The Survival Podcast Forum

Armory, Self Defense, And EDC => Every Day Carry (EDC) Gear => Topic started by: David in MN on July 28, 2015, 08:28:55 PM

Title: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on July 28, 2015, 08:28:55 PM
 OK, this story begins easy enough. I’ve been looking a solid EDC multitool. I don’t need a proper tactical knife, I have several that fit the bill (though I’m hooked to the SOG Trident Tanto as it’s cheap enough and durable enough to really use.
 
(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l135/David12345678/DSC_4913_zpsllwbe7dl.jpg) (http://s95.photobucket.com/user/David12345678/media/DSC_4913_zpsllwbe7dl.jpg.html)

When one first buys a multi, one name springs to mind: Leatherman. So I bought a Wave. (I’m not going into a Surge vs. Wave debate here; suffice to say they both work.) I love it. The tools work well and the pliers… Oh, those pliers.

(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l135/David12345678/DSC_4915_zps7epzllip.jpg) (http://s95.photobucket.com/user/David12345678/media/DSC_4915_zps7epzllip.jpg.html)

The problem with the Leatherman is that they suck. Before you get mad, I love my Waves. Yes, by last count I own 5. One in each car, each emergency kit (BOB), and one in the junk drawer. But I never have one on me. They’re clunky and heavy. Don’t get me wrong, it’d be my #1 choice if I had one tool to take into the wilderness. It’s just not a tool I drop in my pocket and forget about. It requires a sheath (the provided one is terrible) and it still manages to be hard to draw, hard to replace, and situates itself in the worst position during car rides. Not EDC in my opinion.

I
I’ve carried a Swiss Army Knife (SAK from here out) Classic for years. The little one. It’s ideal at its task: keeping your hands in working order. The file, knife, scissors, and tweezers are adept at keeping your nails clean and unbroken and fingers splinter free. I have one in my Altoids EDC tin for this reason. But its functionality is limited there. Besides being undersized it just lacks tools. So use it for what it is.(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l135/David12345678/DSC_4918_zps66bcxut3.jpg) (http://s95.photobucket.com/user/David12345678/media/DSC_4918_zps66bcxut3.jpg.html)

The next tool I bought was the SAK Camper. This was the result of being in Italy without a corkscrew. I wanted a corkscrew I could logically carry on vacation. Well the Camper has said corkscrew, 2 blades, can & bottle openers, a saw (which I have only used as a breadknife), tweezers & toothpick, and aftermarket small screwdriver (threads into corkscrew) and pin (hole near corkscrew pivot). This little guy has fed me from Europe to the Caribbean. It gets checked on every trip and I love it. It is literally a way to enjoy a picnic in one tool. We went so far as to buy fresh produce, beer, cheeses, sausage, and bread at the Munich farmers’ market and made sandwiches in the park. Whenever I travel it’s #1 on my list. Also great tailgating and anywhere else eating and drinking are top priority.
.


The next tool I bought was the SAK Cam(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l135/David12345678/DSC_4920_zpsvxqck1kl.jpg) (http://s95.photobucket.com/user/David12345678/media/DSC_4920_zpsvxqck1kl.jpg.html)


 Recently I got a buying opportunity on something I’d wanted for years. The Swisschamp. It’s billed as a “toolbox in your pocket” and it’s not far off. In fact some tools seem like a little much to me. The magnifying glass is wimpy and I can’t see a use for a chisel. But you never know. It’s already paying dividends by having both a flathead and phillips screwdriver on me to fix baby toys. Basically it’s the opposite of the Leatherman. The tools are second rate by comparison (pliers, notably) but its rounded sides make it able to be carried in a pocket and thus have on me at all times. And in my view a multi-tool doesn’t replace a real tool, it merely does odd jobs saving me from fetching the correct tool. So I’m happy with it as of now.
 (http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l135/David12345678/DSC_4922_zpsa25b7i06.jpg) (http://s95.photobucket.com/user/David12345678/media/DSC_4922_zpsa25b7i06.jpg.html)
What could be the problem with the Swisschamp? How about it was stolen… by the Mrs. I had put it down to shower and she swiped it up for a loose screw. I panicked having lost my new toy but soon found it in her hands. Ironically, she was disappointed with it. “Too clunky. All I want is a flathead, a phillips, and scissors.” Well, there is one pretty close to that. A SAK Super Tinker. We were both so impressed with the basic “fix-all” features, we bought 2. One for her and one for the diaper bag.

(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l135/David12345678/DSC_4919_zpsftdzforg.jpg) (http://s95.photobucket.com/user/David12345678/media/DSC_4919_zpsftdzforg.jpg.html)



And that's my story. Sorry if I'm lacking in Gerbers or if I come off as a Victorinox fanboy.

Edit: Holy Hannah is the font messing with me.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: endurance on July 28, 2015, 10:14:36 PM
I've always struggled with the whole multitool thing. I love the idea, but they always seem to sacrifice too much of one thing or another. If it's a good tool, the knife is inaccessible or lacking in robustness and utility; if it's a good knife, the tools tend to take a back seat. To date I've had a Boy Scout knife, a couple small to medium sized Victorinox knives, a first generation Leatherman, a Gerber, and a Learherman Skelitool. ...and so I carry a 3.1" lockblade or 3.5" assisted opening folder 95% of the time. None of the rest have found their way into my heart.

