Whether you're a backpacker headed on an exciting adventure or driving your car to work, an emergency situation can come up in the blink of an eye. Life is unpredictable, and with the alarming rise in criminal activity, one needs to emphasize the importance of being prepared and having the right tools at hand.
Aside from storing a first-aid kit in your drawer or car, it is essential you invest in a handy multi-tool. This handy accessory is also a lifesaver for folks who don't want to buy additional tools to take up more space in their shed. If you don't know what a multi tool is, rest assured this handy guide contains everything you need to know about this handy accessory.
What Is A Multi-Tool?
As the name indicates, this accessory combines several component tools into one durable form so that you don’t have to carry around an entire toolbox. Multi-tools typically include a knife, scissors, a pair of pliers along with other handy tools that you may need to complete everyday garage work.
To gain the most out of your purchase, consider purchasing specialty multi-tools that are suitable for the activity. For instance, fishing multi-tools consist attachments which come in handy for cutting wires and reeling in big fish.
Similarly, camping multi-tools feature LED flashlights or tweezers along with other accessories which may come in handy when you're out in the wild.
For your convenience, manufacturers are introducing plenty of multi-tool types. The most popular categories include:
A regular multi-tool comprises of several tools and typically larger compared to other models. Regular multi-tool typically feature a foldable design which you can fit inside your rucksack or conveniently store inside your garage drawer.
Multitools are especially beneficial for hikers, backpackers, and hunters who are always on the move and need to be ready for unexpected situations. Additionally, a multi tool is also a great buy for folks who don't want to purchase separate tools for each task.
Credit Card Multi-Tool
Chances are, you might not always have room to carry around a bulky multi-tool, the good news is that you probably always have your wallet. A credit card multi-tool is designed to fit inside your wallet. It includes a knife, can-opener, saw, ruler, wrench and much more in a conveniently sized package.
Since you can tuck the multi-tool inside your wallet, you'll be able to retrieve it in a matter of seconds in a difficult situation.
This product is probably the most lightweight and least complex multi-tool option out there. This simple accessory consists of nothing more than a small piece of titanium or steel that has been shaped to combine several common tools in one cohesive form. This type of tool commonly features components that you can use for prying or opening bottles.
Folding multi-tools typically feature many components but can be folded thanks to collapsible pliers that can be folded using the handles. When not in use, these multi-tools can be swiveled up together to take up minimum space.
Because of its convenient design, the multi-tool includes a large number of sturdily built tools including large scissors, handy pliers and lots more. Most folding models also include a locking mechanism that prevents accidents.
Since these accessories need to be folded in place when not in use, it may be too bulky to carry around your pocket, which is why most folding multi-tools include a belt carry.
A keychain multi-tool is a great option for folks who don't want to compromise on the functionality and quality of the survival tools.
Not only can it fit conveniently inside your pocket but the key chain design can be used to attach the multi tool to your backpack without taking any extra room, which is highly beneficial for hikers or campers who are always on the move and are in need of a lightweight multitool device.
However, if you intend on carrying the multi-tool in your pocket, ensure it's not too heavy or else the extra weight will weigh you down.
Multi-Tools Vs. Numerous Single Tools
So, you’re probably wondering why you should invest in a multi tool as opposed to multiple single tools. The answer is simple: convenience. A multi-tools enables folks to carry more items without much extra weight. Here are some advantages of using a multitool as opposed to an entire toolbox:
A multi-tool is a convenient solution to all of your everyday problems. Carrying around a full toolbox is not practical if you're traveling long distances or on the move. Not to mention, rummaging around for the right tool in an emergency situation can put you in a tight spot. A multi-tool is easy to access and is a relatively quick way to take care of any situation.
You don’t have to rummage through your tool box or run to your garage when you’re in an emergency situation. A multi-tool saves time, allowing you to focus on the problem instead of worrying about finding the right tool.
Multi-tools allow folks to carry multiple tools at the same time in a more convenient manner. Sure, you may not always need a hex driver, a pry bar or a bottle opener but in an emergency situation, a multi-tool can be the difference between life and death. Manufacturers design multi-tools for a reason.
They realize the importance of staying prepared and are thus determined to serve their customers. A multi-tool enables users to come up with a quick solution to their problem, guaranteeing their safety in the great outdoors.
Carrying around multiple tools isn’t practical, even if you’re considering to store it inside your car. Emergencies cannot be predicted and usually arrive unexpectedly. Fortunately, you can prepare yourself by purchasing the right tools.
