Window Punch: Because It’s Quieter than a Rock

Window Punch

The window punch is a simple piece of gear you can throw in your Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag, but a lot of people will question the need of a window punch when you could obviously just use anything that was heavy enough.

Quieter Than A Rock

The short answer: Because it’s quieter than a rock. I can imagine many situations where it would pay off to be quiet and unnoticed in a survival scenario, especially in an urban environment.


Not only is it quieter than smashing a rock through a window, it could be used for a job that requires a little bit more finesse. Maybe there is someone in the car you are trying to get out and tossing a chunk of concrete through the window just isn’t safe.

A window punch could be useful for any number of urban survival scenarios and I would put it in the “Why Not” category. Do you absolutely have to have it? No. Could it possibly come in very handy? Absolutely.

Window PunchIt only weighs a few ounces and costs less than ten bucks, there will be one in my bug out bag. This one has a clip and the point is hardened steel.

*Special Note: A window punch can be very dangerous, even when used correctly. Be extremely careful and try to wear gloves and long sleeves if you have to use one.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Don February 18, 2010 at 5:56 am

Good Day Lucas:

I"'m suprised that you didn't mention a fire piston, these little jewels really work.In fact you can construct one your self from PVC pipe. Great Job so far, keep it up: very informative!



Lucas_SurvCache June 2, 2010 at 12:26 am


Honestly, I have no idea. BUT if you want to test that and report back I'd love to hear about it :)


David August 3, 2010 at 11:23 am

i kinda doubt it because on the ones ive seen the firing pin does not extend past the lip

you might be able to just put a strong steel pen in the bag though


Lucas_SurvCache February 18, 2010 at 11:48 am


Thanks for the complements

I didn't mention fire pistons because I do not know a lot about them, and they seem less common than some other option, at least to me.

I would definitely be interested in seeing some plans for making your own. I just looked up a couple online and they seem a good bit more expensive then the other options, but a homemade one sounds cool!



Lucas_SurvCache June 10, 2010 at 11:27 am

Very good point.

I think the important thing you said is: If you are a volunteer fire or EMT

Having one of those can open so many doors for you around the community and gain credit and leniency with law enforcement.


AdderW February 22, 2010 at 7:52 am

You could have a look at chemical fire starters, check out e.g. potassium permanganate and glycerin reaction. Google it or have a look here:…


Lucas_SurvCache June 25, 2010 at 12:52 am

Mythbusters are great and if I'm remembering the episode you're talking about that is when they dropped a car into a pool to test how to get out of it. Very cool.

I've got the emergency hammer (with seatbelt cutter) in the storage space in my drivers side door always.


David May 18, 2010 at 9:49 am

Looks like a something a burglar would carry and might be considered as such. I have one in my truck tool box but am hesitant to carry one in my BOB for that reason.IMHO


Lucas_SurvCache May 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm


Your probably right is does look like something a burglar would carry, but I don't really worry about putting one in my Bug Out Bag because it has guns in it as well.

Also, I am more likely to put a window punch in my Get Home Bag or Urban Survival Bag.

I guess it depends on what you are more worried about, but if your GHB also has a big First Aid Kit, and Food, and other emergency supplies they might not be so quick to judge you as a burglar.


bugman702 November 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I worked as a military firefighter for a while. One day while training on a junk car we were trying to break a side window to get to the driver. It is hard to break a window with a fire axe and not hit the person on the inside also. One of the more experience guys came by, took out a spring loaded punch and push it against the side window. Once it clicked, the whole window just shattered. It works great. So if anyone asks why you have it, tell them it is for rescuing people from wrecked cars. If you say you are a former firefighter, you might even get a little more respect in the situation.


Parabellum June 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Another alternative to the window punch would be for someone to add a "Bust a Cap" end to their Mag-Lite (and they make them for other lights as well). They are specifically made for breaking windows and probably wouldn't even be noticed by people unless they knew exactly what they were and in that case they'd probably have one too!


Lucas_SurvCache June 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Good idea.

I believe SOG has a couple of knives that come with a hardned polymer handle with a similar glass shattering point on the end too. I can't remember which model though.


Emerson July 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I have an SOG Seal Team Elite Knife that has the hardened polymer handle and an ~7" blade. I paid about $85 for it on Amazon (normally about $155). I love it and it has many uses.


@308Brew August 2, 2010 at 2:04 am

Love the bust a cap! Have one on my streamlight stinger and it works very well. Hardly any effort needed to take out a car window (except the windshield). Here is the website:


blacklight73 July 10, 2010 at 8:31 am

if your stuck in a car and you cant get out and you dont seem to have something to smash a window with use the head rest. if you take your headrest off your seat the metal prongs can be used to break the window.


@308Brew August 2, 2010 at 2:10 am

Smith and Wesson make a couple knives with built in window punches. I have the Boarder Guard, which also has a seatbelt cutter. It's a really big and kind of heavy knife, but if you're looking for a more inconspicuous window punch, no one is going to question your need for a single blade folding knife in your pocket. I picked mine up at Big 5 on sale for under $20.


@308Brew August 2, 2010 at 2:12 am

Oh, and gloves are a must for any of the above methods. Eye protection would be good too.


David August 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm

even if you think one would cause trouble with the local LEO and you didn't buy or couldn't afford to buy a Bust a cap ends for your light then just use the back of your light, you don't need a fancy end cap to break a window or like i said above a strong pen would do the trick as well


Valcain August 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Not just car glass but office windows too. say you work in an office on the 3rd floor and u have your GHB under your desk, there is a problem and the way out is blocked. i have 50 feet of strong repelling rope in my bag in case i have to clime down. then again you don't have to worry about being low-key, just toss that dang computer out the window like you wish you could.