I think those of us who carry a knife everyday develop a very personal relationship with our knives. They're our walkabout toolbox with a little bit of talisman that develops over the years. Once we find a knife that fills most of the niches we need filled, we may try different things, but it's hard to displace certain things that go beyond just the features, like your appreciation of the way if feels in your pocket.

I'll probably continue to experiment and try different knives and multitools, but the older I get, the more difficult it becomes to displace the one I've been carrying for the last 15 years.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on July 29, 2015, 12:35:21 AM
I've got several Leathermans that I keep in places where they could come in handy, but they're too big for my EDC preferences. I've got a soft spot for SAKs but there are only a few that come with an inline Philips blade so you can actually use it as a screwdriver, rather than a weird T-handle thingy, which is a must have for me, along with the scissors. The smallest models with these attributes are the Rambler (pictured below) and the Manager and I have EDC'd one or the other on my keychain for years, along with a 3-4" folder.

(http://i01.twenga.com/freizeit/schweizer-taschenmesser/victorinox-rambler-p_13630951f.jpg)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on July 29, 2015, 04:54:05 AM
Here's my original text that I somehow shrunk. Something to do with my menial intelligence and posting while putting down a baby? Anyhow, you can figure out which picture goes with what.

 OK, this story begins easy enough. I’ve been looking a solid EDC multitool. I don’t need a proper tactical knife, I have several that fit the bill (though I’m hooked to the SOG Trident Tanto as it’s cheap enough and durable enough to really use.
 
When one first buys a multi, one name springs to mind: Leatherman. So I bought a Wave. (I’m not going into a Surge vs. Wave debate here; suffice to say they both work.) I love it. The tools work well and the pliers… Oh, those pliers.
 
The problem with the Leatherman is that they suck. Before you get mad, I love my Waves. Yes, by last count I own 5. One in each car, each emergency kit (BOB), and one in the junk drawer. But I never have one on me. They’re clunky and heavy. Don’t get me wrong, it’d be my #1 choice if I had one tool to take into the wilderness. It’s just not a tool I drop in my pocket and forget about. It requires a sheath (the provided one is terrible) and it still manages to be hard to draw, hard to replace, and situates itself in the worst position during car rides. Not EDC in my opinion.
 
I’ve carried a Swiss Army Knife (SAK from here out) Classic for years. The little one. It’s ideal at its task: keeping your hands in working order. The file, knife, scissors, and tweezers are adept at keeping your nails clean and unbroken and fingers splinter free. I have one in my Altoids EDC tin for this reason. But its functionality is limited there. Besides being undersized it just lacks tools. So use it for what it is.
 
The next tool I bought was the SAK Camper. This was the result of being in Italy without a corkscrew. I wanted a corkscrew I could logically carry on vacation. Well the Camper has said corkscrew, 2 blades, can & bottle openers, a saw (which I have only used as a breadknife), tweezers & toothpick, and aftermarket small screwdriver (threads into corkscrew) and pin (hole near corkscrew pivot). This little guy has fed me from Europe to the Caribbean. It gets checked on every trip and I love it. It is literally a way to enjoy a picnic in one tool. We went so far as to buy fresh produce, beer, cheeses, sausage, and bread at the Munich farmers’ market and made sandwiches in the park. Whenever I travel it’s #1 on my list. Also great tailgating and anywhere else eating and drinking are top priority.
 
Recently I got a buying opportunity on something I’d wanted for years. The Swisschamp. It’s billed as a “toolbox in your pocket” and it’s not far off. In fact some tools seem like a little much to me. The magnifying glass is wimpy and I can’t see a use for a chisel. But you never know. It’s already paying dividends by having both a flathead and phillips screwdriver on me to fix baby toys. Basically it’s the opposite of the Leatherman. The tools are second rate by comparison (pliers, notably) but its rounded sides make it able to be carried in a pocket and thus have on me at all times. And in my view a multi-tool doesn’t replace a real tool, it merely does odd jobs saving me from fetching the correct tool. So I’m happy with it as of now.
 
What could be the problem with the Swisschamp? How about it was stolen… by the Mrs. I had put it down to shower and she swiped it up for a loose screw. I panicked having lost my new toy but soon found it in her hands. Ironically, she was disappointed with it. “Too clunky. All I want is a flathead, a phillips, and scissors.” Well, there is one pretty close to that. A SAK Super Tinker. We were both so impressed with the basic “fix-all” features, we bought 2. One for her and one for the diaper bag.
 
 So that’s my ongoing quest for a good multi-tool. Hope my thoughts spur some of yours.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on July 29, 2015, 05:42:56 AM
I'm on the other side of the fence, I LOVE multitools.  I use them daily (I have a leatherman Charge ALX which I consider to be hands down the toughest most versitle multi tool out there.   But I also carry 2 knives minimum on me.  (A SAK Trekker and a CRKT M21).  So I have the dedicated blades covered (The blades on the Charge are some of the best I've used on Multi-tools, not quite as nice as a dedicated blade but they work well.   

I have completely abused my Charge a few times in emergencies when the proper tools were not available.  No, it's not going to torque something that takes a 10 inch wrench to break loose, but I thought I was going to twist it in half trying to unscrew some headlight covers that were rusted screws.

I also have a leatherman C33T knife which is really the hands down best minimalist multitool in my opinion.  It's got a great dedicated blade that's as good as any folding knife out there, but it still has the basic flat/cross bit screwdriver blades.  But that's all it has.  (Well, you can use the carabiner clip as a bottle opener too. LOL).   

