LAST UPDATED: September 12, 2019
Best Car Window Breakers: Rescue Others and Save Your Own Life
These car window breakers can cut seatbelts and break windows in emergencies
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON September 12, 2019
What would you do to free yourself from your car if the doors jam? One solution is a car window breaker, which is a tool that helps you exit your car’s cabin in case of an emergency. You can also rescue someone else who is trapped inside their car. This buying guide will help you find the best car window breaker on the market.
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Benefits of a Car Window Breaker
- Prepare for emergencies. Anything can happen when you're traveling, and you may get into an accident. Sometimes cars automatically lock the doors, which can trap you inside. A car window breaker will enable you to break the side window and crawl out of the car.
- Prepare for severe weather. A car window breaker can come in handy if you live in a region that experiences severe weather changes, such as storms, floods, or heavy snow. You will have peace of mind knowing that you can break out of your car if the weather takes a turn for the worst.
- Save lives. Side window and windshield breaker tools are an essential item in a safety tool kit, especially for first responders such as firefighters, paramedics, police officers, rescuers, and emergency medical technicians. It helps to remove car crash victims trapped in their cars and is faster than kicking out the window.
Resqme (rescue me) is an American company that has over 20 years of experience in providing safety tools that save lives all around the world. It manufactures and distributes high-quality automotive safety tools that are made in America. Resqme’s headquarters are in California, and its products are sold in over 45 countries. One of its best-selling auto glass breaker tools is the Resqme The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool.
Ztylus, based in Houston, Texas, is an innovative company that specializes in a wide line of revolver lenses, cinema mounts, two-prime lenses, and emergency tools. The company was started by a team of innovative entrepreneurs and currently has a large customer base in the United States, Canada, Korea, and Japan. One of its best car rescue tools is the Ztylus Stinger Emergency Escape Tool.
LifeHammer is a Netherlands-based company that designs some of the best emergency escape tools and car cleaning accessories. After years of dedicated research into existing safety products, it came up with a smart design solution for vehicle entrapment. That’s the LifeHammer Car Safety Hammer, which is one of the best window hammers on the market today.
Car Window Breaker Pricing
- Under $20: Products within this price range are typically window hammers that allow you to break out of non-laminated windows in your vehicle. They may come with a knife, but it may not be durable enough for everyday use.
- Over $20: Rescue tools within this price range often come as a set of two or more window breakers. They have durable designs and include other safety features such as a seat belt cutter and a flashlight. They are great for camping, hiking, and managing numerous emergency situations.
A car window breaker needs to be strong enough to break through a car window and durable enough to withstand repeated action. The best car escape tools are made of stainless steel, which is a durable material, and other hard metals. Tools with plastic cases may break when too much force is applied to them.
The car survival tool shouldn't be a burden to carry around or lift. You need a lightweight and portable design that can fit in your pocket or your vehicle’s center console. Keep in mind that you may be a bit unconscious or dizzy following an accident, and you need something that you can swing easily.
The performance or window breaking style should save you from vehicular entrapment within the shortest time possible. A hammer style technique could take minutes and a lot of effort before you break the window. The best glass breakers have an automatic spring mechanism that easily breaks the glass in seconds.
- Car Window Type: You need to ensure that the safety tool is designed to break through the type of glass your car window has. Most units can break through a standard tempered glass in the side window, but you need to find a stronger tool to break a double-layered glass windshield.
- Ease of Use: Simplicity is key when it comes to auto emergency escape tools. There's no point in buying a gadget with overly complex features. You may forget how to use it when you are in panic mode. You need a tool that uses minimal force and takes a short time to break a window.
- Auxiliary Features: Select a tool that offers multiple safety features on top of a car window breaker, including a sharp knife, alarm, flashlight, and a mounting system for easy accessibility. These extra features can come in handy for frequent campers.
Best Car Window Breaker Reviews & Recommendations 2020
If you don't like gambling with your life or with your family’s lives, get the IPOW disaster escape hammers. Designed to be highly useful during emergencies, they feature double-sided heads with strong and sharp window breakers that quickly smash glass. The window breakers also have sharp seatbelt cutter blades to help you escape quickly in an emergency.
IPOW sells the blades in a set of four to ensure you and your loved ones are safe.
