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Best Car Escape Tools

Updated March 2023
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Best of the Best
LUXON Emergency 7-in-1 Car Safety Tool
Emergency 7-in-1 Car Safety Tool
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Comprehensive Features
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A multipurpose tool with a number of features that are useful beyond escaping your vehicle.


Besides the window hammer and seat belt cutter, this tool has an LED flashlight and red SOS light. Additionally, it features a hand-cranked charging system that can provide enough power to get a quick emergency call out if your phone has died.


The unit is larger than many other escape tools and may be a bit cumbersome for some users.

Best Bang for the Buck
AmazonBasics Seat-Belt Cutter and Window Hammer
Seat-Belt Cutter and Window Hammer
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Simple Yet Solid
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This inexpensive but effective escape tool makes an excellent gift for new drivers in the family; the entry-level price is hard to beat.


Double-head window hammer design. Tungsten steel cutting blade. Bright orange casing is very visible. Storage bracket included. Sold as a 2-pack. Very economical.


Very lightweight. In-car mounting is challenging. Hammer isn't spring-loaded.

RESQME Car Escape Tool, 3 Pack
Car Escape Tool, 3 Pack
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Best for Small Cars
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The 2-in-1 seat belt cutter and window hammer is very basic and small, but different users can find their preferred method of attachment.


Key-ring attachment for easy access. Accessory kit includes cable tie, lanyard, and sun visor attachments. Originally designed for first responders. Multi-pack for family use. Compact and lightweight plastic construction.


Plastic attachment clip breaks easily. Spring mechanism for window hammer may fail.

Stander Handybar Car Escape Tool and Mobility Aid
Handybar Car Escape Tool and Mobility Aid
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Versatile Pick
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A clever yet simple tool that includes a window breaker, a seat belt cutter, and a mobility aid grab bar.


Includes standard car escape tool features such as a seat belt cutter and window breaker. Can also be used as a mobility aid device when inserted into a vehicle door latch. Supports 350 pounds and assists in getting in and out of cars. Remains compact and lightweight.


Pricier than other options.

BlueSkyBos Glass Hammer Breaker and Seat-Belt Cutter, 2 Pack
Glass Hammer Breaker and Seat-Belt Cutter, 2 Pack
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Best for Beginners
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This double set of car escape tools makes a great stocking stuffer or a very useful party gift for a low price.


Compact and lightweight plastic construction with dual steel hammer heads. Mounting kit included, but it can also be stored loose. Extremely sharp seat belt cutting blade. Sold as a double set for multiple vehicles.


No mounting features. Thin plastic casing. Reports of missing cutting blades.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best car escape tools

Considering the low cost and high reward, a car escape tool might be one of the most valuable items you ever purchase. If you find yourself trapped in your vehicle, this handheld device can free you, potentially saving your life. Depending on your preference, however, there are a few factors to consider.

The best car escape tool is durable and brightly colored so it’s easy to spot in an emergency when your senses might be overwhelmed. A device with a seat-belt cutter is essential, but you have the option of purchasing a model that has either a manual or spring-assisted window hammer.

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In most cars, if you lose power, there’s no way to roll down your windows.

Key considerations

A car escape tool is actually a type of multitool. While you have many features to choose from, your device needs to include two very specific items in order for you to be properly prepared for any scenario: a window hammer and a seat-belt cutter.

Window hammer

Car windows are made of tempered glass, which makes them much stronger than you’d imagine. If you lose power in your car and your door is unable to open, or you’re submerged, the only way you can escape is through a window. A window hammer has a sharp, pointed metal tip that focuses all of your force on one small location. This allows you to break the tempered glass and escape through a side window. There are two types: manual and spring-assisted window hammers.

Manual: The manual hammer is either a small tool, shaped like a hammer, that you swing to break the glass, or it’s a small, handheld object that can be jabbed into the window. It requires motion, so if you’re constrained or limited in your movements or strength, the manual tool can be harder to work.

Spring-assisted: The spring-assisted hammer operates at the press of a button, quickly punching through the window without the need for a forceful swing.

Seat-belt cutter

A seat-belt cutter is a very sharp knife used to slice through a seat belt that won't open. The best ones have a slot that guides your cutting and protects your fingers from the blade.

Car escape tool features

There are several other features you will find in car escape tools. For the most part, these don’t directly impact your ability to escape, but they can come in handy depending on your situation.


You want a well-made, durable car escape tool. Since the device needs to provide a glass-shattering impact, you don’t want a model that’s poorly constructed.


A car escape tool is brightly colored for a reason: you need to be able to easily spot it in the midst of panic and chaos. A darker color might be sleek and match your car’s interior, but it could take too long to locate in an emergency when every second counts.


You need your car escape tool to be within reach. Having a case or a holder that securely mounts in an easily accessible location is essential.


A smaller, spring-assisted car escape tool that can be connected to your keychain is a great idea for a backup choice because it will be hanging from your ignition, placing it easily within your reach.


Many car escape tools have a small LED flashlight built in. This is a highly desirable feature to have.

Safety light

Another desirable feature in a car escape tool is a flashing red light that can alert others to your situation.

Magnetic base

A car escape tool with a magnetic base and a safety light allows you to place your device on your car so others can more easily see you and your vehicle.

Charger/USB port

Some car escape tools have a USB port that allows you to charge your devices. If your car escape tool also has batteries, it can serve as a limited emergency power source.

Hand-cranked generator

If you run out of charge for your cell phone, you can't call for help. A car escape tool with a small, hand-cranked generator can provide enough power to help you make that vital call.


If you’d like a car escape tool with a built-in compass, that feature is available on some models.

"Simplest might be best. In an emergency situation, you probably won't be thinking clearly, so the best car escape tool might be the one with the fewest features. "

Car escape tool prices

Inexpensive: Car escape tools start as low as $1 or $2, but these are typically smaller, lightweight items that may not perform as well as you hope.

Mid-range: At around $8 to $12, the car escape tools are more reliable and feature a seat-belt cutter built into the hammer handle. At the upper end of this bracket, you start seeing car escape tools that have a spring-assisted hammer.

Expensive: Spend $20 and more and you find additional elements, such as flashlights, compasses, and other features that won't directly help save your life but might be handy to have. If you want to spend more than $30, you can purchase an entire emergency kit that has a car escape tool included.

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For your safety
The best place to keep your car escape tool is the center console or a pocket in the driver's door. If you keep it in your glove compartment, you might not be able to reach it if you’re constrained by a stuck seat belt.


A car escape tool is one of those purchases you hope you’ll never have to use, but that doesn't mean you should postpone buying one. Most of us are exposed to potentially dangerous situations on a daily basis, but we stop being aware of this when our commute becomes routine. Here are a few potential threats you might face on your commute that make purchasing a car escape tool a wise investment.

  • Bridges: Many of us get a little nervous on a bridge, but it's for good reason. If anything happens on a bridge, evasive driving skills aren't of much use because there’s no room to maneuver.
  • Deep water: If your commute takes you over or alongside deep water, something like a blowout or locking brakes might be all it takes to put your vehicle in that water.
  • Low areas: Low areas are prone to flooding. It takes only six inches of water to cause loss of control and stalling. At one foot, your vehicle could float – even an SUV or a pickup truck can be swept away by as little as two feet of water.
  • Cliffs: If your daily commute takes you along a cliff's edge, you probably already own a car escape tool – or two.
  • Mountains: Runaway trucks are a big concern on roads with long, gradual descents.
  • Falling rocks: We've all driven on a road that warns of falling rocks, but we don’t always consider what a dangerous situation that is.
  • Trees: Trees don't live forever. Limbs can unexpectedly drop and trees can fall at any time, not just during a storm.
  • Long, uninhabited stretches: Any long stretch of uninhabited road can pose a threat because there’s no one around to help if you experience a blowout, brake failure, engine failure, or any other unexpected situation.
  • Weather: No matter what your daily commute is like, you should always be aware of the weather conditions. Heat, cold, wind, rain, and snow can all lead to accidents.
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Consider keeping a backup car escape tool on your keychain in case your main one gets knocked out of reach in an accident.


Q. What is a car escape tool?
A car escape tool contains the two essential items needed to get out of your car in an emergency: a window hammer and a seat-belt cutter. If you find yourself trapped in your vehicle, these are the two tools that could save your life. Some car escape tools have other features, but these two are not optional.

Q. Isn't it dangerous to shatter glass?
It can be, but breaking your car window is only to be done in an emergency situation. As such, it’s a far better option than the alternative. Car windows are made of tempered glass (safety glass), and when broken they’re designed to explode outward in tiny balls rather than shards. Some injury is always possible when breaking tempered glass, but the likelihood of it being a serious laceration is greatly diminished. The most important thing to remember is to turn your head so no pieces of glass get in your eyes.

Q. Which window should I break in an emergency?
Always go for the side window, ideally a lower corner at just a few inches from the window’s frame. This is the safest spot to work, but in an emergency, you might not have optimum conditions, so you’ll have to do what you need to do to escape. You don’t want to attempt breaking the windshield because that tempered glass is laminated with a thin plastic sandwiched between two sheets of glass. The plastic layer holds the glass in place, making it much harder to break through, possibly thwarting your attempt to escape.