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10 cuts the Broco-Rankin Diamond Ripper can tackle

A Diamond Ripper blade can be a handy tool for correctional breaches


The Broco-Rankin Diamond Ripper blade is one of several diamond blades on the market.

Image Broco-Rankin

When correctional breachers get the call to respond, they almost can guarantee a rescue saw will be part of their breaching plan. Rescue saws are the most versatile of the mechanical breaching tools available, but a rescue saw is only as good as the blade it uses.

Not all saw blades are built the same. Abrasive blades wear out quickly and can shatter, while carbide chunk blades wear down quicker on heavy gauge steel.

Then there are diamond blades. Although there are several diamond blades on the market, the Broco-Rankin Diamond Ripper blade has the reputation and the construction that make it one of the best.

What makes the Diamond Ripper a good choice? The 12- and 14-inch Broco-Rankin Diamond Ripper is made of a solid-core, one-piece construction blade. In addition, it brazes the diamonds on its blades using a nickel matrix that is tougher and more erosion resistant than steel electroplating. These features let the Broco-Rankin Diamond Ripper blade cut through almost any material found inside a jail or correctional facility.

Here are 10 ways to use the Diamond Ripper blade in a jail or correctional facility:

1. Steel Bars

The original prison barrier, steel bars are made of solid steel and can be up to 1 ¼-inch in width. Although Hollywood may portray that it only takes minutes for a determined inmate with a piece of hacksaw blade to gain freedom, the reality is only certain specialty blades have what it takes to defeat these bars quickly.

2. Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced concrete encapsulates steel rebar inside concrete combining the strengths of both. The Broco-Rankin Diamond Ripper blade combines the abrasive action needed to cut rebar with an honest-to-goodness love of cutting concrete. Ask the company how to maintain a Diamond Ripper that has been used extensively on steel, and they’ll tell you to run it in concrete to clean it out.

3. Locks and Deadbolts

Attacking the hardened locks or galvanized steel deadbolts in most prisons’ locks usually is the last option. These locking mechanisms are built to withstand cutting by traditional methods. But the abrasive edge of the Diamond Ripper will chew through these hardened parts quickly.

4. Hinges

Hinges in prisons and jails come in a variety of metals. Stainless steel, hardened steel, solid brass, concealed pin and welded steel all give way to the embedded diamonds in the Diamond Ripper blade.

5. Concrete Block

The aggressive texture of the embedded diamonds on a Diamond Blade works wonders against concrete block.

6. Chain Link

Chain link can be found in varied uses throughout most prisons. From recreation cages to perimeter fencing, the chance that a facility’s breaching plan will include chain link is a safe bet. Abrasive blades will work on chain link, but any correctional breacher that has had an abrasive blade bind and shatter knows the value of a Diamond Ripper’s one-piece construction.

7. Bullet Resistant Glass

I recently had the chance to cut through bullet resistant glass with a Diamond Ripper blade, thanks to a friend who happened to have the rear windshield from a Humvee. This bullet-resistant glass is made from multiple sheets of Starfire glass about 2-inch thick total, bonded together with urethane. The window also is surrounded by an aluminum frame. I was able to pierce all the way through all layers in less than 30 seconds.

8. Steel Doors

Inside prisons, steel doors come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the security level and door use, steel doors can range from a fiber-filled hollow core to a welded plate steel door. Although the Diamond Ripper will cut through any steel door, I have found on the heaviest doors the correctional breacher may find that attacking the hinges or locks will provide the quickest entry.

9. Wired Glass

Recent building codes have discouraged the use of wired glass, but many examples still can be found in old construction jails and prisons. Wire mesh glass often is thought to be strengthened by the addition of wire mesh; in reality, this type of glass is weaker and will break with less force. The combination of wire and glass is tougher and more heat-resistant. The addition of the wire does keep the glass from falling out of the window when fractured. Whether you are making an egress or cutting out a window to insert gas, the Diamond Blade cuts through both materials quickly and easily.

10. Plexiglas

Also known as acrylic glass, Plexiglas is a transparent, lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Used inside many correctional facilities, the Diamond Ripper cuts through all thicknesses with ease.

Consider swapping out any abrasive blades and invest in a Broco-Rankin’s Diamond Ripper blade for correctional breaching teams in order to reduce costs and improve responses to correctional breaches.

Host of The Prison Officer Podcast, Mike Cantrell has been in corrections for over 28 years. He has recently retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons as the Chief of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. He is a firearms, less lethal, breaching and disturbance control instructor and has led special response, disturbance control and canine teams over his career.

He is a correctional consultant specializing in the use of force and physical security. He is a writer, content creator and speaker on leadership and crisis management.