ChannelLock Rescue Tools – A Comparison and Review

ChannelLock Rescue Tools – A Comparison and Review

ChannelLock, Inc. has been manufacturing quality hand tools in the U.S.A. since 1886.  They produce more than 140 types of pliers as well as multi-function rescue tools for firefighters and other first responders.

ChannelLock’s reputation for producing quality hand tools is widely known.  The company continually focuses on equipment upgrades and functionality.  After receiving feedback from multiple firefighting agencies, ChannelLock engineered four different 6 in 1 rescue tools that are strong, versatile and reliable for emergency responders.

The ChannelLock 86, 87, 88 and 89 tools share several similarities:

  • Built with high quality materials
  • Versatile and rugged
  • Cuts cables and seat belts
  • Designed with a notch for turning standard size gas shut off valves
  • Elongated pry bar to open doors and windows
  • Slender jaw that fits into constricted spaces
  • Window punch that easily breaks safety glass
  • All tools carry the ChannelLock lifetime guarantee

ChannelLock 89 Rescue Tool:


The 89 Rescue Tool

  • 1.8 pounds and 11.7” in overall length
  • Jaw length 1.43”
  • Features curved steel cutters
  • Spanner will fit up to 6” couplings
  • Many users of the 89 feel that it is too bulky to carry in their bunker gear
  • Price point around $45

ChannelLock 88 Rescue Tool:

  • channellock-88-rescue-tool-2

    The “88”

    1.62 pounds and 10.45” in overall length

  • Jaw length 1.49”
  • Aggressive crosshatched tooth pattern for maximum grip with flat cutters
  • Laser, heat treated cutting edge that lasts longer
  • Spanner will fit up to 5” couplings
  • As with the 89, some users feel it’s too heavy to carry in the pocket of bunker gear
  • Price point around $40

ChannelLock 87 Rescue Tool:


The ChannelLock 87

  • 1.13 pounds and 8.88” in overall length (2” shorter and 30% lighter than 89)
  • The shorter size renders a slight decrease in leverage
  • Jaw length 1.43”
  • Curved and hardened cutting jaws
  • Spanner fits up to 5” hose couplings
  • Does not have a spring assist opening device
  • Price point around $40

ChannelLock 86 Rescue Tool:


ChannelLock 86

  • 0.90 pounds and 9.03” in overall length
  • Jaw Length 1.78”
  • Locks shut for a better fit in bunker gear (It’s been noted that sometimes the locking apparatus has some play in it and will not close completely)
  • Utilizes ChannelLock’s unique XLT joint design allowing one handed operation (Some users have reported having trouble using it with one hand)
  • A longer, pointed jaw design for better gripping
  • Laser, heat treated cutting edge for cutting harder medal
  • Spanner wrench works on 5” couplings
  • Price point around $45

In Conclusion:

In wrapping up our comparison on the ChannelLock Rescue Tools, we find all four tools to be of high quality materials, well-constructed and useful to any first responder.  We hope this comparison will help you decide which tool is right for you.

Would you prefer the heavier 89 with a curved cutter and spanner able to work on slightly larger couplings?  Would the 88’s Jaw length 1.49”, slightly larger jaw, crosshatched tooth grip and flat cutter with the aggressive crosshatched tooth pattern fit your needs?  Does the 87’s lighter weight and shorter handle with less leverage appeal to you?  Or does the compact 86 XLT model interst you?

If you are interested in a rescue tool, learn by clicking one of the following Amazon links: ChannelLock 86, ChannelLock 87, ChannelLock 88, ChannelLock 89

Do you have one of these rescue tools in your bunker gear pocket?  Tell us about it in a comment below.  Thanks for visiting CharlieSeat!

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