A multi-tool is a mini toolkit for DIY, folded up inside your pocket.

As an every-day-carry item, your multi-tool should be comfortable for you to both carry and use. Whether your pulling a nail out of a wall, fixing your glasses or cutting some plastic packaging, you'll see how handy they are.

Some heavy-duty multi-tools

A Leatherman Wingman (pictured below) is an affordable (€50) basic multi-tool with pliers, scissors, can-opener, screwdrivers, etc, weighs just under 7 ounces and has a belt clip attached. The Wingman is an ideal starter tool, and is similar to the Sidekick except that that has a saw instead of a scissors.

You should know that most of these tools have sharp edges, and if your not careful you can pinch or cut your skin. Paying attention is the best safety advice, and wear safety glasses when appropriate.

Wingman Review (he cuts his finger halfway through)

Entry level Leatherman Wingman for EDC (every-day-carry) with an urban essential - the scissors

The big question about buying a pocket tool is, what is it for? Some people will use a can-opener more than a pliers for example, or the saw more than screwdrivers. Its up to you to decide what tools you want and find the best combination for you (a perfect combo of size and tools is very rare).

Pocket sized Juice XE-6

Pocket tools come in all weights and sizes from the heavy-duty down to the Squirt and keyring size, which are much easier to carry, there is a tool for everyone. Some situations will call for a strong pliers or a metal file, in which case the heavier tools are generally better.

At 2.5 inches (closed), the Leatherman Micra has a tweezers and a very strong scissors

If your considering a cheap multi-tool from the hardware shop, then know that they are usually limited in design and quality, the fold-out tools don't usually lock in place, and they are sometimes made from a softer steel.

Dedicated Tools are perfectly suited

If your going to be using one particular tool for very heavy duty, perhaps carry a normal tool just for that purpose, which will wear-down without damaging your expensive multi-tool, such as a hacksaw, pry-bar, screwdriver or a Stanley knife that you can break and make blunt 100 percent of the time.

Tough but not indestructible

There is no replacement for having a dedicated tool to hand, but if you are already up the ladder in the middle of something, you'll be glad you had your multi-tool. If you take care of your tools, they will be there for you.

The Swiss tools are very well made, and most of them feature an excellent scissors.

EvoWood 14 Swiss Army Tool with precision scissors

A multi-tool typically has a pliers as the main tool, but some have a wire stripper, a vise grip or a scissors as the main. Any small Swiss Army tool that is equipped with a can / bottle opener, scissors and small blade are generally very handy to have around the home.

SwissTool Spirit X has a needle-nose pliers as the main tool

A quick look at two different pocket tools

A multi-tool is incredibly handy for car, electrical, farming, ambulance/rescue, prototyping, diy, military and technicians of every discipline. They go from around €10 up to €200 or more for the full size and specialist ones. Also available are a medical shears, keyring tools and bit-driver attachments.

Leatherman Piranha 2 fits on a keyring

Multi-tools and Swiss Tools are typically available in camping shops, cigar shops, good tool shops and online. 

Main brands are Leatherman, Gerber (home), Victorinox (Swiss) (shop 1 and shop 2), Wenger and Sog (blog).

Leatherman Thread bracelet - customizable and airport safe

The Leatherman tools are often difficult to buy outside of the USA, hence this long list of shop links to try (A Leatherman comes with a 25 year guarantee, and should last for years unless your over-tasking it such as cutting wire with the scissors, etc) ....







Leatherman Raptor Medical / Rescue Shears with 5 functions  

Several multi-tools compared side-by-side

Images are shown to indicate the ranges available, some models may be out of production.

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Comment by Spirality on December 15, 2015 at 5:13

A modified Leatherman Sidekick


Comment by Spirality on December 12, 2015 at 22:25

I would use an (12v) angle grinder for that, but I have never seen one on a Leatherman


Comment by brian of the family whelan on December 12, 2015 at 21:01
Could you cut a wheel clamp with it?
Comment by Spirality on December 12, 2015 at 12:32

At around €50, the Wingman might be the handiest and best option for a decent multi-tool to start with, but if there was no financial limit you could design and assemble a lighter custom tool using parts from other tools.

This review of a Mini Surge shows what can be done.


Comment by Spirality on October 5, 2015 at 8:30

You can also get specialized multi-tools to suit your work, such as this Dirty Rigger tool for Theatre lighting technicians

(available on ebay)

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