2018's Top 3 Best Emergency Window Breakers for Cars

Updated on October 8, 2018
PaulGoodman67 profile image

Paul worked as an advocate for consumer rights for many years,giving him with a passion for safety issues. UK born, he now lives in Florida.

Car window breakers are essential in the event of being trapped inside a vehicle in the aftermath of a road accident. Most come with a seat belt cutter too, enabling you to cut yourself free, as well as smash your way out of the vehicle.
Car window breakers are essential in the event of being trapped inside a vehicle in the aftermath of a road accident. Most come with a seat belt cutter too, enabling you to cut yourself free, as well as smash your way out of the vehicle.

My interest in window breakers began when I had to commute across a prairie that had a history of serious flooding.

I saw some serious collisons and knew through local press reports that a number of people had been involved in accidents where they had been killed in their vehicle not by an impact, but through their vehicle being flooded when immersed in water.

Each of these deaths could have been saved by the victims having a window breaker close at hand.

Investigating further, I discovered that flood water is not the only threat to life when driving that can be countered with a window breaker. Mountainous areas or cliffs can be hazardous, as can long stretches of wilderness. Severe weather can also pose a threat to your safety: heat, rain, snow, and wind are all potentially deadly in certain situations.

As well as a built-in a hammer, many glass breakers also incorporate other survival tools. A seat-belt cutter, for example, will enable you free yourself and others quickly. A flashlight will aid vision in the dark, or provide you with the means to signal for help.

After years of research and experimenting with different window breakers, I've come up with a list of tools that I believe to be the best currently available.

The Top 3 Window Breakers Currently Available

Here are my suggestions:

  • The LifeHammer Original: Classic design for an affordable price.
  • The Resqme: Keychain makes it always within reach
  • The Lantoo Digital Tire Pressure Gauge: An emergency tool with multiple extra functions

I explain in more detail the reasoning for my choices below.

LifeHammer The Original Emergency Hammer (Orange).  This escape tool set the standard for all the others.  Its affordable, neat design incorporates a seat belt cutter, as well as a window breaker.  A classic design at a very affordable price
LifeHammer The Original Emergency Hammer (Orange). This escape tool set the standard for all the others. Its affordable, neat design incorporates a seat belt cutter, as well as a window breaker. A classic design at a very affordable price

The LifeHammer Original: Classic Design for an Affordable Price

The great thing about the LifeHammer Original Emergency Hammer is its tried and tested simple design. I have one of these in my car, mounted above the driver seat.

Although it has a lightweight design, it does the job admirably, thanks to the hardened steel point. Luckily, I've not had to use it in an emergency, but I did get to try it out on old car that was headed for scrap.

Here are my pros and cons:

Pros

  • Tried and tested design.
  • Very affordable to buy in either single or multi-packs.
  • There's a seat belt cutter built-in too, in case you need to cut yourself free.
  • Usually comes with a mounting bracket, so you can position it in a convenient place (you don't want to be trying to access the glove box, if you're stuck in the driver seat!)

Cons

  • Although the hammer works great, the seat belt cutter is not the best
  • Some people don't like the lightweight feel

Car Window Breaker Installation

Once you've purchased your emergency window breaker, you will need to install it, of course. Many models come with a bracket for easy installation.

It needs to be somewhere handy, where you can put your hands on it quickly, should you be unlucky enough to need it in the aftermath of a car crash and need to make an emergency escape.

I would highly recommend putting your emergency window breaker tool either in the middle console or above the driver's seat, the two easiest places to access quickly in a confused or frightening situation.

Carrying your emergency window breaker in your bag, or on your person, risks the possibility that you won't have access to it, should the unthinkable happen and you are involved in a crash.

That said, many people keep their breaker on their key ring, and some punches are specifically designed for that. If you always keep your keys in your pocket, or close at hand, this may be a suitable solution for you.

The resqme's big advantage is that you don't have to worry about finding it in an emergency, as it combines the original Lifehammer device with a keychain, making it always within reach if an accident occurs.
The resqme's big advantage is that you don't have to worry about finding it in an emergency, as it combines the original Lifehammer device with a keychain, making it always within reach if an accident occurs.

The Resqme: Keychain Makes it Always Within Reach

As I hope I've made clear, it is crucially important that you always have your emergency window breaker close at hand in the event of an accident. The resqme keychain deals with this issue by combining a LifeHammer with a keychain.

I have given them to friends and relatives in the past as gifts and they are always popular. My wife loves hers.

Here are my pros and cons:

Pros

  • The keychain is lightweight and easy to carry.
  • There is a built-in seat belt cutter in case you have to cut yourself or a passenger free.
  • As with the original LifeHammer, it's a tried and tested design.
  • They come in a variety of colors. My wife, for instance, has a pink one.

Cons

  • The mechanism that you click can break eventually. My wife had to replace hers.
  • Does require some force to break a car window. I know, I've tried it.

As well as functioning as a window punch, the Lantoo has a built-in digital tire gauge, useful for checking pressures when you are on the road. It's powered by AAA batteries, which I personally prefer to those small coin shaped ones.
As well as functioning as a window punch, the Lantoo has a built-in digital tire gauge, useful for checking pressures when you are on the road. It's powered by AAA batteries, which I personally prefer to those small coin shaped ones.

Lantoo Digital Tire Pressure Gauge: An Emergency Tool With Multiple Extra Functions

The great thing about the Lantoo Digital Tire Pressure Gauge is that it's not just a window breaker and seat belt cutter, it has all sorts of extra functions to help you when you are on the road, or in the aftermath of an accident.

As well as using it myself, I've bought this tool as a gift for family and friends and they all loved it.

Pros

  • The tire gauge is accurate and useful if you're on long journey and become concerned about the tire pressure. The back light allows you to see the display even when the outside light isn't good.
  • Fortunately I've never had cause to use the LED light and even the red light in an emergency situation but I've tested them out and it's good to know that I have them if I need them.
  • The window breaker function is sturdily designed.

Cons

  • The design of the tool means that the set belt cutter blade is more exposed than I'd like.
  • The tire gauge and lights need batteries in order to work, which means that you have to carry spares.


Questions & Answers

  • Which is the best window breaker for women?

    It's difficult to improve upon a Lifehammer-style breaker mounted inside the vehicle, in my experience, whatever your gender. Some products do advertise themselves for women, but aside from the color, they are normally not much different from any other model. These hammers don't require much physical strength to use.

© 2011 Paul Goodman

Comments

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    • profile image

      Sue 

      2 days ago

      Thank you. Great review and most helpful.

    • profile image

      Charli 

      10 months ago

      Seems you just updated the year. These products listed are published many years ago. Any new recommendation in 2017?

    • phpnayeem profile image

      Nayeem Akand 

      18 months ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      Thanks

    • profile image

      LaDooby 

      21 months ago

      Not good if you are inside the car and filling with water. Who wants to walk around with spark plug pieces in their pants.

    • phoophan profile image

      phoophan 

      22 months ago

      I know something a lot cheaper and much more reliable. About 20 years ago the CHP was giving a safety talk to our company in downtown Los Angeles. They said for 6-9 months the LAPD was finding a lot of criminals had pieces of broken Ceramic from old Spark Plugs in their pant pockets and couldn't understand why. These guys take the pieces of Ceramic and throw them gently against a car window and shatter it the first time and every time. Cheap, easy and safe!

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