Scanning the lines at the local outdoors store, hardware outlet, even Dollar General, you can find a variety of ‘tools’ claim to be the last ‘Multi-Tool’ you will ever need. What exactly do I need in an EDC Multi-Tool?
Let’s start simple and move to the more advanced questions related to Multi-Tools and Every Day Carry.
The Every Day Carry Multi-Tool Guide
To begin, let me start off by saying, I have a very obvious bias when it comes to Multi-Tools and what I want to carry everyday. I am not going to try and hide it, but just because it works for me doesn’t mean that it is the correct solution for everyone.
- The Swiss Army Knife: since 1890, the Swiss Army Knife has been one of the most recognized multi-tools in the world. But it was not the first of its kind. The concept and general design date back much further, even being referenced in Moby Dick. Comprised of a main blade, the Swiss Army Knife generally contains a secondary blade, saw, can/bottle opener with screw drivers, scissors (in more modern versions), and even bottle openers and tooth picks. Small and compact, the variations on the Swiss Army Knife are as broad as there are various versions of multi-tools. This is truly the standard for Multi-Tools and worth adding a genuine Victorinox to your collection. If name brands don’t impress you, check out this impressive Swiss Army Style Multi-Tool you can get today from Science of Skill tools
- The Credit Card Multi-Tool: minimalist EDC tools have been created to give a large amount of functionality in a very compact, highly portable platform. The credit card multi-tool has become an extremely popular platform for multi-tools. Easily stored and concealed in your wallet – these tools have contained tools varying from saws, wrenches, screw drivers, rulers, and bottle openers. In recent years we have also seen highly specialized credit card multi-tools that contain tools geared towards a specific task. Tools dedicated fishing, first aid, computer repair, survival, and fire starting to name a few. This is a form of multi-tool that is both inexpensive and useful. They are so simple to carry and so convenient, in a crisis, you will always have this one as long as you have your wallet.
- The Leatherman: Here it is, my absolute favorite. Built into a plier platform, Leatherman has become synonymous with multi-tools and are generally geared toward the working class. The included tools also vary depending upon what version you purchase, but generally contain a knife, saw, screwdriver, ruler edge, and of course, pliers. These are versatile, warrantied, and are as durable as any other major tool you would purchase to use as a professional. Companies like Gerber have also created their own versions of this style of multi-tool and have built high quality products. But like I said, I am pretty bias. But hey, that is just me. It doesn’t mean that they are the best -they are just the best for my needs.
- Camping Multi-Tools: Camping Multi-Tools are generally built off of a Shovel or Axe platform, giving you a broad, flat surface to dig or cut. They also contain a variety of tools contained within the handle that build off of that solid poll. The larger platform may not be as conducive to everyday carry, but that really depends upon your needs. While you will not be carrying one of these in your pocket, you may keep one in your bag or truck. A strong lever will always be one of the strongest and most useful tools possible (remember learning about simple machines in school?) Whether you are out camping with the family or simply keeping this handy for bigger jobs or bugging out. The shovel and axe platforms are heavy duty and will take your EDC tools to the next level.
New multi-tool platforms are coming out almost daily. Key rings, USB drives, screwdrivers, even cell phone cases – all are becoming viable platforms for integrating tools necessary for survival in the day to day life. The goal is to narrow down what works with your current kit and fits the needs of your daily life while still keeping you prepared for random jobs as well as protection from unknown threats.