Price and number of tools are not the most important things to look for in a multi tool. Before you settle with a specific multi tool you need to give a thought on several other aspects.
It’s very true that multi tools are extremely various when it comes not only to the number of functions they have, but also to the combination and reliability of those functions. In theory, a specific multi tool is supposed to have specific functions, but design and usability are also very important.
For instance, a multi tool with ten very well designed tools is more efficient than one that has 20 tools crammed in. It’s also questionable if those ten well designed tools are also versatile enough for most customers also.
Experience has taught us that some functions are more important and more used than others. Therefore, a multi tool with a nice blade, tight pliers with wire cutters, scissors and integrated bit drivers is in fact the most popular choice.
So, the functionality of your multi tool is one thing to pay attention to. Specific tasks require specific tools and it’s up to your needs to decide which type to go with.
Ergonomy on your multi tool
A multi tool needs to be tried-and-true plier format. Reality is that a multi tool is in fact a set of pliers with other tools built into the handle. So, the pliers need to fold into the handle just as well. How this is made, is another thing. The main idea is that the pliers are the largest and most functional of all the tools from any given device. So, when you put other tool into the handles of the pliers, you lose some ergonomics and function of the pliers.
But, that’s where the beauty of the multi tool comes in. You may get multi tools that do this in the most elegant way and the exposed parts of the handles are rounded and smooth.
You need to realize that you lose some efficiency like this simply because the pliers are bolted. A dedicated knife performs better than any blade on a multi tool. The same goes for the scissors, saw, file or screwdriver. But, let’s not forget the win when it comes to versatility. This is why a multi tool that accomplishes both is far more appreciated.
Kudos for the devices that keep easy access to the most common functions with a minimal of folding and unfolding moves. The same goes for those with intuitive and efficient locking mechanisms. And, if the multi tool is also rugged and ready for the heavy use, it’s clear for everyone you got yourself a winner.
Is it easy to carry around?
A multi tool is efficient only if you have it on you when you need it the most. You need to think how you’re going to use it and the size of it is important. If the multi tool is too small, finding it in your pockets takes too much time. On the other hand, a really large and heavy multi tool isn’t that easy to carry around. You can only carry them to a belt or in a sheath.
It’s better to look for a multi tool that gives you several options for carrying it around. It’s nicer if you can carry the multi tool with a pocket clip, attached to a lanyard or key chain or stowed in a rugged belt pouch.
A multi tool that simply disappears on your key chain is also a choice to consider.
Is it long lasting?
How a multi tool hinges and locks reveal the attention to the detail of the manufacturer. A sturdy material, the tight manufacturing tolerances and smart design really make a multi tool better than others. The high quality build is related to the life span and heavy use.
A multi tool that “feels” sturdy is in fact reliable. How well the multi tool hinges, how strong the handle is being also hints on the quality of your multi tool.
In the end, these are only some tips to consider when going shopping for a multi tool. Your needs, pocket and experience have the final word.