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What’s your multi tool story? 569

Jr. Member Posts: 54
What’s your multi tool story?
« on: December 19, 2020, 07:56:18 PM »
In other words, how did you get into multi tools?

For me it was 1995, and I was doing archaeology fieldwork while attending grad school and assisting at an archaeology field school (and some other projects).  A friend who was involved in many of these same activities, had a SOG Paratool that he seemed to use all the time, and I couldn’t help but notice how useful and convenient it was.  In talking to him, he told me about the relatively new Gerber multi tool that had come out, and It wasn’t long after that I bought the Gerber.  I used that tool often until it went missing around 2003.  Well, I needed a replacement and picked up a SOG Powerlock which I still have around.  In more recent years I’ve found myself in the classroom and lab much more often than in the field, and the Leatherman Squirt has become an edc companion.  Multi tools have proven useful enough through the years that I’ve become a fan and have tried to encourage my wife, kids, and some friends to keep one handy during their day to day for those unexpected things that come up.  I am also a big fan of a Victorinox Swiss Army knives.

So what’s your story?


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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 51,232
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2020, 08:19:06 PM »
I was working as a painter in Colorado in the early 1990's. One of my coworkers was from Oregon and carried a PST on his belt. After seeing him use it a few times I decided I needed one of my own. I carried that PST everyday for work for over 20 years until I decided to check out what was new by Leatherman as it was starting to show its age. I decided on a Rebar and came here to read some review on it. Liked it here so much I never left  :D

I now have a few more Leathermans and knives  ;)
No Life Club Posts: 2,418
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2020, 08:36:26 PM »
In other words, how did you get into multi tools?

For me it was 1995, and I was doing archaeology fieldwork while attending grad school and assisting at an archaeology field school (and some other projects).  A friend who was involved in many of these same activities, had a SOG Paratool that he seemed to use all the time, and I couldn’t help but notice how useful and convenient it was.  In talking to him, he told me about the relatively new Gerber multi tool that had come out, and It wasn’t long after that I bought the Gerber.  I used that tool often until it went missing around 2003.  Well, I needed a replacement and picked up a SOG Powerlock which I still have around.  In more recent years I’ve found myself in the classroom and lab much more often than in the field, and the Leatherman Squirt has become an edc companion.  Multi tools have proven useful enough through the years that I’ve become a fan and have tried to encourage my wife, kids, and some friends to keep one handy during their day to day for those unexpected things that come up.  I am also a big fan of a Victorinox Swiss Army knives.

So what’s your story?


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Hey, this looks familiar.    :think: https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,83211

I really like your story - I daydream about being an archeologist sometimes, more often about being a field biologist.  Both seem to get good use out of multitools. 

I had a Swiss Army Knife in the beginning of all this.... as a teenager.  But I preferred to use a folding knife, going camping with the Scouts, and for this or that.  I had a SAK, but I wasn't really "into" it.  Once in a while I would have fun fussing with it - opening all the blades all at once, shadowboxing with the awl extending from my fist.  (I'm kidding... a bit).  A few years later, I got a Leatheman because I was impressionable, and some other people had one.  Also because I was one of a group of guys in high school that would be tasked with "setting up" for school musicals, and homecoming rallies and whatnot.  To be honest, I still wasn't "into" multitools - I still liked folders.

Fast forward to a new job maybe 5 years later, and I needed a multitool for work - mainly the pliers.  But because it was with me, I started using the screwdrivers and the blades instead of a folder.  When I got home from work, I would keep the Leatherman on me, and keep using that throughout the day. 

That's when I was hooked.  Using the right-ish tool for the job... screwdrivers and pliers made things fun and easy.

I replaced the Leatherman with a Gerber.... but only used that for a short time before I changed jobs.  Also around that time I discovered the Leatherman Wave and bought that to replace the Gerber (looking for the outside opening blade)

That was my EDC for years, before I got back into SAKs
Hero Member Posts: 640
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2020, 09:04:48 PM »
I grew up in the Philippines and the US without a proper toolbox except for a throwing knife and a SAK Champion. I opened coconuts, processed food, opened cans, fixed cars, mopeds, changed locks etc. until I got married and had a family and house and started getting proper tools.

But I’ve since bought several MTs mostly Leathermans for either EDC or emergency kits. Since I work in the office now they get casual use.

But I beat the heck out of that throwing knife back in the day. Used it to open cans, protection, chop wood etc. and throw knives.

