The Bowring Tool
This is a product review for the Bowring Tool dubbed “The Ultimate Firefighter’s Tool”. I have had the tool for several months now and have had a chance to try it out in many of its uses. This tool is made out of 17-4 steel, 8.3″ tall, 5.9″ wide, .375″ thick and weighs 22 ounces. The tool has no welds.
The Bowring is a universal tool. I first heard about it at FDIC last year. I wasn’t able to catch up with the tool or the guys who created it and finally caught up with them via email. They immediately sent me a tool to try out and do a product review on. Since then, I have enjoyed several telephone calls about the tool.
The Bowring is a unique tool. It is one of those tools that some firefighters have found out they don’t like it nor have a use for it. However, there have been many firefighters who have found the Bowring to be very useful around the fireground. I have heard from several firefighters who continue to find new uses for this tool.
As I said before, the Bowring is a universal tool, or a tool with many purposes built into it. It is a little heavy at 22 ounces. When I got it, I put it in the pocket of my turnout coat. It didn’t stay there long…it added weight, too much weight with the other stuff I carry and as a Lieutenant (engineer) I wasn’t using it regularly. I carry a backpack with several extra tools I personally own which we don’t normally carry on the engine. I added the Bowring to my bag of tricks.
The major disadvantage of using the Bowring tool is that in order to fully understand how to use and get the most out of the tool is to attend training on its uses. I was told this by the guys at Bowring. They want to ensure that firefighters are getting the fullest use out of the tool, and feel that this can be accomplished through training. The guys at Bowring are available to help with training. They have offered many videos which show how to use the Bowring on their Youtube page.
The uses for the tool are below:
- Hose advancement - fits six different size hoses
- Emergency bailout descender - two different options
- RIT Firefighter drag - hook and drag
- The Ultimate High-rise tool - cheaterbar,stand pipe wheel, spanner wrench, hose advancement, emergency bailout descender
- Gas shut off - two different options
- Auto extrication - windshield removal, glass ripper
- O2 wrench
- Door wedge - just hang it on the hinge
- Water shut off
- Mattress hook - hook the wire frame and pull it out
- Forcible entry tool
- Spanner Wrench - fits pin lugs,rockerlugs,storz lugs
- Sheet rock ripper - cleanly rips through while looking for hot spots
- Nance drill - absolutely the fastest most efficient technique ever
- Denver drill - great for that second story rescue
I was not able to do a complete test of all of these uses.
I will say that it is perfect for creating a handle on 2 1/2″ hose. I have never been a fan of putting a strap around the hose and put it on my shoulder. This tool does that, it enables you hold onto it like a handle.
The Bowring really has a laundry list of uses. There are probably many other uses that firefighters will figure out and improvise with in the future. The guys at Bowring love to hear about how firefighters have used it!
Cost: $124.95 with add-on customized engraving for $12. (current pricing at the time of this article)
The video below is an interesting (and a bit humorous) look at the uses of the Bowring.