THE BENCHMADE SOCP RESCUE TOOL PULLS DOUBLE DUTY AS FIRST RESPONDER AND DEFENSIVE TOOL
The Benchmade SOCP Rescue Tool provides a dynamic vehicle safety tool with strong self-defense benefits for civilians, law enforcement and military personnel. BY ARMANDO BASULTO
Use the right tool for the right job. If your eighth-grade shop teacher or a didactic dad didn’t drill that into you, then you learned it from life experiences … like trying to find the right Allen wrench to open the battery compartment in your child’s new Christmas toy, or the correct wrench for that Japanese motorcycle.
“ONE OF THE DISTINCTIVE COMPONENTS OF THE SOCP SERIES IS THE SPECIALIZED SHEATH.”
The knife world is replete with “do-itall” survival blades and multi-purpose EDC knives, but the everyday workman knows the truth about any tool; no one tool can be everything all the time.
Although the SOCP Rescue Tool can be integrated easily into civilian use, its slim, lightweight design is perfect for law enforcement and military personnel.
Law Enforcement and military personnel often carry 30 to 45 pounds of gear, including a vest. While the last thing an operator or officer needs is extraneous gear, there are some things best done with a dedicated tool. The SOCP Rescue Tool is a specific device, giving the end-user options for both rescue scenarios and less-than-lethal combative application.
Several key departments in the United States have made the SOCP Rescue Tool part of their regular gear issue, with over 20,000 ordered for one federal department in the last several months. But the SOCP Rescue Tool is not solely for police officers or military personnel. This handy tool is also a light-burden, low-profile addition to anyone’s kit.
Benchmade’s SOCP line is based around designer Greg Thompson’s Special Operations Combatives Program specifications and comes from years of field use by the Special Warfare community, law enforcement SRT (Special Response Teams) and first responders around the world. From its inception, the Special Operations Combatives Program, and the related SOCP tools of the trade have had input from the end-users. Thompson says he maintains an ongoing dialog with “Federal, State and military communities for feedback on my designs and evolution of the SOCP program. I have a research and development department like no other.” If top-tier operators and emergency responders have put a SOCP piece of work-steel through the paces, you know it can be counted on when you or your loved ones need it the most.
When would the regular civilian need a specialized tool like this? The SOCP Rescue Tool came about in response to specific needs and vehicle-based emergency scenarios, as well as needing a less-than-lethal option for law enforcement or civilians desiring a personal-defense alternative. Many departments’ “use of force” policies or guidelines for equipment do not allow
for the carrying of daggers or offensive blades. The Rescue Tool model was an acceptable alternative. The regular man on the street, however, should avail himself of any tools given the expectation that he may be his own “self first-responder.” Many of the same characteristics that make the SOCP Rescue Tool a necessary kit for emergency personnel or police officers, also make it a versatile addition to a civilian’s preparedness toolbox.
One of the distinctive components of the SOCP series is the specialized sheath. It is low-profile enough to be tucked in a waistband, pants pocket or shirt seam, but sufficiently sturdy to attach to exterior surfaces of chest rigs, belts or equipment bags. Fully Molle-compatible, it can attach to any chest rig, plate carrier or web gear commonly used by military or first responders, and also easily attaches to similarly configured bags and backpacks widely available to the public. It can be oriented vertically, horizontally or upside-down for preferred ease of deployment. The sturdy and rigid belt clip also facilitates pocket carry or inconspicuous semi-concealment in a shirt placket between button loops—a preferred carry method of many law enforcement agencies. The sheath also comes with a paracord lanyard that can be used to attach it to equipment or your person in many creative ways. When in warm-weather clothing mode, wearing pocketless athletic shorts, for example, a long paracord can be run through the belt clip and wrapped around the waist. The SOCP tool can then be carried inside the waistband in deep and unobtrusive concealment, but easily accessible by reaching in and pulling up on the ringed handle. The SOCP Combo package also includes a trainer, which should be your cue to train your Cqc/combatives regularly and is also proof-positive that the design standards of the SOCP series of blades and tools benefit from actual force-on-force experimentation in the “lab.” Many of the same combative techniques that utilize the SOCP Dagger also work in a less lethal mode with the SOCP Rescue Tool. By targeting pressure points and vulnerable targets, the Rescue Tool can be used to defend against close-quarter attacks or utilized
“THE MOST OBVIOUS PRACTICAL ASPECT OF THIS TOOL IS THAT IT HAS A CARBIDE TIP RATHER THAN A BLADE EDGE.”
as a secondary defensive tool when attempting to deploy a pistol in extreme close proximities where weapon retention is critical.