I gave away my SAK but I still have the knife. One day I’ll get it restored.
Jr. Member Posts: 54
What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2020, 08:18:47 AM »
Thanks SteveC, ElevenBlade, and OldBoy2016 for playing along and sharing your story.  I enjoyed reading them.  I will also check out the thread linked above.


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No Life Club Posts: 2,418
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2020, 03:04:21 PM »
Thanks SteveC, ElevenBlade, and OldBoy2016 for playing along and sharing your story.  I enjoyed reading them.  I will also check out the thread linked above.


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Please add your story to it!  As an archeologist, there's no better person to be able to formulate a timeline of tools with the key events in your life that have caused changes in what you carry for the next several years.  Punctuated Equilibrium, if you will   :pok: :cheers: :salute:

For example, a common reason for me to change tools is a change in jobs... where a slight change in workflow will change my M.O. quite a bit, such that I want to use a different tool. 
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,666
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2020, 03:54:03 PM »
I picked up a cheap and cheerful MT for work.  While I had a tool bag in my vehicle it seemed like a good idea to carry a tool that could perform a few tasks without having to lug the bag around.  That tool got so much use and was carried daily at work.  I was loaning it to my helper so much that I went to get another but the exact one I had was no longer in the store.  I ended up buying another CnC at another store.  Over a few years that tool got used quite a lot and I came to rely on a MT over dedicated tools for quick fixes and solutions to things then and there. 

Around Xmas time I was at a big box store and was in the tool section.  I saw a sale on the Sidekick and Wingman.  Each came with a second tool, a Croc or Style CS IIRC.  I bough the Wingman went to work the next day and was so happy with my purchase that I got the Sidekick that day after work.  While my CnC MTs were good tools these just felt better. 

I can't say I knew much about Leatherman but if these entry level tools were good how much better would the Wave or Surge be?  When I saw the prices of those tools I knew I had to do some research on them.  I already had a Sidekick and Wingman so would these really be upgrades? 

As I was researching online I found MTO but in the mean time I had bought the Wave ( New version ).  I knew immediately it was an upgrade.  Between using my tools daily and coming back to MTO for further information I became aware of more tools.  I bought a Surge ( old version ) and many older LMs.  The Surge was amazing as well but since it was a beefed up Wave its not surprising I got along with it. 

I carried either a Wave or Surge daily.  They got used quite a lot even tho during this time I was buying a lot of other MTs.  At that time I was more collecting tho I did try many as they came in.  The Wave/Surge format is one I really like so they stayed on my work tool belt. 

Many many years later and lots of MTs later I carry a Charge TTi for work.  Not a big leap from my Wave.  I still also am very fond of my New Version Surge.  There was also a time when I edc'd my Wave.  Those days are gone as I now prefer to carry the Squirt. 

I've fixed many things and saved countless trips to my vehicle for tools having a MT with me.  Heck even when I edc'd the Wave I solved my share of things.  I don't see a time when a MT will not be part of my life.  Whether its a full size or small there are just to many times when they have came in handy or flat out saved the day.   

Esse Quam Videri
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,822 Bon Journee!!
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2020, 04:45:13 PM »
My Dad had one of the original PST's that we picked up for him for Christmas '83.  My story started much later, in early 2015, when I found a late 90's PST, loose and well used.  I really knew nothing about them, so I jumped online and found MTO.  The rest is history! 

Barry
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 51,232
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2020, 05:06:41 PM »
 :like:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,822 Bon Journee!!
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2020, 05:28:11 PM »
Thanks buddy! 

Barry
No Life Club Posts: 2,418
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2020, 06:28:44 PM »
I picked up a cheap and cheerful MT for work.  While I had a tool bag in my vehicle it seemed like a good idea to carry a tool that could perform a few tasks without having to lug the bag around.  That tool got so much use and was carried daily at work.  I was loaning it to my helper so much that I went to get another but the exact one I had was no longer in the store.  I ended up buying another CnC at another store.  Over a few years that tool got used quite a lot and I came to rely on a MT over dedicated tools for quick fixes and solutions to things then and there. 

Around Xmas time I was at a big box store and was in the tool section.  I saw a sale on the Sidekick and Wingman.  Each came with a second tool, a Croc or Style CS IIRC.  I bough the Wingman went to work the next day and was so happy with my purchase that I got the Sidekick that day after work.  While my CnC MTs were good tools these just felt better. 

