At any time, you might need a tool that you wouldn’t ordinarily have on hand. Multitools can help solve this problem. In this article, you will learn what a multitool is, in what types it comes, how it is constructed, what its functions are, and how to choose it.
Man has created thousands of tools for carrying out any conceivable works: locksmithing, carpentry, as well as electrical, installation, construction, painting, and other works. In everyday life, a person who doesn’t do any of that professionally doesn’t need special tools often.
But, anticipating these situations, we are forced to buy tools that can later lie idle for years but can prove useful in certain — for instance, hiking, camping, or other traveling — conditions.
A compact and reliable substitute for a dozen such tools, the camping multitool, hiking multitool, or any other type of it, can prove indispensable.
What is a Multitool
A multitool is a device that combines 3 to 15 or more tools for different purposes, hence its name.
The first multitool was patented in 1980 by the American engineer Tim Leatherman, who later founded the company to produce such devices. To date, there is a huge variety of multitools for every possible problem.
But before you go to the store for this interesting gadget, it is necessary to understand the existing types of multitools, their designs, and their functionality.
Types and Functions of Multitools
Modern multitools are divided into several groups according to their form factor, application area, functionality, and tools they contain.
According to the form factor, multitools can be divided into several types:
- Full-size pliers with tools in the handles (including pliers with a hammer and nail gun)
- Split wrench with tools and attachments in the handle
- Various sets in the form of pliers or wrench with additional interchangeable bits and bits placed in a separate case or clip
- Special and unusual sets in the form of credit cards and other items
All of these tools can have different applications: for everyday use, for use in camping conditions, for computers, and other professional purposes.
However, not always a particular tool can be attributed to a particular group, so this classification is to a certain degree tentative.
Each type of multitool has its design features, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
This tool is considered a “classic tool” because it was the pliers with the knife and other accessories that Leatherman patented. The basis of the tool is a pair of pliers with retractable tools in both handles.
Such a multitool can be of three basic types:
- Straight pliers with the appearance of ordinary pliers.
- Folding combination pliers are a more compact version, in which the jaws of the pliers are hidden between the handles and can be taken out as needed.
- Straight pliers with a hammer and nail gun wedge on the outside of the jaws.
Multitool pliers with an additional set of interchangeable bits and jaws are somewhat common. This set can be carried with the tool (in the same case) or used only when necessary. Usually, multitools are made of steel and only feature plastic or rubber handles in rare cases.
Adjustable Wrench Multitool
This type of accessory is made as an adjustable wrench with a short handle, which has additional retractable tools.
It usually comes with interchangeable bits as well as bits for extra functionality. Cases and pouches are provided to store and carry the entire set.
These are compact devices with a small number of retractable tools (3-8 pieces) and designed in a case for attaching to the keys.
Usually, the multitool has a plastic body, but sometimes there are products made entirely of metal. Keychains can be perceived as accessories, but they can replace a knife, screwdriver, flashlight, and other items in many situations.
This type of accessory is made as a chain bracelet, each link representing one or more simple tools. Screwdriver and wrench sets are most commonly made in the form of bracelets.
Multitool links are made of steel. In the center of the links, there can be hexagonal holes for bolts/nuts, and on the side ribs — screwdrivers of different shapes (slotted, shaped, hexagonal, and others).
To use these tools, you must remove the bracelet and bend it at the appropriate link. After use, the bracelet is simply put on the hand.
Special and Unusual Sets
Special multitools include devices for the maintenance of weapons, tools for working with electrical wires, gadgets for tourists, and others.
In such multitools, along with standard ones, there may also be special accessories not used in everyday life (chisels for weapons, special knives, non-standard keys for adjustments, etc.).
Non-standard multitools include a huge variety of tools made in various forms-factors: carbines, credit cards, flattened steel frames of arbitrary shape, and many others. With their good functionality, such tools can serve as a souvenir or a gift, which greatly expands the scope of their application.
Sets of Tools in Multitools
Multitools of various types and purposes can include up to two dozen different elements with different functionality.
These are the most commonly used tools:
- socket wrenches and adjustable wrenches
- knives of various types
- needle wheels
- tin openers
- bottle openers
- wire strippers
The main part of the tools is made in the form of rotary elements, placed inside the body of the multitool on a separate axis or an axis for several tools. There is a notch for the fingernail on them for the convenience of removing the tools.
Some tools are formed directly on the body of the multitool and can be used simply by turning the body to the relevant side or removing the protective cover.
It isn’t difficult to use multitools, but it may need some getting used to. Also, before using your multitool, it’s a good idea to read the instructions.
It won’t hurt to learn something useful from them and even avoid injuries thanks to them.