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When the Swiss Army knife first came to life in the late 1800s, it was pure innovation – many tools within one tool. Commissioned by the Swiss Army and later adopting the name coined by American troops, this brilliant combination of essential tools housed in one unit gave the Swiss army a single place to go for their mainstay utensils when out in the field.

They say history repeats itself, and today law enforcement personnel benefits from the pure innovation of another tool within a tool. That tool is called StrongArm®, and we think it’s a game changer.

A single handheld tool that can cut, lift, spread and break down doors, StrongArm from HURST Jaws of Life does it all, breaching doors, prying open car doors and cutting through rebar, security bars and locks.

StrongArm’s cylindrical shape – around eight inches wide, eight inches high and 30 inches in length – has features that replace a variety of single-purpose hand tools such as crowbars, Halligan bars, wire cutters, axes and more. Powered by hydraulic power and easy to hold with a four-position handle, StrongArm can cut through 3/8" rebar, grade 43 chain and two-by-four wood planks.

The tool’s diversity comes with easy-change tips that turn the cutting tool into a spreading tool, prying open wood and metal doors and bending and breaking locks for quick access to people and spaces – a feat for which our HURST Jaws of Life tools are well known.

StrongArm was originally designed for firefighters, providing a mission-critical all-tools-in-one that could ensure help got to fallen firefighters. However, while the tool was under development, we realized the benefits it could offer to police and law enforcement for both rescue and SWAT scenarios. Law enforcement officers are often the first to arrive at serious accidents and can play a life-saving role in extricating people from their vehicles.

StrongArm for law enforcement and military fits easily into the trunk of a patrol car and can help officers quickly open a jammed door. Johnston noted that its compact size offers benefits not just for tactical rescue scenes, but also for criminal investigations.

It seems an oxymoron that something so strong could be so portable, but HURST engineers took advantage of today’s advances in technology and strong metals to make StrongArm extremely durable yet lightweight. The cylinder is made of anti-corrosive light aluminum alloy for weight, strength and long life, and its exterior boasts high-impact, non-metallic housing.  The two rechargeable batteries, each of which holds its charge for 30 minutes, weighs just 2.7 pounds.

Designed to be carried in one hand, StrongArm weighs less than 26 pounds, with exact weight depending on the attachments. For example, a built-in Picatinny accessory rail holds optional accessories such as a flashlight. Without the light, the tool is suitable for stealth operations; its black color fades into night, and the on/off button stays recessed and un-lit when the tool is in the ‘on’ position.