I can't say I knew much about Leatherman but if these entry level tools were good how much better would the Wave or Surge be?  When I saw the prices of those tools I knew I had to do some research on them.  I already had a Sidekick and Wingman so would these really be upgrades? 

As I was researching online I found MTO but in the mean time I had bought the Wave ( New version ).  I knew immediately it was an upgrade.  Between using my tools daily and coming back to MTO for further information I became aware of more tools.  I bought a Surge ( old version ) and many older LMs.  The Surge was amazing as well but since it was a beefed up Wave its not surprising I got along with it. 

I carried either a Wave or Surge daily.  They got used quite a lot even tho during this time I was buying a lot of other MTs.  At that time I was more collecting tho I did try many as they came in.  The Wave/Surge format is one I really like so they stayed on my work tool belt. 

Many many years later and lots of MTs later I carry a Charge TTi for work.  Not a big leap from my Wave.  I still also am very fond of my New Version Surge.  There was also a time when I edc'd my Wave.  Those days are gone as I now prefer to carry the Squirt. 

I've fixed many things and saved countless trips to my vehicle for tools having a MT with me.  Heck even when I edc'd the Wave I solved my share of things.  I don't see a time when a MT will not be part of my life.  Whether its a full size or small there are just to many times when they have came in handy or flat out saved the day.

I can imagine that.... finding a tool that works for you quite by accident, and then going to the store the next day to pick up another one.  I'd done that myself just this year (online).... going back and forth between a Micra and a Style.  I went with the Micra first, and have had it for years.  This year I decided to pocket carry the Micra for a few months... It totally changed the functionality when compared to keyring carry, and I've used it quite a bit.  I ended up getting a Style as a backup - for now (unless I get an itch for something new)
Jr. Member Posts: 54
What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2020, 07:26:54 PM »
Please add your story to it!  As an archeologist, there's no better person to be able to formulate a timeline of tools with the key events in your life that have caused changes in what you carry for the next several years.  Punctuated Equilibrium, if you will   :pok: :cheers: :salute:

For example, a common reason for me to change tools is a change in jobs... where a slight change in workflow will change my M.O. quite a bit, such that I want to use a different tool.
Haha, now I have to admit to owning a few more multi tools since the purchase of that SOG.  I can’t point to key events or even a very detailed timeline.  I began doing archaeology fieldwork in 1987 and that has continued at least to some extent to the present day.  As I mentioned above I bought that first Gerber in 1995, the SOG in 2003.  The Swisschamp came along in 2007, and that’s about the time I went of something of a Leatherman binge.

In reality (at least for me) using a multi tool was more a matter of the fact that field archaeology is a fluid kind of thing.  Expect the unexpected, especially when you’re pressed for time.  Experience over time combined with the somewhat unpredictable nature of the day to day, and the details of what archaeologists tend do in the field day to day came together to demonstrate the utility and convenience of carrying a portable pocket or belt tool.  I started off with that Gerber.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it would bite me every now and then.  Eventually after purchasing the SOG tool I thought I’d give Leatherman a try, but probably the tool I’ve used the most in the field and lab is a Victorinox Swisschamp.  The reason, is because it has an array of tools the fit the needs of both field and lab work.  I eventually gave my Swisschamp to a student assistant, but I had another put away.

So instead of a specific tool timeline, I think a more realistic explanation for me is to just point out how I found various multi tool tools useful for various tasks, even during times when I had more purposeful, dedicated tools available.   The multi tool I was carrying often proved convenient, especially when a job required mobility...

Scissors were often used to cut “rootlets”, when cleaning up an excavation unit for photographs, and for cutting graph paper in the field when mapping a site.

The magnifying glass often got used as my eyes aged to get a better look at the characteristics of artifacts in the field.

The file touched up the trowel every now and then.

The knives often proved useful for cutting string to gridding a site and marking off excavation units, hanging a plumb bob, again when shooting in a baseline, gridding and/or for plotting in artifacts and features....not to mention they did lunch duty.

The saws cut larger roots from time to time, and wooden stakes when gridding a site, and/or better establishing site boundaries.

The pliers and wire cutters on the SOG and a Leatherman (Blast, Wave, and Crunch) at  various times were useful when building, assembling and disassembling screens for sifting dirt and for making repairs.  The vice grip pliers on the crunch handled a few jobs that none of the others could (removing rounded off screws from screens that were continually put together and taken apart year after year is one example that comes to mind)

Screwdrivers were also useful for putting the screens together and taking them apart...and for doing repairs.

