Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
UL multi tool of choice
Display Avatars Sort By:
mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
UL multi tool of choice on 04/28/2012 22:58:01 MDT Print View

If you use a multi tool and it's light what is it? I am looking for other options to my boat ancor of a multi tool which is based around a pair of pliars.

Many thanks.


Guy Trek
(trek_guy) - M
Leatherman PS4 on 04/28/2012 23:03:44 MDT Print View

Leatherman PS4 -- has both a pliers and scissors and is only 2 ounces!

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: UL multi tool of choice on 04/28/2012 23:13:41 MDT Print View

Victorinox Classic mini Swiss Army Knife. Very compact and lightweight.

Small blade, scissors (good ones), nail file/slotted screwdriver, toothpick, tweezers.

The first UL hack is to pop off the red plastic on the toothpick side and use a twig instead. The next hack (I haven't done this) is to pop off the other bit of red plastic and put the tweezers somewhere else in your kit. 0.5 ounces or so.

But wire cutters, pliers, metal file, phillips screwdriver, allen wrenches, bottle openers, etc? Mostly I don't need them when I'm away from mechanized life. And if I do either a rock suffices in the short term and/or I ask the next BPer coming down the trail. They will be happy - sometimes really happy - to have found a use for the Leatherman they carried for all those miles. It's a like a guy in Virginia with a Jeep. The one day in a decade that it snows, they LOVE to drive around and pull people out of snowbanks.

Editted to add: here's a nice price from REI on the Classic plus the full-sized Tinker which I like for around town:

And for $12.95 from STP in a chick pattern:

Or with built-in light (then you don't pop off the plastic handles) 0.6 oz :

Edited by DavidinKenai on 04/28/2012 23:24:52 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: UL multi tool of choice on 04/28/2012 23:27:05 MDT Print View

You really have to assess what it is that you might need to use a tool on. For example, some backpackers use some kind of pliers as a hot pot gripper. Fishermen always need some kind of similar tool for hooks. Cross country skiers always carry some kind of a tool with a posi-head driver to fit binding screws. I had to use some mini-visegrips to break into a stone cabin one time. Some backpackers might need a tool to repair a broken tent pole, or maybe to tighten up the screws on an adjustable trekking pole. Some photographers may need a similar tool to tighten screws on a tripod.

My multi-tool is relatively heavy, 2.4 oz., but it has pliers, wire cutter, knife blade, file, can opener, philips head driver, standard screw driver, an awl, a set screw tool, and a ruler in English and metric. As a result, I seldom carry it on a solo trip, and it generally goes with me on trips with others who need tools and never have them.


Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: UL multi tool of choice on 04/29/2012 06:17:20 MDT Print View

Leatherman Style CS

real scissors (fold out like pliers)
Small knife
flat screwdriver
nail file
Theres also a bottle opener/hanger-carabiner, which is useless in the backcountry.

mine weighs 41g (1.4oz)

Once in 5 trips I wished I had pliers, but I made do with my teeth to fix that zipper.
The scissors I use every trip it seems.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: UL multitool on 04/29/2012 09:39:37 MDT Print View

Swiss-Tec classic with the phillips ground down to serve as a posi-drive plus a Baladeo 22g.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: UL multitool on 04/29/2012 09:50:00 MDT Print View

Wenger Esquire. Better scissors then Vix. mine has a serrated blade and eyeglass screwdriver instead of the nail file. Also if you take the little split ring off the end, the little nub is just the right size to work the detent locks on a Bare Boxer canister. I don't miss pliers.

Edited by kthompson on 04/29/2012 09:50:47 MDT.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: UL multi tool of choice on 04/29/2012 10:47:32 MDT Print View

+1 on what Bob said -- Evaluate your needs, then take what best meets those needs.

For my needs, I take the Wenger Esquire -- the scissors, small blade, toothpick, and nail file get used every trip. I like the Wegner scissors as they don't have a tiny flat spring to break...

Edited by jdw01776 on 04/29/2012 10:48:31 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
PS4 on 04/30/2012 10:15:51 MDT Print View

I also like the Leatherman PS4 because it has both pliers and scissors. (I miss having tweezers, though.) Leatherman also now makes a microtool without a knife blade that looks interesting. Apparently it has the pliers and scissors, but is TSA-approved so you can carry it on a plane.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: UL multi tool of choice on 04/30/2012 10:55:17 MDT Print View

Swiss army knife classic for me.

Devon Cloud

Locale: Southwest
+1 leatherman cs on 04/30/2012 11:18:06 MDT Print View

I am in agreement with the leatherman CS. I could not imagine a need for pliers for much while out in the bush but those scissors come in handy, and the small scissors on the PS model aren't worth much if you have to cut through something thicker than string.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
evaluate on 04/30/2012 13:50:08 MDT Print View

2nd vote for evaluating needs and experimenting with leaving a tool at home to see if it is needed. That is different than taking a tool and finding that it is used.

