I have carried some form of knife in my pocket for most of my life. They have ranged from large defensive folders to small utility knives. Big knives are awesome, but the reality is that their size is a problem for most mundane tasks. I carry a medium sized lock blade for utility and a backup self-defense weapon. However, often a blade just can’t solve the problem at hand. We learn early on as boys that using a knife as a screwdriver can quickly ruin the blade, the screw and possibly the hand nearby. Knives are also totally useless for tightening nuts or bolts. For many tasks a blade just can’t cut it.
I am no stranger to multi-tools. I have carried one brand or another constantly since my early days in the Marine Corps when I was humping an AN/PRC-77 radio. There were always screws to tighten or comm wire to cut. Building field expedient antennas required tools. Packing a toolbox just wasn’t feasible when you were already loaded with radio batteries and water.
Building antennas or working on Vietnam-era radios is no longer a concern for me. Now I have computers, long guns, holsters, mag pouches and the occasional kids toy to maintain. My role has changed, but the need for a compact tool has not.
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