But the feature that makes my Charge the hands down most useful is the bit kits.  The sheath has a pouch inside the back that stores a rack that has 10 double sided bits stored in it.  (I purchased the full bit kit which give me 3 racks with 60 bit ends total) and I pieced together the 10 bits (14 if you count the ones that are stored in the charge itself)  that were most useful for me.  10 sizes of allen heads (covers my Bow, my bike and many others), 4 sizes of flat bits. and 4 sizes of star drives and a double ended mini flat allen that actually fits my CRKT clip screws and other tiny screws.  And it also has the eyeglass bit that is used at least once a week if anything to get a chunk of meat out of my tooth. LOL   

I never use the serrated blade, and I basically keep the main blades surgically sharp for emergency cutting since I typically use the CRKT.  Never use the file or the can opener (P-38 works circles around any other style of can opener so its on my key-chain.  The saw is actually VERY good.  I've used it many times for small wooden contraptions. 

The pliers are great.  It has a crimp on the pliers that fits Coax, and most wireing crimps I've played with and a solid wire cutter (I have cut several hundred small brad nails with it for projects we do for scouts).  The wire cutters are getting worn, so I'll send it in to leatherman to be refurbished one of these days (If I can live without it that long). 

I have to agree with endurance. I've used a ton of sub-par multitools and they make way to many compromises to be anything more than a novelty.  But if you get the right one with the right combination of tools and functionality for your particular lifestyle and use. It's hands down the most usefull thing you can own.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on July 29, 2015, 06:35:26 AM
I also have a leatherman C33T knife which is really the hands down best minimalist multitool in my opinion.  It's got a great dedicated blade that's as good as any folding knife out there, but it still has the basic flat/cross bit screwdriver blades.  But that's all it has.  (Well, you can use the carabiner clip as a bottle opener too. LOL).   

I carry one of those when I run. Lightweight and just useful enough. Never really considered it more than a knife.  ;D
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Chemsoldier on July 29, 2015, 08:26:42 AM
I have been gravitating away from multi-tools.  The problem is I bought a smart phone.  Now I am running out of space on my belt between pistol, spare mag and phone.  The amount of belt space taken was getting irritating.  So I started throwing a small swiss army knife in my pocket and found out I didnt miss the multi-tool.  For my particular circumstances the knife blade is the only thing I used regularly enough to miss, so the folder worked fine.  Having a bottle opener and can opener was a one off that helps on camping trips and seemed worth the pocket bulk.

I still like multi-tools but they are spending more time attached to my battle gear than on my person.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: endurance on July 29, 2015, 08:28:55 AM
I'm on the other side of the fence, I LOVE multitools.  I use them daily (I have a leatherman Charge ALX which I consider to be hands down the toughest most versitle multi tool out there.   But I also carry 2 knives minimum on me.  (A SAK Trekker and a CRKT M21).  So I have the dedicated blades covered (The blades on the Charge are some of the best I've used on Multi-tools, not quite as nice as a dedicated blade but they work well.   

I have completely abused my Charge a few times in emergencies when the proper tools were not available.  No, it's not going to torque something that takes a 10 inch wrench to break loose, but I thought I was going to twist it in half trying to unscrew some headlight covers that were rusted screws.

I also have a leatherman C33T knife which is really the hands down best minimalist multitool in my opinion.  It's got a great dedicated blade that's as good as any folding knife out there, but it still has the basic flat/cross bit screwdriver blades.  But that's all it has.  (Well, you can use the carabiner clip as a bottle opener too. LOL).   

But the feature that makes my Charge the hands down most useful is the bit kits.  The sheath has a pouch inside the back that stores a rack that has 10 double sided bits stored in it.  (I purchased the full bit kit which give me 3 racks with 60 bit ends total) and I pieced together the 10 bits (14 if you count the ones that are stored in the charge itself)  that were most useful for me.  10 sizes of allen heads (covers my Bow, my bike and many others), 4 sizes of flat bits. and 4 sizes of star drives and a double ended mini flat allen that actually fits my CRKT clip screws and other tiny screws.  And it also has the eyeglass bit that is used at least once a week if anything to get a chunk of meat out of my tooth. LOL   

I never use the serrated blade, and I basically keep the main blades surgically sharp for emergency cutting since I typically use the CRKT.  Never use the file or the can opener (P-38 works circles around any other style of can opener so its on my key-chain.  The saw is actually VERY good.  I've used it many times for small wooden contraptions. 

The pliers are great.  It has a crimp on the pliers that fits Coax, and most wireing crimps I've played with and a solid wire cutter (I have cut several hundred small brad nails with it for projects we do for scouts).  The wire cutters are getting worn, so I'll send it in to leatherman to be refurbished one of these days (If I can live without it that long). 

I have to agree with endurance. I've used a ton of sub-par multitools and they make way to many compromises to be anything more than a novelty.  But if you get the right one with the right combination of tools and functionality for your particular lifestyle and use. It's hands down the most usefull thing you can own.
That Charge sounds mighty tempting for my bunker gear, but I doubt it would end up replacing anything for me; it would just be one more thing contributing to the weight of my tool bag.  ...One more thing to make me walk funny when I have 60+ pounds of gear on. :o

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/261/18736037260_8d70726205_c.jpg)
(not pictured is the SCBA that contributes another 30-ish pounds)

Unfortunately, I get pro deal on Leatherman products through the fire department, so my urge to resist buying yet another tool may not last long. ::)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on July 29, 2015, 08:44:57 AM

Unfortunately, I get pro deal on Leatherman products through the fire department, so my urge to resist buying yet another tool may not last long. ::)

Haa.  (You KNOW you need it, you KNOW you want it, Resistance is futile LOL).  I'm telling you, the bit kit makes it amazing, everything else is really just standard multitool, but the bit kit is just amazing.  I want to invent a click together T handle that fits the bits, then put 3 bit kits in the sheath (In place of the Charge) and the 2 piece T handle.  Yeah, I agree.  I prefer dedicated gear for specific jobs, but when I'm in my street clothes walking down the road, bouncing around at work, scout meetings, etc, it covers me great. 

