Thread: Tools

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    My dept. is looking to buy a new set of extrication tools. Have any of you tried the beast by champion tools?? we currently are running some hand me down dinosaurs from way back. Im inclined to buy hurst since they have been around forever.
    Last edited by pyro6999; 01-08-2010 at 09:53 AM.

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    IMHO if time is relative, get some demo's in. Try different things. In the end you may end up liking the tools from Hurst the most, but go in with an open mind. Look at what is available for service. Nothing will hurt your dept more having a tool down and not getting timely service to fix your tool.

    I won't promote one brand over another as each department has different parameters to fit, but do your dept a favor and look at the demos from different vendors in your area and talk to area departments to see who has reputable in the field service.

    I hope you find a tool set that works well for our dept.
    ~ Doc

    - Happy Public Servant working in the Public Safety Field since 1998

    “Live Free Or Die; Death Is Not The Worst of Evils.” ~ General John Stark

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    Pyro-

    Great name BTW. Look around to see what the other depts in your area are using. Look at your MA depts. Time comes, that "national news" event, you may need to switch heads. Makes training and interoperability a cinch.

    Also with all the depts using same vendor, you can ask for discounts from the vendor because they get more bang for the buck when the locals depts are on the same schedule for tool maint/service etc.

    There also might be factory trained reps in the other depts.

    My old dept went with holmatro ONLY because everyone else was using them. We got some sweet deals when other depts upgraded their tools, we got reconditioned leftovers at a giant discount. Same for going with Draeger SCBA, one of the other depts had a level II tech and he would work on our stuff for free.


    Logistics is the winner here. All things being equal, and most extric. tools are equal, make it easier on yourself to stay status quo.

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    well we got our grant today, so we are in the market for either a spreader or a combo tool. my thoughts are to stick with hurst. i would really like to see the beast in action though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyro6999 View Post
    well we got our grant today, so we are in the market for either a spreader or a combo tool. my thoughts are to stick with hurst. i would really like to see the beast in action though.
    Take it for what it's worth, but here's my advice. Get with a local towing company/salvage yard and get some cars, then get some demo units in to evaluate. Establish some criteria and try to simulate as equally as possible different cuts, spreads, etc. Pop a door on each side, cut some pillars, cut some panels, do a dash roll, etc. See which one performs the best.

    If you're looking at one tool and one tool ony, the Beast isn't a bad one. My career department runs nothing but Champion, so I've had my share of time with them. I've also played with a Hurst/Centaur combi-tool.

    The pro's of the Beast is that you have two (and possibly more, from what I've heard) tools in one. All you have to do is pull three pins, pull the head off, put the new head on, and put the pins back in. Granted, this takes some getting used to, as the cylinder needs to be in different positions to make it easier to put on different heads. It peforms well from what I've used it.

    The Hurst isn't a bad tool, either. What I did notice about it is that you're limited on cuts due to the tips. We were making cuts at the bottom of the A-Post to do a spreader dash roll and had fits due to the tips clamping down on the metal at that end. We got it done, but not as easily as with regular cutters. The spread width isn't the greatest either, but it is a combi-tool and is going to have a limited width, that's to be expected.

    To be honest, I if you're looking at a limited budget and trying to maximize that budget, I bet if you do the demo you'll come away impressed with the Beast. I'd rather have a full set of seperate cutters and spreaders, but if I had to choose one tool to put on the truck I'd look seriously at it.

    As a side note, it seems like I've seen where they're now putting that C-style cutter on the Beast. That cutter works well for cutting posts, but I'm not overly impressed with it cutting panels. I'm still a fan of a scissor cutter.

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    If you don't get ALL new stuff then don't change brands. make sure any cutters you get are 200,000 psi + cutting force for the newer metals in cars now.
    Most brands can do most everything, my FT department has Amkus and they work great, my PT department has Hurst and Genisis and they both work great. I just don't like having stuff that isn't compatable with the other stuff we own.
    So again make sure you have all of the same brand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyro6999 View Post
    My dept. is looking to buy a new set of extrication tools. Have any of you tried the beast by champion tools?? we currently are running some hand me down dinosaurs from way back. Im inclined to buy hurst since they have been around forever.
    If you read your own post, you kind of answer your own question. You already have a "hand me down dinosaur" from way back, and you are looking at a Hurst that "have been around forever".

    This string is a month old, so perhaps you have made your mind up by now, but I agree with the advise to shop around and do some apples-to-apples demos. Be ware of sales reps who bad mouth other brands and be very suspicious of those who can sell you a set of tools "right now for this price". Remember, they are there to make money first, and help you out second.

    To answer your question, I have some experience with the B.E.A.S.T. and I have been impressed. With the needs in this field changing from primarily spreading to primarily cutting, I thing the BEAST give you a great option at getting two tools for about the price of one.

    And when you look at cutters, Champion now offers several different types of cutting heads that can be attached to the BEAST. As Catch22 points out, the "C" type gillotine cutter would not be my first choice, but if you had the budget to add that cutter to one of the "O" type configurations, you would give yourself some good options for those once-in-a-lifetime calls you may get.

    As I have said MANY times on here... Any tool will perform the functions that it was designed to do when it is in the hands of a competent operator who understands the operation of the tools that are in their hands.

    Good luck... I would be interested to hear what brand you select.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

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