Carrying a full toolkit with you everywhere is not always practical. But sometimes, you find yourself in a situation where you really wish you had a wrench, screwdriver, or knife handy and you’re just out of luck.
It’s for exactly these kind of situations that multi tools were invented. A small multi tool can fit in a pocket or purse and it contains a variety of different tools all in one compact device.
A good lightweight multi tool can be a literal life saver in so many situations. But there is a surprisingly wide variety of different kinds available on the market.
So it’s not the easiest product to shop for, especially if you’re not much of a tool expert. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. First, we’ll talk about the different kinds of mini multi tools that you can find.
Then we’ll talk about the different occasions when you will need one. Finally, you’ll get some tips for how to pick the right one for you. So read on to learn more!
4 Reasons Why Everyone Needs A Multi Tool
Even if you have never considered yourself the handiest person in the world, you could still benefit from having a good, reliable multi tool with you at all times. Here are a few reasons why absolutely everyone should carry a multi tool with them at all times:
- You’ll be ready for anything. A multi tool can be used to do basic home repairs or it can be used to help you survive in difficult circumstances. If you find yourself stranded somewhere, a multi tool will become a literal lifesaver. Even if the emergency is as simple as needing to open a beer, your multi tool will be there to save the day.
- You can adapt it to many purposes. It’s not just for survival or repairs. A multi tool can have thousands of uses. And with it, you can find creative solutions to problems. As soon as you have one in your bag or pocket, you might be surprised at just how much you end up using it.
- It is super convenient. A multi tool is so compact and portable that you can easily carry it everywhere. And once you have it with you everywhere, you will realize there are so many little annoying problems that are easily resolved by using your multi tool. Trying to open a stubborn food wrapper? Break out the scissors on your multi tool! A screw in your glasses has come loose? Break out the small screwdriver! Is there a loose thread on your hem? Snip it with your multi tool!
- It is really efficient. If you find yourself in a situation where you need some little tool like a blade, screwdriver, or even ruler, you would normally have to go hunt the necessary tool down. But if you’ve just always got a multi tool with you, you’ll already have what you need right there on the spot.
Types Of Multi-Purpose Tools
There are a few different types of multi tools and the differences are most often based on what the product is primarily going to be used for. The kinds of tools a camper needs will differ from what an electrician needs.
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So before you start browsing through all the cool multi tools, you should understand the different types and start thinking about what it is you’re actually looking for.
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There is a whole world of multi-tools out there, and we can help you navigate through it to decide which one is best for you.
There are many moments in your day to day life that you may feel the need for one tool or another. A multi-tool exists for the sole purpose of providing you all these useful tools in one package. From the Oscillating multi-tools to the Android multi-tools, we give you the scoop on everything!
Multi Tool Pocket Knife
This is a pretty standard multi tool except that the main priority (or most developed tool) on the device is the knife. It’s designed to be as functional as a dedicated pocket knife. This is one of the earliest examples of a multi tool.
It’s primarily a knife that will also include a couple other handy tools like a bottle opener, a screw driver, and a can opener. In most cases, it doesn’t offer quite as much versatility (in terms of number of available tools) as other types of multi tools.
But that makes it ideal for someone who just needs a general every day multi tool. It has the basics that you need and nothing else. This is good because if you don’t actually need all the extra features, there’s no reason to spend the extra money on them and moreover, to carry the extra weight!
Electrician Multi Tool
An electrician multi tool usually includes all the standards that you might find on a pocket knife multi tool. But it also includes multiple types of wire cutters and, ideally, an electric crimper. Basically, the standard tools you would need as an electrician.
But you don’t have to be an electrician to get use out of this kind of multi tool. There are plenty of simple home repairs that you could easily do yourself if only you had the right tools. So if you get an electrician multi tool, you can save yourself tons of money by not having to pay an electrician to come out just to fix a very simple problem!
Military Multi Tools
Military multi tools are designed for both survival and for on the go repairs. These are also the kind that usually include rifle cleaning/disassembling tools. So they are great for soldiers as well as campers, hikers, and hunters.