Built for Use
The tool is made from 440C, once referred to as the “super steel” of the 440 series. It is considered the hardest of these stainless steels and is the perfect material for a survival implement that might be called upon to smash car windows. The steel is a comfortable balance of hard-as-nails durability along with corrosion-resistance, the latter helped by the coating on the SOCP series. The tool is partially skeletonized to make it lightweight and it also provides a handy oxygen tool (used by first responders on the valve of an O2 tank). The second opening, halfway down the tool, helps to provide a contact friction point in the sheath to help secure it in place.
The jimping pattern on the ring is patterned differently than the SOCP Dagger for easy identification when in various carry modes. If you were carrying both the dagger and rescue tool models of the SOCP line on your person or EDC carry equipment, a quick grip
of the handle’s ring will allow tactile recognition as your thumb drapes over the finger ring at the crown of the tool. This is critical as you would not want to mistakenly attempt to break a window or cut a seat-belt with the serrated edge of the SOCP Dagger, or conversely, try less-than-lethal defensive tactics of the Rescue Tool with the offensively designed SOCP Dagger’s point and edge. The most obvious practical aspect of this tool is that it has a carbide tip, rather than a blade edge. A small tungsten carbide bit provides hyper-focused force in the smallest point possible. The more concentrated the force applied to window glass, the more likely the glass will “spiderweb” and break apart. Because the side and rear windows of modern cars are made from tempered glass, which can be up to four times stronger than traditional annealed glass, it can be surprisingly difficult to shatter in an emergency.
This “point of the spear” is not only a very effective emergency window breaker, but also a versatile defensive tool when in non-permissive environments where carrying a blade is not an option. Using the same glass-breaker grip on the tool necessary to pierce glass, the carbide point can be jabbed into eyes or between finger points to create a painful deterrent in a grappling range attack. The design of the Rescue Tool allows you to maintain your finger in the ring while still being able to access, deploy and fire your pistol, if the need arises.
“THE SOCP RESCUE TOOL IS A SPECIFIC DEVICE, GIVING THE ENDUSER OPTIONS FOR BOTH RESCUE SCENARIOS AND LESS-THAN-LETHAL COMBATIVE APPLICATION.”
The seatbelt cutter blade is deeply grooved and sharp enough to quickly and easily access any strapping that needs to be cut. This is a vital component of any car escape tool. In many car collisions, seatbelt locking mechanisms can engage and be
nearly impossible to release, or your position may make it difficult to reach the button on the buckle. The jimping near the hook blade makes it easy to apply pressure with your index finger when pulling the tool across the strap. Just pull the seatbelt strap taut at a point away from the body, and pull the tool across the strap. The ring on the tool allows easy self-rescue if you ever have to cut your own seat-belt strap. With a proper grip on the SOCP Rescue Tool you can access, deploy, break car window glass and cut a seatbelt, all while barely adjusting your grip.
The SOCP Rescue Tool is an invaluable specialized addition to your car emergency kit or everyday carry routine. Whether it’s to help a fellow motorist in need or to be your own first-responder in a car escape scenario, this low-profile addition to the SOCP line is invaluable. Its additional versatility as a backup self-defense tool or primary less-than-lethal weapon in more restrictive environments makes it the right tool for the right job. KI
The SOCP sheath system integrates seamlessly with MOLLE or a wide-variety of gear.
The sheath clip allows carry in your shirt placket between button loops—a preferred carry method of many law enforcement agencies.
The SOCP Rescue Tool has a carbide tip glass breaker, seatbelt strap hook cutter, and oxygen wrench.
Top: The SOCP Family shares similar profiles, trainers and sheath systems.
Right: The SOCP hook is sharp enough to cut through a variety of strapping, but angled perfectly for snag-free and safe cutting.
Bottom: Closeup of the SOCP ring (bottom) which is an integral part of the system, allowing easy one-hand deployment from a variety of angles and scenarios. The jimping on the rings are different from the SOCP Dagger (top) for tactile identification.
Top: In case of emergency, break glass. Make sure to use a snapping backhand action and aim away from the center of the glass to avoid over-penetration and injury to yourself or the person inside the vehicle. Bottom: In case of emergency, break glass. Shield your face and angle your body away from the glass to protect yourself and provide the best angle for force.
The SOCP Rescue Tool’s tough carbide tip can be jammed into the soft, flesh pockets between fingers to release even the toughest grips.
The SOCP Rescue Tool is also intended to be an effective lessthan-lethal option for self-defense, especially in environments that are not blade-friendly.