It’s not something any of us like to think about- but, at the risk of sounding a little morbid, if we don’t think about things like this when the going is good, there is every chance that we can fail ourselves and our family, when things turn out not-so-good. With winter encroaching upon us, the risk of slipping on ice, struggling through the fog or lacking visibility thanks to a storm can lead to an unfortunate outcome in mere moments. This is where seat belt cutters and window breakers come in, freely available and placed in an easy-to-reach area, ready to protect you and your loved ones.
Of course, prevention is always going to be better than a cure and it’s important to take a look at your driving standards (such as checking your wheels, always wearing a seatbelt etc). That said, if the worst happens and you’re stuck in a scenario where you need to break your way out of (or into) a car, you’ll be glad you came across this article. Below, we’ll discuss the best emergency window breakers that could end up saving your life.
The Best Car Window Breaker
The idea of using a tool to break a car window can seem daunting, but with the Resqme car escape tool you’ll be surprised by the simplicity and how easy it is to use. Reqme (pronounced as “rescue me”) specializes in creating innovative solutions that can help save lives in a matter of seconds. Their products are affordable and effective- none more so than the Car Escape Tool which comes with two main abilities; cutting through seatbelts with little-to-no effort, and breaking car windows safely and quickly. The “rescue me” tool really does do what it says on the tin- saving you and your family without paying an extortionate price for the peace of mind that comes with the ownership of these emergency window breakers.
This is a compact window breaking tool that comes with a built-in seat cutter. The two of these combined makes for a quick escape when you need it most, and it even comes in a quick and easy-to-use format. Just attach the emergency window breaker to your car keys, which keeps them freely available for when they’re needed and, when you find yourself needing them, just pull on the tool to release it. After this, you can swipe the sharp blade across your seatbelt for a clean, quick cut and press the glass breaker against your nearest window to allow the steel spike to exit the protected covering and shatter the window for you.
The biggest selling point of this car escape tool is it’s quick-release, along with it’s ability to be easily located when you need it most. Unlike it’s competitors, this is a device that will always be near when disaster strikes, which is why so many professionals (including firefighters) carry it with them. It also requires very little effort to use, which makes it ideal for those who aren’t accustomed to needing a window breaker in their day-to-day lives.
- Weight0.32 ounces
This offering from BlueSkyBos is another dual-featured glass breaker tool that comes with a seatbelt cutter. Although this comes in a slightly larger size and isn’t as easy-to-reach as the first item on our list, it’s still a great, lightweight and effective car window breaker that includes a seatbelt cutter. This is an emergency tool for your car that fits into your glove box, door pocket or central console, ready to be whipped out and used to help you escape your car when you need it. There’s also the option of screwing this device to your car dashboard or similar, although it’s recommended that this is done by a trained professional.
Despite it’s tough look, this emergency hammer is actually very lightweight, coming in at below 5 ounces- so if you’re using multiple cars through the day or just want to carry it with you, it will slip into your bag, easily. Customers love the fact this this is so easy to use and effective in carrying out it’s window breaking abilities, although they’ve mentioned that the hammer itself can easily come away from the mount which can make searching for it during life-changing accidents a likely possibility. As such, we can recommend that this hammer stay in a confined but easy-to-reach space, for when you need it most.
- Weight4.8 ounces
As probably the most hardcore-looking option on our list, the INGEAR AutoXscape provide three features in one and come ready and waiting for the worst to happen. This is a seatbelt cutter, window breaker and flashlight in one, heavy-duty package. This is a car window breaker that keeps working to save your life, even after you have escaped your vehicle. The outer shell is impact-resistant and created with military-grade aluminium, while the light itself comes with three modes- including an SOS mode which helps you call for help, should you be unable to use your voice.
The seatbelt cutter itself has a hardened carbon steel blade which cuts through fabric as though it’s butter, while the emergency window breaker itself is sharpened tungsten steel, to make short work of your escape. Yet, the real cherry on top is the customer service provided by INGEAR themselves; they state that their lifetime guarantee truly does mean a lifetime guarantee. If, at any point, your item fails to stop working (and you can- and should- test it regularly) they will repair or replace it, with no quibbles. While this escape tool is one of the most expensive available of our choices, you can easily see why- this is quality and craftsmanship taken seriously, to give you a handy tool you can use to save your own life.
- Weight5.9 ounces
Gaining some striking similarities to our No1 choice with a few, unique differences, the Ztylus Stinger is an emergency car window breaking tool that is both easy to reach while remaining accessible- even when it’s not being used for it’s primary purpose. The Stinger plugs in to your cigarette lighter to become a handy USB adaptor for your electronic devices. This simple addition of having an everyday functionality means that the likelihood of the window breaker being within your reach, during an escalating situation, is much higher than some of the other options available to you.