Occasionally the rulers came in handy (prehistoric archaeology uses the metric system), so having both English and metric rulers are important.

Again dedicated tools work best,but keep in mind that many archaeology jobs (phase I & II especially), as well as many research projects (land-use analysis over time, etc) require mobility and portability, sometimes carrying a field pack, shovel, screen, etc.  multi tools are something of a compromise, but convenient and often capable of getting a job done. 

Actually I think Aloha’s comments above do a better job of explaining what I’m trying to say here.

Well these are the things that come to mind quickly.  Hope it addresses your comments above in some small way.


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« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 07:43:21 PM by dmattaponi »
Jr. Member Posts: 54
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2020, 07:28:45 PM »
Thanks to all of you for contributing your stories and experiences.  They make for some enjoyable reading.


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No Life Club Posts: 2,418
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2020, 08:10:03 PM »
Haha, now I have to admit to owning a few more multi tools since the purchase of that SOG.  I can’t point to key events or even a very detailed timeline.  I began doing archaeology fieldwork in 1987 and that has continued at least to some extent to the present day.  As I mentioned above I bought that first Gerber in 1995, the SOG in 2003.  The Swisschamp came along in 2007, and that’s about the time I went of something of a Leatherman binge.

In reality (at least for me) using a multi tool was more a matter of the fact that field archaeology is a fluid kind of thing.  Expect the unexpected, especially when you’re pressed for time.  Experience over time combined with the somewhat unpredictable nature of the day to day, and the details of what archaeologists tend do in the field day to day came together to demonstrate the utility and convenience of carrying a portable pocket or belt tool.  I started off with that Gerber.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it would bite me every now and then.  Eventually after purchasing the SOG tool I thought I’d give Leatherman a try, but probably the tool I’ve used the most in the field and lab is a Victorinox Swisschamp.  The reason, is because it has an array of tools the fit the needs of both field and lab work.  I eventually gave my Swisschamp to a student assistant, but I had another put away.

So instead of a specific tool timeline, I think a more realistic explanation for me is to just point out how I found various multi tool tools useful for various tasks, even during times when I had more purposeful, dedicated tools available.   The multi tool I was carrying often proved convenient, especially when a job required mobility...

Scissors were often used to cut “rootlets”, when cleaning up an excavation unit for photographs, and for cutting graph paper in the field when mapping a site.

The magnifying glass often got used as my eyes aged to get a better look at the characteristics of artifacts in the field.

The file touched up the trowel every now and then.

The knives often proved useful for cutting string to gridding a site and marking off excavation units, hanging a plumb bob, again when shooting in a baseline, gridding and/or for plotting in artifacts and features....not to mention they did lunch duty.

The saws cut larger roots from time to time, and wooden stakes when gridding a site, and/or better establishing site boundaries.

The pliers and wire cutters on the SOG and a Leatherman (Blast, Wave, and Crunch) at  various times were useful when building, assembling and disassembling screens for sifting dirt and for making repairs.  The vice grip pliers on the crunch handled a few jobs that none of the others could (removing rounded off screws from screens that were continually put together and taken apart year after year is one example that comes to mind)

Screwdrivers were also useful for putting the screens together and taking them apart...and for doing repairs.

Occasionally the rulers came in handy (prehistoric archaeology uses the metric system), so having both English and metric rulers are important.

Again dedicated tools work best,but keep in mind that many archaeology jobs (phase I & II especially), as well as many research projects (land-use analysis over time, etc) require mobility and portability, sometimes carrying a field pack, shovel, screen, etc.  multi tools are something of a compromise, but convenient and often capable of getting a job done. 

Actually I think Aloha’s comments above do a better job of explaining what I’m trying to say here.

Well these are the things that come to mind quickly.  Hope it addresses your comments above in some small way.


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 :hatsoff: :climber:
Hero Member Posts: 783
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2020, 10:53:58 PM »
I got a LM Rev for a secret santa gift one year. Didnt use it much but was handy when I did.

I got a mechanic position a few years ago. Used the Rev for a bit, deciding it needed an upgrade for the stubborn equipment I work on. And the rest is history. Couple dozen SAK and LMs later, here i am.  :rofl:
Full Member Posts: 161
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2020, 08:05:22 AM »
When I was younger and a scout, I always wanted a Swiss Army Knife.
This was back in the late 60s early 70s.

