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FAQ About Utility Knives and Multi-Tools

If you've ever put off or given up on a simple task, simply because you didn't have the right tool handy, you'll understand the convenience of a pocket knife or multi-tool. If you find it's happening all the time, or you're about to embark on a new adventure, it may be time to get yourself properly equipped.

What is a multi-tool?

Combining a number of common tools into one compact design, a multi-tool folds up just like a pocket knife to keep sharp and pointy edges from damaging your pocket, or bag -- or even your flesh. Quality brands like Leatherman are made from durable stainless steel, sometimes with aluminum, titanium, or nylon handles to add style and reduce weight. The overall size and weight depends on how many tools it includes.

What types of tools are included with a multi-tool?

There are many different multi-tool designs to choose from, some with minimal tools and others with many. Some offer an assortment suited to a particular type of job. It's common to find knives, pliers, scissors, bottle/can openers, and various screwdrivers. Other more specialty configurations may include wire cutters, needle nose pliers, crimpers, wire strippers, saws, files, even hammers and wrenches.

How do I choose the best multi-tool or utility knife for my needs?

Consider a few key factors, starting with how often you'll use your multi-tool and what you'll use it for. If you work in a certain field or tackle dedicated tasks frequently, there may be an obvious multi-tool for you, with a specific set of tools or configuration catered to your work. The Leatherman Raptor Shears multi-tool, for example, is designed for medical professionals, while others contain crimpers and wire cutting tools helpful to electricians.

Having more tools is certainly advantageous when you're a Jack of all trades or adventuring into the unknown, but the more components a multi-tool has, the heavier and bulkier it becomes. How you plan to carry it something to consider. If it's in a backpack, a little extra bulk is probably well worth the convenience of being prepared. In your pocket, extra weight can be awkward, and you should start ruling out some of the tools you are less likely to use, or consider a belt-secured pouch.

If a blade is the only tool you'll need frequently enough to carry on you, a simple, lightweight folding knife is definitely the most convenient option, and quite versatile. A fixed blade will always work best for jobs like dressing game, since they offer tougher one-piece steel construction and are easier to clean. Other options, like locking cartridge blades and precision knives are ideal for routine or intricate tasks respectively.

FAQ About Utility Knives and Multi-Tools

If you've ever put off or given up on a simple task, simply because you didn't have the right tool handy, you'll understand the convenience of a pocket knife or multi-tool. If you find it's happening all the time, or you're about to embark on a new adventure, it may be time to get yourself properly equipped.

What is a multi-tool?

Combining a number of common tools into one compact design, a multi-tool folds up just like a pocket knife to keep sharp and pointy edges from damaging your pocket, or bag -- or even your flesh. Quality brands like Leatherman are made from durable stainless steel, sometimes with aluminum, titanium, or nylon handles to add style and reduce weight. The overall size and weight depends on how many tools it includes.

What types of tools are included with a multi-tool?

There are many different multi-tool designs to choose from, some with minimal tools and others with many. Some offer an assortment suited to a particular type of job. It's common to find knives, pliers, scissors, bottle/can openers, and various screwdrivers. Other more specialty configurations may include wire cutters, needle nose pliers, crimpers, wire strippers, saws, files, even hammers and wrenches.

How do I choose the best multi-tool or utility knife for my needs?

Consider a few key factors, starting with how often you'll use your multi-tool and what you'll use it for. If you work in a certain field or tackle dedicated tasks frequently, there may be an obvious multi-tool for you, with a specific set of tools or configuration catered to your work. The Leatherman Raptor Shears multi-tool, for example, is designed for medical professionals, while others contain crimpers and wire cutting tools helpful to electricians.

Having more tools is certainly advantageous when you're a Jack of all trades or adventuring into the unknown, but the more components a multi-tool has, the heavier and bulkier it becomes. How you plan to carry it something to consider. If it's in a backpack, a little extra bulk is probably well worth the convenience of being prepared. In your pocket, extra weight can be awkward, and you should start ruling out some of the tools you are less likely to use, or consider a belt-secured pouch.

If a blade is the only tool you'll need frequently enough to carry on you, a simple, lightweight folding knife is definitely the most convenient option, and quite versatile. A fixed blade will always work best for jobs like dressing game, since they offer tougher one-piece steel construction and are easier to clean. Other options, like locking cartridge blades and precision knives are ideal for routine or intricate tasks respectively.