ChristianRebel September 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

I know I'm new to the whole survival enthusiast game, so I hope the more seasoned people here don't bash me too badly for pitching my two cents in.

I've run across quiet a beautiful knife that has a tip on the handle that can break glass, it's small so I don't know if that matters or not but it's just something for consideration if you want to cut down on the amount of stuff you have to carry. Also the knife has the perfect tip for stabbing in fights and a serrated edge for any less violent activity.…


Ed1 September 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

what about a spark plug? I heard those things can crack windows easily.


dirtycisco February 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm

they do done it


Tamed Beast September 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm

A Phillips head screwdriver will do the same thing ( I've tried ), it works on screws and can be an improvised self defense weapon- $2 apiece at Harbor Freight or Dollar General.


FTW November 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm

you know your in the shit when you resort to a harbor freight screwdriver!!


Glen October 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Break the white ceramic off spark plugs. Pull it back in a slingshot and let it fly into windows. It breaks glass silently.


Josh October 17, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Be aware that these only work on tempred, single layer glass. All these do to standard windows is crack them and layered glass (windshields) will just get a dimple like a small stone chip. There is a right and a wrong way to break different types of windows and most people will be surprised how hard it can be. If you really think you'll have the need to break glass, I like the Phillips screw driver idea….wear gloves.


Gruntwrk November 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I dont know any reasons to be quiet about breaking a car window. In an extraction situation throwing a rock isn't a good idea obviously. Any tool will break through without throwing it. Someone stated they wouldnt carry it because of LEO concerns. In a state of Emergency declared by a state you arent permitted to travel off your own property with a firearm. (In several states) Some decisions are based on life and death!


real world survival November 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

just to clear the air, it is a set punch to start a drill bit in metal, and yes it works fantastic. It is found at THE HOME DEPOT, and cost about 10 bucks. It is a construction tool and no you can't get into trouble for having one.


dirtycisco February 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm

procelin in a spark plug shatters a window with the right amount of force learned it at my aka junk yard very quiet only shatters it thou from what I was told porcelin is denser than glass


Iannarelli April 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm

The white part of spark plugs works great, very low noise and doesn't destroy the entire window. Makes the hole and spider crackes the rest of the window. Pick some up from a junk yard for nearly nothing take a hammer and break pieces off and use them. Also less likely to attract too much attention and saves on space and weight.


Shane Trammel April 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Wouldn't it make more since to carry a knfe that has a glass breaker on the end. Think of tool with multiple uses.


Reed August 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Dear interested people, I set my e-mail address below in case you would like to ask questions.
To be really prepared means to live in real community to begin with, this doesn’t happen in this prevailing, mass centralized society.
Local production for local use, local education through art, participatory self-management of public productive enterprises, community mutual bank as a public service not a private business, interest free capitalization, autonomous community monetized organization, permanent agriculture, appropriate industry, community coordinating committee…There is much more to it than that. The book that I have written Decentralized Economic Social Organization, DESO, and Neo-New World will be accessible in the not too distant future, some months yet. I may get back with you about that, then, with a link to a website and a print on demand link.
But, the point is that real community can maintain semi-self-sufficiency on a grand scale when all its components are operational. The concept is neither politically right nor left, and at once, is the radicalization of each; community without the need of an executive government, and without taxation, but with public productive enterprise, but also, with private productive enterprise, with participatory, dialogical-consensus-based, civic decision making processes – a structured organization.
The beauty of the vision (Neo-New World) is its accessibility.
And in the event of any short term, or worse, disaster that type of culture will persevere before, during, after, or through any external contingency. Because, it is a matter of a different way of life for its members, the best of mutuality – real community – combined with the best of individuation – genuine community support for each child with education through art; then, the integration of young people into society, into all of its productive sectors – the independence of community semi-self-sufficiency – water, housing, renewable energy, fabrics, food, participatory education through art , healthcare, real community banking, and so on, et cetera, a guaranteed minimum standard of service with the right to privacy and privacy from prescription.
Networks of such communities create a different type of society; a human scale, humane society.
I can’t fit the whole book here. But, when it comes out you may be moved from reading it to reorganizing yourselves along those lines.
Yours, Reed C. Kinney


steve January 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I heard that you could use a spark plug from a car and get the same results. Don’t know if its true I’v never had to break into a car or break a window. Does anyone know if that’s true?


Dean September 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I heard that this is a gadget that burglars use. It carves through glass windows after all, leaving only outdoor blinds as the means of barrier.


jbemi September 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I was in the ambulance business in the late 1970s and we carried a spring-loaded center punch in every unit. Along with it, we carried a piece of adhesive-backed contact paper about the size of a car window. The drill is to stick the contact paper onto the window before breaking, then take the paper with broken glass attached and set it out of the way on the ground. No sound, no flying glass, just a quick, neat way to enter a vehicle.


R.K.S. February 5, 2013 at 10:34 am

The ceramic insulator from a spark plug (or just small pieces of one) does an amazing thing with car windows (except windshields). Carrying them is a major no-no in my state. They're quiet and devastating to glass.


Cody February 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I would suggest a tactical pen. (… )


mike July 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm

so its a reinforced ball point pen that doesn't write basically neat


lora October 27, 2013 at 6:12 am

Another alternative to the window punch would be for someone to add a "Bust a Cap


Jason March 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

In the Fire service this is something that we carry with on just to make entry into a cars and houses instead of breaking or cutting the door off. It is TRUE most of all the tools that the fire service uses to make entry came directly from criminals, their was a large study done at how criminals do things in order to get away with what they do, these tools and tricks they learned in the study are the same things they teach to the Police and Fire.
even the criminals teach us.


mary October 26, 2013 at 12:35 pm

This is good to know.


Robert Young December 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

And that combo tool is available on Amazon. Very very handy when going under water in an auto.


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