Swiss Army knife XL?
It’s not weird if you think of a multitool as the heavy duty version of a Swiss Army knife, but it’s heritage will surprise you. The multitool was actually created from the idea of having a pocket sized set of pliers, after which different functions were added. So not a Swiss Army knife XL, but the development path after the initial start-up is very similar.
So, what does it do?
As we mentioned above, the multitool started out as a foldable pair of pliers. So it’s not very strange most multitools -though there will always be exceptions- are build around a pair of pliers. Often they’re combination pliers with both a gripping and a wire-cutting function. Besides that, often featured too are a knife and different screwdrivers and the bottle opener is also pretty standard. What other tools are used, depends on the intended use. Some have a file, saw and/or can opener, others feature scissors or even a set of screw bits. We can make the list go on for quite a while, but it’ll be easier to just read the product descriptions for the multitools in our online shop. Depending on the available tools, it will be easy to make a well educated choice for the multitool that’ll suit your needs best.
Think about the intended use
The best way to choose a multitool, is by seriously thinking about the intended use and not letting yourself get carried away. Think about which tools will be useful and which you’ll probably never use. A multitool is never a replacement for high quality tools that are designed for a specific function, but besides professionals, nobody will carry a well-filled toolbox with them all day. Ask yourself: do you spend a lot of time in nature or do you spend a lot of time in the office? And what are your hobbies? Specific situations ask for different tools. A hunter, for example, will have more use for a saw, while a sport shooter or airsofter would prefer some screwdrivers or even a bit set.
If you can’t choose and think you’ll need it all, there are mind boggling multitools out there, but if you know what you need and what don’t need, it makes sense to choose a multitool with just the functions you’ll need. That way you can keep it compact and light, which actually is the whole point of a multitool of course.
Maintenance is easy
When looking for a normal knife, one of the questions you have to ask yourself is if you want carbon steel or stainless steel. Of course, there’ll be differences between manufacturers, but opposed to knives, multitools are almost always made from stainless steel. This makes them less prone to corrode, which has its effect on the maintenance required. No need for intricate cleaning and completely oiling all the metal surfaces, just blow them clean or wash them in water and keep the many pivoting points working smoothly with a small drop of oil.