A sheepsfoot blade has a straight edge and a straight dull back that curves towards the edge at the end.
Sheepsfoot blades were originally made to trim the hooves of sheep, but they have proved to be ideal rescue knives.
The lack of a sharp point minimizes the chances of anything accidentally being pierced by the point. That means that firefighters and rescue personnel can cut seatbelts and other restraints without injuring the patient with a sharp point. The sheepsfoot design makes it easy to slip under strapping, clothing, etc. without worry of cutting the person or yourself.
A sheepsfoot blade also makes the best rescue knife because of the greater ease of control. The dull back edge is made to be held by fingers, offering the most control. Slip-free cuts allow the rescuer to exert additional force or work on unstable surfaces.
A sheepsfoot design is not the only attribute important in a good rescue knife, however. The knife also needs a full-tang design to ensure it does not fold back on the rescuer. This also allows the rescuer to exert a considerable amount of force on the blade.
A good rescue knife should also have aggressive serrations to ensure it can easily cut through whatever is presented. The Blakely™ Rescue Knife by M Essentials™ offers a serrated edged ideal for cutting through straps, webbing and rope. The sheepsfoot design allows for easy cutting and slicing and the serrated blade means you can cut through anything.
Last, a good rescue knife needs a reliable sheath. You can’t carry a full-tang blade without a reliable sheath. The sheath should release easily and engage positively.
A sheepsfoot blade makes an ideal rescue knife. The greater ease of control and lack of a sharp point make this an essential rescue item that every rescuer and first responder should have on hand.
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Originally Published: Dec 22, 2014