Is The Versa Rescue Knife As Good As Advertised Or Does It Come Up Short Even With All The Extra Features?
When he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, Jason Hanson came across tool needs the average knife did not fulfill. Enter the Versa rescue knife.
Besides the blade having two distinct edges—one short and flat, the other recurved and serrated—the tip is flattened for a screwdriver. When you close the knife, a glass breaker sticks out the front of the handle.
On the butt is a mini pry bar and a webbing/line cutter. Yes sir, there are lots of things going on with this rescue tool. However, I’m mostly concerned with testing the Versa’s cutting capabilities, so here goes.
Testing The Versa Rescue Knife
Slicing 20-pound bond copy paper was first on the list. Via a push cut, the flat edge zipped through the paper smooth and clean. It was somewhat challenging to use the flat front edge of the blade to start the cut.
Onto the serrated edge, the paper tore sometimes depending on whether I started with the tips of the serrations or the bottoms during push cuts. The serrations did better used in a slight forward motion, giving cleaner cuts.
From there, the knife easily dispatched double-walled cardboard. With only a slight twisting of the blade, the serrated portion cut aggressively through the medium. Likewise, the flat edge sliced effortlessly and was very controllable, providing nice, even cuts.
The flat edge cut smooth through six-ounce leather, producing a bit of a crunching sound. It was very easy to control the cuts. The aggressiveness of the serrations really went to work on the leather, emitting loud crunching noises as it bit deep—and without need of a sawing motion at that.
To test the webbing/cord cutter, I used 550 cord. With one end of the cord locked in a vise, I held the loose end and pulled the cutter through the material. The cutter worked great with no resistance, severing the ends of the cord clean.
Carrying The Versa
I carried the Versa for a week to see how it rode in my pocket. It’s a bit on the heavy side for my taste. The pocket clip held the knife secure with no side-to-side movement while I climbed a tree.
Even though the glass breaker works—I’ve used the type before—I didn’t like it poking me in the hand each time I grabbed the closed knife. Clipped in your pocket, it will also poke your hip when you’re wearing shorts and sit down. The concept behind the glass breaker is sound and useful, but it suffers from the same poking problem as on all the similarly equipped knives I’ve tested.
On the other hand, the pry bar rode great without sticking me in the leg. The handle design is very comfortable and the rubber inserts are perfect for a non-slip grip—a great using design.
Versa Rescue Knife: Final Thoughts
I would reduce the Versa’s weight for pocket carry and design a glass breaker that doesn’t poke the user. (Editor’s note: Also, the flipper/blade action is sluggish and needs work to make the knife open easier and smoother).
I would carry the Versa in a pouch or stashed in my vehicle. It works/functions great.
As long as the knife is not abused, Versa warrants it against defects in material and workmanship. For more information visit versaknife.com.
Versa rescue knife/Versa Knife Specs
Blade length: 3.25 inches
Blade steel: AUS 8A stainless
Blade grind: Hollow
Blade edge: 2/3 recurve and serrated, 1/3 flat and plain
Blade openers: Flipper and blade hole
Liners: Stainless steel
Handle: Coated stainless w/rubber inserts
Pocket clip: Stainless steel
Weight: 6.5 ounces
Closed length: 4-15/16 inches
Extras: Glass breaker, web/line cutter, pry bar
- Civivi Cogent Review
- TILI Ultralight Review
- Oknife Beagle Review
BLADE’s annual Knife Guide Issue features the newest knives and sharpeners, plus knife and axe reviews, knife sheaths, kit knives and a Knife Industry Directory.
NEXT STEP: Download Your Free KNIFE GUIDE Issue of BLADE Magazine
Get your FREE digital PDF instant download of the annual Knife Guide. No, really! We will email it to you right now when you subscribe to the BLADE email newsletter.
Click Here to Subscribe and get your free digital 2022 Knife Guide!