Whether you're stuck inside a locked vehicle or are trying to run away from intruders, a multi-tool can be different between life and death (we're not exaggerating).
Important Multi-Tool Components To Look For
Let’s be honest. Carrying a full-sized toolbox just isn’t possible for most folks which are why it's important you carry a multitool for emergency situations. A multi-tool contains several components that are bound to come in handy for everyday situations. To help you select the right option, we have compiled a list of essential components the multi-tool must include:
Your multi-tool must include at least one knife. While a straight-edge knife is the most versatile, you may also benefit from a serrated design. Opt for a one-hand design that will save you time and trouble. Not to mention, it will also be much easier to use in an unexpected situation. A knife is an important tool that you can use for several tasks including:
Pliers are an important component which you can use for holding objects firmly, compressing and bending wires along with other types of materials. A set of pliers is as important as carrying a knife. Ensure the pliers is sturdy enough to cut wires and have needle nose ends for better functionality. Some important uses of pliers include:
- Loosening and tightening bolts
- Remove tacks and nails
- Holding items in place
- Bending and cuttings wires
Most multi-tools include a pair of scissors that is bound to come in handy during difficult situations. Opt for a pair of scissors with the following features for added functionality:
- Easy cutting
- Performing clean cuts
- Contains durable springs
Ensure the springs are good quality or else it will make it difficult for you to cut items. Some scissors also gradually start to loosen at the joints. This loosening can also impair the scissor's ability to cut and tear items. You can also use scissors for the following tasks:
- Cutting paper
- Trimming fingernails
- Cutting string
- Freeing yourself
Almost all multi-tools in the market include at least one screwdriver. While a flat-head screwdriver is sufficient enough for most tasks, you can also benefit from other types as well. Some advanced models include a replaceable screwdriver bit so that you can replace the head according to your convenience.
By flipping the removable bit, folks can conveniently change the type of screw without any problems. Screwdrivers come in handy for loosening and tightening screws. We urge you not to use them for other purposes.
When To Use A Multi-Tool
A multi-tool can come in handy in many situations, and you can use it for a variety of activities including:
Do you enjoy going on camping trips with your family and friends or do you prefer heading out in the wild on your own? Whether you are heading to a campsite or a forest, you need to acknowledge that you will be spending your time in an unpredictable environment, which is why you should invest in a multi-tool.
Some manufacturers sell multi-tools that are specifically designed for camping and includes necessary features that will make your trip more memorable.
Some multi-tools may also include detachable utensils that will make cleanup much easier. Other cool attachments to keep an eye out for include bottle openers, knives, and other practical tools. If you are spending the night in the forest, you will certainly benefit from a multi tool that contains LED lights.
Folks will be pleased to know that there are plenty of fishing multi-tools in the market that is suitable for this activity. These accessories come in handing for tying knots, threading hooks and other tasks that will help you secure a good catch.
Investing in the right multi-tool will make it easier for fisher men to reel bigger fish, open bottles and cans, cut wires and pull a hook from a fish's mouth. However, since fishers spend a lot of their time in the water or places with high moisture levels, it is essential you purchase a multi tool that is resistant to rust and won’t wear off in a couple of days.
Multi-tools that are not resistant to rust may fail to work at the worst possible time, especially if you expose it to salty water.
If you're not keen on purchasing several tools for your toolbox, you can make do with an everyday multi-tool. This accessory will save you the trouble of carrying around a bulky toolbox.
Most everyday multi-tools are large, but you will also find compact models that can also fit in your pocket without any problems. If you’re planning on carrying around the tool, ensure it isn’t too heavy or else it will weigh you down.
A survival multi-tool can be your best-friend when you’re in trouble in the woods or have found yourself in an unfortunate situation. A survival multi-tool typically contain high-end components along with a solid construction to ensure your safety during difficult times.
Ensure the accessory is lightweight and can easily fit in your pocket or rucksack. Opt for a model that includes essential components such as a wire-cutter, pliers, knives and of course, a bottle opener.
Best Manufacturers For Multitools
Do you want to invest in the best multi-tool in the market? Choosing the best product becomes a whole lot easier if you focus on the best brands. Here are some of the most notable names in the industry:
Founded decades ago in 1939, Gerber has been around for ages. It is among the most reputable American brands when it comes to manufacturing cutting tools, multi-tools and other lifesaving equipment and cutting tools. Serving customers for over 75 years, we guarantee Gerber is a company you can trust.