I only carry a spare mag when I am going someplace I really don't want to go, but have to anyway.  (Generally certain areas of the major cities around me).  Otherwise, I keep 13+1 in the Springfield and I'm golden.    But I've been down the "Bat Belt" road back when I had my phone, my pager, my multi-tool, spare mag, holster and a belt clip water bottle (I only carry that in the field now).  Now I'm down to just the XD and the Leatherman, with the SAK on my enchain and the CRKT on my right pocket.   
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on July 29, 2015, 08:51:02 AM
That Charge sounds mighty tempting for my bunker gear, but I doubt it would end up replacing anything for me; it would just be one more thing contributing to the weight of my tool bag.  ...One more thing to make me walk funny when I have 60+ pounds of gear on. :o

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/261/18736037260_8d70726205_c.jpg)
(not pictured is the SCBA that contributes another 30-ish pounds)

Unfortunately, I get pro deal on Leatherman products through the fire department, so my urge to resist buying yet another tool may not last long. ::)

The Leatherman is nice if you have belt room (nod to Chem; good point). I really like the quality of its tools. I just can't drop it in my pocket around the house and cabin where tool needs seem to pop up. It only really loses as an eating tool as it was built for industrial purposes.

The pink flowery screwdriver sure is cute...
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: endurance on July 29, 2015, 09:48:09 AM
Woo-hoo!  The bit kit fits my Skeletool, too.  That's a cheap add-on to gain a lot of utility. 

...
The pink flowery screwdriver sure is cute...
I have yet to have someone borrow it and not immediately give it back.  Best security ever if you have to work around a bunch of macho firefighters.

Regarding the bat belt thing, I carry nothing but a cell phone in a holster and a gloves pouch on my belt at work.  I wear my XD or Shield SOB in a CrossBreed.  I rarely carry a spare mag.  My flashlight is a compact Sunwayman V10R (single CR123 light with pocket clip), my edc knife is a lockblade 3.1".  When I'm not at work I carry a very small trauma kit with a Compressed dressing (http://www.ebay.com/itm/LOT-4-Israeli-Army-Field-Bandage-Dressing-Emergency-EMT-IFAK-Trauma-Military-NEW/270970247274?_trksid=p2045573.c100034.m2102&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131003150253%26meid%3Dc0e3c12c666c4d7fbb56ac0c4e6109cb%26pid%3D100034%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D8%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D251997699873) packet of aspirin and bandaid.  For work I wear a bullhide belt, otherwise I wear a double D-ring 1.5" nylon belt that doubles as a tourniquet.  I started building up a tool belt for my EMT pants, but too often I'm just tossing my bunkers on on top of my pants and that makes everything in/on the pants inaccessible, so now it's just an empty riggers belt.

But this conversation is why the multitool thing is so tough for one size fits all.  I'm really medically oriented, some folks are really handiman oriented, some are very work oriented... we all have our little niches... it's cool.  I like it.  I like hearing what works for others because I would love to wear a bat belt, but my office job would have me standing out like a sore thumb (although admittedly, having a new director who saw serious shit go down when he was working in the US Embassy in Afghanistan has made things easier for me; we both have our own stash of tourniquets, trauma dressings, and other goodies for emergencies).  Nevertheless, it's an office job and my desk drawer is never more than a minute away and is a hybrid between holistic healing center and a tool shed.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: endurance on July 29, 2015, 09:58:45 AM
Gawd I hate the interweb.  I didn't need to know this existed:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81WJEP8cMtL._SL1500_.jpg)

Aftermarket Damascus steel blade for my Skeletool.  Seriously?  That's just evil.  I love Damascus steel so much my wedding ring is Damascus steel... seriously (my wife is so cool!).
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Chemsoldier on July 29, 2015, 10:10:04 AM
Gawd I hate the interweb.  I didn't need to know this existed:

I'll just leave this here.

(http://cdn3.volusion.com/qxyrd.kagjt/v/vspfiles/photos/LTMN-Raptor-7.jpg)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on July 29, 2015, 10:10:56 AM
the Raptor is next on my list.  LOL  I NEED one in my FAK.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on July 29, 2015, 10:11:53 AM
We should do something "Nice" for Chem for doing mean things like this.  Perhaps a new moniker is in order......
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Zef_66 on July 29, 2015, 10:26:43 AM
SOG Crossgrip. Hands down the best multi-tool I have ever had. Small enough to carry in my pocket. But stout enough to wrench on some hefty nuts without breaking. And I've certainly put mine to the test.

It's just sad they don't make them anymore.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Chemsoldier on July 29, 2015, 10:31:00 AM
We should do something "Nice" for Chem for doing mean things like this.  Perhaps a new moniker is in order......
Ingrates...I find you guys all sorts of neat stuff...
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on July 29, 2015, 10:33:15 AM
SOG Crossgrip. Hands down the best multi-tool I have ever had. Small enough to carry in my pocket. But stout enough to wrench on some hefty nuts without breaking. And I've certainly put mine to the test.

