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Favorite Hydraulic Heavy Rescue Tools

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  • Favorite Hydraulic Heavy Rescue Tools

    What are your favorite Hydraulic Heavy Rescue Tools. I have used Hurst and Amkus, I find Amkus to be far superior for several reasons, size, weight, ergomonics, power, speed and versatility. I have used the 4 tool system for several years with great success, I understand they now have a 6 tool system. Lets see you die hard Hurst fans top that ?

  • #2
    I don't feel that you should be criticizing people for their use of Hydraluic Tool the Important thing is that it does the Job.

    "Loyality above all else,except honor."


    • #3
      I've been using Hurst for 20 years. (I remember when the Jaws cutter was the shears that you put on in place of the tips on the spreader.) I can't think of anything I can't do with the cutter, spreader, rams, and a few chains. I'm sure Amkus makes a good tool, but not good enough for us to spend the money to scrap what we've been using since 1976.


      • #4
        I have used almost every brand out there, and my personal favorites are TNT, and Hurst, to me Amkus is an awkward tool, due to the activating handle being on top.


        • #5
          I like Holmatro they are light easy to used and well designed. I've used an old set of Hurst spreaders before and they were to big heavy and bulky for me. I have used our holmatro spreaders while having to hold them inverted with the handle above my head pointing towards the ground. I couldn't do that with the old hurst spreaders. We have a pump that can run two tools at once without giving up power. There are four other companies that we have assisted on MVA 2 have holmatro 1 hurst 1 amkus.
          Our system is easier to set up than the hurst system the one department uses. I realize hurst probably has a lighter spreader but, the one I used was one that's from the seventies.


          • #6
            This is like every other what do you like question. Everyone has an opinion on what is best and usually it is what they have.

            More important is, can your people use whatever tool you have and get the job done quick enough to give the trapped victims a chance to survive? If so...good for you. If not...why not?

            I have not seen a powered hydraulic tool on the market that won't pop a door, or a cutter that won't cut a post, or a ram that won't push a dash. Pretty much boils down to 2 things when purchasing tools, 1) Cost 2) Which one did you like the best?

            To answer your question, we use Hurst hydrauilic rescue tools. Thay have proved to be reliable and performed well.

            Take care and stay safe,



            • #7
              I have only used Holmatro gear so I can only comment on it of which I have found it to be extremely reliable and able to carry all the work empowered with it. I have viewed our Ambulance rescue teams at work with their Lucas gear and am convinced it does not come any where near Holmatro gear.


              • #8
                My Department uses Hurst extrication tools, but the way I see it, if I am involved in a MVA that requires exrtication, I don't care who makes the tool, as long as it works!

                Firefighters: rising to accept the challenge!
                Captain Gonzo


                • #9
                  Fyred up have you ever had the chance to rip and tear on a school bus? I did a few years back at a training. You want a good test of a hydraulic tool a bus is a good place to do it. Although if you did have a call with one that would require extrication you'd be breaking out everthing including the kitchen sink.


                  • #10
                    I agree with Fyredup, you have to be proficient with whatever system that your dept uses.

                    My dept has used Hurst since 1976 and has been extremely happy ever since. If you compare the weights of the most recent version of Hurst, I feel you'll find that they are the same weight,or less than the other systems on the market.

                    I have had the opportunity to use Amkus and Holmatro and I'm impressed with some of the features each company offers.

                    I don't think ANY system is superior over any other system.

                    Too bad we couldn't get ALL the rescue tool companies to join forces and produce ONE system using the positive features that each system has. LOL


                    [This message has been edited by res7cue (edited 03-29-2001).]


                    • #11
                      As most of the previous posts stated, "As long as it does the job". True, but you also have to take into consideration how easy it is to get the job done.

                      I've used Hurst for about 9 years and find it to be extremely effective, but when you have a rescuer of smaller stature you might need to have a tool of lighter stature. The Amkus does seem (my opinion only) to be more user friendly under these circumstances.


                      • #12
                        Oh No!!! There is that question again

                        Ok, I will say it again, ANY hydraulic rescue tool will do the job as long as it is in the hands of an operator who knows how to effectively use the tool and understands its strengths AND it's limitations.

                        As always, I will not criticize a particular company's product. I have used many brands and was able to accomplish the task I was assigned with each one. That being sad, I am a proponent of low pressure over high pressure and I am also an advocate for Ethyl Glycol fluid.

                        My department has Phoenix tools. We currently have a 35/25 Rescue Tool (not just a combination tool, since you can replace cutting blades in the field on a Phoenix), 60' Super Ram, C/C (Continuous Cut) Cutter (something unique to Phoenic) and we recently added a S/B (Straight Blade) cutter.

                        Interesting story about the S/B Cutter since school bus extrication was mentioned as a bench mark. The former dealer of Phoenix in this area used to provide tools for the Commercial Rescue class at the State Fire School in Ohio (along with several other tool reps). The first year he did this, all of the tools were failing on the "A" post of a school bus. When the dealer went back to Mike Brick (the founder of Phoenix and former engineer for Hurst) and told him about this experience, Brick's response was that he did not want to not have a tool that could be sued to rescue someone from a school bus. He literlally went to the drawing board, and desisigned the S/B Cutter with the intent that it would be able to cut the "A" post on a school bus, which it does very well.


                        • #13
                          I have used hurst, amkust, power hawk, and holmatro. They all seem to have their ups and downs. The power hawk, although relatively small and short on power (so i have heard) is compact and lightweight. I have never had it in a situation that comprimised its ability. Hurst is a name that has been around a long timr and have proven themselves time and time again. The department i now work for use nothing but holmatro. Holmatro tools are a bit lighter than the rest and seem to be a little more user friendly ( too many details to mention). it is all what you get used to using. My prefrence.....Holmatro, without a doubt.


                          • #14
                            I have had the opertunity to try several rescue tools over the years as an instructor. I still feel the best tool out there is LUKAS. Yes I said Lukas. Remember Amkus is, was, a copy of Lukas. The handle of the Amkus was mentioned and, yes it is didicult to operate. I like Lukas's Star Ring control. You are still able to operate the control with just the pressure of your thumb, but have a solid grip on the handle.

                            Stay Safe.
                            Firefighting... the only REAL job for us crazy ones


                            • #15
                              I too like the LUKAS tools.
                              Rod is right. The star ring control is very easy to use, with little pressure needed to turn it, and yes, you still have a firm grip on the tool. They are also very lightweight.
                              The second company I volly with has a Lukas set up on our Rescue and our Engine 3, and in the future, we are looking to buy a setup for Engine 1.

                              I was trained on Hurst, and that is also a good tool.

                              [This message has been edited by ceno2749 (edited 03-30-2001).]


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