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LED's in multitools

Poll

Do LED lights belong in multitools?

Yes, I like them
2 (15.4%)
Yes, but only if they are detachable (like the CRKT Guppie)
0 (0%)
No, I'd rather carry a seperate light of my choosing
11 (84.6%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Voting closed: May 12, 2023, 02:09:53 PM

ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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LED's in multitools
on: May 05, 2023, 02:09:53 PM
I just saw yet another ad for yet another Kickstarter campaign for yet another carabiner LED with a bottle opener and wrench cutout claiming to be the next "ultimate EDC multitool" and it got me to thinking- am I the only one that hates an LED on a tool?

I usually need the LED to illuminate what I am actually working on, which is of no use to me if it's in the tool in my hand.

I also like tools to be uncomplicated, and adding in a button, a battery etc just seems like an extra problem and some fiddly parts I personally don't want to deal with.

But, everyone is entitled to an opinion- let me know what you all think!

Def
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au Offline Echotech

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #1 on: May 05, 2023, 02:24:58 PM
 :iagree:

I saw that tool at Kickstarter too Def, way overpriced as much as anything

Most times either the light seems like an afterthought or the tool does. I feel I get way more utility from having them separate, such as my rambler/manager paired with a nitize/rovyvon (depending which set) on my keychain

I do quite fancy a Huntsman lite having said that  :think: :rofl:


us Offline BPRoberts

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #2 on: May 05, 2023, 03:18:01 PM
I also generally prefer to carry a separate mini flashlight. I don't think there's anything wrong with having one there (always good to have a backup), but they tend to take up an inordinate amount of bulk for their utility.


us Offline SteveC

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #3 on: May 05, 2023, 03:35:18 PM
Voted no, I would rather carry a separate light.


us Offline nate j

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #4 on: May 05, 2023, 03:57:09 PM
I agree with everything said so far.  I much prefer them separate.

I’ll also note that (with the exception of Vic) these tools are usually essentially a crappy MT paired with a crappy LED light.  Why would I do that to myself when I could get a quality MT and a quality light, and have them separately?


Offline gadgetman7

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #5 on: May 05, 2023, 04:26:56 PM
I tend to agree with Def with two exceptions.

I really like the Midnight Manager/Minichamp and the Cybertool light. The Midnight Manager/Minichamp because I can carry in around in my shorts pocket at home and not usually need a second light. I like the Cybertool light because it comes in handy to see tiny screws when you’re an older guy like me.

However, I hate them on either carabiners or pliers based multitools.


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us Offline Old Boy

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #6 on: May 05, 2023, 05:46:33 PM
I agree about better off having a separate more powerful light to illuminate the tool plus work space.

Might change my mind if they come up with a detachable light MT?


us Offline Old Boy

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #7 on: May 05, 2023, 05:47:32 PM
I agree about better off having a separate more powerful light to illuminate the tool plus work space.

Might change my mind if they come up with a - Quality - detachable light MT?


us Offline MadPlumbarian

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #8 on: May 05, 2023, 07:51:20 PM
These are my two little lights, ones on the keychain and ones on the head, plenty of light..
JR

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Offline Keyboardinator

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #9 on: May 05, 2023, 08:12:41 PM
I voted for LED, since, apart from flashlights/torches, they are used in such tools as conductivity meters. In fact, a conductivity meter usually is, technically, a multitool, since it has a driver:)
Alas, I've never encountered a meter combined with something more multitoolish.


us Offline Old Boy

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #10 on: May 05, 2023, 10:40:17 PM
Sorry about the double post. Was trying to emphasize a quality detachable light MT.

Just occurred to me. Felix Immler has a YT video where he answered a question on his most commonly carried SAK which was a 58 mm SAK with an LED.

He said he uses more often than not to look for toys under the sofa for his kids.


gb Offline Tasky

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #11 on: May 06, 2023, 02:09:13 AM
I voted Yes, I like them.... but this comes with some caveats. Mostly that it depends on the make/model of multitool, and the individuals' use-case scenarios.
It also depends on how the LED has been implemented. I was once given a cheap POS PBMT from a tat shop, which had a fold-out twist-head LED that used tiny button cell batteries. It would jam both legs of the pliers shut unless you closed the tool in just the right way, which wasn't easy given how wibbly the cheap POS was to begin with.

You can mod the SAK LED torch to detatch. I've seen several people on here do it, though it seems to require removal of the scales and pivot pin, at least on one end, with the reinstallation once the mod is done.  It's an option, and one that will give you the best of both worlds.
There may be other torch-equipped multitools that do it more to someone else's liking but I'm a Swiss Army Knight, so of course a SAK is the best!!

As for existing examples:
I have and love the Cybertool Lite, although I only ever crack it out for working on PCs. The LED shines directly down the side of the bit driver and, inside a dark PC case, lets you see exactly what you're screwing into. Perfect use example.
Its presence on the CT-Lite also furnishes me with the magnifier, so I can read all the teeny tiny labels and text on motherboards.... and if you can't read <-that bit, you should get one too!!

