So I just got done taking medium level extrication and I have to say after using an air chisel , sawzall, and other non powered hand tools I have to say that for a light entrapment I would much perfer to use that kinda stuff instead of the cutters and spreaders.  There is diffenatly a place for the jaws but when not needed I find it much faster to use other things.  What are you thoughts or likes?

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I agree, for instance a roof removal will take less time to do with a good cordless sawzall & blade than the time to set up cutters. You can cut the windshield and posts with one tool without "pie" cuts.
As for me hand tools and potable tools such as sawz-alls, Black Hawk hand operated hyd. rams and spreaders and the Power Hawk Technologies tools and rams are usually my first choice. I also see the need for Hvy. Hyd. tools and do use them when appropriate but every job surley dosen't require them. You are definetly correct to begin thinking out of the box as no two rescues we run are the same. Keep in mind atleast where I come from 90% of our MVC's require only a door pop or a roof cut off, yes just cut it off if your gonna flap it Isay take the whole thing Its safer for everyone. Just my thoughts on the subject from and " Old School " old mans view.
Sometimes hand tools are great and much quicker than hydraulic rescue equipment, but the best thing to do is to set up a tool dump with everything available. Discounting tools because you prefer to use other tools isn't a wise move and you can get blinkered in to bad habits. The best thing in my opinion is to know how to use all of your tools to the best of your ability, know which ones are best for which scenario, this way you'll have the right tools for the right job and can even do simultaneous activity around the vehicle.
We've just had this exact discusison at our unit! We (myslef and another senior guy) challenged the crews to remove their door quicker using jaws than us using a Haligan Tool, speed brace and pliers.

We won.... :-)
give me jaws a sawzall ,pro bar & wind sheild saw & lets go to work.
If you have preconnected hydraulic tools on reel lines, the "setup" time is the time it takes to move from the rig to the wrecked car with the tool. It takes the same amount of time to walk with a hydraulic cutter as it does with a sawzall.

If you have fortified steels or boron reinforcement in the roof posts, sawzalls might not cut the roof posts at all. You need a boron-rated cutter like the one Genesis makes for that.

I'm not anti-hand tools, or air chisels, or sawzalls, but the bottom line is that the newer technology cars resist hand tools much more than one from even 10 years ago.

Sawsall WILL cut Boron(with the right blade). We're fast approaching the limits of what ANY cutter will do if we keep employing the "wrap"(layered) technology with Boron reinforcements that are showing up now. A GOOD sawsall will be a REQUIRED weapon of choice in the future.

...and it will take the "right"sawzall blade a lot of time, multiple blade changes, and a lot of heat generation to get one post cut.

 

We carry multiple sawzalls.  Their use is becoming more and more limited as the boron-rated cutters and combi tools show what they can do and how fast they can do it.

 

Don't know what you are using for blades. We carry several different types including Diamond. Haven't found a pillar we couldn't cut (efficiently)yet. I'm of the belief that Cutters are reaching their Apex and soon you will be doing more sawing than shearing(cutting). Keep in mind we use Hi amp CORDED saws which may make a difference. Yes,I've cut boron with them.
Our Genesis cutters have been able to shear any post or hinge we've needed to cut, including boron and HDLSA alloys.

I have nothing against recip saws, but boron posts really make for slow cuts.

I like the fastest option that won't hurt the patient, and for now, that option is a boron-rated power cutter.
I have read some of the post here. I agree on some. Using a sawsall is a great tool for cutting certain metals. I personally would not waste my time using a sawsall on any post A, B, or C ect that has UHSS/Boron. During training we used 5 sawsall blades on a car that had Boron. It basically scratched the paint. If there is any sawsall blades out there that can cut boron on the first try, please let me know. I will buy them ASAP.
I'm sure I'm preaching this to some of you. It takes a minimum of 150,000 lbs to cut 1mm of Boron. Most cutters out there today have 200,000+ lbs of cutting force. I think there will be cutters out there very soon that will have 300,000+lbs of cutting force. Car technology changes about every 6 months and it makes it harder and harder to get into these vehicles. That is my 2 cents worth, maybe 3. Stay Safe.
Agreed. However, we need to remember that although vehicles have stronger structures and materials, they still have weak points to attack.

Have you ever removed a roof above the top windshield sash? Try it sometime.

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