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Steel Necessities: the Kaufmann Mercantile EDC Kit

We love the idea behind every day carry kits, but finding the right balance between compact and useful is often easier said than done. Most guys turn to multitools, but if you’ve ever carried one of those things, you’ve probably found that they’re filled with unnecessary tools that never get used. And then there’s the bulk. They feel heavy in a pocket, but you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a holster, so you usually don’t have much of a choice.

This EDC kit from Kaufmann Mercantile is a minimalist, keychain-based tool set that’s made from high-grade steel and designed for maximum utility. It’s just enough so you’ll always have the right tool for the job, but not so much that you’ll look like a janitor when you whip your keys out.

The keychain-based design is ingenious. It’s modular, and allows you to add or remove tools as you see fit – which is far more convenient than the all-or-nothing design you get with a folding multitool. And better yet, because the tools are on your keyring, they’re more likely to be with you at all times. Aside from the bulk and unnecessary tools, the main problem with traditional multitools is that you have to make a concerted effort to bring them with you every day. What use is a knife  left on your nightstand?

The complete kit comes with five different tools, each made out of industrial-grade steel alloy that’s – quite literally – tougher than nails. You can pick and choose which tools it comes with, so if you don’t think you’d use a particular item, then you can just leave it out.

In the full set you’ll find a pry bar with a sharpened edge – great for anything from pulling up nails, to opening boxes, to cranking the top off the occasional beer. It’s made from lightweight, industrial grade D9 steel, so it’ll work wonders where your fingernails might fail. The kit also comes with two screwdrivers (phillips and flathead), a pair of steel tweezers (great for splinters and wild eyebrow hairs), and a compact capsule lighter. The screwdrivers and tweezers are great, but the lighter is particularly impressive. This thing is only one inch tall, completely waterproof, and works just like a full-sized Zippo. Even if you’re not a smoker, having quick access to a flame comes in handy more often than you’d think – who knows when that next power outage leaves you and your lady to eat dinner by candlelight?

Head over to Kaufmann Mercantile’s site and you can get your hands on the whole set for about $44, or pick up certain tools individually.