This is an emergency tool for your car that works in the same way as the Resqme, in that you simply slice your car seatbelt open and press the hammer against the window, allowing it to do the work for you. Naturally, this comes with a slightly higher price tag and, with it being a new entry to the marketplace, less reviews from customers. That said if you’re looking to get yourself a USB charger for your car- why not spend a little bit more and grab this multi-functional piece of kit that can, literally, help you save your life.
- ModelEmergency Escape Tool
- Weight3.2 ounces
Upon first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is more of a Stanley knife than a car window breaker- but, of course, you’d be wrong. The reason for the strange shape to this particular car safety tool is that it actually has up to seven uses when it comes to survival. This is more of a pocket knife that happens to include some great window breaking features than an emergency window breaker in it’s own right. So, what are these abilities?
First, you have your USB socket, as the tool actually works as a power bank. Second, this power bank is charged via the use of a hand crank, which is attached, and can recharge itself via kinetic energy, should you need to charge your extra charging station (you can never be too careful). Then, of course, you have your seatbelt cutter and window breaker (naturally, since it’s on this list!), closely followed by the flashlight and the red LED indicator with an SOS setting. Finally, there’s a magnet at the base of the tool, which means you can pop your window breaker anywhere outside your car, once you’ve escaped and it will aid you in calling for help- without you needing to be near the car at the time.
Unfortunately, the product isn’t waterproof, and the more complex nature of this tool can mean that the effectiveness of each aspect is naturally lowered a little, when compared to those higher on this list. It can also be a little more complicated to use, meaning valuable seconds could be wasted when trying to escape your car. Of course, if you spend some time getting used to this car window breaker first, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue- so it’s still a highly valuable piece of kit that can be used in dire situations.
Multiple uses in emergencies
- Weight10.1 ounces
Another life hammer on our list with a simple yet effective way of cutting you free from your seatbelt and getting you to safety with a good swing. The IPOW is small and covers a classic format of the window breakers we know and love. There’s no bells and whistles here- but the job is done and it’s a great addition to any vehicle in case of emergencies.
This is an affordable alternative to some of the fancier models we’ve include on our list and it’s great for anyone who wants to add this to any emergency kit available in your car.
- Weight12 ounces
Another window breaking tool of multiple uses, the FutureSky is a 6-in-1 tool that gives you all the essentials you’d need in an emergency situation. Not only does it contain the window breaker and seatbelt cutter you can find in all of the items on our list, but it also has the magnet and LED light combination you’ll find in the LUXON variant, and has a whistle included to help you call for help.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t have some of the extra benefits that the clear alternative has, so it comes lower in our list. That said, this is still a mighty life-saving bit of kit in it’s own right, so it’s only fair that it deserves a spot in our best car window breakers.
Multiple uses in emergencies
- Weight14.1 ounces
You might be wondering what a tire gauge is doing on this list- but, let me assure this, this is no ordinary tire gauge. The PSI measurement tool is a great addition to your arsenal when it comes to avoiding accidents altogether, since poor tire pressure can lead to an onslaught of issues with both motorcycles and cars- but this tool tops it all off with multiple other uses, including (you guessed it) a window breaker and seatbelt cutter. Not only that, but the Lantoo includes a flashlight, so that you can keep yourself visible should an accident happen.
This is a great car window breaker to have in your car, as it covers even minor accidents such as a tire blowout. Not to mention that, I think we can all agree, prevention is better than a cure and this tool does just that.
Tire pressure gauge built-in
Helps prevent accidents
- Weight4 ounces
The StatGear auto escape tool is a great addition to your car, despite it unassuming look and small size. This is a great example of simple design that leads to a life-saving bit of kit. The tool sits in your window visor, remaining accessible at all times yet out of the way for day-to-day activities- so there’s no chance of your kids grabbing this and playing around without you noticing.
The emergency window breaker is a little less obvious- it’s at the tip of the seatbelt cutter- but this doesn’t make this any less effective. The only major downside to this is that you are more likely to cut yourself using this item than you would be with some of the others on our list. This is because you need exert a decent amount of force in order to break the window and the layout of this tool means you’re likely to keep moving once the glass has shattered and catch yourself. Of course, the simplest way to avoid this is to cover your hands before you, either with gloves or some other fabric.
- Weight6.7 ounces
The OWL car window breaker is completely unique it’s design- you’d easily be forgiven for thinking this is more of a credit card than a piece of lifesaving equipment. There’s a built-in seatbelt cutter (naturally) but the window breaker itself operates in a totally different manner to the others on our list. In order to utilize this item, you’ll need to slowly push the card against the window to shatter the glass.