Some hikers trim their nails before every trip(to save socks) or carry a two inch piece of disposable nail file, both lighter than the multitool file.

A single edge razor blade lasts long enough as a cutting tool and is lighter than the multitool.

A bandana will serve as a pot gripper instead of the pliers.

I'm trying to carry multiuse items, not "just in case" items. I have not had a trip ruined due to lack of a specific tool since I quit carrying a multitool a few years ago.

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Leatherman Micra on 04/30/2012 21:58:23 MDT Print View

Leatherman Micra. It's 1.2 oz.

- Awesome scissors. The main function of this thing is scissors.
- Attached tweezers. Could be a con for some but for me, it's one less thing to lose while still serving its function.
- Phillips Head Screwdriver.
- Tiny flat head screwdriver / awl / bottle opener (in one).
- Knife.
- File.
- Larger flathead.

The screwdrivers I could probably do without, but they take up very little space and could prove handy for some other function some day.

Also, the case has a ruler etched into it, which is good for judging map scales!

Matt Mioduszewski
(water-) - F

Locale: pacific nw
depends on your touring..trail running.. on 04/30/2012 22:53:52 MDT Print View

for instance if you were ski touring, bindings and boots can have adjustment issues where having a certain tool can have a seriously magnified impact, to the point that not having it can mean many less than pleasant results. just weekend overnighters on trail or something like that, rarely have I needed much in the way of tool, sometimes it is nice/would be nice to have a certain function but for instance there is not a screw on any item I own for backpacking.. but there is on ski equipment.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Salvage Boat Anchor with Pliers on 05/01/2012 07:58:08 MDT Print View

I haven't done well with my attempts to ultralight my tools. The smaller versions I've tried have been too small for my hand, lacked decent pliers and/or left me in a position to put a knife blade in a screwhead (the type on a bolt or screw, not some geek juiced to the gills on BPA). Where my trip includes fishing and/or youths accompanying me, I've "reduced" myself down to the Leatherman Skeletool. I think this thing is 142 grams, or FIVE OUNCES...

Hey, it's a lighter than the "ti" Charge I wear and put to good use at summer/car camps! It also fits the hand well and has an excellent knife blade, pliers and cutters, along with slot and philips bits, each of which have been used on treks. No fear of breakage, either.

The humorous part is that it's the "CX", with decorative carbon fiber that makes it LOOK light! :)

Kristofer McKenna

Locale: North Texas
Hmm on 05/01/2012 08:13:00 MDT Print View

a Micra @ 1.2 ounces? Did you weigh it and get surprised? REI says it's 1.75oz

Dean, the TSA-friendly tool is the Style PS. And sometimes an ignorant TSA "officer" will take it anyway just because it's a multitool. There are reports of people losing it even after showing it had no knife. As always, the TSA has the final say, and YMMV.

FWIW, I own a Style PS (1.6oz). Gerber has a new tiny tool that had what I wanted, and a blade that the PS lacks, but their quality hasn't impressed me in the past couple years. So I'll keep using my 1.1oz CRKT-made Doug Ritter RSK mk5 or Mora for a knife. nothing against folding blades, but I like a fixed blade =)

I used to have a little Gerber Vice, it's held up nicely, but doesn't have tweezers or scissors, and I like having scissors even if a knife will do 95% of the time lol.

I guess it's all about what one individual needs and/or is willing to carry. I'm pretty happy with my PS/RSK combo @ 2.7oz

Edited by KryoShift on 05/01/2012 08:14:14 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: evaluate on 05/01/2012 08:59:33 MDT Print View

+1 Joe on multiuse over just-in-case.

A mod to your "two inch piece of disposable nail file" (itself a good idea): a two-inch piece of non-disposible nail file (the better Revlon brand with sapphire dust on it).

It files nails better, it is waterproof, lasts indefinitely, and can file metal. I've fixed a Kitchaid mixer, adapted a USA plug to fit a Chinese socket and removed burs from external pack frames with a good fingernail file. Around town, I'd use an actual metal file for that, but in a pinch or when traveling, remember that sapphire is harder than steel.

A scrap of the sand paper than plumbers use to sand copper pipes before soldering is also waterproof, very long lasting, flexible, can work on metal and is cheap (per unit), VERY light and compact.

Tommy Thompson
(wasser) - F

Locale: Northern CA
Leatherman Micra Weight on 05/01/2012 08:59:54 MDT Print View

I just checked my Micra and it was 1.9oz on the scale.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: UL multi tool of choice on 05/01/2012 09:39:38 MDT Print View

I carry a Victorinox Classic for light repairs, usually supplemented with a 3.5" folding knife. I have a Wenger Handyman for a hiking multitool, with saw, blades, scissors and screwdrivers.

I haven't found much use for pliers in the backcountry and the small ones were not much use to me anywhere, so I went to knife-based options and I like having a saw.

Favorite Swiss Army models:


Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Micra on 05/01/2012 09:49:40 MDT Print View

Sorry about the Micra discrepancy, I think I got it confused with something else!