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  1. #1
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    Default Cutters vs. Spreaders

    Here's our story,
    We recently upgraded our Hurst System with a new dual channel pump. We also have an older Combitool with Diamond point tips. We have some funds left over from a fundraising campaign and are looking into adding a tool to our system. Enough history!
    My question is this, If given the situation above which would you buy 1) a new cutter with the ability to cut hinges, nader bolts etc.. or 2) a full size spreader?

    Thanks in advance for your input.


  2. #2
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    Default

    I vote for the dedicated cutter. From my experience, vehicles are being made from lighter metals that tend to tear when you try to use the spreaders on them. The result has been an increas in the use of cutter for almost all evolutions. I forsee the need to use cutters becoming more common than the need for spreaders. This also reduces the possibility of damaging the spreaders by using it to routinely perform cuts. So, as long as your current spreaders have done what you have needed it to do, why replace it? With a separate cutter, you can actually have two cutting evolutions going on at the same time by using the cutting faces of the combination tool.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

  3. #3
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Default

    I too would go for the cutters. What about a combi tool instead?
    Luke

  4. #4
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    Default

    Easy choice... cutter... Xtractor II.

  5. #5
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd take a big pair of spreaders any day. You can cut for hours and sometimes you still need to force/displace things.

    You can use a reciprocating saw to cut. Unlike cutters, there aren't a lot of good options to take the place of a big pair of spreaders.

    Combitools are a big compromise. While they do both, they do neither very well. I just wouldn't want to give up big (32" +) spreaders for a combitool. But it is nice to have a combitool available as an option, especially if you have multiple vehicles involved.
    Last edited by Resq14; 01-09-2005 at 05:33 PM.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    Default

    I guess I could have made this suggestion... since it is a low pressure system... you do have the option of looking at a Phoenix spreader which can cut and spread, but it is NOT a "combitool". The Phoenix 35/25 will do it all. The only problem is dealing with the tips when they are extended into an area where you want the cutting surface.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber EEResQ's Avatar
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    Post How about adding a "Telescopic Ram" to your tool inventory?

    Medic590:

    Not knowing your total hydraulic rescue tool inventory, including that of your mutual aid (MA), it's hard to make a solid recommendation (true cutter Vs. big spreader), of one tool over the other.

    History, and a few of us old "FARTS" (stands for: Fire And Rescue Technology Specialist) will remind us that in the '70's we used hydraulic spreaders 90% of the time, and cut with "other than hydraulic tools" 10% of the time. This ratio was due to the fact that we used what was available to us during the period. Now in 2000 and beyond, we probably cut +60% of the time. However, now we can "cut, spread, push or pull" if something is between us and our victim.

    While I always recommend: "a full sized spreader must be available to every MVA response agency," that doesn't mean everyone has to spend the big bucks for one. So, if your MA has a full sized spreader, and is close enough to respond to the big ones, why not add a tool that, today, you will use even more than a spreader?

    Now that hydraulic rams are readily available on everyone's tool system, you may want to consider using your "leftover" funds on what the other guy may not have. If your existing tools are doing the job, (only you and your members can make this call), why not consider adding a "two-stage telescopic ram" to your arsenal? Consider this, a full sized cutter starts at around $4,500 dollars, and a full sized spreader will start at about $6,000! With those numbers in mind, a two-stage tele-ram can be added to your system for around $2,600 dollars.

    Check and see what's around you before duplicating a neighbor's major tool. Sometimes, we can expend our energies, and our monies, more wisely.

    Good luck, and please be safe!

    EEResQ
    KY
    Last edited by EEResQ; 01-10-2005 at 04:06 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Combi- Tool

    I would definately recommend a combi tool. I've looked at most of them that are on the market and I've found that ResQ Tek's ResQ 370 is the best combi tool on the market. Max cutting force is 59 TONS. Max spreading force is 16.3 TONS (33,000 lbs) with a max opening of 14.6 inches.

    Three more points:

    1.) How many times have you needed to spread 32"?

    2.) The tips on ResQ Teks combi tools are "Field Removeable" within about 3 seconds so you can get that complete cut.

    3.) There are no modifications that need to be made to the tool or your system in order to use it.

