Friday, 29 April 2011

Geek Gifts: Multi-Tools

Geeks love tools, but don't try to pawn off single tools on them.  A screwdriver that just puts in screws?  What use is that?  Not only do those tools take up extra space, they're just so... ordinary.  What geeks want are tools that are functional and just look COOL.

Like these.  I did a quick google search and came up with more than I can display.  Here are some companies and sites where you can find awesome multi-tools.

First up is Gerber.  Don't think baby food, this Gerber makes some pretty hard core tools, knives and camping equipment.  Like this, the multi-plier 600 blunt nose with tool kit.  It contains: "Blunt nose pliers, wire cutter, wire crimper, fine edge knife, serrated knife, cross point screwdriver, small, medium and large flat blade screwdrivers, lanyard ring, can opener, bottle opener, file, and ruler. Tool kit with six bits and adapter."  

Next is Leatherman.  They've got a nice line of multi-tools and knives.  Take the Juice XE6.  It comes with: "420HC clip point knife, 420HC sheep's foot serrated knife, needlenose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, extra-small screwdriver, med/lg screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, scissors, wood/metal file, diamond-coated file, saw, bottle opener, can opener, awl, corkscrew with assist".
We got our Kelvin 23 from Canadian Tire, but this image is from Tech-Styling, which also sells it.  It contains: "a snap action screwdriver that locks at 90 degrees for extra torque, 16 screwdriver bits, 2 metre tape measure, a magnet to hold screws and rescue the ones you’ve dropped, steel hammer surface, spirit level, an LED torch to light up the work area".

Another good company to look at is Sheffield, which has several pages of multi-tools.  Like this Camper 12-in-1 multi-tool you can buy at Home Hardware.  It comes with: "Axe, Hammer, Hex key, wrench, 1/4" slotted screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, Drop point, blade, Saw, Bottle opener, Fish scaler, Hook remover, Ruler, File, Bonus Belt Pouch".

And don't think you have to be hardcore into tools or camping to find nifty multi-tools.  It's not all about knife blades and screwdrivers.  Evriholder has come up with a pair of scissors (EvriScissors) that have multiple uses - and are very sharp (I got a pair for Christmas, and they're sharper than the sewing scissors I bought). "Uses include: scissors, knife, screw driver, wrench, can opener, bottle opener, jar wrench, nut cracker, magnet, wire stripper, wire cutter, and fish scaler."


 We'll end with a few unique multi-tools.  I found these at Added Touch, a Canadian mail order store.  The first is a Magnetic Laser Level/Screwdriver Set.  This is the sort of tool that makes hanging pictures a breeze.  You've got everything you need nicely contained.  it also complements some of the other multi-tools by not doubling up on too much, and giving you a few things they don't.  "This set includes an accurate built-in bubble level, a laser pointer for line-of-sight marking, a 5-inch ruler and a screwdriver with two Phillips bits one flathead bit. Aluminum case with magnetic base."

Last on this list, but definitely not the last you can find, is this Personalized Tape Measure.  Sounds pretty standard until you realize that it contains a calculator, sticky note pad and pen in addition to the lighted spring-loaded tape.

Ultimately, you can find multi-tools in a myriad of places and can fit them to any budget (that laser level's only $15  and depending on the number of blades you want, the other companies have products below $20 as well).

If you're in Canada, a great place to shop for camping equipment and multi-tools is the Mountain Equipment Co-Op.  They've got a category for multi-tools which includes goods by Leatherman and Gerber.  Also check out army surplus stores and general camping and hardware stores.

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