Preparedness is one of the key elements in the outdoors. The wilderness is definitely a tough nut to crack. You’ll never know what’s lurking behind those humongous trees, ready to lurch at you anytime. Okay, I’m not here to throw cold water on your next outdoor adventure; I’m simply here to remind you that for your next outdoor trip, don’t forget to bring a – multi-tool.
A multi-tool and a Swiss Army knife both assist every outdoorsman out there. Yet, both have been interchangeably used by outdoor neophytes. The most striking difference between the two is the way the tools are arranged. A multi-tool is arranged in a way that the other tools are sticking out from the main tool – a pair of pliers. On the contrary, a Swiss Army knife is flat with all the other tools sticking out from the sides of a plastic casing which encapsulates the entire device. And speaking of plastic, you won’t find a single plastic component in a multi-tool which makes it a sturdier tool as an outdoor companion.
Of course, picking the best one doesn’t mean grabbing the first multi-tool you see at the hardware aisle because it looks as hard as nails. Don’t waste your time and money buying a substandard tool because it’ll most likely wimp out when you need it the most. So, consider these 7 tips in choosing the best multi-tools for outdoors and survival.
Tip #1: Portability
There are a handful of multi-tools which differ on how it’s set up to be carried. One is a keychain multi-tool which is relatively smaller than the rest. A pocket multi-tool which is self-explanatory and slightly bigger. The belt multi-tool for those wanting some extra robustness from the set of tools while showing it off by strapping it on their trousers. Last but not the least is the one-piece multi-tool which looks flat and slim and can be clipped on your keys, bag, or just about anything else.
Tip #2: Blade or Bladeless?
Some smart outdoor enthusiasts choose multi-tools which don’t include a blade for travel and security check reasons. For instance, most of these tools aren’t allowed on planes. So you’ll have to leave your multi-tool at home when going on out-of-the-country adventures. But if you frequent outdoor trips in your city or country, having a multi-tool which comes with a knife will absolutely come in handy.
Tip #3: Quality
This should be the first thing that pops up in your mind when choosing the best multi-tools; if it isn’t, I really don’t know if you’re going on an outdoor adventure or just fixing your bike. Choose a titanium handle because corrosion can kill the life out of your tool. You may also opt for a 420 stainless steel for the set of tools as steel is more durable.
Tip #4: Set of Tools
Sure, you want to have all the tools integrated into your multi-tool but did you ask yourself if you really need those for every camping or hiking adventure? If you don’t mind carrying a piece of equipment that weighs more than 10 pounds then be my guest, get the heaviest tool in the market. But you’re probably going to end up just using 20 percent of the tools, so don’t get ahead of yourself when you’re shopping for the best multi-tools. Who knows, a pair of pliers and a can opener for that cold bottle of beer might be all you need.
Tip #5: Safety
It’s an axiomatic fact that safety should be a major concern when buying the best multi-tool. Although you want the best out of your tool, when it comes to safety; all you need are three critical factors. One is to be able to utilize the tool using one hand. Next is to be able to use the tool while other parts are also accessible. Last is a safety lock and that’s about it for safety.
Tip #6: Design
They say when you’re buying a product, the first glance on aesthetics will allure you in scrutinizing the product further. But when you touch the product and the touch almost instantly feels right; that’s when you know you’ve got the right one. Choose a design that suits you and most importantly, choose a design that is a good fit when you’re holding the tool in your hand. Trust me, it’ll make a huge difference.
Tip #7: Warranty
Choosing a multi-tool with an excellent warranty means you can be confident for as long as the tool’s lifespan that the manufacturer is ready to assist you for any problems you might have in the future. Although these multi-tools are extremely sturdy and reliable, save for the cheap ones, a good 25-year warranty still gives you an affirmation that you got the best value for your money.
If you know the outdoor industry inside out, it should be easy for you to choose the right multi-tools out there. And while this might only serve as a guide for those who might not be the sharpest tool in the shed (pun intended); choosing the best multi-tool is still a matter of preference and lifestyle.