The best car escape tool

Allen Foster

The best window to break is a side window. Ideally, you want to strike it in a lower corner a few inches away from the frame.

Hopefully, you will never find yourself in a situation where you need a car escape tool, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared. These devices are small, highly affordable pieces of equipment that are specifically designed to save your life if you find yourself trapped in your vehicle.

The best models are brightly colored, so they are easy to spot and effortless to operate. Our favorite is LUXON's 7-in-1 Car Safety Tool because it has all the bells and whistles you could want, from a safety hammer to a hand-cranking charger. If you'd like to learn more about this model or the two essentials needed for a quality car escape tool, keep reading.

Considerations when choosing car escape tools

Although there may be many other features included, the two essentials a car escape tool must have are a window hammer and a seat-belt cutter.

Window hammer

A window hammer has a pointed metal tip that allows you to focus a great deal of force into a tiny location, making it easier to break the tempered glass so you can escape. You can purchase a manual model, which means you will have to swing or jab the tool at the glass in order for it to be effective, or a spring-assisted model that delivers a powerful blow at the press of a button.

Seat-belt cutter

A seat-belt cutter is basically a very sharp blade with a slotted guide that you use to cut through a seat belt that won't release.


Following is a list of other features you may want to consider before choosing your ideal car escape tool.

Color: You'll want a brightly colored tool that stands out when placed in your vehicle so it's easy to locate in an emergency.
Mountable bracket: Some models feature a mountable bracket that allows you to secure your car escape tool in a convenient, easy-to-reach location.
Keychain: A smaller car escape tool might feature a clasp so you can attach the item to your keychain.
Flashlight: A car escape tool that also includes a built-in LED light will definitely come in handy.
Safety light: A safety light is different from a flashlight. This helps alert others to your situation.
Extras: There are numerous other features ranging from a magnetized base to a built-in compass that you can find on a car escape tool. If you're looking for bells and whistles, make sure the model that you are considering has all the features you desire.


It is possible to purchase a car escape tool for under $2, but these models may not produce the best results. The best models are often found in the $8 to $12 range -- these will be powerful but won't contain many bells and whistles. If you'd like flashlights and other added features, you'll need to spend around $20 or more.


Q. Is a car escape tool with a variety of features the best way to go?

A. As long as the primary functions of window breaker and seat-belt cutter function properly, and any additional features don't make the size of the tool difficult for you to handle, then those features shouldn't negatively impact your use of the tool; it's more a matter of personal preference to have a tool with extra features or not.

Q. Where should I keep my car escape tool?

A. Your car escape tool should always be within easy reach in the event that your seat belt locks and you can't move. The best place is in the center console or the pocket in the driver's door because the glove compartment is too far away.

Car escape tools we recommend

Best of the best: LUXON's 7-in-1 Car Safety Tool

Our take: A high-end, multifunctional car safety tool with a variety of useful features.

What we like: This car safety kit includes a pointed hammer, a seat-belt cutter, an LED flashlight, a red SOS light, a USB charger, a hand-cranking charging system, and more. It is molded in bright orange and comes with a one-year hassle-free warranty.

What we dislike: Because of the included features, this model is a little larger and slightly more cumbersome than other car escape tools.

Best bang for your buck: AmazonBasics' Emergency Seat Belt Cutter and Window Hammer

Our take: A basic, affordable 2-in-1 car escape tool with a storage bracket.

What we like: This car escape tool includes a pointed, tungsten, double-head hammer that is designed for manual striking. The seat-belt cutter is built into the handle and features a protective cover for safety. This car escape tool is molded in bright orange so it can be quickly identified in an emergency situation.

What we dislike: The mounting adhesive for the bracket may not be as durable as expected.

Choice 3: Res-Q-Me's Car Escape Tool (3-Pack)

Our take: A convenient 3-pack of affordable car escape tools.

What we like: Compact and lightweight. Comes in a three-pack, so multiple family members can have one. Accessories include lanyard, cable tie, and sun-visor attachments.  Has a handy key-ring feature so you always have the tool nearby.

What we dislike: Attachment clip is made of plastic and may break easily.

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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