If you need to break a window, then it’s never a good situation. You may be stuck inside your vehicle desperately needing to get out, or perhaps you need to break a window from the outside as you have no other way to get in.
Thankfully, whether inside or outside, various methods will enable you to break through. Here, we’ll look at the best options. Even if you have no tools to hand, there will be something for you here. So let’s get started!
Before we get on with our list, we thought it was important to let you know a crucial aspect of car glass.
The side window glass is tempered and extremely resistant to blunt force. If you hit it with something that has a wide surface area, such as a foot or a brick, then it’s very hard to break. To break this glass, it’s much better to find a very sharp small object. This will give you the best success.
Also, glass is more flexible and harder to break in the middle of the pane rather than the edges. Therefore, it’s the best idea to target a corner. So combine these two factors. Get as sharp an object as you can, then hit it into the corner of the glass as hard as you can.
With that information, let’s continue by looking at the best ways to break the glass.
6 Ways of How to Break a Car Window
1. Safety Hammer
This is the joint best way to break a car window. Safety hammers are made for the sole purpose of breaking glass in an emergency and don’t look like regular hammers. Keeping one in your vehicle at all times is a great idea.
Instead of having a fairly blunt and flat point like a regular hammer, these look much different. They have a highly pointed tip that is designed to direct all of your force into a very small area. This is highly effective in shattering the glass.
They are usually designed with an ergonomic non-slip handle that allows you to swing them easily. Their looks can be deceptive, as you wouldn’t think they’d be more effective than a regular hammer, but the results are incredible. You don’t need to be particularly strong to use one.
Added to this, many of them come with mounting brackets. When panicking in an emergency, you don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find your hammer. With this tool, you’ll be able to shatter that window within seconds.
2. Car Escape Tool
We said that the safety hammer was the joint best way to break a window, as it’s tied with the car escape tool. The principle here is the same, as the plan is to provide a lot of force to as small a surface area as possible.
The difference here is that you don’t swing a car escape tool. Instead, you place it on your window and push it. When you do, it will activate the spring inside. This will propel a spike at great velocity to instantly shatter the window, which you can then push out.
A great feature of these devices is that they are very small. You can easily place them on your keyring or have one hanging from your car mirror. Whatever you do, ensure that you have it in a place that is easy to reach.
As with the safety hammer, many of these devices can come with a seatbelt cutter. That can be great for added peace of mind, as it can sometimes be extremely difficult to remove your seatbelt in emergencies.
3. Heavy, Sharp Object
By now, you may be thinking “great, but I’m in an emergency right now and don’t have any of these tools.” If that sounds like you, then the rest of our methods can be used by anyone.
The most obvious thing you can do is break your window with any sharp and heavy object. So have a look around and see what you can use. You want to find anything that has as sharp a point as possible.
For example, you may throw a brick at a car window, but this has quite a large surface area, so it probably won’t work. One place to look is your trunk. Do you have a tire iron or perhaps a screwdriver? Aside from that, look around for any rocks, etc.
Now you may be wondering how you can use this object without cutting or hurting your hands. For example, let’s say you’ve found a rock with sharp edges. You’ll want to find some fabric and use it as a barrier between your palm and the object.
This works for anything else too, such as a screwdriver. You can drive it into those corners with much more force if you have something to cushion the impact on your hand. In a pinch, you can take off your shirt and use that.
4. Broken Ceramic
In the last section, we focused on objects you can strike against the window with your hand. However, if the object has enough density and is sharp enough, you can just throw it.
Where can you find ceramic? Well, you can crush one of your spark plugs and use the broken pieces of ceramic that encase them. These are commonly called ninja rocks as they are also quiet compared to other methods.
There are, of course, some significant downsides to this method. You need to be able to remove the spark plug and break it without hurting yourself. All of this takes time when you could have already broken the window with another method.
However, if you have access to any ceramic, porcelain, tiles, or stoneware, then the same principles apply. The overall idea is to find something hard, sharp, and easy to throw.
This one is debatable and very difficult to do. Using a headrest is commonly stated as a way to break open a car window, but managing expectations is important. If you’re in an emergency, you’ll unlikely have the time and strength to do this if you’re inside the car.
Most headrests can be removed but doing so quickly often isn’t simple. Some are quite stiff to remove, and some require you to recline the seat to get it fully out. If your car has dived into a body of water, for example, you won’t have the space or ability to do this, especially considering the car is in motion.
If such a scenario is your biggest fear, buy a safety hammer or a car safety tool right now. If you need to use a headrest, then there are two lines of thinking about how to use it.
The first is to strike the window with the prongs. The second is to jam the prongs down the side of the window and then pull on it like a lever to shatter the glass. Unfortunately, both methods have a high level of difficulty.
Remember our advice from above. If you are striking with the prongs, do it as hard as you can into the corner. This requires a lot of strength and power.
Can you break a window with a headrest? Yes, you can. Is it a practical method if time isn’t on your side? Absolutely not.
6. Punch and Kicks
This is your last ditch, Hail Mary. If you’ve read everything until this point, you’ll already know why this method would be a struggle. The windows are highly resistant to blunt force.
You’ll need immense punching power to break a window, especially from the inside. The right punching technique is to punch through an object. Imagine you’re trying to hit something a few inches beyond the glass. Many people pull their punches for fear of injury. In an emergency, you need to be brave and give it your all.
A better method can be to put a sharper object between your kick or punch. For example, you can try to secure your keys as best as possible to your hand and punch them with that. Alternatively, you can try and kick through your keys if you are inside to reduce the surface area of your foot.
Car windows are meant to be difficult to break. Not only that, they are designed to shatter into tiny little pieces to better protect anyone inside should they break during a crash. Small pieces of glass are much safer than large shards.
If you’re trapped outside, the best thing to do is to find any sharp, hard object and hit it as hard as possible into the corner. If you fear being trapped inside your car, buy a car safety tool or safety hammer right away. If none of these are available, then you can try our other methods.
Remember, sharp, not blunt, and corner, not the middle. Whatever you use, you’ll have a much better chance if you remember those two things. Good luck, and we hope you stay safe.