How Bolt Cutters Can Help You For Your Emergency 


Bolt cutters can be one of the handiest tools for emergency situations. Find out how to utilize this device in saving lives and slicing through tough metal casings.

RELATED: Urban EDC: Tools For The Best Urban Everyday Carry Kit

How to Use Bolt Cutters for Emergency Situations

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Bolt Cutters for Emergency

man working clothes holding both hands | small bolt cutters

A lot of preppers think their bug-out gear lists still need beefing up. If you’re one of them, I strongly suggest including a bolt cutter as one of your primary equipment.

You may need to cut through hard metal objects in an emergency situation, and there’s no better tool to use than steel bolt cutters.

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Needless to say, it can also help you get through chain-link fences in an SHTF scenario. This item is a must, especially for urban preppers.

1. Forgetting the Combination to Your Bike Guard

thief crack bicycle lock steal | best bolt cutters

This isn’t something you experience every day, but in case you forgot the combination to your bike guard, you can use a bolt cutter to cut it. Thieves actually use this tool to steal bikes; it’s unfortunate crooks find them useful as well.

2. Lost the Key to the Padlock

close view cutting padlock iron cutter | how to use bolt cutters

We all have tons of keys in our house and sometimes, we lose track of them. Let’s say you can’t find the key to your basement, simply use lock cutters to cut through the padlock to get you in.

RELATED: Multipurpose Items For Survival You Need To Stock Up On

3. Getting Stuck Under the Steering Wheel

always on move close hands steering | tactical bolt cutters

When car accidents happen, the driver usually gets stuck in a head-on collision. The steering wheel is pushed against the driver’s chest, trapping him.

In this case, a bolt cutter is a very useful tool to cut some parts of the steering wheel. This can be the first move to rescue someone stuck in the driver’s seat.

4. Opening the Car Door Wider During Accidents

car without doors cemetery awaiting dismantling | bolt cutters home depot

Still, on the subject of car accidents, the steering wheel is not the only part of the car a bolt cutter can handle. In certain scenarios, it’s not advisable to move a severely injured victim.

The car door must open as wide as possible to move the victim. In this case, you can cut the door check with heavy-duty bolt cutters so the car door can open wider.

5. Cutting Through Chain-Link Fences

close heavy metal bolt clipper red | bolt cutters walmart

Hopefully, you don’t have to use a bolt cutter to do this. You can only imagine the chain-link fences you have to go through in urban areas considering an SHTF situation.

You can see how they use a bolt cutter to cut through a chain-link fence in movies. Although it’s not advisable to believe everything you see in films, this part is actually true.

Here’s an infographic guide of the different bolt cutter uses. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:

How Bolt Cutters Can Help You For Your Emergency | Infographics

These are just a few ways bolt cutters can be used in an emergency situation. It depends on a given scenario, but most of the time, the situation is similar to the other.

It cuts through padlocks, nails, metal fences, and so on, so having a bolt cutter ready somewhere within your reach might just save the day!

Do you want to add more uses of bolt cutters during emergency situations? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Disclaimer: All content on this site is for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 13, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

141 Responses to :
How Bolt Cutters Can Help You For Your Emergency 

  1. The problem with some of your suggestions is that carrying a bolt-cutter ‘just in case’ would be a nuisance. I really don’t want to lug a heavy bolt cutter up and down hills on the off chance I’ll need it to unlock my bike cable.

    1. Barry McCarty says:

      This is true, for another thing is that if you are stopped by the police and you have the bolt cutters in your trunk,how do you explain why you have them in the first place? Do you say that that they are part of your “bug out bag” ???

      1. Dennis Wenger says:

        Bolt Cutters alone are not burglary tools. So the answer is Yes.

  2. Windy Wilson says:

    What size bolt cutter do you recommend?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had already thought about this item of equipment, not to carry around, but to have in my vehicle in case I have to circumvent the highway and go cross country where a fence might be an obstacle.

  4. barbara says:

    It would also be good for breaking a car window to get out of the car.

    1. hirsch says:

      so is a spark plug

  5. Glenn Trombly says:

    cut metal rods at an extreme angle to make a weapon

  6. Gramma and her extended family says:

    On the median of some highways, a thick cable separates directions of travel. A bolt cutter may allow bypassing stalled traffic.

    1. Rick says:

      If you check close, you may find that the cables can be removed at each post without cutting. You would have to go to a few posts and disconnect the cable then it would lay down on the ground. Besides these cable are hard to cut.

      1. Justt says:

        Tho they are extremely useful. If you take the time to cut one be sure to take what your can.

  7. The picture you show using a bolt cutter to open a car door is fiction. The picture shows a jaws-of-life tool which can spread open a car door. The “Nader bolt” is made to keep a car door shut and a bolt cutter can not cut through it. I work on a rescue squad.

    1. Raffles says:

      I think they were talking about the safety brace thing that keeps your door from opening into the front fender.

      1. Dennis Wenger says:

        Then they should have displayed that, but good luck getting to the safety brace in the case of opening a damaged door. I agree that Bolt cutters would be nearly useless for getting a car door open. If we are relegated to only hand tools, a metal bladed hacksaw would be a better tool

        1. Randy says:

          Wow, no arguing with Dennis. He works on a rescue squad. (He washes the vehicles when they return from a run).

  8. Former medic says:

    I agree with Dennis Dieterice above. I’m a retired advanced life support Paramedic. Those are the “jaws of life”, Hurst tool etc. Notice the person in the back seat stabilizing the patients head/neck. If the jaws are needed, leave it to the professionals. You can do 10 to a 100 times more damage, or kill the person, if you are untrained and try to help. The only real exception is if the car’s on fire. Also, don’t cut your own steering wheel if trapped by it. Again, wait for the Pro’s. I’ve seen MANY situations where the compression from the entrapment stopped the person from bleeding out. If basic life support, advanced life support and the rescue truck are not there, you can kill the person trapped by the steering wheel by cutting it if the proper people and equipment to support the victim is not already on the scene. Just call 911 if the crash is that bad.

  9. Tim says:

    You would need more than hand sized or short handled cutters,to generate the need psi power to cut thru thicker metals. The longer the handles,the greater the cutting force(psi). You supply the energy needed and often enough…it may require more force,than you can provide. The larger they are,the heavier they are to hold,use and carry.

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  31. vuaphelieu says:

    These are great for the price but I should warn you, the blades will break if you try to cut hard material. Mine did after about a month of use. Not sure if it was a defect or not. Still worth the money though. I don’t regret buying them. Just wish the blades were stronger.

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