Thread: Air chisel

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    Post Air chisel

    What do you think is the best chisel for extrication to be used with an air hammer?
    Any photos?
    Thank you

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    Although I'm yet to use it an actual accident, when ever we train with the air chisel, I seem to get the most benefit out of this tool tip- don't know what it's called though....
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    Luke

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    A different angle....
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    Luke

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    Lutan, we have a similar chisel with our Ajax kit, they refer to it as a ripper chisel I believe. A more standard name would be a t-shaped panel cutter or single panel cutter.
    Xe1rcf, the panel cutters our great for ripping through single layer sheet metal, ie. cutting out the fender to access the door hinges or cutting a flap to get at the locking mechanism inside the latch side of the door. It's also a must to have some of the curved bit cutters(end is rounded like a half moon) to cut through thicker materials, making relief cuts, cutting roof posts, etc. We have both long and short versions of each style bit with our chisel kit and they work good.
    On a related note, we took our kit out of the box and store it in a bag we got from Howell Rescue Systems. I think they call it the Quik Hit bag. It holds an air cylinder, the gun, the hose, and several bits, all ready to go and preconnected(not the bits, they rest in some side slots). No setup time now, all you have to do is open the bottle and drop in the cutting bit of your choice into the air hammer.

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    Hey kbud, how often does it get used in an actual extrication? (Other than training?)

    Why would you use this tool over lets say the hydraulic spreaders and cutters to access and cut hinges and door lock mechanisms?

    I get concerned about the noise factor and also the time.
    You need to peel back the panel. Expose the hinges. Either cut them, unbolt them or pop the hinge pins- all of which can be done with minimal time and effort with hydraulics....
    Luke

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    Lutan,only place I've used them much is on van and school bus accidents(rolled on side),They work great for installing doors in the roof area.Quick and slick,T.C.

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    Lutan, I have not used a chisel on an actual call yet either, just training. Hydraulics and recip saws have done the job so far for the incidents I've been on. It's nice to have options though, both in techniques and tools available in case of multiple vehicle jobs or tool failure, or to supplement the hydraulics by making relief cuts, etc.
    Our last quarter's extrication training consisted of performing the standard tasks without the use of hydraulic tools, ie. taking doors and completely removing the sides of vehicles, roof removal, and dash/column displacement. We used hi-lift jacks,chains,recip saws,the air chisel, and haligan bars. Obviously more elbow grease involved and the chisel is loud, but we weren't much slower arriving at the end result. There's a technique for attacking the safety latch housing box inside the skin of a car door that only requires a quick panel cut to expose the inner box, and then you cut the bolts that hold the box together with a curved bit. This releases their hold on the Nader pin and the door comes open quite easily.The chisel is the tool of choice for this one.
    The chisel may also be a better choice if your working in tight spaces and don't have room bring the hydraulics in. We made a confined space entry into a storm sewer drain last summer to remove a 55 gallon drum that got wedged in there sideways. The entry guys had to crawl in about 100 ft. and used the chisel to cut the barrel in pieces for removal.

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    Lutan - just an added tool that is available. One person will be spreading a door while one cuts the roof posts. Third person can be cutting with air chisel. Yes, would be better if we actually had a recip saw (working on that), but you gotta go with what you have. We use a tip similar to what you have pictured on all three of our air chisels. Don't know what it is called...

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    I can't say that I have actually used our air chisel on a call, but I have used it more then a couple of times during drills and practices.

    One that comes to mind was a late model Chevy Van (full size, not a minivan) on its side. The rear doors where blocked, and the front window was partially blocked. Now, this was a larger scenario, I think we have 4-5 vehicles total, so pretty much all the tools where being used at any given time. Three of us where told to work on the van, myself, my captain, and a newbie. After sizing it up, we automatically decided that the recip saw or hydraulics would be the quickest way to get in. However, they where all in service on other vehicles.
    Plan B.
    I used our air chisel to cut a hatch in the roof of the van just behind the front seats. I used a different kind of bit then the one Lutan has show, it had a grove, or arc, in the end ----(. Sorry, no fancy pictures. I picked this one, because the roof of the van was ribbed, and it can be a pain to try to cut one of those ribs with the sheet-metal bit (which is what we call that particular style, Lutan, because it is good a ripping sheet metal apart, but that is about it). It broader tip allowed me to slice through the ribs, making a pretty good size hole. When a recip saw came available, we used it to extend the new "sun roof" to the windshield, taking about the A post cross beam.

    A few years back, at the regional auto ex. competition, I seen one team use their air chisel to cut an access hole in the side of the door, by the door handle, and use it to get at the locking mechanism, which allowed them to open the door. Try before you pry, right? However, the window was part way down and I figured it would have been much quicker to take the window and unlock the door (Mid 80's Chev Aires, so it did not have power locks) and the PT was on the other side...

    Bottom line, it never hurts to have lots of tools in the tool box, air chisel included.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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