It's just sad they don't make them anymore.

I was the proud owner of the full sized leatherman BX55 knife for about 3 months before I lost it.    I'm sad they only make the smaller 33 now, or the 55 would be my EDC knife. 
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: SloSheepdog on July 30, 2015, 11:53:36 AM
For what it's worth, I like my skeletool. The blade is not my favorite, especially the holes that fill with peanut butter or cheese. But it cuts and has a bit driver and the pliers, and it slips into my pocket in place of my ususal folders.

If I think I'll be somewhere I need to be handy, I bring the skeletool. Nutnfancy is wrong lol.

That being said, if I had a LM Charge, I might belt-carry it every day and keep my favorite folders with me.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: endurance on July 30, 2015, 03:25:36 PM
I'll just leave this here.

(http://cdn3.volusion.com/qxyrd.kagjt/v/vspfiles/photos/LTMN-Raptor-7.jpg)

I got one for my wife for Christmas last year. Tell me that's not a romantic gift. I also installed red lights and a siren on her car for her birthday.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Chemsoldier on July 30, 2015, 03:39:05 PM
I got one for my wife for Christmas last year. Tell me that's not a romantic gift. I also installed red lights and a siren on her car for her birthday.
That is the most romantic thing I have ever heard.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Carl on July 30, 2015, 06:01:59 PM
That is the most romantic thing I have ever heard.

I was just gonna' say...Good Trade!
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Cedar on July 30, 2015, 06:10:14 PM
Being in Oregon, we have a fair bit of Leatherman's running about. A few years ago I found a mico Leatherman stuck in one of my drawers, I put on my keys as a 'key fob'. That has been the handiest thing over the years. It is actually probably one of the tools I use the most for various things. I believe it is no longer being made, but if you can find one, grab it.
https://www.leatherman.com/mini-tool-83.html

Cedar
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Carl on July 30, 2015, 06:41:39 PM
Being in Oregon, we have a fair bit of Leatherman's running about. A few years ago I found a mico Leatherman stuck in one of my drawers, I put on my keys as a 'key fob'. That has been the handiest thing over the years. It is actually probably one of the tools I use the most for various things. I believe it is no longer being made, but if you can find one, grab it.
https://www.leatherman.com/mini-tool-83.html

Cedar

I have one,didn't know what they called it though ...full size pliers in a ZIPPO size tool.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on July 30, 2015, 08:42:13 PM
The mini tool was the toughest of the "Mini" sized tools available.  much better than the Juice or the other mini/micro's.  I always wanted one.  A friend of mine had one and I used it on a couple of computer break downs to strip motherboards and parts out of cases.   I tried a couple other micro's over the years and broke every one of them in a week. That's why I switched to the charge.  Bigger and tougher. 
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: OhCanada on August 03, 2015, 10:14:49 AM
For those who like the Victorinox Classic, the older Wenger model is a bit larger but still in the same size range compared to even the avg SAK.

Alox handles cost more but make for a slimmer package. I prefer silver Alox as the colour wears off the finish of the others.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on August 03, 2015, 04:23:28 PM
I'm sold more and more on the Swisschamp for around the house. This weekend (at the cabin) I removed a splinter from my nephew, opened wine, cut paper for origami projects, replaced batteries in the baby swing, and cleaned up a hangnail all without having to take a step. It's just on the edge of being small/light enough for me to keep in a pocket so it's always there. And that's what I like.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: MonkeyFarts on August 17, 2015, 07:43:40 PM
Hello,
  I have had many mufti tools
Several Swiss armies Croom the 4 function to the kitchen sink monsters.   They were ok in the 80,s

In the navy i used Gerber. The one handed flip open ones i liked.

Then i got a Leatherman wave.   Loved it. And one year do not know where i lost it.

Tried the charge. Just did not fit. Could never get used to it.

I even had a Gerber dime. My wife has it now.   This was a nice mini multi tool. Great blade and scissors even toggle they are small. Just meant for light duty.

Now i have my favorite out of all of them.   The Leatherman M.U.T.  not the eod version.
I carry and use this daily.  My job is a cable technician.   Yes it is a little big and heavier than sum.   But really it is no big deal.
This thing is built like a tank.   The one tool i wish it had. ...scissors. i do not need them that often.   But when i do. ......
I show it off and recommend it at every chance.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Giff Sheriff on August 26, 2015, 10:51:33 AM
so I'm sure I'm not first to the party, with this recommendation of the leatherman wave. For me and I do believe this is a subjective subject, the wave is the ultimate in multitools. It has every tool I need on a daily basis and would never dream, of not carrying it. I opt for the tactical black but I just roll like that. I was able to pick one up for $30 some time ago on eBay but those days are gone. Just like most men, I keep buying other tools but keep cumming back to my wave, no matter what the latest/greatest seems to be? I did however fork over $175 for the leatherman tread but that was just something I had to have on my wrist. It's really no substitute for a good multitool.

Hope you got something from my post? Thanks for reading :)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on September 30, 2015, 01:59:17 AM
I went on Amazon to find a SAK that was TSA-compliant (Jetsetter) and wound up getting a couple others, as well. The one I'm most impressed with is the Hercules, with two inline Phillips drivers and a locking blade, in addition to the typical tools. It's bigger than the standard SAK, but it feels better in the hand and is less bulky than the Leathermans, although the pliers aren't that awe inspiring. Biggest downside is having to move tools out of the way in order to extend the Phillips, but I can live with that. We'll see how long I can carry it before it gets tossed into a corner like the Leathermans.

