Multitools have been around for a long time and even before Tim Leatherman came out with original PST the multitool had a purpose; it was a pocket tool box. For years companies have made multitools a jack of all trades and cram as much as they could into a tool so someone didn't have to go back to the tool box unless they really needed too. That's the reason we love multitools, they are our constant companion that can tackle any task.
Things have changed over the past few years and there is a trend developing to meet a niche or demand in the tool market. Companies are releasing minimalist style tools that feature a basic set of tools and leaving out stuff that they feel a person would not use on a daily basis. I'm not sure if the design changes are because of culture or city/urban life but they they seem to be a hit with people concerned with needing a multitool no matter what their profession.
An often-overlooked entry into the keychain size MT market is the SOG Crosscut. I was talked into buying one from ‘Sharper Image’ or some such mall shop many years ago, and as overpriced as it was, I would have paid it again. The original Crosscut was an absolutely excellent tool. It has been replaced by the Crosscut 2.0, with only a few refinements, and a fairly major drop in build quality since production switched from the United States to China. While it’s not what it used to be, it’s still an excellent option for keychain carry.
When you need pliers on the go a multitool is great to have. But what about when that multitool feels like a brick in your pocket? Sheaths are an option but not everyone wants one on their side and not everyone wears a belt. There are also keychain tools, but the pliers on them are too small for many tasks. So what do you do? You get a Leatherman Mini-Tool.
How useful a review of a discontinued Leatherman pocket multitool might be? Well it depends. The Leatherman Juice Pro has very subtle differences from the Juice's line flagship, the Xe6. Essentially it just adds two hidden small tools, a pair of tweezers and a small curved blade with mini serrations, known as a foil cutter. Thus, a potential buyer of the Xe6 might find this review helpful.
Husky is the store brand available at Home Depot. While they have seasonal offerings, the 14-in-1 multitool is currently in stock year round. It comes with a reasonable quality nylon sheath with a belt loop. As of this writing, the cost on this tool is about $10 US.
When one thinks of multifunction tools one tends to think of folding plier devices and when one thinks of multifunction knives one tends to conjure up the typical Swiss Army type knife. The Select Fire from Kershaw actually manages to take features from both without losing it’s tactical knife-y-ness as well. On the surface it’s a one handed opening, partially serrated liner lock with a partially serrated blade, injection molded handle scales and a pocket clip. Not only that, the pocket clip can quickly and easily be swapped to the opposite scale for left handed users and the large, ambidextrous thumbstud won’t be leaving Southpaws out in the cold either.
I received a little prompt to do a review of the Mini Bear Jaws recently, and it only seemed natural to compare it to the tool which most people would pick up and carry instead ... a Leatherman Squirt. I have taken a real shine to the Mini Bear Jaws, and though they don’t make much of an appearance in the world of multi-tools these days, they are a nice little item to have around.
This Christmas I was gifted a black Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial combo from Beerplumber. He prefaced the tool being Gerber and I, being more of a Leatherman guy, was cautious but was not going to look a literal gift-tool in the plier teeth.
With all tools new and shiny, I would be optimistic about the form, looks, function and carrying potential. In this review I am going to attempt to address them all.
Having never handled any Blackhawk tools or knives I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered the HawkHook. At an MSRP of about $40, I figured it was worth a shot, and I'm glad I decided to.
With the modern trend towards minimalist tools and the success of Leatherman's Skeletool which dominates the category, Gerber initially released the Crucial, which met with lukewarm success. While it was a decent tool, it didn't give much in the way of competition. This year (2010) Gerber ups their ante with the introduction of the Octane, a tool that incorporates some of the things Gerber does best, along with some great new ideas.
What kind of people would write collect and review multitools? Quite simple really- we are designers and do-ers, outdoors types and indoor types, mechanics, doctors, problem solvers and problem makers. As such, we have, as a world spanning community, put every type, size and version of multitool, multifunction knife, pocket knife and all related products to every test we could manage in as many places and environments as there are.