A Multi Tool is Usefulness Personified, and it’s in your Pocket!
A multi tool or classic pocket knife will find their way into your adventure somehow, somewhere. For me the need usually materializes in a number of forms; spreading peanut butter (I always carry a jar!), preparing all-night bus snacks and fixing dying Birkenstock sandals, and not necessarily in that order.
However, take heed, because this is also a precautionary tale; a saga of pocket knives lost and tantrums thrown. My prized Victorinox, which had marked my thirteenth birthday, was vanquished by one very stern Thai immigration officer. Never to be seen again! Granted, I was stupid to forget it was in my hand luggage. I pleaded with her to post it to me, all to no avail; without a hint of remorse it was duly confiscated and is now probably languishing in some storeroom in the depths of Bangkok airport.
My prized Victorinox Huntsman suited me well; it wasn’t overly burdened with too many foldout tools, but had the essentials. Besides the main blade, its scissors, screw drivers, can opener, tweezers and even the saw were well used.
Their premier pocket knife is the SwissChamp and comes equipped with 34 individual tools. Above and beyond the standard knives, screwdrivers and scissors included are pliers with wire-cutter, magnifying glass and even a ruler!
Some models, such as the CyberTool Lite come equipped with built-in LED torch. The CyberTool Lite’s changeable precision screwdriver heads are also a very useful feature.
There are many Victorinox models to choose from, but I would tend to select their simpler pocket knives. I found even with my Victorinox Huntsman I only used three or four of the tools regularly. So choose one that suits your needs and save on a bit bulk.
If you’re serious about having a pocket sized toolbox, then a Leatherman multi tool really is a gadget that’s hard to beat. Available in four different sizes; Heavy-Duty, Full-Size, Pocket-Size and Keychain, there’s bound to be one that suits your needs and travelling style.
The Heavy-Duty range is probably overkill for most travel needs. The models I’ve been impressed with are the Full-Sized Blast, Pocket-Sized Juice Cs4 and Keychain Squirt Ps4. All come in stainless steel and have good, practical pliers as their main tool. All have the basic tool set of large knife, scissors, screwdrivers, wire-cutter and can/bottle opener.
The larger Leatherman such as the Full-Sized Blast have more specialised features including changeable screwdriver bits, a saw, wood/metal file and a wire stripper.
My advice is to spend some time looking into which brand and what features you need in a multi tool. These are things of great usefulness, tend to last a long time and become inseparable from their owners.