(http://www.cuchilleriagomez.com/uploaded_images/487566746.jpg)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on September 30, 2015, 06:16:19 AM
The SAK pliers are kinda the weak point of the knife... The locking blade (bigger handle) SAK knives don't work for me but YMMV. 100% agree about in-line screwdrivers.

If the knife "works out" you might consider an after market glasses screwdriver that threads into the corkscrew for a couple bucks. Also check if there's a pinhole by the corkscrew to store a pin in the grip.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on September 30, 2015, 09:02:07 AM
If the knife "works out" you might consider an after market glasses screwdriver that threads into the corkscrew for a couple bucks. Also check if there's a pinhole by the corkscrew to store a pin in the grip.

Mine came with both, found the pin by accident. The size of this beast might not work for me, either, but it's not as bulky as I was expecting.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on September 30, 2015, 12:04:16 PM
that looks like the tsp branded one i bought a few years ago. i find it a little large to carry and prefer my standard victronix i've been carrying for decades. but i need to make the plunge and switch, the screwdrivers are better than the older one i carry
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on September 30, 2015, 01:35:59 PM
I wish Victorinox would come up with a system where you could build your own SAK, customizing it with only the tools you need in the smallest possible form factor.  I'd probably pay twice for that luxury.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on September 30, 2015, 01:51:57 PM
I wish Victorinox would come up with a system where you could build your own SAK, customizing it with only the tools you need in the smallest possible form factor.  I'd probably pay twice for that luxury.

No kidding. And with the modularity (you can watch them be hand built at trade shows) you'd think you could even customize the order of the tools.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on September 30, 2015, 02:01:17 PM
And with the modularity (you can watch them be hand built at trade shows) you'd think you could even customize the order of the tools.

Exactly.  I can visualize an online app that lets you mix and match the various components until you get it just the way you want it. 
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on September 30, 2015, 02:43:39 PM
I wish Victorinox would come up with a system where you could build your own SAK, customizing it with only the tools you need in the smallest possible form factor.  I'd probably pay twice for that luxury.
that would be sweet
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on September 30, 2015, 03:32:05 PM
It's bigger than the standard SAK, but it feels better in the hand and is less bulky than the Leathermans, although the pliers aren't that awe inspiring.

Crap, after comparing head to head, my assumption of less bulky was totally wrong.  The Leatherman Wave is shorter and flatter than the Hercules, but weighs about 1.5 oz more, maybe that's what led me astray.  Doesn't bode well for EDC. 
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on September 30, 2015, 03:51:21 PM
Bummer. I was keen to hear your thoughts. I'm still looking for the ideal easy carrying multitool.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on September 30, 2015, 04:17:32 PM
I got an Explorer Plus model, too.  More because I realized I don't have any standard-sized SAKs and figured I should have one for comparison.  It's not as fat as a SwissChamp, but still almost as thick as the Hercules, albeit half the weight.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HFG0QYPWL._SX355_.jpg)

If I could get rid of the Cracker Jack lens, the small blade and that hook thingy, it might be pretty close to perfect.  Maybe if I look a little closer I can find something like that.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on September 30, 2015, 10:43:17 PM
For anyone looking to research SAKs:  http://www.sakwiki.com/tiki-index.php (http://www.sakwiki.com/tiki-index.php)

I discovered that the inline Phillips is only paired with the magnifier or the led light in the regular size (91mm) and the pliers in the big lock blade size (111mm).  And the Hercules is the only model with two inline Phillips.

It's looking like the sweet spot for me may still be the small (58mm) Rambler on my keychain.  With scissors and inline Phillips and flat drivers, it's hard to beat for portability.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on October 01, 2015, 07:03:49 AM
I agree about the worthless magnifier. Why not pair 2 sizes of phillips?

The "hook thing" puzzled me at first because Swiss Army describes it as a parcel carrier which would be useful if I were a paperboy in 1893... In reality it functions as a tool to tug on stuck boot laces and turn wire ties tight.

Maybe we're stumbling on the optimized MN Freelancer model:

large/ small blades
nail file/metal file/hacksaw (all 1 blade on Swisschamp)
scissors
2 phillips
can opener/bottle opener/flatheads
corkscrew w/ small flathead
hook thing
awl
tweezrs/toothpick/ballpoint pen

I gotta admit that would be awesome. One stop shop for everything practical. Would I miss the saw, fish scaler, and wimpy pliers? Not hardly.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 01, 2015, 11:44:17 AM
Wonder what the minimum order number would be for a special run of SAKs with those specs?
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on October 01, 2015, 01:32:01 PM
I just emailed asking. Let's not get our hopes up but maybe we can start a fire. Victorinox has a flagship store at the Mall of America (near me) and maybe with some pressure they would do a limited run. Seems possible..?

If nothing else I'm providing feedback. Maybe we could get enough folks around here to agree on the design and get an order in.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 01, 2015, 02:28:33 PM
Cool. I'd be up for two or three.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on October 01, 2015, 04:05:31 PM
Wonder what the minimum order number would be for a special run of SAKs with those specs?

good question...
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 02, 2015, 10:36:30 AM
I'm thinking out loud here, so bear with.... 

Playing with the bigger blade on the Hercules has me loving its utility for food prep.  There's something reassuring about a locked blade when you're trying to stab off a piece of crusty bread or cheese.

