In the palm of your hand
You feel ready to take on more if you have a proper multi-tool within reach. Here are seven to choose from.
Multi-tools are nothing new. In fact, it dates back to the Roman Empire, when Caesar’s men were equipped with something that is reminiscent of a Swiss Army knife. They used it as cutlery, but the fork, spoon, knife and toothpick folded out just like that famous red knife’s blades and tools. When companies like Leatherman started adding pliers and a screw driver to the design, things changed, and this product became so popular it seems these days you should rather judge someone by his multi-tool than by the way he dresses.
The one thing that makes the Leatherman Signal different from all the other models, is the built-in diamond-coated blade sharpener. It also has an emergency whistle and a ferrocerium rod to help you get your fire going. With this guy you are prepared for the unexpected, and with its 19 tools you should be okay in any situation. It has two pliers, two types of wire cutters, a knife blade, opener for bottles and cans, and a socket with removable prongs. With the blade (which is 69 mm long) closed, the Signal stands at 114 mm. And like all Leatherman products, it has a 25-year warranty. Price From R2 770 at Awesome Tools. go! Drive & Camp says It even has a little hammer.
As strong as an ox
Leatherman says the pliers in the Super Tool 300 are the strongest it’s ever produced, and the handles are designed so that you can get the mouth of the pliers into the smallest of spaces. It also has a no-nonsense wire stripper, which can be used to cut the insulation of electrical wire. It has 19 tools in total – you’ll be your neighbour’s hero when he wants to do a closer inspection of his LED lights’ wiring. Price From R1 685 at Awesome Tools. go! Drive & Camp says It has four screwdrivers (flat-head and Torx) in different sizes. So you can fix anything from your ice fridge to your sunglasses.
A good option
If Leatherman is the Naas Botha of multi-tools, then Gerber is the Gysie Pienaar. Maybe not as well-known, but not any less dependable. The Evo Tool is 100 mm long, and because it’s made of metal, it weighs 337 g. Its blades also fold out from the inside, and with its sharp-mouth pliers you can get into those hard-to-reach spots. Its blade is 52 mm long and it also has a small pair of scissors. Price R1 170 at takealot.com. go! Drive & Camp says The Gerber has a 25-year guarantee.
For the sake of survival
If outdoorsman Bear Grylls puts his name on anything, you can probably safely say you’re dealing with a quality product. This multi-tool is also made by Gerber, and it’s so tough it’s not afraid of any challenge. It has extra grip on its handles and spring-loaded pliers for easy use. You also get three screwdrivers, two blades, a wire cutter, and scissors. Folded up it’s just longer than 100 mm, its blade is 60 mm in length and it weighs 249 g. Price R1 350 at takealot.com. go! Drive & Camp says Its components are waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about rust.
Close at hand
The Sidekick is perfect for someone who first wants to see if a Leatherman is for him or her. Although it’s one of the smaller models on the market – 97 mm long with the blade folded in – it doesn’t mean it’s any less capable. It’s made of stainless steel and has 14 tools, including pliers, two blades and a saw, can and bottle opener, flat-head and Torx screwdrivers, and a wire cutter. Price From R1 080 at Awesome Tools. go! Drive & Camp says The blades fold out from the outside. That means you don’t even have to open it up to take out a blade.
Don’t look down your nose
There are times when your sharp-mouth pliers will frustrate you – like when you have to firmly grip a 12 mm bolt. In these instances you’ll be very thankful for this little guy from Gerber. Its pliers know how to grab hold onto something, and with its sturdy handles you’ll easily keep your grip. It has two knife blades, three screwdrivers, a bottle and can opener, file, and even a ruler. Its longest blade is 36 mm long and folded in it’s 124 mm. It weighs 255 g. Price R1 390 at takealot.com. go! Drive & Camp says There’s also a wire cutter that you can put in the mouth of the pliers and take out as needed.
Dynamite comes in small packages
This little guy doesn’t just fit into your pocket, it is also easy on the pocket. It’s made of stainless steel and has 10 functions, including a knife, pliers, a small sawblade, two flat-head screwdrivers and a Torx screwdriver, bottle opener, and a file. With the blade folded in it’s 105 mm long. Price R400 at Cape Union Mart. go! Drive & Camp says Its blade is 51 mm long and it weighs 300 g.