By Les Baker
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013
| From the April 2013 Issue of FireRescue
Boker, a German-based cutlery company, has produced traditional pocket and hunting knives for 150 years. Today, they’re also at the forefront of developing and using the latest steels, designs, etc. Boker teamed with Jesper Voxnaes, a Danish knife-maker known for his tactical designs, to develop a solid multi-purpose prying tool for the key ring or pocket. The partnership was instrumental in developing the Boker Plus VOX Access Tool (VAT), a handy, lightweight multi-tool that’s ideal for everyday fire/rescue tasks around the station and home.
The VAT is 5 millimeters thick and 3 5/8 inches long, and is crafted of titanium, making it extremely lightweight (less than 1 oz.). The tool serves several functions that could be compared to the typical things you may attempt with a more expensive and fragile pocket knife; however, at a reasonable price point ($41.95), you can afford to beat up the VAT and push it to its limits.
The VAT features tapered edges along the width and length at one end, which comes to a manageable point and allows for small prying tasks. After several prying attempts against various materials and configurations, it became evident that it was virtually impossible to bend the tool without doing something completely unrealistic. But the VAT has many other uses in addition to prying; it can also be used for pulling nails, opening shackles and even opening a bottle.
A carabiner on one end allows the tool to be attached to a key ring and the spring clip is sufficient enough to keep it connected during most conditions. There are no sharp edges or points that would detract from carrying it in a pocket. Several ribs along each side assist with grip regardless of the anticipated use. The tool is a reasonable size and the ribs increase the amount of comfort and control for the user, even with gloved hands.
One major highlight of this versatile tool is the carbide glass breaker, which is located between two protective O-rings. Typically, glass management tools should be larger to reduce the responder’s exposure to glass during the breaking process, but as a secondary tool, it proved beneficial. The tool repeatedly broke tempered glass with little effort.
Important: Given the size of the tool in relation to a responder’s gloved hand, responders must adhere to safe working practices when managing tempered glass: Ensure that the tool is firmly held and positioned near the corner of the window. The other forearm/hand should be positioned against the vehicle post and utilized to prevent the tool hand from penetrating into the vehicle and across the remaining glass fragments.
Keeping in mind the context of the tool—something that can be carried anywhere and handle small jobs—the VAT by Boker is a sturdy, compact, smart-looking device that’s beneficial for a variety of situations. After placing it on a key ring and carrying it around for two weeks, I found myself using it more and more every day. It provided a quick option for almost every task I’ve traditionally used a pocket knife for.
VOX Access Tool
+ Sturdy, compact design
+ Titanium construction
+ Reliable carbide glass breaker
- Not a primary glass management tool.
1550 Balsam St.
Lakewood, CO 80214-5917
Comment Now: Post Your Thoughts & Comments on This Story