The Outsider is a layer short of the Hercules, minus the pliers and short Phillips, which brings it down from 5 layers to 4.

(http://tiendanautica.topbarcos.com/tienda/accesorios/navajas_cuchillos/navajas-victorinox/navajas-bolsillo-hoja-bloqueable/victorinox-outrider/image_1_preview)

If Victorinox could delete the saw blade off the Outrider, leaving just three layers, consisting of the blade, scissors, long phillips, et al., I'd be happy camper.  The length doesn't bother me as much as the width.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Carl on October 02, 2015, 10:44:26 AM
Maybe the Super Tinker SAK is closer to your needs. Link to illustrate product.

http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-Super-Tinker-Pocket/dp/B000MLU8PE/ref=sr_1_36?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1443804206&sr=1-36&keywords=knife
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 02, 2015, 10:49:16 AM
Maybe the Super Tinker SAK is closer to your needs. Link to illustrate product.

The lack of an inline Phillips is a deal breaker, for me, at least.  I'd take the Explorer over any Tinker model.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on October 03, 2015, 09:49:19 AM
I got a Super Tinker for my wife, she's pretty happy with it.

I went and ordered an Outsider for myself, I don't have any of the locking SAKs and figured I'd give it a try.

Still waiting to hear back from Victorinox about what it would take to build a new design. I hope they take me seriously. We'll see.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on October 15, 2015, 09:40:18 PM
Got my Outrider today (delivered via Japan, best deal I could find). I gotta say I feel it's a step in the wrong direction for me. I like the tools on it but it's clunky like a Leatherman. And the blade is nothing short of being a scimitar. I'd rather a short blade with an aggressive tanto edge for hard work. I guess there's some personal preference there. It's not bad all in all and I wouldn't feel underpowered carrying it in the wild. It's got my SAK biggies: tweezers, corkscrew, scissors.

Will it beat my beloved Camper for travel? No. Will it beat the Super Tinker in the diaper bag? No. Will it beat the Swisschamp for around the house/cabin? Maybe... And that actually says a lot. Jury's still out.

I'm not hearing anything from Victorinox over a custom knife. I'd like to get close to the "easy carry optimized SAK" that we've hit on here (seems like there's solid agreement on good features) but I don't know how to push further.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: endurance on October 16, 2015, 08:04:56 AM
This thread is therapeutic for me. With all my gear obsessions, multitools and SAKs has never really been one of them. It's nice to know that I have room to branch out someday I decide I need another obsession (like the ten pounds of gear and tools I carry in my bunker gear pockets, my flashlight collection that could put out more light than an NFL stadium, my hiking kits that would make McGyver blush, my truck kit that takes up my entire trunk...)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on October 16, 2015, 08:49:35 AM
hmm, i looked up how to disassemble/repair/replace blades in a sak, not to hard to do.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 16, 2015, 09:26:48 AM
hmm, i looked up how to disassemble/repair/replace blades in a sak, not to hard to do.

How easy would it be remove a layer of unwanted tools, shorten the posts and press everything back together?
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on October 16, 2015, 10:36:50 AM
How easy would it be remove a layer of unwanted tools, shorten the posts and press everything back together?

i need to get a burner knife and try that...
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on October 16, 2015, 11:27:28 AM
How easy would it be remove a layer of unwanted tools, shorten the posts and press everything back together?

It's all pressure fit so pretty easy. It might be easier to buy 2 and sub out the unwanted junk to get one knife of the original size with only the useful tools on it. I'll try to get some used ahd tinker when I get some time. Not quite ready to rip apart the Swisschamp.

Reminds me of the guys who rebuild the old Buck 110s into switchblades.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 18, 2015, 12:45:26 AM
Apparently, there are guys who mod SAKs, for a price that I'm afraid to inquire about.

(http://www.sakmodder.com/customs/93mm_alox/Custom244/06.jpg)

This one has hard anodized alox scales and liners, thicker torx pins, and rearranged tools.  Look how he fit both the can and bottle openers opposite the inline phillips in the same layer.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on October 18, 2015, 08:16:08 AM
oh nice find...
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 18, 2015, 11:01:14 PM
Same knife, closed.


(http://www.sakmodder.com/customs/93mm_alox/Custom062/02.jpg)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on October 19, 2015, 05:27:27 AM
Those red liners really make it POP!!  Dang-it, add another item to my "Must Have in place of food" list. LOL
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on October 19, 2015, 05:46:58 AM
I'm tempted to email the maker. Talk about a solution. I wonder where the parts come from... Victorinox is kinda secretive.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 19, 2015, 09:50:48 AM
I'm tempted to email the maker. Talk about a solution. I wonder where the parts come from... Victorinox is kinda secretive.

In sleuthing some forums, I gathered that he cannabilizes parts from stock knives, gets the Torx stuff from knifekits.com, drills out the the scales and tools with a basic drill press and vice setup, and uses a metal plating vendor for the anodizing.

I'm kind of tempted to try it, but I know I'll bugger up a couple before I get the hang of it. I wonder how a Duracoat spray finish compares to hard anodizing when it comes to wear?
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on October 19, 2015, 09:54:51 AM
cool. i see yet another winter time project.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 21, 2015, 12:12:38 AM
YouTube review of the custom SAK, lets you see it in action compared to stock SAKs.  I'm really liking this layout, it's about as efficient as I can imagine possible in a reasonable form factor, but I'm guessing $300 or more.

https://youtu.be/JEJD8vX0SJY (https://youtu.be/JEJD8vX0SJY)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Lostjagged on October 28, 2015, 12:15:58 AM
I've always carried the Leatherman Wave on my belt.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on October 29, 2015, 04:25:38 PM
I got a request because I mentioned it elsewhere... (Sorry Freelancer)...

