Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Which Multi-Tool is Best for You








A few years ago I started carrying a multi-tool on a daily basis. It has been one of those moments when I have to ask myself. "Why did I wait so long to start carrying this?" I have found that now I am lost when the random day arrives and I forget to get my multi-tool.

Through the years I have carried several different styles and different brands. Leatherman, Gerber, Victorinox and SOG have dominated my holster's. As I think about it, it really all started back in the 1980's with a Swiss Army Knife by Victorinox I got from my dad for Christmas. This was the coolest thing. It had a blade, a saw and a pair of pliers! I thought I was the bomb because I had a saw and pliers. A few years later, the modern Multi-tool was born. I am not sure who was first, the chicken or the egg. But now there are dozens of brands offering different versions of the same tool.

Different models tend to have different tools with them. But there are a few similarities that are common in them all. Everyone I have used have the big set of needle nose pliers. And off of the handles, they offer Phillips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, bottle opener and then the combinations vary wildly. It seems there are also two different design's taht dominate, those where the main pliers slide up from the center of the tool, and those that unfold the pliers from the center. I have personally never liked the sliders. I prefer the folding ones. This is just a preference, friends of mine love the sliders. But it is something to consider when purchasing a multi-tool.

For my money there are a few of these accessories that are a must have. In addition to the common ones mentioned above, I must have a saw. I use the saw on almost a daily basis. As a full time trapper, I am always using the saw to remove limbs, or to trim limbs. I use the saw to cut snare support sticks, and anchors. There is never a day that goes by that I do not use my saw. I used to carry a small folding saw in my backpack. But the multi-tool saw works just as well and I don't have to carry any additional tools.

Another item that is necessary is the additional serrated knife. I like having two different kinds of blades for cutting different things. One is my "give 'em hell" blade that I don't as much worry about the edge but will still cut with enough force. And the other is my cutting blade that stays razor sharp.

In addition to these items, I really like scissors for delicate work, and the replaceable cutters on the wire cutters portion of the pliers.

VICTORINOX SwissTool Spirit 105mm Multi-Tool with Leather Pouch (53800)Here are my favorites. I still like the Victorinox Swiss Army knife versions of the Multi-tool. It not only has some nostalgia, it also is high quality. Plus it has everything I need and want in a tool. Pliers, saw, scissors, file, etc. It does only have one blade, but it is still a great tool.


SOG EOD Stainless Needle Nose 22 Tools Nylon Sheath 4.6in Black Oxide Clam Pack Multi-Tool (B61N-CP)The other one I really like are the ones made by SOG. I have carried several of the SOG versions and really like them all. As long as they have the required tools. One thing about the SOG is it comes with a hinged door over the tools in the handles. I always take it off and throw it away. It just isn't needed and gets in my way. I do like the matte black tools, with the exception that they are a lot harder to find when you lay them down in the woods.
 The SOG  EOD Stainless Needle Nose with 22 tools is a great choice for the tools I need and want.

When it comes to choosing a tool that is right for you, I would definitely begin with two questions. 1. Which tools are a must have for what I intend to use it for? and 2. Does size matter? Some of the tools I have carried are o big and bulky they are difficult to use. Likewise, I just received one as a gift that is so small, I can barely hold it in my hand. I want to open the package and hold the tool in my hand to see how it fits before I spend the money on it.

One thing is for sure though. Before I go off into the woods for any reason, I always have a multi-tool on my side or in my pack. There is an extra one in my boat and in my truck. There is an extra one in my tool box, archery bag and gun range bag. When it comes to time to go hunting, I will always have a multi-tool with me. Make the right choice and pick one that will fit your need and your hands.












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