Best Emergency Window Breakers (and How to Use Them)

Best Emergency Window Breakers
  • Things to Consider with Emergency Window Breakers
    • Ease of Use
    • Materials
    • Design
    • Ease of Locating in an Emergency
    • Price
    • Features
  • How to Use an Emergency Window Breaker
    • Using the Seatbelt Cutter Feature
    • Using the Window Breaker Feature
  • The Best Emergency Window Breakers
    • 1. Resqme
    • 2. Lifehammer Brand Safety Hammer
    • 3. VicTsing 2 Pack Car Safety Hammer
    • 4. StatGear 99415 SuperVizor Auto Escape Tool
    • 5. Ztylus Stinger USB Emergency Escape Tool
    • 6. StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool
  • Conclusion
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    best place to break a window is in the corner. Corners are weaker and more rigid, while the middle of the window has more room to flex and absorb the force of the hammer. Smaller corners break more easily than larger ones.

    • To break a window with a spring-loaded safety hammer, remove the protective cover and then press the hammer end firmly against the window in the area you have identified. The spring mechanism will release, propelling the hammer tip into the window. Generally, it will break the first time, but if not, move the hammer a few inches and try again.
    • If you’re using a safety hammer that’s not spring-loaded, it still shouldn’t take an extreme amount of effort. Hold the tool firmly in your dominant hand and swing the hammer tip toward the target area of the window. Since this isn’t something you have practice doing, it’s possible you’ll need to hit the window a couple of times before it breaks.

    Here are a few other tips for using emergency window breakers:

    • Strike the top of the window instead of the bottom, so the broken glass doesn’t fall on your hands and arms. If you can reach them, the upper right or left corners are best for your impact point.
    • Emergency window breakers are meant for use on tempered glass. That means they work on almost all car windows, but not on windshields, which are usually laminated. Most rear windows and sun- or moon-roofs are also tempered glass.
    • Test spring-loaded safety hammers periodically on a piece of wood or thick cardboard. You should be able to gauge the spring function and the impact strength based on that test. Be careful not to use it on any part of your body, as it will be painful.
    • Emergency window breakers will work on tinted windows, but they will not shatter in the same way as windows without tinting. After breaking a tinted window, it will be held together by the plastic tint, and you will likely have to push it out in one or more large pieces before you can escape.

    An emergency window breaker isn’t complex to use, in most cases, and if you’re lucky, you’ll never need one. We recommend doing a bit of research, so you’ll understand how to use your specific model, including reading the included instructions. You can also practice on some scrap materials if that makes you feel more confident about using the tool in an emergency.

    Resqme: The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool

    Resqme (pronounced “rescue me”) is the best choice for a compact window breaker made to fit on a keychain. You wouldn’t expect so much power in such a small device, but the Resqme features a spring-loaded hammer safety made of stainless steel and a concealed stainless steel seatbelt cutter.

    This affordable car escape tool is smaller than most key fobs and weighs less than 0.4 ounces. It’s a popular choice since it’s easy to keep at hand on your keychain, hanging from a rearview mirror, or on a visor.

    Note that, due to the plastic components of this item, it may not be the most durable option available. If you carry this item attached to your keys, you may see wear-and-tear more quickly than a car safety hammer that’s stored in a case or glove compartment. The Resqme can be used multiple times, but it’s recommended to check it on a piece of wood or cardboard periodically to make sure the spring mechanism is still functioning.

    Key Features:

    • Compact size
    • Lightweight
    • Twelve color options
    • Spring-loaded
    • Affordable
    • Attaches to a key ring

    Lifehammer Brand Safety Hammer

    Lifehammer bills itself as “the original safety hammer,” and is probably the best-known of this type of product. It has a distinctive orange handle and a dual hammerhead with two steel points and a cutting blade at the bottom of the handle. Since the blade is inside the handle, it protects against accidental injury.

    The Lifehammer safety hammer comes with an ABS plastic mounting bracket, which you can secure to your car interior with screws or included mounting pins. Its glow-in-the-dark material makes it easy to locate without a light source.

    This emergency window breaker feels solid in hand, while at the same time being lightweight enough for most anyone to use.  The Lifehammer is not spring-loaded, so it will take a bit more force to use than some other options.

    Key Features:

    • Glows in the dark
    • Two-way mounting system
    • Made in Holland
    • Available in orange or yellow
    • Double-sided steel hammer

    VicTsing 2 Pack Car Safety Hammer

    The VicTsing Emergency Window Breaker looks very much like the Lifehammer but costs less than half as much. Its dual hammer has points made of heavy carbon steel. VicTsing hammers are sold in 2- or 4-packs, and they are the most affordable option on our list.

    This escape hammer also comes with a plastic holder, which, if you choose, you can mount inside your car somewhere to keep it close at hand. Unlike the Lifehammer, this holder is only designed to be used with screws and doesn’t have a mounting pin option. Most people probably won’t want to drill holes in their car interior, so that’s a consideration if you’re going to use the holder.

    Note that this item is not spring-loaded, so it will require the force of your arm to break a window. Reviewers give the blade high marks for cutting through seat belts in testing. It also comes with a reflective strip to help with locating it in dark situations.

    Key Features:

    • Affordable
    • Reflective strip
    • Carbon steel hammer
    • Mounting bracket included

    StatGear 99415 SuperVizor Auto Escape Tool

    StatGear’s SuperVizor gets a mention on this list for its small size and unique design. It’s specifically made to be used on a car’s sun visor and comes with a nylon sheath and elastic band to hold it in place. This can give you peace of mind since it’s close by when you need it, but completely secure even in a collision.

    The design of the SuperVizor is different from most other safety hammers as well. It features a rubber grip handle with space for your fingers, giving you a firm grip even if your hands are wet. Please note that this product does not have any protective cover over the seatbelt cutter, so you’ll want to keep it away from children.

    Key Features:

    • Affordable
    • Carbide hammer tip
    • Visor sheath included
    • Available in three colors

    Ztylus Stinger USB Emergency Escape Tool

    The unique feature of the Ztylus Stinger USB Emergency Escape Tool is that it doubles as a dual USB port for charging your devices. You’ll always know that this tool is in easy reach since it plugs right into your car’s lighter. In fact, it’s not evident from its appearance that there’s any additional functionality to the device.

    In an emergency, the Stinger can be removed from its place and pushed against a car window with just a bit of force to activate the spring-loaded hammer. The top clip cuts through seat belts easily. Note that the shape of this product may make it difficult to use for charging, depending on the available space in your car’s console.

    The cost for the Stinger is on the higher end compared to other emergency window breakers, due to its additional USB port feature. This would be a good product for the person who likes the efficiency of a product with multiple uses and doesn’t mind paying a bit more.

    Key Features:

    • 2 USB ports
    • Spring-loaded
    • Available in black or white

    StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool

    The StatGear T3 is the high-end product on this list, but it still comes in at a reasonable price considering all the features it has. In addition to the standard window-breaking hammer and seatbelt cutter, this tool includes a stainless steel serrated blade and an LED flashlight. It’s constructed of metal throughout, so you don’t need to worry about long-term durability.

    The window hammer is spring-loaded with a strong carbide tip that needs very little force to activate it. Both the knife blade and the seatbelt cutter are stainless steel. This product comes with a nylon sheath for protection.

    This product is naturally going to be heavier than other emergency window breakers on this list, and it may be excessive for people who are only going to use this occasionally. However, for first responders and others who need a high-quality escape tool that’s going to last over time, it’s worth investing a few more dollars on this StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool.

    Key Features:

    • Knife blade
    • LED flashlight
    • Spring-loaded
    • Quality construction

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