You can keep one and give the rest as gifts. The car window breakers have mounting brackets for easy storage and access. You can mount yours near the driver's seat so you can easily access it when you need it. These vital emergency tools have a bright red color and reflective strips on the outside for enhanced visibility.
However, there are some downsides. The mounting brackets call for the use of screws, meaning you have to drill holes in your car's upholstery. If you don’t want them getting lost, you'll have to use Velcro to mount them.
This Resqme car window breaker includes a built-in seatbelt cutter that helps you make a quick escape if you’re trapped in your seat. The stainless steel razor is carefully concealed within the unit. You only have to pull out the clip that holds it back, and it can cut through a seat belt with just one hard swing. It also has a spring-loaded stainless steel spike that shatters the side window once you press the blackhead on one spot of the glass and release the spring-loaded spike.
This tool attaches to a key holder with a detachable clip, and you can use it to hold your car keys. You can easily pull it away from your car keys when you need it the most. You can use a cable tie to attach it to the rearview mirror so that your passengers can also use it. The gadget also comes in handy for removing children who are stuck in a booster seat. This safety tool is useful for all car owners and first responders.
A major drawback of the product is that it has poor-quality construction. First, it's difficult to remove the blade clip without the support of a cable tie or the key chain. You may break the tool in that moment of struggle. The spring mechanism gets weaker with frequent use, and it may fail when you need it the most. Moreover, most of the metal parts aren’t rust-resistant.
The Ztylus product is a lightweight and compact life-saving tool that is very convenient. It features a spring-loaded glass breaker that smashes the tampered side window within seconds, and it requires little effort on your end to break the window. It also includes a razor-sharp seatbelt cutter that helps you cut through your seatbelt when it's stuck.
This Ztylus rescue tool plugs into your cigarette lighter and features dual 2.4-ampere USB port chargers. It can be used to charge your phone, which means that it will always be within reach. The unit is charger-safety certified and is protected against overcharging, overheating, short-circuiting, and overcurrents. It's recommended for every car owner, especially RV and travel trailers users.
A major drawback of the unit is that it can only break the side windows. It cannot break through laminated glass or the windshield. It isn’t compatible with the charging ports in some car models, and it may fit awkwardly depending on the design of the dashboard. It’s also a slow charger and may get radio static when plugged in. Lastly, the Ztylus Stinger is more expensive than other car window breakers.
- If you are trapped in your car but can’t find your car window breaker, use the headrest to break the window. Most car models have detachable headrests. However, don’t use this as an excuse not to get the proper tools. A headrest may jam, and you don’t want to struggle with it when you don’t have time to spare.
- Get a full emergency kit for your car with a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and car seat belt cutter for emergency situations. If you have a penknife, it may help you cut through the seatbelt if it gets stuck, but it won't be strong enough to help you break through the glass.
- Always place your emergency tools in an accessible spot in case you are trapped in your seat. The best spots to store the car window breaker are on the side of the driver's door, on the center console, on the visor on the driver’s side, or under the driver’s seat.
Q: Is it dangerous to shatter a car window?
A: It depends on the type of glass breaker you are using. Hammer glass breakers tend to break the glass in huge chunks that may cut you if you aren't too careful. Automatic glass breakers are less dangerous because the glass shatters into tiny pieces. You should wear gloves or cover yourself before you break the window. If you are saving someone in a trapped car, advise them to look away before you break the glass.
Q: Can you break bulletproof glass with a glass breaker?
A: Bullet-resistant glass is designed differently than normal tempered glass. It has several layers of polycarbonate with glass making up the external layer. A glass breaker may break the outer glass layer but won't break the window. Instead, you would have to have a siren alarm and an LED flashlight to send a distress signal. Also, always have your phone nearby, and invest in a head unit that can send an emergency signal in case you're trapped.
Q: Can a glass breaker work on laminated glass?
A: Laminated glass has plastic in between two layers of glass. It is hard to break with a glass breaker, even if it has an automatic spring mechanism unless it's a high-quality tool with a strong spring. Hammer glass breakers are better at the job but require extra time and effort.
We chose the IPOW Disaster Escape Life-Saving Hammers as our top pick since they work quickly when you need to break a window and free yourself from a jammed seatbelt.
A budget-friendly and multi-tool design glass breaker that will help you quickly escape your car is the Resqme The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool.