LifeHammer Vehicle Escape Tool

The "LifeHammer" is a small tool designed for expediting your exit from a car after a crash. The heavy steel hammer points are for knocking out the side windows to make an exit, while the small hook with a razor on the other end can cut through a seat belt. They're available at hardware stores and on Amazon for around $12 or so. The LifeHammer was suggested from a Reddit commenter after a story about a truck driver who drove into a lake and survived by remembering that the best time to try to escape a vehicle that's underwater is after it has filled with water, as the pressure between the inside and outside is equalized, making it possible to open the door. That would be a harrowing wait, especially if you were sinking as you waited, but that's good to know. Also, I know that these sorts of things are best placed in a handy location that never moves, but I can't help but think that with just a little work these things could double as a decent ice scraper. Product Page [ via Reddit] Previously: IceDozer Plus Scraper [BBG]
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15 Responses to LifeHammer Vehicle Escape Tool

  1. mmbb says:

    It won’t work with my car, due to laminated side glass. (Volvo)

  2. mikeyboy says:

    i dunno, mythbusters seemed to prove that you should try to get out immediately.

    the pressure does ‘equalize’ when the car fils up completely with water – but i personally do not want to be in a car at the bottom of a lake waiting for all the air to escape from it.

    a simpler handy tool for breaking windows would be a spring-loaded center punch. that would be small enough to fit in a pen holder.

  3. js7a says:

    If you want to “equalize the pressure” and open the door, just crack the window, well, preferably a different window. ~~~~

  4. Pixel says:

    Ditto on getting the hell out of the car as fast as possible.

    As for the center punch, they work, but only if you have a good heavy-duty one. I tried a cheap one on a junk Subaru door I had laying around, and it did nothing but leave a tiny punch mark in the glass.

  5. Cazart says:

    Santa brought me the Eddie Bauer version – with flashlight for, um…

  6. shichae says:

    I have one of these for each of my cars, and while I hope to never have to use it (knock wood), I’m glad to know that it’s there. On the whole water filling the car, yes you shouldn’t wait, swinging a small plastic hammer w/ metal points underwater makes me cringe as I recall nightmares of moving slowly like being stuck in molasses in emergency situations. Enough to give you clammy palms ehe? One thing that Joel didn’t bring up, is that if you purchase the real deal “Life Hammer”, you get w/ it a mount that has a nifty little windshield washer nozzle cleaner thing-a-ma-jig-e that depending upon the chosen mounting location will catch on items at will. All in all, it’s good so far, but if it doesn’t work, then there is no way for “you guys and gals” to know from me.

  7. nonplus says:

    Small correction: a submerged vehicle does not have to completely fill with water for the pressure to equalize. Depending on how the car is oriented, there would likely still be an air pocket at the time the pressure equalizes.

    Still, I wonder whether my car’s doors could be unlocked once the water shorts everything out.

  8. Benny says:


    Just kidding, but I’ve always wondered how well you can swing a hammer at your window in the enclosed space, I have a Tahoe so that’s not too much of a problem, but what about the smaller vehicles?

  9. 1quickprick says:

    This is even better. I’ve bought 5 of these for my friends and family. They work well.

  10. macegr says:

    As long as the car is actually falling through the water, the pressure on the outside will be greater than the pressure inside. The difference is enough to make it very difficult, if not impossible, to open the door. It will also jam the window glass. If you know the water is only a few feet deep, this might be a valid tactic. But your first reaction should be to open the door and get out; if that doesn’t work, try to roll down the window; if that doesn’t work, try to break the window. This needs to happen as fast as possible if you are unsure how deep the water is.

  11. Anonymous says:

    That is a newer tool by the same company, better the spring loaded punch than a hammer you have to swing. Also it is less obtrusive.

  12. 5000! says:

    If you’ve got any doubts about whether it works, MythBusters also showed that this thing was the most effective way (among the methods they tested) to bust out a side window.

  13. Anonymous says:

    is it wrong to think these might be useful for warding off cabs while bike commuting?

  14. Anonymous says:

    This also works a treat for breaking into cars.

    Wish the last guy who broke into my car had used one of these rather than a rock. Poor idiot scratched up three of my side windows and damaged my door pretty heavily before he managed to break a window. And then all he took was a screwdriver. $1250 in damage and all he got was a screwdriver. $12 would have paid off for both of us.

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