The older I get, the less I want to carry in my pockets. I can’t say for sure why. Perhaps it’s just a phase I’m going through at the moment. Maybe it just makes life simpler to just grab one thing on the way out of the door than grabbing 5. Who can say?
Insert the multi-tool.
I’m not talking about the ‘multi-tool’ types which are essentially a bottle opener with a hex hole in the middle, (which by the way I love. In fact, I’d probably still grab one of these), no, I’m talking actual multi-tool. For me, it comes down to two main styles; The Leatherman style and the Swiss Army Knife (SAK) style. The Leatherman style is based around a pair of pliers or scissors, with the tools folding out from either handle. The Swiss Army knife style being simple knife style with multiple tools from either side.
Now, before I go in to it, Yes, there are other types of multi-tool. I am generalising. There are many different types of ‘knife style’ multi-tools, but for the purpose of this post, I am combining them all under one bracket. The same goes for the Leatherman style, just change the words in the previous statement to make it fit. Why? It’s easier and these two are the best in class. In my opinion at least. 🙂
Both styles have their pros and cons. For the most part, they will contain similar, if not the same tools. So what it really comes down to is the usage. The Leatherman is a more robust tool, often containing locking tools so you can feel safe they aren’t going to pop closed on you. But the pay off for this is the size. Generally, (apart from the odd model) you’ll be looking at a larger tool. The SAK is generally smaller but with less tools.
So who reigns supreme?
This is the question that has divided the community since the beginning of time, and if not, certainly since the beginning of this post.
Compact and lightweight VS robust and variety
For me personally, I look at the SAK as a pocket tool, whereas the Leatherman is a pack tool. If i’m rushing out of the house, I’m more likely to grab a SAK than a leatherman. The size and weight isn’t justified by my usage. But I’ve always got one in my bag. I currently have one in my day pack, my camera bag and my work bag. Whereas I have no SAKs stored away in bags. All that said, if I had to choose one, Id take the SAK.
Where do you stand on this argument?
Is the Swiss army knife the champion of the multi-tool or is it just a knife stepping out of its class?
Is the Leatherman the top dog, or overkill?