I have and love the Huntsman Lite (@Echotech - Definitely get one!) which is already a great camping/outdoors SAK, but the LED is perfect for map reading, lighting inside your tent, or finding your way to the toilet block in the middle of the night. It's one I carry on a regular basis.
The presence of the LED also furnishes me with an In-Line Phillips, which is possibly the greatest SAK tool on the planet!

My Traveller Lite also has the LED (and the glorious ILP), which make sense for checking under the hotel bed to see if you dropped anything when packing, or for repairing the inevitably broken light fixture in the windowless bathroom of a Travelodge/Premier Inn.
My Midnight Manager @Work has the scale LED, which has seen neither use nor carry so far, but looks to be good for hunting down USB ports at the back of your PC, and for a very minimalist carry SAK.


As many others have said, a dedicated torch is far better... but then any dedicated tool is 'better', which is why I also carry an Olight Perun Mini and a Lumintop Tool AA.
A SAK is for when you aren't lugging around your massive Snap-On chest full of dedicated tools, so to that end I would say a torch on a multitool is a good option for those that would have need for one.



us Offline Farmer X

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #12 on: May 06, 2023, 08:17:17 AM
I only have one multi with a light: a Gerber Multi-Lite that was gifted to me by Aloha. The light isn't terribly bright; I suspect it needs a battery, and changing the battery could be a fussy process. I haven't tried any of the SAKs with LEDs, but as far as I know, they're in the scales or paired with an inline Phillips. Others would have even worse compromises made in implementation of a light, I'd imagine. Considering that my Olight I1R2-EOS has a heck of an output for its small size, I prefer a dedicated flashlight. One that runs on regular ol' alkaline batteries is very desirable for emergencies.
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Offline 1053r48

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #13 on: June 05, 2023, 06:54:28 AM
So sorry to step out of topic, but are the Victorinox Lite models washable? TIA.


us Offline Farmer X

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #14 on: June 05, 2023, 06:57:35 AM
Victorinox pretty clearly states that one should not immerse any SAK with electronics. I wouldn't get water too close to the LED.
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #15 on: June 05, 2023, 12:02:00 PM
Yeah I believe they are water resistant, but not water proof.  If it's in your pocket and you get in a light rain you should be okay, but I wouldn't run it through the dishwasher.   :tu:

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


au Offline Echotech

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #16 on: June 05, 2023, 12:26:19 PM
Just ordered a Huntsman Lite, about 40% off on Amazon Australia today so having had it in my watch list for about two years couldn’t resist :tu: better not get it wet then :think: :D


cy Offline dks

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #17 on: June 05, 2023, 01:41:32 PM
I do not care, though that option was not available  :)
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #18 on: June 05, 2023, 06:56:59 PM
I do not care, though that option was not available  :)

Well, since you DID care enough to post about it, would you care to elaborate a bit?  I would like to hear your thoughts on LED's in multitools.   :pok:

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Tasky

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #19 on: June 05, 2023, 06:58:59 PM
So sorry to step out of topic, but are the Victorinox Lite models washable? TIA.
Take the batteries out and try not to get the LED tool too wet, if you can help it.
Give it a thorough blast out with an air compressor immediately after washing, but avoid the cans of compressed air.



00 Offline Grand_Banana

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #20 on: June 05, 2023, 07:43:50 PM
In a cheap multitool, I think they’re worthless. Had a number of those over the years. But I think on a quality MT it can be helpful.  I’ve been really happy with the Midnite MC LED. I use it all the time and always pair it with another SAK or PBMT. I’ve been considering a Cybertool Lite given those pairings. 


cy Offline dks

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #21 on: June 08, 2023, 05:41:16 PM
if they are not taking up much space and are just there as a replacement for a proper light, the same way multitools have other tools that are not full size or strength but good enough to do some jobs when you do not have access to full size tools then they are fine. The 58mm Victorinox LED, white, comes to mind. It is there, and you do not lose much.

I carried one for a few years but switched to a non LED model as I was carrying a light anyway. These days even phones have lights, so does my smarsmurfch.

If the light is making the multitool "light based" then I would not see much use in it, as I carry a light anyway and a big light will take up a lot of the available space on the multitool.

Still, I am not losing any sleep over the dilema.
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gb Offline Tasky

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #22 on: June 08, 2023, 11:06:45 PM
I'd say the LED on a SAK is purely as a backup.
But then what else do you put opposite the ILP? Do people need a magnifier that often?  The only other option is the Universal Wrench and I am possibly the only person who actually uses that one...


au Offline Echotech

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #23 on: June 13, 2023, 10:04:35 AM
:woohoo:



ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: LED's in multitools
Reply #24 on: June 13, 2023, 04:35:21 PM
I get caught in the rain a lot since I work outside.  I hate the idea of losing functions on a tool simply because it got a bit wet.   :facepalm:

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


 

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