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to sell you the tool. I am just encouraging you to look at ALL of your options.

  9. #9
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    Default

    I know you may not be looking at a high pressure tool but check this comparison out between resqtek and genesis.
    ------------------ResQ370-----------------Genesis 16C Brute

    Weight------------43.8 lbs---------------------40.7 lbs

    max opening--------14.6"------------------------16.7"

    max cutting-------118,000 lbs-----------------112,000 lbs

    max spread---------16,000 lbs-------------------22,000 lbs
    (at tips)

    max pull--------------?-------------------------12,825 lbs

    NFPA approved---------?--------------------------YES

    removable tips-------yes(3 secs)------------------yes(3 secs)

    NFPA rating----------A?/B?/C?/D?/E?--------------A7/B9/C7/D9/E9

    D handle---------------No--------------------------Yes(3 secs)
    (field removable)---------------------------------- (adjustable)


    But back to the original question, go with a combi tool no question if you have to choose one or the other. Get a spreader when the opportunity arises. sfdeng2 raises a very good question how ofter do you spread 32" or more. Get the ResQ 370 to add to your hurst collection in my opinion. Again if resqtek is NFPA approved, I'm not sure but I didn't see anything on their website if they are. Rumors re flying that future grants must be used on NFPA approved items for liability reasons. I've heard it from several tool venders at last years shows. Just a matter of opinion I think the Genesis Combi is the best on the market. Later

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thanks for all of your replies. We already have a combitool which works well. We also have the usual complement of recip saws, K12, air chisels etc.. Our mutial aid companies have airbags, full size spreaders, rams etc... We have implemented a gog that responds a mutial aid company with rescue equip to all high speed MVA's . Our thoughts are better 2 sets of tools than one (In case of equip failure, mulitiple vehicle extrication etc)
    My question may have been better worded..

    If you had a combitool and had funds to buy a cutter or spreader which would you choose?

  11. #11
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    If you had a combitool and had funds to buy a cutter or spreader which would you choose?
    Cutter. Use the combi as the spreader and cut with the cutter.


    For those recommending other brand tools...do they work with a Hurst Pump? If not, they're really not helpful for this guy.
    "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?

  12. #12
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    Default

    Go for the dedicated cutter.

    ResQ Tek is Hurst compatible.

    No, I don't sell the tools

  13. #13
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default Re: Combi- Tool

    Originally posted by sfdeng2
    1.) How many times have you needed to spread 32"?
    ?

    Routinely? Try lifting/displacing a steering assembly with a combitool. Try vertically crushing a door. Some do it better than others, but I've never seen one match a big pair of spreaders.

    Are these the only options in extrication? No, we always have backup planS and equipment to support them. But our primary tactics involve big spreaders and big cutters (speedway cutters) making quick work of things. And yes, we investigate potential SRS devices and modify tactics based on stripping decorative trim.

    That said, our front bumper sports a combitool for door pops, cutting thinner posts, etc.
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  14. #14
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by Bones42
    For those recommending other brand tools...do they work with a Hurst Pump? If not, they're really not helpful for this guy.
    That was why I suggested the Phoenix... it is a low pressure tool just like a Hurst and it was designed by the same person who designed the early Hurst tools.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

  15. #15
    Forum Member XCAPT1's Avatar
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    Default

    I would have to say go with the Hurst X-tractors. I am part of a JOLT team and since this tool came out evaluation times have dropped dramatically. Most teams are using the spreader to do a vertical lift for a purchase point and then cutting the rest. The times for a two door removal and a dash roll are around four minutes. On the street my department usually completes the removal of the roof, doors along with the dash roll in about 10 minutes. The cutters have everything to do with this along with training. Good luck with whatever you choose.

    Stay Safe

  16. #16
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    Angry

    Well first let me say I am a new puppy to this site. My dept recently updated all of our hydraulics to the newest Hurst tools. We even got the MOC cutters. Around 150,000 lbs cutting force. Also have two sets of the big spreaders. And a new combi tool to boot. Plus some other tools also. The pump is capable of running two tools at once. My preferred hookup is the cutters and the combi tool. I can cut anyting I want with the cutters( within reason) and the combi tool will spread what I need. So if it were my chioce I would look for the cutters.

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