Written By
Published Nov. 29, 2018

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 a chance that we can fail ourselves and our family when things take a turn for the worst. 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. When freely available and placed in an easy-to-reach location, they can 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 tires, 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 buying guide. Below, we’ll discuss the best emergency window breakers that could end up saving your life.

The Best Car Window Breaker

The thought 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. Resqme (pronounced as “rescue me”) specializes in creating innovative solutions that can help save lives in a matter of seconds. Its products are affordable and effective and none more so than the Car Escape Tool, which comes with two main functions:  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 box, saving you and your family without paying an exorbitant price for the peace of mind that comes with owning 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 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.

The biggest selling point of this car escape tool is it’s quick-release along with its ability to be easily located when you need it most. Unlike its 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.

Key Features
  • Accessible
  • Affordable
  • Quick-release
  • Easy-to-use
Specification
  • Brand RESQME
  • Model 04.100.09
  • Weight 0.32 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, 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 five 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 its window breaking abilities, although they’ve mentioned that the hammer can easily come away from the mount, which can make searching for it during life-changing accidents a likely possibility. As such, we recommend that this hammer stay in a confined but easy-to-reach space for when you need it most.

Key Features
  • Easy-to-use
  • Hammer styling
  • Dual-feature
Specification
  • Brand BlueSkyBos
  • Model FBA_BSK-Hammer-004
  • Weight 4.8 ounces

As probably the most hardcore-looking option on our list, the INGEAR AutoXscape provides three features in one and comes ready and waiting for the worst to happen. This is a seatbelt cutter, window breaker and flashlight in a heavy-duty package. This car window breaker 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 comes with three modes, including an SOS mode that  helps you call for help should you be unable to use your voice.

The seatbelt cutter has a hardened carbon steel blade that cuts through fabric as though it’s butter, while the emergency window breaker is sharpened tungsten steel to make short work of your escape. Yet, the real cherry on top is the customer service provided by INGEAR. It states that its 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) it will repair or replace the item with no question. While this escape tool is one of the most expensive options, you can easily see why. This is quality and craftsmanship taken seriously so you have a handy tool you can use to save your own life.

Key Features
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Triple-featured
  • Quality components
Specification
  • Brand INGEAR
  • Model autoxscape11
  • Weight 5.9 ounces

Featuring some striking similarities to our top 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 its primary purpose. The Stinger plugs in to your cigarette lighter and is a handy USB adaptor for your electronic devices. This simple added 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.

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. 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 tool that can literally save your life?

Key Features
  • Triple-featured
  • Accessible
  • Easy-to-use
Specification
  • Brand Ztylus
  • Model Emergency Escape Tool
  • Weight 3.2 ounces

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is more of a Stanley knife than a car window breaker. But it’s not. The reason for the strange shape of 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 versus an emergency window breaker. So, what are these abilities?

First, there is a 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 a seatbelt cutter and window breaker, closely followed by a flashlight and a red LED indicator with an SOS setting. Finally, there’s a magnet at the base of the tool, so you can pop your window breaker anywhere outside your car once you’ve escaped, and it will aid 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 feature is lowered a little when compared to other options on this list. It can also be a little more complicated to use, so 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 kit that can be used in dire situations.

Key Features
  • 7-in-1 tool
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple uses in emergencies
Specification
  • Brand LUXON
  • Model LX-1084-F
  • Weight 10.1 ounces

Here is 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 classic window breaker. There are no bells and whistles here, but it’s a great addition to any vehicle in case of an emergency.

This is an affordable alternative to some of the fancier models we’ve included on our list, and it’s great for anyone who wants to add this to their car survival kit.

Key Features
  • Simple
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
Specification
  • Brand IPOW
  • Model IP1-2014120927
  • Weight 12 ounces

The FutureSky is a 6-in-1 tool that gives you all the essentials you 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 a magnet and LED light combination and a whistle to help you call for help.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t have some of the extra benefits that the clear alternative has, so it ranks lower in our list. That said, this is still a mighty life-saving device in it’s own right, so it’s only fair that it deserves a spot in our buying guide.

Key Features
  • 6-in-1
  • Multiple uses in emergencies
  • Lightweight
Specification
  • Brand FutureSky
  • Model FS-JS-1
  • Weight 14.1 ounces

You might be wondering what a tire gauge is doing on this list,  but this is no ordinary tire gauge. The PSI measurement tool is a great addition to your arsenal when it comes to avoiding accidents, since poor tire pressure can lead to an onslaught of issues with both motorcycles and cars.

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 you can have visibility 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 prevention is better than a cure, and this tool does just that.

Key Features
  • Tire pressure gauge built-in
  • 5-in-1 tool
  • Helps prevent accidents
Specification
  • Brand Lantoo
  • Model ST-A0012
  • Weight 4 ounces

The StatGear auto escape tool is a great addition to your car, despite its unassuming look and small size. This is a great simple design. The tool sits in your window visor and is accessible at all times yet out of the way for day-to-day activities, so there’s no chance of your kids grabbing it 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 it any less effective. The only downside is that you are more likely to cut yourself using this item than you would be with some of the others on our list. That is because you need to 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 either with gloves or some other fabric.

Key Features
  • Simple design
  • Easy-to-use
  • Conveniently accessible
Specification
  • Brand StatGear
  • Weight 6.7 ounces

The OWL car window breaker is unique in its design, and 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 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 need to cover your hands before using this as you’ll be putting your hands and wrists in harm’s way during use. But that’s preferable to being trapped in the car and good enough for us to include on this list.

Key Features
  • Conveniently accessible
  • Appealing design
  • Affordable
Specification
  • Brand OWL
  • Model OSGP1
  • Weight 0.64 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: color, 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:

  • Cost

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

  • Convenience

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.

man breaking car window

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:

window breaker upclose

Q: Where in the car should I keep my window breaker?

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?

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?

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! broken window

Our Top Pick

We’ve chosen the Resqme keychain escape tool because of it’s simplicity, affordability and effectiveness. This is one of the most popular escape tools due to its reliability. It’s used by professionals time and time again, and it also comes in some great, high-visibility colors.

This car escape tool helps with quick and easy escapes from the worst situations and is also reasonably priced. It’s an easy-to-use tool that doesn’t break the bank. Resqme 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 during emergency situations.

Sources:

  1. How to Escape from a Sinking Car – wikiHow
  2. How to Get Out of a Locked Car – wikiHow
 

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