If there’s one tool that you should always have along for the journey, it’s a tool that is actually twenty tools at the same time. That’s right, we’re talking about multi tools. Thus the title of this piece and all the pictures of multi tools you’ll find throughout it.
A multi tool is dealt a tough hand to play: its very purpose is to attempt to be all (or at least many) things to all people, something wisdom and experience tell us can never be accomplished successfully. The fact is that almost every individual facet of even the finest multi tool can’t perform its designated activity with the same level of competence as a 100% purpose built tool. For example, your multi tool might have a phillips screwdriver bit, but it can never offer the same torque and comfort as you would get from simply using a phillips screwdriver.
Ah but… your phillips screwdriver doesn’t also have a flathead attachment. And a saw. And a knife. And a bottle opener. And so forth. Whether you’re out for a hike, preparing for a potential roadside emergency, or simply making sure you’re ready to tackle the next little DIY project that pops up around the house, choosing a multi tool that best suits your prospective needs is a wise idea. Rather than trying to select a multi tool that has the most features, choose the option that has the best features for you.
Related: The Updated Pocket Knife
And hey, they make great gifts, too. So there’s always that to consider.
THE CAMPER’S MULTI TOOL
If you’re the kind of gentleman who spend a good deal of time camping out, then some of your chief concerns in life likely have much to do with tent stakes and campfires. The Rose Kuli Camping Multi Tool is therefore a great choice for you. This plucky little tool features a hammer for driving stakes into the soil and a pair of plier for pulling them back out. (You can also use the hammer and pliers for other stuff, too.) It also sports a charming little hatchet head that helps you make kindling. As for its saw, blade, and other features, those are helpful too. Especially the bottle opener. Oh yeah, and by the way, this thing costs less than fifteen dollars.
THE FISHERMAN’S MULTI TOOL
According to the latest National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, & Wildlife-Associated Recreation (the good old FHWAR, as the cool kids call it), the number of Americans who hunt and/or fish has actually been on the rise in recent years, bucking a downward trend seen during the preceding decades. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who loves a good fishing trip, you’ll love the Booms Fishing L1 Multi Tool. It features pliers for dealing with hooks, the jaws of which feature multiple spots for crimping various lines or cutting them away. It has tools for scaling, gutting, and more, and it comes backed by a lifetime guarantee.
THE SURVIVALISTS’S MULTI TOOL
Take this multi tool from Mr. Man Vs. Wild Himself Bear Grylls, because stealing something is cheaper than buying it. If your conscience or logistics prevent said theft, then buy the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi Tool and be ready for almost any situation that arises out there in the great outdoors. It features multiple cutting surfaces, including two knives and a saw, and has both a hearty pair of pliers and a short but powerful pair of scissors. The tool has a spring loaded jaw for easy one handed use, which will be handy when your other arm is engaged in mountain lion battle or beer holding activities.
THE DIY MULTI TOOL
If you’re looking for a multi tool that you will actually use like a tool — which is to say that you will use its many components to complete actual, specific projects — then the most trusted name in multi tools has an idea for you: the Leatherman OHT Multi Tool is built to be used hard and used often. It has no fewer than four different screwdrivers, four cutting surfaces, one series pair of pliers, and of course the obligatory can opener and bottle opener. Every one of its tools locks in the open position, and all can be easily opened with one hand. (Side bar: did you know that Leatherman tools are named for the founder of the company, Tim Leatherman? Most people figure it’s just a rugged sounding name some corporate bigwigs picked, but it’s not, it’s the actual surname of the man who made some of the first multi tools the world had ever seen.)