Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    157

    Default Cutters: Stronger vs. Faster

    We are being allowed to have some say-so in the cutter choice on a new Rescue. It is going into a station that currently only has a combi.
    I don't want this to turn into brand A vs. brand B, only about performance of a tool.
    Would you rather have a cutter that could cut most of the structures we deal with, hinges, some A and B posts, etc., is relatively light weight and uses a decent blade design

    OR... a cutter that would cut most vehicles, including the dreaded subaru's and volvo's. One with a huge cut force and large blades. The downside being weighs a lot and is slower than the first.

    Keep in mind we are talking 8 to 10 lbs difference in weight, but only 3 to seconds difference in cut times on equal materials.

    This is causing a big discussion with us, so I thought I would get 2 cents from the experts.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Caldwell, NJ
    Posts
    56

    Default

    My opinion is that you need at least one cutter that could cut anything. If you have the luxury of multiple cutters, then you could consider a lighter weight, less powerful cutter. I frankly don't think speed is any concern. I feel you have more control with a tool that moves slower (as long as it isn't too slow).

    You should choose the tools that will give you the most options. If you have the opportunity to add to your tools, you should add whatever gives you the most options at an extrication scene.

    Of course, that being said, even the most powerful of todays tools, won't be able to cut the exotic metals of tomorrow's cars.

  3. #3
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    The Home of Smucker's Jelly
    Posts
    1,266

    Default

    If you do your homework and pay close attention to the dealers who demo the equipment, you should be able to find a tool that will do what you want it to do and not have to make a choice of "either / or".

    Don't let speed lead your decision too much. If you compare apples to apple, you will often find that a tool that opens and closes very quickly, will work much slower when you put it to work. Keep track of how they performed and when you get your tool, take it out to see if it performs just like the one you had the demo with.

    Take your time and look at all of the brands that are being used around your area. Talk to these departments and find out how happy they are with the service they receive from the dealers in your area.

    BTW... I thought you were pretty sharp on this forum... so don't forget your opinion as well. I have always respected it!
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,578

    Default

    In my opinion (that and $1.50 gets you coffee at 7-11), strength over speed every time.

    Average car accident, the few seconds per cut difference will have very little impact. Being able to make 1 cut as opposed to multiple cuts is a real time saver.

    Less cuts having to be made, less time carrying the tool, and the weight factor goes away as well.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Sorry I did not put it in my post, but I am VERY much on the side of strength. I just don't think that two, three even five seconds makes that much difference in cutting a post. I know it can add up, that is the arguement I am getting from four on our committee. My point is that it will take a lot longer to go to plan B when you find something you can't cut, not to mention the time you spent trying to make the cut.
    I think the smaller cutters are fine for engines that have rescues backing them up, but a rescue should have the biggest available.



    I am hoping to show them the responses to this next week so that some other opinions can be injected, instead of a bunch of egos arguing in a room.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    306

    Default

    With the added strength of the newer "Mega-Cutters" 300,000 lbs and above comes the added weight of the tools. Most of these cutters are weighing in at close to 50 lbs. thus becoming more difficult to handle and maneuver. Upwards of 50 lbs is a lot of tool for some folks to handle. You really need to have your guys operate each of them and get a feel for this. After actually handling these cutters I believe most folks will find them awkward for day to day use but would like them available as an alternative backup.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Windsor, MA
    Posts
    238

    Default

    In terms of speed vs power, a 2 or 3 stage pump should give you both. Under light load the pump operates in the first stage and moves quickly, if it comes upon resistance, it switches to the second stage which moves slower but can produce more pressure for more cutting power. Some pumps have a third stage which gives you even more power for less speed. Pretty much the same idea as a car's transmission.

    Since big tools were brought up. I had a chance to use Hurst's new 40" spreaders, which weigh upwards of 60lbs. It was a lot of weight, but boy they can sure roll a dash.

    One other thought, if you have the resources, a very small set of cutters would be nice for getting at things like seat back hinges.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    Looking at the bigger picture when is the last time you NEEDED a stronger SPREADER? Cutters? That is where the power comes in to deal with the multilayer reinforced posts.In over 25 years I can't recall a time when the spreader couldn't do what needed to be done. The cutter,on the other hand,is another story.The downside to the improved cutter is that as capacity increases so does the chance of catastrophic failure. The two need to be balanced somehow. T.C.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Isn't that funny 101. The day was all we heard about was spreaders, bigger and bigger, longer arms. Now it is 180 degree turn to cutters. Spreaders are getting smaller, everyone is producing a decent powered 27", and the wieght is a big issue. Cutters on the other hand are the selling point at any booth at the major trade shows.

    The stages of pumps don't overcome the size and net oil requirements they have to do their jobs. The we already use a two stage system, which any modern set of tools uses. It is not hard to figure what brand I am talking about if you read other posts. The question is not about brand though.
    TNT makes the slc 28, fast, great for everyday, but no ability with UHSS in some cars. They make the BFC, a beast, but heavy for everyday.
    Holmatro makes the 4020 and 4035, fast, light and great on "most" applications, but not the hard stuff. Their 4050 and not 4055, mid 40 lb range but will cut most anything.
    I could go on with other brands. My point, or opinion is if you are outfitting an engine company with tools, and there are heavy rescues with big cutters to back up, then the smaller ones make sense. But if you can only have one, and you are the heavy rescue, does it not make sense to get the biggest?

    I, and four others of us are beating our heads against the brick wall of some guys with blinders on. I wish it was easier to get newer cars with stronger structural elements for training purposes.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,214

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    In my opinion (that and $1.50 gets you coffee at 7-11), strength over speed every time.

