Channellock’s original 88 Rescue Tool was developed for prying, cutting, and other rescue operations. Then, based on user feedback, they modified the design slightly and came out with the 89 Rescue Tool, which replaced the 88’s flat cutters with curved steel cutters.
A few months ago, I wondered – is the Rescue Tool a life saver or weighty back breaker? Can a multi-tool like this really take the place of several separate tools?
I know almost nothing about firefighting and rescue tools, but luckily I know a few good guys experienced enough to give these tools a fair evaluation. So, we sent out two 89 Rescue Tools to firemen in Pennsylvania. One reviewer had never seen or even heard of these tools, and passed the sample around the firehouse. The other reviewer immediately recognized the 89 since he had uses the 88 Rescue Tool in the past.
After we contacted them, Channellock donated one of the review samples, and we paid for the other. The reviewers were asked for their first impressions and to consider using the tools if they felt comfortable doing so. We made sure to insist that the reviewers not feel forced to use the tools if they didn’t want to.
It has now been more than 10 months since we sent the samples to our reviewers. We’re now waiting to hear back from them about their long-term impressions of the tool, and are preparing a write-up of their initial impressions. In the meantime, if you’re a firefighter or first response rescuer, what’s your take on Channellock’s Rescue Tools?