August 23, 2010

LIFEHACKER LIKES this keychain multitool. I carry this very similar one from Swiss Tech. Not as good as a pocketknife/multitool, but a lot better than nothing.

UPDATE: More on multitools from reader Bing Trinidad:

I carry a Leatherman Skeletool CX. I bought from Amazon.com based on a recommendation or a sale notice I saw in your blog.

Its saved me from quite a few binds, but it paid for itself many times over last weekend.

I was coming home from a trip to mountain biking trip to Mt. Diablo in Central California carrying 2 bikes on my 10 year old trunk mount bike rack. I hit a big dip in the freeway on the I-5 and one of the arms on my bike rack collapses. I pull over and see minor damage to the bikes. But the arm that collapsed on the rack had is retention teeth turned to mush. It would not stay up.

I pull out the Skeletool, took the bolt of the assembly, carved out the deformed plastic and carved new rachet gears with the blade into the composite! I reassembled the whole arm, torqued it down with the Skeletool and limped home.

If I didn’t have the Skeletool, I wouldve been stuck in the middle of the I-5 freeway with $ 4000 dollar worth of bikes and no way to transport them.

Thanks for the rec!

You’re welcome! I like my Skeletool, too, but I’m not sure I’d prove that resourceful. Is “Bing Trinidad” an alias for MacGyver?

ANOTHER UPDATE: C.J. Burch emails: “Don’t forget the Leatherman Squirt. It fits right on your key-chain and they sell them at Amazon. I’ve really enjoyed mine.”

MORE: Reader Wesley Taylor writes:

I bought the Zilla tool over a year ago, by Columbia River Knife and Tool.

and while it’s heavier than the skeletool, much of that extra weight translates to stronger pliers than the skeletool, and is more flexible because it uses standard driver bits which you can get at any hardware store in any array or combination to suit your needs. It’s also quite a bit less expensive than a skeletool.

CRKT also sells a “junior” version.

Just remember that, like guns and cameras, the tool you have with you is better than the one in a drawer at home.

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