The Side Kick Rescue Tool caught my attention at the 5.11 Tactical website, and recently I spent time putting the multipurpose knife through its paces. While primarily for Fire, EMS, and Police, I found the handy tool to be perfect as an everyday utility knife as well.
The Side Kick Rescue Tool is made from AUS 8 steel in one piece. It features a squared-off combo edge chisel point fixed blade that is designed for prying windows and doors and there is a seatbelt cutter built into the spine. The knife can be carried on a breakaway neck chain or in its hard plastic holster/sheath with belt clip. The tool is 5.75” overall in length, the blade is 2” long and 4mm thick.
My first stop with the knife was our local firehouse and they just happened to have a crashed vehicle out back they were using for extrication tool training. The seatbelts were still intact in the vehicle so I whip out the Side Kick Rescue Tool and take a turn at the rear seat belt webbing. Well, I hacked at the belt for a short while but discovered this feature of the tool did not perform so well. I grabbed a Houdini rescue tool from my “go bag” and pulled out the seatbelt cutter attachment on it and sliced through the seatbelt webbing like butter.
The knife tool fits very securely into its sheath, so much so that I found myself pulling the entire holder and knife off my belt when reaching just for the knife. When using the knife around the house I chose to leave it out of the sheath most of the time when not in use. Near the end of the main blade, there is a serrated section and this combination works wonders for cutting so many types of materials. Designers have even engineered an oxygen bottle key into the spine of the tool just behind the seatbelt cutter.
Overall the Side Kick Rescue Tool is a nice general utility knife with useful design features. It came up a bit short in the rescue department but in general, I find it very handy to have in my duty bag or to carry every day. It retails for $52.99 and more information can be found at www.511Tactical.com.
Source: Review unit provided by the manufacturer
What I Like: Solidly built, one-piece design; squared blade works great as utility knife
What Needs Improvement: Did not cut seatbelt webbing; very tight in sheath