    Average car accident, the few seconds per cut difference will have very little impact. Being able to make 1 cut as opposed to multiple cuts is a real time saver.

    Less cuts having to be made, less time carrying the tool, and the weight factor goes away as well.
    what he said.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default

    This is a great topic. Here in the Rockies 2 of the 3 heavies just got the BFC for that what if call but run a smaller cutter as the primary. Outlying trucks run smaller cutters in the 90-110 range. If you are outfitting a Heavy Rescue then it needs a heavy cutter. When looking at a heavy cutter....look at the 1936 performance numbers and not the mathmatical cutting forces printed. Recently I looked at the 4055 only to find it performs worse than the 4050, but touts 20k more force. The BFC wont even cut 9's across the board. On a heavy you should find a cutter that also meets the needs of machinery and industrial rescue as that is the tool you will look to on those out of the box calls. My 2 cents....the air is thin up here.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Tell me about those NFPA numbers.
    The materials NFPA uses are not really that realistic IMO to what the cutters are intended for. Most cutters I have scene that score high on the numbers, don't cut so well on vehicles that wad up as you cut them. The NFPA materials tend to all maintain a shape as you cut them. You can also cut them from any angle, since they are held in a fixture, unlike a vehicle, which you have cut from the accessible side, which may not always be the best.

    NFPA is great for safety and durability, but A,B,C,D,E, does not do a lot for me.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    My sentiments exactly.I could care less what it does in the LAB.I want to know what it does in the STREET. I don't have many problems in a laboratory setting.Twisted,bent steel out in the roadway is another story entirely.Give me a tool that WORKS! T.C,

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    191

    Default

    Has anyone else tried the new Holmatro 4055 cutter?

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Points are well taken. And I too would be much more interested in "street" numbers than those in a lab. But currently the NFPA performance level testing is the only common test that every cutter goes through and even though the test dont mimmick what is in vehicles it allows you a chance to compare a tool against another using a third party measuring stick. Every 5 years everyone has a voice in 1936.....pass your thoughts on. IMO as realted to this topic "faster vs stronger" is that some of the best performing NFPA cutters are some of the best overall in the real world, MOC II, 231 and 4050 all have better than average numbers and the best strength to weight ratios out there. They all are in the "40" lbs weight class and perform much better than the faster (smaller piston) 30 lbs class and in most cases they perform close to tools in the 45+ class.

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I am Completly fund with the use of a strong cutter a good control,
    BUT!! NFPA LAB is a point to look at....why
    with a demo we compared strong cutters and those that have great marketing did not perform as the say, and one cutter parallel to the other behave prety close to the the indication given by the Cutting clasifications.

    if you are lucky try to get a volvo or a subaru..and do the test your self.

    Oh!! an more important ask what and how the blades are made or made of,
    Mild Steel will break much easier, they not "plastic" and breaks much more violently...seen it my self.

    No brands ... power and cuttin preformance, vs. speed.
    Hope my opinion was understood.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    39

    Wink Its a combination

    Here it is: straight from an AUTOMOBILE engineers mouth:

    In order to "get through" the high strength steel used in structural and impact zones on new automobiles, the hydraulic rescue cutters will need 3 things workign in their favor- SPEED, HIGH COMPRESSIVE FORCE & GOOD BLADE DESIGN. If any of these 3 essentials are missing, the cutter will not overcome the material.

    The high strength steel is lightweight and brittle- therefore the cutter has to be FAST to fracture it, not "cut" it.

    The tool has to be STRONG and have high compressive force to overpower the material.

    The cutter also has to have a GOOD BLADE DESIGN that will start the "cut," hold the material in place, crush it, then crack it, then finish the "cut."

    Keep this in mind. This guy is pretty sharp and has NO ties to the rescue tool market...just wants to help us help the victims get out alive.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    90

    Default

    [QUOTE=KB1OEV;1067901]In terms of speed vs power, a 2 or 3 stage pump should give you both. QUOTE]

    who makes 3 stage pumps?

  19. #19
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    I think I'll keep testing mine on BENT iron.Worked well for the last twenty five years(the tools we bought).Now buying for the next ten. And yes,head to head in real world scenerios. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 07-13-2009 at 08:38 AM.

  20. #20
    Forum Member bum291's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    POHA, Finland
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I say, for road rescue, get the most powerfull cutter you can get that are made for cars. There are some tough cars on the roads, and there will be tougher ones out in the future. The most powerfull cutter will probably be the heaviest one as well. That's why there are lightweight cutters for pedals, steering wheel and other tricky places.

    I'm a follower of Holmatro, so my dream team is the CU 4055 C NCT (or 4050) and the lightweight CU 4005 C along with long jawed spreaders and RAM jacks.

    Regarding the CU 4055, I have no experience of it. But I know holmatro makes good stuff and no crap. I will not beleve that it's worse than the C 4050. The C 4020 and C 4035 have GP (General Purpose) blades, they are not made to cut window posts of a subaru or mercedes but rather for cutting up the side on a passanger train etc.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Video to inspire those to don your BA faster!
    By BKDRAFT in forum Fireground Tactics
    Replies: 150
    Last Post: 02-04-2009, 06:04 AM
  2. Faster response to firefighter deaths is urged
    By bdedman in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-10-2007, 06:42 AM
  3. A Stronger Rope, and More, for Firefighters to Hold On To
    By sbfdco1 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-14-2005, 09:02 PM
  4. Is Leather really Stronger than Kevlar and Plastic?????
    By blancety in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-10-2004, 07:20 AM
  5. The Brother (and Sister)Hood is 25+ stronger in Loudoun Cty, VA
    By NoVa Bandit in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-06-2002, 09:33 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts