A whistle is an essential piece of safety equipment for the walker to own.

Being able to signal for help when in an emergency situation can be life saving.

The Walk Fife team often recommend that people carry a whistle in their pocket or rucksack and we have tried and tested many different kinds over our collective years of walking over the hills and mountains of Scotland.

At a recent community meet-up the chat turned to safety and we were asked what whistle we, as a group, have found to be the most effective.

The Acme 636 Tornado Whistle

This small slimline whistle is manufactured by Acme a British firm who have been producing whistles for all sorts of purposes since 1870.

This safety whistle is one of many available from the firm. This model takes the form of a slim, small plastic body with a small keyring fitting to secure it to your equipment.

The whistle has SOLAS approval (Safety Of Life At Sea regulations) which means that it has undergone stringent testing before be allowed to be used for maritime emergency use. It has also been given approval by the UK’s Mountain Rescue Council and the Ramblers.

The Tornado is available in three colours – yellow, orange and black.

In use

At first it looks like it wouldn’t be too effective as a emergency signalling device but after giving it a good few blasts, you will realise that it really packs one heck of a powerful punch for it’s size.

The whistle’s body is compact, light and surprisingly robust given it is made from plastic and it has survived a fair number of knocks and bashes as the team have been exploring Scotland.

It’s simple zero maintenance design allows for 100db high frequency blasts that in our testing could be heard over approximately 800m away on a fairly still day across gently rolling ground.

Emergency distress signal

The emergency distress signal is recognised internationally as being 6 blasts repeated with an interval of one minute between each series of 6 blasts. If your blasts are heard by a search party, you should hear three blasts in reply.  Keep repeating the whistle blasts so the search team can locate your position.


The Walk Fife team all agree that the Acme 636 Tornado Whistle is an good addition to their essential safety equipment. The space saving design is simple but very effective. If you are looking for a whistle for your safety kit then the 636 Tornado Whistle is well worth considering.

Acme 636 Tornado Whistle

Overall Design - 9
Overall Quality - 8.5
Effectivness - 8
Value For Money - 9


Top Kit

The Walk Fife team all agree that the Acme 636 Tornado Whistle is an good addition to their essential safety equipment.


Size: 50(L) x 20(W) x 10(H) mm
Body: Plastic
Colour: Yellow / Orange / Black
Loudness: 100db
Available from:

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

Drop us a line and say hello!

Beyond The Beaten Track - Sausage Casserole - Review by Walk FifeHighlander Explorer Map Case - Review by Walk Fife