Again, while this is a great tool for use in emergencies, you’ll need to cover up your hands before using this, as you’ll be putting your hands and wrists in harms way during use- preferable to being trapped in the car but still big enough for us to keep the bottom of the list.
- Weight0.64 ounces
Best Car Window Breaker Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying a Car Window Breaker
There’s obviously going to be preferences for each individual when it comes to buying an emergency car breaker- colour, shape and designs preferred are all as unique as we are. Yet the important things to look for when you’re seeking the right seatbelt cutter and car window breaker should include:
While there’s nothing as valuable as life itself, we naturally all have a budget that we need to keep to. All of the options above have been chosen because they’re affordable, and we don’t believe that anyone should be trapped in their car purely because they were priced out of safety.
- Added benefits
You’ll notice that a lot of the items above have added aspects to their tools, which make them more usable in emergency situations. If you think you won’t use or need any of these though, then it’s best to stick to the simpler formats and save yourself some money
Being able to reach your emergency window breaker in the required situation can obviously mean the difference between life and death. There’s no point buying a heavy, large item that you’ll struggle to bring with you, or can’t place in your car permanently, as you won’t end up using it. Think about the layout of your car and where you’ll put your emergency tooling, before investing. That way you can be sure that it’ll be to hand when you need it most.
What to Do If You’re in an Accident
Naturally, the response to this depends on the severity of the situation, as well as the environment you’re in and the best method of getting yourself to safety. Below is a list of things to consider when you’ve been in an accident- but the order in which to do these things is best left up to you, as only you will know how severe the situation is.
- Call emergency services
This should always be a priority. Calling emergency services and asking for the police or an ambulance (or fire brigade, if you’re stuck or there’s a risk of fire) can mean help will be on the way as soon as they’ve located you. You’ll also have the benefit of a trained, calm, professional who can help talk you through your options.
- Remain calm
When you’re full of adrenaline, it’s easy to act on impulse and make mistakes. A good way to get yourself calm and bring your heart rate down is to count to three and tap your steering wheel three times. This will focus your mind and ground you back in the moment
- Get to safety
If you’re able, leave your vehicle and try to get away from any additional traffic. Switch your hazards on, to help others see you (especially in the dark) and, once you’re free of any immediate danger, try to signal help.
How to Use a Car Escape Tool
Each tool will be different when it comes to using them to escape your car. It’s important to read the instructions of item and be sure to ask questions in the community if you’re still not sure. Most tools will come with an instructional video on YouTube, as well.
Generally, when looking to use a seatbelt cutter, it’s best to keep the belt taught and move the pressure from the outside in, to avoid unnecessary exertion of pressure. In terms of the window breaker, always try to use the hammer around 2-3 inches from the edge of the car window, where the glass is designed to shatter more easily.
Best Car Window Breaker FAQ:
Q: Where in the car should I keep my window breaker?
A: Some tools will have specific places- such as in the sun visor, or in the old cigarette lighters. Others, such as the life hammers on this list, can be kept anywhere that is convenient to yourself. Most users will keep these in their central console, glove compartment or door storage compartment.
Q: Is placing the tool on my car visor good idea?
A: If the tool is designed to remain in your car visor, there is no reason why you shouldn’t keep your tool there- assuming the item remains fixed and there’s no danger of the tool distracting you from your driving.
Others should definitely not be kept there, as there’s no way to ensure that the car window breakers will remain fastened and secure during travel. Check your guide for more information.
Q: Are keychain tools less durable?
A: While there have been some reports of keychain tools being less durable, there is no concrete evidence of these being any less reliable than other forms of window car breakers. If you’re concerned about the longevity of any item, then it is always a good idea to invest in a tool that comes with a guarantee. Many of the items on our list come with guarantees, which helps give you peace of mind that any faulty tools will be replaced.
Items that come with guarantees are also more likely to be more reliable and durable, since it wouldn’t be good business sense to have a flimsy item that the company would regularly need to replace!
Our Top Pick
We’ve chosen the Resqme keychain escape tool because of it’s simplicity, affordability and effectiveness. This is one of the highest rated escape tools on Amazon due to their multitude of happy customers and their reliability. They’re used by professionals time and time again with no issues and no faults- and they also come in some great, high visibility colours.
This is a car escape tool that considers your quick and easy escape from the worst of situations and they’ve brought it to us at a great price. This is an item that has been 20 years in the making and the designers have spared no expense when it comes to providing easy-to-use tools that don’t break the bank. Resqme have considered the accessibility, affordability and even the design to come up with a keychain that can easily break you free from a faulty window or tangled seatbelt. All-in-all this a great item that ensures your escape from emergency situations.