Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Benchmade 8 Hook, American Made bargain on a creative rescue tool
I was trying to think of a useful birthday gift for my sister last month, her birthday is close to mine. I ended up ordering her a Houdini keychain auto escape tool, the Houdini tool company is an offshoot of Benchmade, as they are the official distributor/marketer as I understand it. I placed the order on knifecenter.com and figured I should get myself something too. I have put Benchmade's original Model 5 rescue hook to great use when fishing in past summers. It's been a mainstay of my toolbox usually for cutting leader and line and even to zip-gut trout once their cloaca has been poked. I figured I should keep something in my car to use in case my EDC folding knife becomes unavailable in an accident. Benchmade's Model 8 rescue hook retails for around $30 USD, I got mine on knifecenter for about $21 + shipping. It just dawned on me a few minutes ago that aside from being a well-designed seatbelt or clothing cutter, the thing has self-defense potential too. It could theoretically be used as a karambit/impact tool. It has a finger-ring with a seperate hole for lanyard attachment and could be held "upside down" and used for hammer blows to the temple or hands of an assailant. Here are the numbers:
Blade Length: 0.50"
Blade Thickness: 0.115"
Blade Material: 440C Stainless Steel
Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
Blade Style: Hook
Clip: No Clip, but included was a MOLLE compatible sheath with an elastic band that further secures the tool while attached to gear
Overall Length: 6.50"
The uses for such a unique and inexpensive tool are limited only by your imagination. I plan on purchasing another one for my dad who spends most of his day on the road in a company truck. Benchmade could have easily have these made in any of their Chinese or Taiwan associates' factories, but they didn't. I think $20-some dollars for a USA Made Benchmade product is more than fair. The 8 hook is a 1 piece [+sheath] design that is pretty much foolproof. If you ever have to free yourself from a wrecked vehicle and you don't normally carry a folding knife, an 8 hook tucked into your car's visor could well save your life or someone else's and allow you to get free before emergency professionals arrive. I'm excited to show this piece of gear to my neighbors, who are an EMT/firefighter and a former ER nurse. I think they'll both be impressed with Benchmade's 8 hook. I'll keep readers updated on any other non-emergency uses or ideas I have for this impressive and inexpensive Benchmade design.