In addition to including the tools you would need to survive even in tough conditions, a military multi tool is often also designed to be as easy to operate as possible. These are the ones that can be opened with the flick of a wrist so that you only need to use one hand to operate it.
They are also often built with extremely heavy duty materials that can withstand extremely rough treatment and excessive use. Because a soldier in the middle of action needs a tool that they can depend on no matter what.
As a result, these also tend to be the more expensive multi tools that you find but if you are willing to invest in it, you are going to have a multi tool that lasts for decades and performs as perfectly 20 years from now as it did the first day you got it.
Android Multi Tools
This is not a multi tool in the traditional sense. It’s not an actual multi tool that you hold in your hand, anyway. It’s actually a software for android devices. It is used to hard reset (or factory reset) an android device.
This is helpful if you need to unlock a phone or you want to completely wipe it clean and put it back to factory settings so that someone else can use it. It’s easy to install and use and it comes in handy for any android device.
Custom Multi Tools
Custom multi tools are ones that come with bit sets that allow you to change the tools you are using. For example, if you need a smaller or larger screwdriver, you can simply remove the head and replace it with the appropriate sized bit.
This customizability can turn a 10 in 1 multi tool into a 20 in 1 (or more) multi tool. It becomes a comprehensive tool set! This is great for people who do a lot of home improvement projects or otherwise regularly do handy work.
It’s a little less necessary for camping or wilderness survival. In that situation, your best friend is going to be a good sharp, sturdy blade (or even a few different kinds of blades). But for electricians, you could benefit from a customizable multi tool that includes a variety of different wire cutters and other useful options for handling electrician jobs.
Oscillating Multi Tools
An oscillating multi tool is not exactly the kind of tool you stick in your pocket and carry around. It’s a bit more of the kind of tool you would keep in your tool kit. An oscillating multi tool is basically a motor with assorted attachments like sanders, screwdriver bits, and so on.
The motorized oscillation makes fast work of just about any job. That’s because it not only works faster but it maximizes the force applied. Instead of rotating a screwdriver by hand, you push a button and it’s done in seconds. Instead of painstakingly sanding a surface by hand, you push a button and it applies the force and oscillation needed to quickly sand down the whole surface in a fraction of the time.
These are definitely more expensive than other multi tools but the money and time that you save on home improvement projects by owning one of these is absolutely worth the investment.
4 Occasions You’ll Wish You Had A Pocket Multi Tool
If you’re still doubting that you’ll ever actually get use out of a multi tool, check out these 4 situations that happen to just about everyone and see how they can be made better if you have a multi tool with you!
#1 Opening A Lot Of Letters
If you tear open a letter by hand, you know it’s not really a very hard task. But if you’ve got to go through a stack of envelopes, it becomes tedious and annoying. And while you could buy a dedicated letter opener, you’ll only have use for it on this one occasion.
If you have a pocket knife multi tool, on the other hand, you could use the blade as a letter opener and then use it for hundreds of other tasks later on. If you happen to be a fan of fishing, you know a letter opener isn’t going to be any good at gutting a fish. Meanwhile, the blade of a multi tool is going to be up to both tasks!
#2 Trim A Hangnail
We have all been there. In the middle of the day, a nail starts to break but then it’s embedded in a way that you can’t quite tear it off without ripping your skin as well. It’s painful to get rid of but tediously annoying to just let it stay there until you get home to your nail clippers.
If you had a multi tool with you, you could simply pull out the clippers, clip off the hangnail and slip the tool back in your pocket. No painful tearing. No annoying hangnail waiting there for hours. The problem is solved in seconds.
#3 Remove A Splinter
This is a similar issue as having a hangnail except it’s even more difficult to deal with just leaving the splinter in and waiting until you can get your hands on some tweezers or a knife to help remove it. If you leave a splinter in too long, it will just get further and further embedded into your skin until it becomes an even more serious problem.
With a multi tool, you could simply pull out the tweezers, pick, or blade and remove the offending splinter in seconds without having to go hunt down the right tool.
#4 Zesting A Lemon
Ok, so this isn’t exactly an emergency situation—unless you consider great flavor to be an urgent concern. But it is still important. Whether you’re adding a nice lemony kick to your chicken or making a lemon meringue pie, there are lots of reasons to add lemon zest to your food.
