Identify It! Answer for 11-10-2009

Identify It! Answer for 11-10-2009

Identify It! Answer for 11-10-2009

Some very good deductive reasoning from our fans on this Identify It! And one fan got it right. Hopefully no one reading this will ever have a need to see one of these in real life.

The object is a “Finger Ring Cutter” and is used by paramedics to safely cut a soft metal ring off of a finger if the finger has become swollen due to blunt trauma, broken bone, or allergic reaction. The thumb lever holds a guard in place that slips under the ring. This guard keeps the fine tooth carbide steel blade from cutting the finger as its rotated by the handle. If you turn the handle in the opposite direction it unscrews so that the blade may be replaced. The cutter is made of stainless steel so that it may be easily cleaned or sterilized. You can bet that most fire trucks, paramedics, and emergency rooms have one of these stashed away somewhere. A GOOD First Aid kit in any workshop, lab, or serious work area may also have one.

Most rings are made of gold, a gold alloy, or other soft metals which are easily cut by the carbide steel blade of the ring cutter. The cutter is not as effective on wide rings, very thick rings, or rings made out of materials such as tungsten or titanium which are much harder. Tungsten rings are so hard that they usually have a section made of gold so that they may be cut in an emergency.

Remember, always take off all jewelry before operating any kind of power tool. Materials you work with, or the blades, bits, cutters, or moving parts of machinery can snag a ring and in the worst case cause amputation, in the best case ruin a piece of work or break a finger. Always use care when operating power equipment and hopefully you’ll never see one of these ring cutters in real life!

Check back next week for our next Identify It! Challenge.  Thanks to everyone who participated.


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