics of the handle. Although size-wise it balances compactness with sturdiness which is needed when smashing a window in an emergency, we think the handle itself could be a bit bigger and easier to grip.
Overall it’s priced really well for 2 tools that are effective at doing their job, especially the double-edged hammer that we especially like, and also the holder for having it positioned wherever you like.
- Great doubled-edged spike hammer
- Seatbelt cutter is effective
- Protective holder gives even more peace of mind
- 2 in a pack makes it great value for money
- Ergonomics of the handle – grip and size could be improved
- Won’t fit on a keychain
- Plastic could be a bit better quality overall
Verdict: Reliable 2 Tool Set
#3. AA Emergency Car Rescue Tool
The AA are well known enough in the motoring scene in the UK without an introduction, with this 2-in-1 escape tool coming from their motoring emergency equipment range.
This tool makes our list due to its manufacturing quality and feel to it. When you hold it in your hand, you can tell it’s very well made and doesn’t feel flimsy like other similar escape tools.
We like the ergonomics of the handle as it has a nice grip and feel to it, while still remaining compact enough to store in a glove or side compartment in the car.
The hammer and the cutting tool look and feel ok, however, we would have preferred it to be a double-edged spike hammer rather than just one side having the spike.
One thing that may be of concern to some people is the rubber cap doesn’t stay on the spike hammer and falls off quite easily. In our opinion, the rubber cap isn’t required and you’d be better off just not using it.
Using the mounting holder provided, you can have the tool ready to use on hand in a location that suits.
Overall a compact, effective hammer tool that has a comfortable grip and handle on it in case it needs to be used with some force to smash the window. The plastic also feels better quality than you would expect.
- Effective, robust hammer
- Ergonomic handle design
- Mounting bracket is handy – though wouldn’t mount on car floor
- Decent quality plastic
- Safety cap is a waste of time
- A double-edged spike hammer would be more effective
Verdict: Sturdy and Robust
#4. KJLM Escape Auto Safety Hammer
This is the largest tool on our reviews list, and although it just looks like a window hammer, it does include a car seatbelt cutter on it.
We wanted to include this escape tool on our list as it has a larger profile handle than the other choices, allowing for more force to be applied when swinging the hammer at the glass. The larger handle also ensures that your hands are kept well away from the hammer end where the glass could smash.
We like the ergonomics of the handle overall even if it is slightly more heavy than other models, it certainly isn’t on the too heavy side. For an emergency situation, it wouldn’t be an issue to lift and hold in an awkward position.
It obviously lacks the compactness that the other escape tools above provide, but it isn’t on the list for its compactness or discreteness. You might have trouble fitting it in a glove compartment or a side holder, though you could have it sit next to your handbrake in the middle aisle no problem.
The actual quality of the hammer and belt cutter is ok, but the design could certainly be improved. The hammer itself is ok quality, but we feel it should be bigger in size to match the handle size a bit better. The seatbelt cutter is ok quality, nothing special, but the biggest problem being that the design makes it a little awkward to get into.
Overall an ok hammer with a large handle that provides some good force when swinging at vehicle glass, while also sporting a comfortable and safe handle to avoid any hand injuries.
- Reasonable weight for size
- Ergonomic and safe handle
- Creates some good force for smashing a window
- Tools provided are effective
- Seatbelt cutter can be awkward due to the design
- Hammer head could be larger in size
- Not compact
Verdict: Provides a Heavy-Duty Hammer Swing
The final review on our list comes from Resqme again, however, this time it’s a larger version of their vehicle escape tool. It has both the glass hammer and the belt cutter built into one, with a larger handle for a stronger grip.
This makes it onto the list as it’s another, larger alternative to the trusty, top spot Resqme keychain escape tool. If you have the keychain version, then you can also get this alongside it as it allows you to fit it into the bottom of the handle.
Just like our #1 pick on the list from Resqme, the tool is effective and cut out for the job of either smashing car glass or slicing open a seatbelt.
It’s another larger style tool that’s obviously not designed for compactness, however, this is surprisingly light at only 90.6 g. It does also come with a mounting bracket that’s easy to set up anywhere in the vehicle really.
We’re sort of split on the design overall. We like the grip that the handle offers, as well as the knuckle protection to save any damage to your hand if you do have to use the hammer. We feel that the shape of the handle is ok, but it could offer more force with a straighter design. The hammer head itself could also be slightly bigger to provide more of an impact when smashing the glass.
Overall If you can’t use, or don’t want to use the smaller keychain version and maybe want something a bit more heavy-duty, then this is good value for money. You can even use both and attach the keychain version to this with the provided snap-in.
- Trusted brand
- Good value for money
- Very light for its size
- Effective and reliable escape tools
- Handy mounting bracket
- Strong hand grip
- Handle is better quality than other models
- Not compact
- Handle and hammer design could be improved
Verdict: Great Value for Money
Auto Emergency Escape Tool Buying Considerations
Ease of Use in an Emergency
If you do unfortunately end up in a motoring accident where you could end up trapped in a motor that’s lying upside, you’ll need a tool that’s on hand straight away and doesn’t weigh a tone to hold. Luckily most models out there on the market are small and compact enough, with manufacturers obviously being conscientious about the whole escaping in an emergency situation concept.
If the tool has different attachments or safety catches, then make sure it’s been tried and tested thoroughly, and is easy to use without having to release and press a whole load of things to use effectively.
Strength and Reliability
Simply put, if you can’t smash a side car window or slice a seat belt without having to strain yourself or use extra, unnecessary force, then it’s probably not strong enough and can’t be relied on during an emergency situation. The absolute last thing you want is to buy a tool that doesn’t work when you need it most when trying to escape a vehicle.
A great way of getting a good idea of how strong or reliable a particular model is, is to read real reviews from first responders such as the police or firefighters who have used the particular tool in a professional emergency situation where it’s effectiveness has been put to the test compared with other professional tools.
Number of Tools in 1 / Uses
Most models are going to be a 2 in 1 style tool with the 2 most commonly sought after tools being included which are a glass breaker and a seat belt cutter. There are other makes out there that offers other features that could be useful, such as a flashlight. All our picks above are 2 in 1 tools with the 2 most important tools that you would need for escaping a vehicle included.
Some of the tools may have a sharp cutter or spike on them, therefore if you do decide to carry it around on a keyring, for example, you need to be sure that it’s not going to cause any harm to yourself or anyone else. Usually there are certain safety attachments, releases and presses that are used to ensure that the tool only works when you’re ready to use it in an emergency. All reputable models are safety tested and approved which should be clearly stated on the tool’s information page.
Attachments for Keyrings
Some of the smaller, more compact tools come with keyring attachments that allow you to carry them around along with your keys, this can be appealing as it makes the tool ultra-portable and allows you to use it in any car you get in.
A Safety Warning on Breaking Car Glass with These Tools
Please note that although all of the tools above are designed to break your car glass, every situation is different, and there is no guarantee that they will work in an emergency situation.
These tools are designed to work on tempered glass and should not be used to try and smash laminated glass as they won’t be able to break it.
Also, to have the best chance of these tools breaking your vehicle window, you should use them on the corner points where it is weakest.
One final thing to note is that we have not used these tools ourselves to smash any car windows, we have gone with what other reviewers and users have said when they have used the tools to try and break their own glass windows.
Hopefully you will never need to use one of these tools, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to motoring. Being prepared with an escape tool for a vehicle crash or emergency situation where you have to act fast is a smart safety decision. The other big decision is choosing a tool that can be relied on and can be used in the moment without letting you down, that’s why we’ve narrowed your decision-making process with our 5 best car escape tool selections, giving you one less thing to worry about.