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T&D > Programs Areas > Fire > Helicopter Rappel > Raptor Blade Replacement Program Areas
Wildland Fire Helicopter Rappel Website

How To Change Raptor Knife Blades

Missoula Technology & Development Center
Tim Lynch, Project Leader

5785 Hwy 10 W
Missoula MT 59808

You will need a work table and Phillips screwdriver to change knife blades.

Photo of a Phillips screwdriver and a Raptor knife.

Step 1: Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the 5 screws. It is not necessary to remove the lanyard/webbing to change blades.

Photo of a Raptor knife with the two halves separated and the blades removed. Text on the image identifies the blade locator indentation.

Step 2: Separate the two halves and remove old blades. Note the rectangular blade locator indentations on the inside of each half of the knife frame.

Photo identifying the blade feature on a Raptor knife blade.

The Raptor knife blades have a bevel on one side. The blades must be placed correctly in the locator indentations, with the beveled sides overlapping in the center, for the knife to work properly.

Photo of a separated Raptor knife with the blade replaced in the bottom section.

Step 3: Replace the blade in the bottom section first. Place the new blade beveled side down, cutting edge facing the center of hook, in the locator indentation.

Photo of a person's hand lifting the upper half of a Raptor blade in order to place a blade inside the upper half.

Step 4: Carefully lift upper half, place new blade in locator indentation on upper half, beveled side up, cutting edge toward center of hook. Temporarily hold blade in place with thumb.

Photo of hand holding the upper blade of a Raptor knife at the edge of a table to clamp the two halves together.

Step 5: Continue holding upper blade in place with thumb, move both knife ends to table edge. Carefully clamp the two halves together as shown. The upper blade will be temporarily held in place between the two frame halves.

Photo of two halves of a Raptor knife, correctly positioned for proper alignment.

Step 6: Correct temporary position of frame halves. Note that upper blade is still in correct position, you are now ready to finish aligning the two frame halves.

Photo of hand holding the upper blade of a Raptor knife at the edge of a table to clamp the two halves together.

Step 7: While maintaining very slight down pressure on the upper frame half (to keep upper blade seated in blade locator indentation), carefully slide upper frame half over lower frame half until screw holes align. Make sure both upper and lower blades remain seated in their respective blade locator indentations.

Photo of someone holding the Raptor knife's two halves together for fastening.

Step 8: Hold frame halves together until upper three screws have been inserted and tightened. Recheck blades to ensure correct placement.

Photo of a Raptor knife that is ready for use.

Step 9: Insert and tighten last two screws.

Knife is now ready for use!