Yes, the Outrider has become my "around the house" carry replacing the beloved Swisschamp. It's lighter and most of the tools it misses that are on the Swisschamp aren't spur of the moment tools. I find incredible value (as we've all agreed in previous posts) in both flathead and Phillips screwdrivers, scissors, knife, tweezers, and toothpick. I have no idea why Victorinox thinks I need a saw to EDC...

The Swisschamp now resides on the coffee table as a nail file, coupon scissors, pen, etc. but its weight has cost it the "around the house" role. I find it hits home being stationary.

All this said, I still carry a SOG Trident and a SAK Classic for EDC. But around the house I want a little tool option without the clunk of my Leatherman or Swisschamp and for now the Outrider fills that role. It's a medium duty compromise. But for now it's the best I have.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on October 29, 2015, 08:36:51 PM
I carry the Trekker on my keychain every day in my left pocket.  Excellent daily carry.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 29, 2015, 10:22:56 PM
Interesting stuff, guys.  Thanks.


I've been comparing various SAKs to what I've been EDC-ing for a couple of years and it's interesting to see the similar dimensions between them.  I'm really impressed with how much thinner the Alox scales are when containing the same layers of tools and I think I'd be willing to give up the tooth pick, tweezers, and corkscrew for it.  The Alox Classic compared to the standard in the picture on the right is nearly half as thick!  The Black Alox Pioneer on the left feels really svelte compared to the Compact, too.  These are the first Alox SAKs I've handled for any amount of time and I'm really liking them.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5769/22592248875_fb4739af21.jpg) (https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5803/22603401661_4c6d5122a5_n.jpg)


Comparing the various sizes to my EDC Buck Vantage knives reveals that the length is quite similar to the standard and large SAKs.  If I could get the one-hand opening blade on an Outrider, sans saw, with Alox scales and a low riding clip, I'd be in heaven.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5807/21969506064_efc20b7551_b.jpg)

Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Greekman on October 30, 2015, 07:35:11 AM
Apparently, there are guys who mod SAKs, for a price that I'm afraid to inquire about.
freelancer i hate you for this link...
now let me see...one knife + one scizzors + one saw blade + one owl = ?
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on October 30, 2015, 08:02:39 AM
freelancer i hate you for this link...
now let me see...one knife + one scizzors + one saw blade + one owl = ?


why does your SAK need an owl? wont that make it hard to fit in your pocket? and be rather noisy? ;)
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Docwatmo on October 30, 2015, 09:17:14 AM
Haaaaa,  Archer!    :P

That's the cool thing about multi-tools, they can be as unique as the user specifies.   For me, the tweezers are one of the most used items on my SAK.  I've pulled so many splinters over the years. 

Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: archer on October 30, 2015, 09:32:52 AM
Haaaaa,  Archer!    :P

That's the cool thing about multi-tools, they can be as unique as the user specifies.   For me, the tweezers are one of the most used items on my SAK.  I've pulled so many splinters over the years. 



the tweezers are often used in mine also.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: David in MN on October 30, 2015, 10:32:09 AM
I use the tweezers weekly as I get slivers in my workshop frequently. I also get good mileage from the toothpick as I have a slight gap in my back teeth. I also demand a corkscrew because I've been without one too many times (and I like the little screwdriver).

I haven't jumped into the alox grip camp for these reasons. I like the modder's concept and I'd love more options with the Swisschamp phillips (which is a brilliant tool) but I'm not willing to give up the two tools I use the most. Maybe I need to cool my jets as I always carry a Classic as a backup.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Greekman on October 30, 2015, 11:01:57 AM
why does your SAK need an owl? wont that make it hard to fit in your pocket? and be rather noisy? ;)

touche...
and thanks god yuo caught this. i was about to put this (https://www.google.gr/search?q=awl&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CC8QsARqFQoTCL_PheLV6sgCFQXPcgodRkYGzQ&biw=1280&bih=868) on a cage!  :egyptian:
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 30, 2015, 11:52:05 AM
Maybe I need to cool my jets as I always carry a Classic as a backup.

I'll still be carrying the Rambler with my keys, too, regardless of whatever else I've got with me. That's a hard tool to beat for my needs.
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: FreeLancer on October 30, 2015, 11:58:08 AM
freelancer i hate you for this link...

Welcome to the crack...err...I mean...SAK house! 
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: buckaroo on May 27, 2018, 07:56:33 AM
I have a bunch but carry the Skeletool. I want one where I can open the knife without opening the whole darn tool......
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: bcksknr on May 29, 2018, 07:44:58 AM
     Because of an issue in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, during an open fire ban, one of my criteria for a multi-tool is that the "pliers" must be able to open a stuck fuel tank cap on a Coleman gasoline stove. Not all will, and if you have a stuck fuel cap, you aren't going to be cooking for long (at least legally with a stove).
Title: Re: My multi-tool quest.
Post by: Carl on May 30, 2018, 06:17:31 AM
     Because of an issue in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, during an open fire ban, one of my criteria for a multi-tool is that the "pliers" must be able to open a stuck fuel tank cap on a Coleman gasoline stove. Not all will, and if you have a stuck fuel cap, you aren't going to be cooking for long (at least legally with a stove).

You mean that a tool must actually 'work' and not just look pretty?