A few days ago I posted a short news article about an auto safety tool called the ExiTool by CRKT. I thought it looked like a handy tool to own, so I ordered one for myself. It arrived a few days ago and although I haven’t had the opportunity to use it to help me escape from my car, I wanted to give you all the details.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
The CRKT ExiTool is a small 3-in-1 car escape tool that stores right on your seat belt. It’s been designed to provide the 3 main tools that you might need in case you are trapped in your car and can’t easily free yourself by normal methods. It’s made of black plastic and features a battery powered LED flashlight, a glass breaker made of Tungsten Carbide and a hardened steel blade that is sharp enough to slice through a standard seat belt.
The flashlight is powered by a CR2032 coin cell battery that can be replaced. A small sliding power switch is located on the back of the tool.
The beam isn’t impressively bright, but it will help if you’re in pitch dark. I do wish that the switch wasn’t so tiny and was more like the clicky squeeze switch on my Photon X-Light micro flashlight which is part of my EDC. I think the other 2 tools are probably more important than the ExiTool’s built in flashlight.
The glass breaker sticks out of the end like a nail point. Unlike some glass breakers that I’ve seen before, this one doesn’t have a spring loaded tip. You’ll be disappointed to learn that I didn’t fully test this feature. I didn’t feel like busting the side window of my new MINI Cooper 🙂 According to the instructions included with the tool, you grasp the ExiTool in one hand and strike the window along the bottom edge. Most modern vehicles have side and back windows that are made of tempered glass that are designed to shatter on impact. The instructions explicitly tell you NOT to use this tool to try to break the windshield.
The ExiTool has a hardened steel blade that can be used to cut through a seat belt. The plastic surrounding the blade has been designed so that even small fingers will not be able to touch the blade.
However, I did find that it is possible to cut yourself if you press the tip of your finger into the slot between the edge of the blade and the plastic case. Ordinary handling of the tool will not result in any cuts. You’ll have to go out of your way to try to cut yourself for anything bad to happen.
To use the blade, just fit the seat belt in the slot and yank.
The ExiTool has a 1.75″ wide slot that accommodates standard sized seat belts.
An easy to use twist clasp opens the tool to expose the seat belt slot.
Included with the ExiTool is a sticker that you can stick to the inside surface of the tool to remind you how to use the blade and breaker in the event of an emergency.
Place the seat belt in the slot…
And snap it shut. It doesn’t actually clamp down on to the belt. It can slide up and down freely.
When the seat belt is not being used, it stays out of the way.
A day or so after I attached it to the seat belt in my car, I promptly forgot it was even there. I haven’t noticed it when I put my seat belt on or take it off. The glass breaker tip hasn’t caused any problems and neither has the blade.
Without actually using the ExiTool to break a window or cut a seat belt, it’s hard to say just how effective it would perform in an actual emergency. It does offer piece of mind because it’s always going to be right where I need it when I need it.
Tip: If you’re interested in buying this tool for yourself, order the ExiTool through Amazon like I did and you’ll save $10.
13 thoughts on “CRKT ExiTool review”
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I’ve seen window breaker + seatbelt cutter devices before, but they always looked like some kind medieval weapon. I like the unobtrusiveness of this one.
are you ready to destroy your new car with this device? =)
@Dmitriy No I’m not 😉 But now I have a “just in case” tool if I need one.
Find a nearby junk yard and see if they will let you try out the glass breaker. Make sur you turn your head away from the glass when using it.
@Norm back when I reviewed the Houdini Escape Tool, I called up my local junkyard that is right down the road from me and asked them if I could do a test with the tool. They wanted to charge me for the window, so I changed my mind…
Just find a dark parking lot at 3 am and you can try it out …
@Martin Ummmmm…. no 😉
Two word for you Julie, “Ninja Rocks” not as handy but way more cooler in a Dungeons and Dragons sort of way…
@Larry that’s the sparkplug pieces right?
@Julie – You are correct… Although your bag of magic tricks may not be as handy as this tool… Plus it would be kind of embarrassing to pull out your 20 sided dice and try to roll your self out of that situation…
I also bought an ExiTool. The seatbelt cutter easily cut an old nylon tie-down strap that was of the same material as a seatbelt. The seatbelt cutter looks like it might snag clothes and fingers but it doesn’t. However, I kept snagging my hand on the glass breaker. Once I tried putting my phone in my pocket with the ExiTool and seatbelt on and could hear the glass breaker scraping across the screen! Luckily the screen protector performed as promised. Turning the ExiTool up or down didn’t seem to matter; my hand snagged in both directions although pointed down seemed a little better. I installed a plastic tip from an old golf club tool and that solved the snagging problem. I may never use it, but the peace of mind is nice and with the plastic tip, hardly notice it’s there.
@1000Acres I really like the plastic tip idea. I’ll have to look around to see if I can come up with something like that. I haven’t snagged my hand but I have noticed one slight issue that has come up in the last day or so. There isn’t a lot of room between the end of my seat and the car frame, so there’s been a couple of times where the ExiTool has wedged itself between the seat edge and the door so that the door doesn’t want to close all the way. It’s not a big deal as long as I just pay attention to what I’m doing when I close the door.
The main problem with this and all glass breakers that rely on human force, is the force. It won’t work underwater, most women can’t swing it hard enough and if you do succeed in smashing the glass the momentum will take your hand and arm through the broken glass, bad idea. The spring loaded breakers are a better idea.