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.


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.

Pur­pose Built

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.

Fea­ture Rich

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


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 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.

Fi­nal Thoughts

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

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....

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.

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.

The SOCP sheath sys­tem in­te­grates seam­lessly with MOLLE or a wide-va­ri­ety of gear.


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.

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