After witnessing a deadly collision seven years ago involving a semi that caught fire, I made two resolutions. First, I would always have a quality fire extinguisher in an emergency box in my vehicle. And, though I hadn’t needn’t one for this incident, I determined to keep a rescue tool with an automobile glass breaker and seatbelt cutter in my vehicles. Today, the Vanquish Rescue Tool by 221B Tactical is my first choice for a spot in the vehicle center console.

About the Vanquish Rescue Tool

First and foremost, the Vanquish Rescue Tool is a heavy-duty, spring-assisted folding knife. The 3.5-inch 420HC stainless steel blade can be opened either by the thumb stud or the finger flipper and is held open by a liner lock. Using the finger flipper to deploy the blade is extremely fast and positive and preferred over using the thumb stud. When open, the blade locks solidly and could be used for light prying. According to, 420HC is a low-cost stainless steel used in less-expensive knives. Although the steel is rated “HC” (high carbon), it is softer than the steel found on more expensive blades. While 420HC won’t hold its edge as well as harder steels, it is easy to sharpen, and corrosion resistance is good.

The blade shape is unique. The last ½ inch of the blade is shaped like the tip of a spear. In a survival situation, indented areas by the finger flipper and thumb stud could be utilized with paracord to lash the Vanquish to a pole for use as a spear. The main cutting surface is curved. Sharpening it would be best accomplished by a handheld sharpener like the Smith & Wesson pocket sharpener. The blade came very sharp from the factory (made in China). 221B Tactical also offers free sharpening. But sharpening should be easy enough to handle yourself. The Vanquish is 100 percent guaranteed against manufacturer defects for the original owner.

Putting the 221B Tactical Vanquish to Work

The Vanquish weighs in at 7 ounces and is counter-balanced to impart good handling qualities. The ergonomic grip design features built-in gentle, indented finger grooves on both sides. The pocket clip is not reversible.

At the end of the Vanquish is a carbide window breaker tip for use on automobile safety glass. If an occupant’s seatbelt can’t be released, there is also a substantial built-in razor seatbelt cutter located by the carbide tip. While the blade will certainly cut a seatbelt, the seatbelt-specific cutter allows it to be cut with the blade closed, making the process safer for everyone. There is a great demo video on the site showing the glass breaker and seatbelt cutter in action.

The 221B Tactical Vanquish rescue tool is a good thing to have around whether a first responder or otherwise. It can be kept in a center console, ready for use. The Vanquish is inexpensive enough to have one in each vehicle and is on sale for $47. MSRP is $65.


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