But my parents were very poor, so a SAK was never going to happen.
I did get a couple of cheap Japanese knives, but they were crap in the old days and couldn't last more than a couple of uses.

When I started work, I purchased a few single blade knives, because I couldn't justify an expensive SAK  or Leatherman knife.
As time moved on and I had a family of my own, purchasing a knife was low on the list of must haves.
But a knife was essential and I used them many times, always cheap knives though.

After purchasing a motorbike, I found I had the need for a tool essential.
The motorcycles I purchased were all very second hand and usually sans toolkit.
I purchased my first cheap chrome plated multitool that at least looked like a Leatherman, even if it was nowhere near the quality.
This tool got me out of lots of trouble and fixed several bikes for Yeats until it became so damaged it was unusable.

When I finally got my engineering qualifications and associated better paid job, I decided a PROPER multitool was on the cards, I purchased a Leatherman Wave, and a beautiful leather sheath just for it.
This mighty tool was with me as I travelled the world, a solid, functional tool was a godsend and it helped me many times as I was working with mining equipment.

One day I found a wingman while in the US  and it then became my daily carry for the next 5 years.

Then one day I found a Victornox craftsman sitting in a bin at the markets.
It was a sad looking knife, couldn't get all the tools out and it was very dirty, picked it up for a song.
Once cleaned up, I discovered that this beautiful knife was virtually unused, even the knife still appeared to have the original sharpening.
I was hooked.
I now have a collection of quite a few Victornox knives, Leatherman tools and various foldi g knives varying in value from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.
I do love my Damascus bladed knives, but as a daily carry they are not allowed in my country, but I'm happy to carry a small tool.

On my keyring I carry a tiny Victornox cadet.
In my pocket one of my various Victornox knives
When working with the volunteer rescue association, I carry a Victornox Hercules when in the radio base and my Leatherman Wingman when on the boats.

When camping or bushwalking, I use my Leatherman Wave.

A knife for every purpose.

I don't use my knives every day, but I wouldn't go a week without one of them being used for something.

I just wish my grubberment woukd recognise tgat knives and tools are not dangerous, it's the person using them that are the problem.
But draconian despots hate the idea that anyone could have something like a weapon on them.


tools is what defines us as humans
No Life Club Posts: 3,112
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2020, 10:47:46 AM »
Really good reading and I love to read about people's history and why things ended up like they did.

My story starts when I was maybe 9 or 10 when my dad gave me a victorinox spartan just like his. He has always carried a spartan since before I was born and my mother always had a small knife or small SAK in her purse so I guess it's the normal way to do it.

I had that spartan for a year or so before it was lost and I was really bummed about it. A few weeks later a friend of my dad gave me a victorinox sportsman and I carried that everyday until I was around 15 and a teen that liked to cause trouble, I quickly realized that carrying a knife would not be a good thing if I someone found out.

I started carrying it again when I became a dad at 21 and carried it for a few more years and used it for all it could.

When I later met my wife and she asked me if I had any pliers on me (at the park) and I couldn't offer one to her I new that the search for a new tool was in place. I started looking and found that a style ps together with my sportsman would do the trick.

But then again something showed up and I needed better reach with the small driver, found the Leatherman juice s2 but never liked it, bought an OG Leatherman wave that did the trick but missed having my trusted sportsman

So I grinded down the can opener on a spartan as a test and it worked.

But every time I stumbled on something that needed fixing and I didn't have the proper tool or the spartan was insufficient I started looking for something else and got a climber, explorer, huntsman, OHO trekker, pioneer x, farmer and a spirit x. They are all great but didn't fully fulfill my needs or wants so I modded an explorer and got rid of the scissors and put in a saw instead and that's still my favorite tool, did the same config in alox and shifts between them depending on my mood.

Still uses the spirit x in a custom sheath that I made and usually pairs it with a victorinox rally or sometimes a Leatherman rebar paired with a victorinox rambler but most days I just use one of my mods paired with Leatherman style ps.

The OHO trekker lives in my outdoor pants, the juice s2 at work, my OG wave in my dirty fixing stuff pants

As to my father he still uses his spartan and my mother uses a style cs that I got her some years ago.

I must have missed some of the tools I got but this is basically it folks

[It's not failure if you learn something from it]

Jr. Member Posts: 54
Re: What’s your multi tool story?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2020, 02:15:38 PM »
Good stories everyone.  I’ve enjoyed reading all of them.


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