Gerber multi-tools feature a solid construction and are designed using the highest quality materials. The quality tools are designed to handle even the toughest everyday tasks. The brand manufactures professional grade tools that have plenty of awesome features. For instance, some products include zipper-pull, one-hand opening or have a butterfly opening.
Gerber is a brand that is highly trusted by the US military. It also manufactures other kinds of cutting tools that you will find beneficial.
Leatherman is well-known American brand that is known for manufacturing high-quality knives and multi-tools. The company has been around since 1983 and since then serves thousands of customers around the world. Years ago, the brand decided to create portable hand tool with several functions. The same year, Leatherman came up with their first multi-tool.
Leatherman multi-tools are popular around the world. Constructed using the highest quality materials, you won't be disappointed with your purchase.
SOG is popularly known for their specialty knives. The popular tool manufacturing company has been around for years and is also known for manufacturing quality military-inspired products. You can sue their quality multi-tools or many activities and situations.
Cleaning And Maintenance
As with any tool, it's essential you pay attention to proper cleaning and maintenance if you want to guarantee your safety and prolong the life of your multitool. If you're not careful, the steel components of the tool can begin to rust, making it difficult for you to use the accessory. To avoid these problems, here’s a detailed guide to cleaning and maintaining your multi-tool:
Remove Dirt And Grime
If you have a hard time folding or using the tool, there's probably a lot of gunk and dirt built up in the joints or pivot. So, first thing's first, use a tooth picks to remove the dirt trapped in the handler or the pivot. Don't worry if you are not able to remove all of the grime.
We will work on that later. When removing lint, always ensure the tool is dry, which is important since it's hard to remove lint when it's wet. Using compressed air is also an effective way of removing the lint from the knife.
Wash The Multi-Tool With Soapy Water
Here's when things will start to get messy. It's time you soak the multi tool in soapy water and clean all the edges and crevices carefully. Play close attention to the pivot and locking mechanism to ensure all the dirt and debris has been removed and washed out.
You may use a soft bristle brush to clean the edges. However, remember not to use anything that is abrasive. We suggest you use the flattened size of the Q-tip to get the best results.
You will also have to open up each component to clean the grime separately. We advise you not to disassemble the tool as putting all the parts together can become quite a chore. Aside from that, in some cases, disassembling the multi-tool can turn the warranty void.
Soak The Multi-tool
If there is build-up that's hard to remove, consider soaking the multi tool in soapy water. We suggest you use warm water to help the grime dissolve along with other sticky residues. However, don't use boiling water as it can potentially ruin the multitool's handle or make it difficult for you to clean the rest of the tool.
Use Rubbing Alcohol If Necessary
If you're having a hard time removing stains, consider pouring a few drops of alcohol on a piece of cloth or q-tip and then rub the dirt off. Don't be alarmed if the alcohol evaporates immediately. It will still help to clean the spot.
Dealing With Rust And Corrosion
Unfortunately, sometimes stainless steel tools also develop rust and corrosion. However, this does not necessarily mean that the tool is useless. Use commercial rust removers to stop the damage. Take immediate action to prevent the rust from completely ruining the blade.
Remember To Let The Multi-Tool Dry Completely
Before storing the multi tool back in its place or in your pocket. Even the tiniest amount of moisture can ruin the knife, resulting in corrosion, which can especially become a problem if the multi-tool has any wooden parts.
The knife blades and can openers need to be kept sharp for optimal performance. If you're not careful, the blades can start to dull, resulting in many problems for the user. You should note that a dull knife is dangerous to use since it causes folks to use additional force.
Inspect the edges of the knife for dull areas and nicks. If the multi-tool contains serrated blades, its best call an expert to help out.
Safety Reminder: When cleaning the multi tool, be careful of the sharp edges. Considering wrapping the pointy edges with tape before you begin the scrubbing process, which will prevent accidental cuts when you are cleaning the multi-tool, and your hands are slippery.
Another important reminder to keep in mind is not to disassemble the multitool, which may seem tempting as you are probably eager to remove gunk and dirt from the pivots of the multi-tool.
In most cases, disassembling the tool will void its warranty. If you’re having trouble cleaning the tool, you can call the manufacturers instead. They may agree to sharpen and clean the tool for you.
So, there you have it! A multi-tool is a great purchase for folks who don’t have the space and budget to in several tools for each task. If you need more information about choosing the best multi-tool, check out our buying guide! Good luck.