Interestingly enough, the multi-tool was invented when Tim Leatherman kept breaking down in his used Fiat. He already carried a knife, but realized what he really needed was a pair of pliers and a knife. Depending on what you are willing to spend, there are multi-tools that cost less than $50 and others that breach the $150 mark.
Today, there are many brands of multi-tools to choose from, but there are at least five things to consider before you buy a new multi-tool.
Accessibility of Tools
All multi-tools will contain a pair of pliers and a knife. A spring loaded pair of pliers is ready to lend a hand for many jobs. Your personal preferences will dictate whether the other paraphernalia are accessed on the outside or inside of the pliers’ handles, but they should be easily accessible. With that in mind, you definitely want your tools to hold their position once they are free from the handle.
Includes a Good Knife
One tool that you will probably use quite often is the knife blade. Having a knife with serrations could be more useful to you if you are a collector of tools, since you probably already have a separate straight-edge knife. Furthermore, the knife blade should be strong and have reliable locks so you can be confident it will stay open when you are using it.
Variety of Tools
The purpose of a multi-tool is to have a bunch of tools all in one place. Most multi-tools will come with a flat head and Phillips screw driver. Other tools included could be a pair of scissors, can opener, bottle opener, box opener and a nail file. Wire cutters, wire strippers and a ruler with metric or customary measurements are a few other tools that can be found on a multi-tool. You will want to consider which ones you will use most often, and make sure those are included.
Preciseness of Tools
If your tools aren’t precise, then they probably aren’t going to get used. You will want to confirm that the pliers touch when they are closed. The same thing goes for wire cutters so they work correctly. If you are working on a project, you need tools that are accurate to get the job done. The benefits of a multi-tool go out the window if you have to go searching for more tools to finish your job.
Heavy-duty With Convenient Sheath
A good multi-tool will be heavy-duty and shouldn’t have any parts that rattle or aren’t easily secured. A sheath with a belt clip or pocket clip is convenient because you can take it off or add it to your belt without having to remove your entire belt. Additionally, velcro on the sheath will help keep the tool from falling out.
A multi-tool is convenient and can be stored in the glove box of a vehicle, carried in a pocket, or kept with other tools in a garage or kitchen, . There will be compromises on a multi-tool, but they provide versatility all in one place and it is a convenient accessory to have available.