Channellock 87 Rescue Tool – Product Review

I was sent a Channellock 87 Rescue tool to do a product review on. After seeing it at FDIC last year, I really wanted to see what this new tool was worth.

Read what Captain Wines had to say about the #87 here on

Channellock has several versions of rescue tools, the 87 model is the newest. It is shorter and lighter than the 89. They also have the 86 model which has the pliers on the end instead of the cutters.

As I have explained in the past, I am a driver/engineer on an Engine Company. My rank of Lieutenant enables me to act when my Captain is off. Typically, I am driving. We run a lot of vehicle accidents. Once on scene, I am in charge of securing the scene with proper apparatus placement and setting out cones and flares. I HAVE to ensure the other guys are not worrying about traffic. The rest of the crew operates at the scene ensuring vehicle stabilization and EMS with our medic unit.

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I keep my Channellock 87 Rescue Tool next to my pliers in a sheath located in my radio pocket.

After I am finished doing what needs to be done to control traffic until police show up I head to the vehicles. I do very little EMS, I leave that to the other guys. I get to the cars to stabilize them, control fluid run-off, and more importantly disconnecting the batteries.

All the while, I might be getting other stuff to support operations at the actual scene where anything and everything might be happening.

Yeah, my job at vehicle accidents is heroic indeed! YEAH me!

I tell you this because I have to have the tools to do my work at my fingertips. Whether I need pliers, cutters, irons, or whatever I take it with me. I do not like having to walk back and forth from the Engine. You might say I have it down to a science. My actions at vehicle accidents have to be choreographed to ensure I operate quickly, efficiently, and safely.

The sheath has protected my radio pocket from wearing a hole in the bottom.

I have carried many tools in my turnout gear. Occasionally, I change up my layout but that only comes after a trial period.

When I received my Channellock 87 rescue tool, I put it in my coat along with my pliers and cutters. I had to have what I knew worked along with the new tool.

I soon realized that the new 87 would work just fine. I used it all of the time for cutting battery cables. It is also a perfect tool for cutting any other wires/cables if I need. If I ever find myself all wrapped up inside a structure, I could use them to cut my way out. Plus there are many other uses for the tool.

This is all you see with my tools tucked into my radio pocket. They fit perfectly and the velcro flap closes right over them securing them into place.

As for the spanner wrench end and prying end, I haven’t really used it for anything quite yet. However, it is there if I need it.

I admit, the tool is a little heavier than I would like. I have gotten used to it though. I keep the 87 right next to my pliers in my radio pocket on the front of my turnout coat.

The tool is 8.8 inches long and just over 1 lb. (1.1lbs).

This tool has been a great tool that should withstand a lot of wear and tear. You can purchase the tool on their web site.

More about the Channellock 87 Rescue Tool

  • 30% lighter than the 89 Rescue Tool for compact storage
  • Fits securely in bunker pockets
  • Narrow jaw profile fits in tight spots
  • Standard battery cables are no match for its cutting power
  • Hardened cutting edges shear through soft metal
  • Spanner wrench tightens and loosens up to 5″ hose couplings
  • Pries open windows and doors
  • Shuts off gas safety valves

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