While you could buy a dedicated lemon zester, you could also save your money and just use your multi tool. Either the blade of the knife or the metal file will be helpful here. These kind of small tasks are exactly what a multi tool was designed to do. So why buy a dozen separate tools that each only perform one task when you could easily invest in a single tool that can do all of them?
These are just 4 examples. There are literally thousands of situations ranging from everyday occurrences to unexpected emergencies where a multi tool will make your life easier or even save your life. So whether you’re a soldier in the middle of a battle or a civilian working in an office, you should always have a multi tool with you at all times!
How To Choose The Perfect One Piece Multi Tools
Whether you are looking at pocket knife multi tools, mini multi tools, or something else, you need to make sure you know how to identify the one that is perfect for you. While one person might be more than satisfied with a basic multi tool knife, another person is going to need a more comprehensive and versatile multi tool.
It’s important to make sure that you neither buy more than what you need nor less than what you need. To make sure you are spending only the money you need to spend, you want to know exactly what it is you are looking for, whether it’s as basic as a bare bones multi tool pocket knife or as advanced as a high end oscillating multi tool.
So in order to do that, answer the following questions in order to help you narrow down on exactly what it is you are looking for:
How Do You Need To Carry It?
Should it be mounted on your belt so that you can easily grab it and put it back? Or is it fine to be inside your pocket or bag? This will determine whether you need some kind of a clip as well as how heavy your multi tool can be. If you’re using it on the job, you probably want it in an easily accessible position.
However, if you’re taking it on a hiking trip, it’s fine if it’s just stored in a backpack pocket or in a pants pocket. You can also get super small ones if you really need something compact and ultra-portable—of course, they usually don’t offer nearly as much versatility as a large multi tool.
What Tools Do You Need?
Having 50 different tools sounds convenient at first. But if you only actually use 3 or 4 of them, the other 40+ tools are really just going to get in the way. Rather than buying one tool that has everything that ever existed, you are better off looking for a more specific tool that includes precisely the tools you need and not much else.
Do You Need Real Tool Functionality?
Multi tools are handy but they are limited in functionality when compared to actual full-sized tools. For certain jobs, a multi tool simply can’t replace a real tool. So consider what kind of jobs you expect to be doing and then decide whether the multi tool you want to buy is up to the task or if you just have to bite the bullet and carry full sized tools.
In most cases, you can opt for a combination. Carry a multi tool to perform the smaller tasks that it is suited for. But then also bring along a wrench or hammer or whatever specific tool (or tools) you need to handle the tasks that your multi tool can’t handle. This will still be more convenient than lugging around a full tool kit.
Is It A Reputable Brand?
There are so many multi tools on the market and so many that try to draw you in with gimmicks and false promises. While a multi tool can do a lot, it can’t do everything. And it’s not meant to. Go with a reputable brand like Gerber, Leatherman, or SOG which make quality products and back them with full or limited warranties.
Do You Need A Blade? If So, What Kind?
Pocket knives multi tools are hard to shop for. A blade needs to not only be durable and able to securely lock into place when in use, it also has to be sharp. Beyond that, you need to decide how long the blade should be and whether or not it should be serrated. You also need to think about its location on the multi tool.
When it’s pulled out, how comfortable and secure is your grip while using the blade? When it’s not in use, is the locking mechanism secure enough to prevent the blade from accidentally slipping out? A blade comes in handy for a lot of reasons but you need to make sure it’s well-designed, well-placed, and well-built or it could end up doing more harm than good.
Once you’ve answered these questions, shopping will be much easier because you’ll immediate be able to recognize which multi tool could potentially meet your needs and which ones are just not suited to you.
Just about anyone will benefit from having a multi tool on hand at all times. Even if you don’t consider yourself a particularly handy person, you can still make use of a multi tool. The few occasions you read about above are just a small sample of the kind of situations many people find themselves in and wish they had a multi tool with them.
There are literally thousands of things you can do with a multi tool. And there’s a certain sense of pride and accomplishment when you solve a problem yourself that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. So it’s definitely worth having a multi tool on hand even if it just for worst case scenarios and emergencies.