Multi-tools have come a long way since their creation. They keep getting slimmer, more compact, and more functional. The industry has a lot of competition in regards to this product and is therefore constantly innovating. This is a great thing for those of us who enjoy having a multi-tool for everyday carry (EDC).
One of the great things about a multi-tool is that there is no one type of multi-tool. There are a thousand varieties that all have their own perks and drawbacks. It all depends on what you value and what you end up needing on a regular basis. So, it is important that you are aware of some of the common features or tools on a multi-tool so that you can decide which one works best for you.
Do not underestimate the importance of a good, solid blade. You should make sure that it is made of quality steel that can hold a good edge. Ultimately, there are few things more dangerous than a dull knife blade.
However, not all multi-tools are designed with a knife. No matter what situation you find yourself in, having a knife on your EDC multi-tool is a must. You may even find that it is your most frequently used tool!
Now, while to some this may seem like a no-brainer, to others, this one might be a bit controversial. After all, the Swiss brand is pretty much synonymous with the term “multi-tool” and they have several models that do not in fact have a pair of pliers at all.
However, once you start carrying a multi-tool that has a nice set of pliers, you will quickly discover that it becomes quite indispensable. You can use the pliers for a wide variety of applications, including twisting, cracking, reaching, and opening. Many models have pliers with built-in wire cutters and/or wire strippers. You never know when those will come in handy!
Straight Slot and Phillips Screwdriver
A multi-tool is hardly a multi-tool without a solid straight slot head and a Phillips screwdriver head. Even if you do not screw or unscrew things on a regular basis, the straight slot has nearly limitless uses. A multi-tool that you plan to carry daily should definitely have both types of screwdrivers.
Sometimes, a regular knife just will not cut it. Pun totally, unabashedly intended.
While a good, sharp blade will do most of the work you need a knife to do, a nice serrated saw blade will cover the rest of your cutting needs.
Most multi-tools that have a serrated saw blade are able to tackle some pretty big projects. While you probably will not be able to cut through a 2×8 in a reasonable amount of time, arm-sized tree branches and smaller ones are no problem for this type of blade.
Even if you are not the type to open bottles on a regular basis, having a bottle opener on your EDC multi-tool can still be a big help. Whether you are prying off a lid, puncturing a can, or just need something to scrape with, bottle openers are quite useful.
Sometimes, you do not need to cut, crack, or twist anything. Sometimes, you just need to file things. Generally, a file on a multi-tool will allow you to accomplish small jobs on wood, plastic, and maybe even soft metal.
The scissors that you find on a multi-tool are generally not too sturdy. However, they have enough bite to take care of a lot of small jobs. Something as simple as a hangnail or a loose thread on a piece of clothing can be a great annoyance. Tiny scissors are definitely a safer option than just hacking away with your knife. Maintaining all your fingers is typically a good goal to have.
While this is not technically a “tool” that every EDC multi-tool needs, it is definitely something you should keep in mind while doing your shopping.
Obviously, your preference when it comes to the design of your EDC multi-tool is going to vary depending on who you are and how you use your multi-tool. However, like I said before, this is a crowded market so innovations are coming constantly and you have a lot of options to choose from!
So the first question is: Do you want a pouch/holster, a clip, or an in-pocket multi-tool? The number of slim multi-tools with clips is constantly increasing. Having the ability to free up belt space is great, plus it makes your tools easy to access.
Another design aspect concerns the placement of the tools on the multi-tool itself. Lots of companies now have models that have “one-hand open” for a couple of the main tools, such as the knife or saw. This means that you do not have to open the pliers first to get to the other tools. One-hand open is way more useful than you might at first think. For instance, if you are holding something that needs to be cut, but you only have one hand available, trying to open up your multi-tool and get out the knife can be a big hassle. However, if the knife is on the outside of the tool, it won’t be a problem at all!
Choosing Your Multi-Tool
There are all kinds of multi-tools out there. The tools that you need on a regular basis will vary depending on who you are and how you use your EDC multi-tool. Any multi-tool with a knife, pliers, straight slot and Phillips screwdrivers, saw, bottle opener, file, and scissors will take care of most of what you need taken care of.
Whatever you end up going with, the most important thing is choosing a multi-tool that is comfortable and has all the tools to meet your needs. If you’re looking for a new one, US Patriot carries quite a few in stock. Check ‘em out!
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
An avid archer, political junkie, and aspiring musician, Brady makes his home on the edge of society, just close enough to get good WiFi, but far enough to not be bothered.