Monday, July 1, 2013

Urban Survival Tools - Part Two - Testing the S&W SW671 Extraction & Evasion Tool

At first glance, the Smith and Wesson SW671 Extraction and Evasion Tool looks like a formidable tool capable of inflicting some serious damage. The test will be to see if it performs as good as it looks in an urban survival scenario. 

Basic Features 

The Smith and Wesson SW671 Extraction and Evasion Tool with its 3/8” thick full tang handle and Kraton grips has an overall length of 15.9 inches. It is made of 1070 high carbon steel and with a weight of 2 lbs. 11 ounces makes this a very formidable extraction and evasion tool. 

It also comes with a protective nylon sheath that includes a belt loop (as if someone would actually carry this monster on their belt). The sheath has an inner nylon protector to prevent accidentally poking a hole in the sheath.

The 3/8 inch tang also allows the butt end to function similar to a hammer.

Basic Functions

The SW671 has a handle length that permits a good “two-handed” grip when in use. This allows you to exercise a lot more control, especially in close quarters. Control is an important factor when choosing a good hand tool and the SW671 gives you exactly that.

It has a good balance to it and packs enough weight to enable you to apply plenty of force with your swing. This tool is going to create some awesome damage to whatever gets in its way. After using it, don’t expect the protective blade coating to survive without some scuff marks.

Main Function

The SW671 with its combination spike tip and blade allows you to destroy a variety of different materials. The ability to hack your way through different types of material will aid in your escape or entry as determined by the situation at hand. This is the main function of any evasion & extraction tool.

The SW671 had no problem with cinder blocks and did a good job of breaking rock masonry with just a few blows. It would probably be more prudent to use it to chip away the mortar between the bricks or masonry because it will probably require less effort on your part. Once the mortar has been removed, the masonry should come apart easily.

The spike tip with its beveled edges easily punctures thinner sheet metal (such as tin roofing, etc.). It doesn't do much good on thicker plate metal of a 1/4 inch thickness or more as it merely scratches the surface. You could hack your way through a metal roof or a metal clad door fairly easily.

It chops wood quite easily and works like most any type of axe in this regard. Its size falls between a small camp axe and a regular axe. The weight also falls in between these two types of axes. It weighs slightly  more than a typical camp axe but less than a full size axe.

The blade edge held up well when chopping wood and the only damage done to the SW671 was the finish. Several scuff marks and scratches were readily apparent with even moderate use but this doesn't affect its overall performance.

When tested on various materials that are normally used in home construction, the SW671 handled the destruction of all the basic home construction materials with ease. This makes it an ideal tool for extraction and evasion. You’ll need to keep a pair of safety goggles handy and a decent pair of gloves when using the SW671.

Got urban survival tools?

Staying above the water line!



Dustin Tarditi said...

It doesn't look like it's suited well to prying - something I would expect to be valuable in an urban environ. I think a wrecking tool that you can find in the hardware store may be a better multi-use option. This looks like a cross between a camp axe and a 'hawk, not really an "extraction" type tool.

riverwalker said...

To: Dustin

With the thickness of the tool, it could work easily as a pry bar, if necessary. I've got a large pry bar but it's heavy and makes a poor axe. It's basically suited to prying with and little else.

Thanks Dustin.


idahobob said...

I'm a thinkin' that I'm a gonna get me one!


riverwalker said...

To: idahobob

I've seen ones that are $10 to $20 cheaper than this one but they have fiberglass handles attached to the axe which could prove to be a weakness. The full metal tang of the SW671 is a big plus in my estimation.

Thanks bob.


Anonymous said...

Good review sir - thanks. If you want a compact pry bar that chops, check into those inexpensive Chinese crate hatchets. Maybe $5 or $6, fairly lightweight and they take a pretty good beating to boot.

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