Saturday, February 13, 2010

More on Everyday Carry Knives/Multitools

In a recent post here I listed the three knives (including multitools) that I find most useful and essential for everyday tasks and therefore keep close by if not on my person at all times.   They are: the Victorinox Tinker (Swiss Army Knife), Leatherman Wave Multitool, and Cold Steel Voyager XL folder. The latter is in a different class, as it's a big folding blade designed more for knife fighting than for use as a tool.  I'll post more on that later.

It may seem redundant to include both the Swiss Army Knife and the Leatherman Multitool, but they are configured differently and the size and weight of the Leatherman makes it less of a pocket item and more suited to carry on the belt pouch.  As a result, the Swiss Army Knife is the one that's in my pocket right along with the change and the truck keys every time I leave the house, while the Leatherman may stay in the fanny pack on the truck seat where I keep my Glock, Surefire flashlight, Firesteel and other gear close by.

A recent forum thread here debates the question of which of these two tools you should have:

There are some good points made there, but I see no reason not to have both.  Here is the Victorinox Tinker:


I picked this model because it is slim and lightweight enough when closed that you hardly feel its presence in your pocket, yet it has what I consider the most essential basic tools: two different knife blades, a can opener, a bottle opener/flathead screwdriver, a Philips screwdriver, and a reamer/awl tool (as well as the plastic toothpick and tiny tweezers that come with practically all these knives).  With this knife on me at all times I can do most light cutting tasks as well as some assembly/disassembly of things held together with screws, like for example removing the butt stock from my Winchester Trapper carbine so it will fit inside the bug-out bag.  I like having two knife blades as I can spare the edge on the larger one for cutting things that won't dull it and use the smaller one for other work that is more abusive.  Both are sharp though, and just yesterday I sliced open my index finger with the small blade while opening a box.  

The Leatherman Wave offers a lot more in terms of both cutting blades and other tools.  In this first photo we have the two knive blades, a saw blade, and a file/rasp combination.  The plain-edge knife blade is longer and sturdier than the largest blade on the Swiss Army Knife.  It also comes to a sharp point and features a thumb-hole that allows for one-handed opening.  The serrated blade can also be opened one-handed, and is useful for jobs like quickly severing big ropes, cutting away seat belts or other emergency tasks.  The saw is more effective and useful than you would think at first glance, and I've actually used it quite often in boatbuilding jobs where I didn't want to go get a larger handsaw or power tool.  The file and rasp provide all sorts of utility for things ranging from shaping and smoothing wood to sharpening machetes and other tools.


With the blades folded up, the Wave can be reversed to reveal an excellent pair of needle-nose pliers with wire-cutters built in.  The middle part also features a large opening with more aggressive serrations for turning bolts and other big-pliers jobs.   At the other end of the handles, additional fold-out tools include a can opener, a reversible Philips and flathead screwdriver combo, a sturdier single flathead screwdriver, a reversible jeweler's sized flathead and Philips combo, and a pair of small but sharp scissors. 


Of course with all these features, I could get by fine with just the Leatherman Wave, and it's certainly worth the trouble to strap it on your belt in the included belt pouch if you're heading out to the woods or off to do a day of outdoor work.  But having both is no trouble at all and the cost is reasonable.  You can get the Victorinox Tinker for just $15.00 on Amazon, and the Leatherman Wave can be had for $60.36 on Amazon (at least that's today's price -which you will see if you add it to your cart).  I received both of these fine tools as gifts, so that's even better, but for a $75.00 investment, I wouldn't hesitate to replace them if I lost them.


  1. This is a good post - thank you for writing it. I wish that Victronix or Wenger would consider adding a diamond or ceramic sharpening rod to their tools. One that is comes with the knife (perhaps replacing or in addition to the tweezers?) would be great.

  2. Good post. I have two Wave's and almost always have one in my briefcase/laptop bag whenever I go somewhere. I have a Tinker as well, although I can't find the darn thing. The Wave is just too bulky to carry around in a pocket. For everyday wear I usually just opt for the tiny "classic" model.

  3. Im a huge knife maniac. i carry 4 on a regular basis. all of them have their purposes. one is a fairly big swiss army knife which can be used for almost anything, one is a sharp knife that i dont use unless SHTF, the other is my edc blade which i use to cut everything. then i have a small knife which is a last resort. they come in handy in a non world disaster. i can only imagine how well it would come in handy when that day comes. i have a paracord belt and bracelet on me on a regular basis which has over 130 feet of 550 paracord. My pants weighs around 6 pounds every day. but i dont mind it at all, i find that infact it just makes me feel light when i put other pants on.

  4. I found a Swiss Buck Mate II, an outsized SAK, about 5" long, about 1" thick. Has a locking 5" blade, slip joint pliers, wood saw (it too 5" long), plus a few extra tools. Not too bad if you had to pick 'just one'.

  5. It was good to see we carry almost identical tools. I have the Leatherman Wave, the Swiss Army Knife with a few extras, a Leatherman Micra and the Cold Steel Voyager (but the 4"). It's like getting an A+ from the teacher ;)

    I have to say it's a relief to finally not be seen as paranoid or a pessimist or crazy because one prepares. However, my family back in the South, to them it 's normal. But here? Californians, particularly SoCal, are mostly ostriches with tans. This is actually the first survivalist site I've ever posted on. Probably will be the only.


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