Can Multi-Tools be Stylish?
Let's be Scientific and start with a Poll!
Ladies, are you more likely to carry a Multi-Tool if it has "Style?"
So, what is a Multi-Tool?
Some think of the classic Swiss Army Knife when the term Multi-Tool is mentioned. Others may think of the Leatherman pliers based tool instead. First, lets go over what a Multi-Tool consists of, ok?
Actually, the first Multi-Tools were developed over one thousand years ago. The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge England has in its collection a Roman Era multiple utensil eating tool that dates from A.D. 201 - A.D. 300. This tool includes the following implements.
The tools fold up so the unit can be easily carried. It is made mostly of Silver except for the knife which is made of iron. I can picture a Roman Soldier carrying one of these during a military campaign or successful merchant on and extended sales trip. Hey, they did have sales people in those days!
From the picture, you can see it can hardly be described as "Stylish" but would certainly fit into the "utilitarian" class of personal accessories. But sometimes fashion follows function and to me this Ancient Multi-Tool is beautiful.
So, historically, the Multi-Tool could be described as a assemblage of small tools that fold into a compact form. Now that's MY definition or description, not an "official" one.
The two most common types of modern Multi-Tools are the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife and the Leatherman PST. The Swiss Army Knife is built around a fold out knife blade with other tools in layers while the Leatherman PST is based on a set of pliers that fold out with other tools that fold out of the plier handles.
The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife began in 1891 by Carl Eisener as an "Officer's Knife" but the term we use today came from American Soldier's lack of skill in pronouncing the German "Schweizer Offiziermesser" which is a mouth full!
The Leatherman PST was designed by Tim Leatherman of Oregon, USA and the company was founded in 1983.
There are many other varieties of modern Multi-Tools but these two designs are the "Classics" and have stood the test of time for functionality and quality. It is one thing to have a handy tool but another to have one that breaks the first time you use it!
The photos on the right show the difference. The Leatherman is on the top and the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife is on the bottom. While they both have been made in many variations over the years, these two examples each have +/- 14 tools.
What about Style?
Some might argue that form and function ARE style but others want more options. Bith Leatherman and Victorinox offer many models that will appeal to fashion conscious ladies but I will offer a few as examples and let you do more research.
Remember that we are not only talking abut Multi-Tools that a lady chooses herself but also gifts for all occasions. What better way to say "You have arrived and can handle yourself" that a capable Multi-Tool that is also a fashion accessory?
In general, a stylish Multi-Tool will be one of the smaller models and have a splash of color! Each will still contain several common and handy tools such as screwdrivers, bottle opener, nail file, knife, scissors and pliers. These tools have been proven to be the best to have in your pocket of purse to fix various "emergencies" that we encounter in modern life.
High quality scissors and personal grooming features that lives on your key chain make the Micra a popular Multi-Tool. The clever design packs 10 handy tools in a very small form. Available in stainless steel and several colors too!
Scissors. Knife, Tweezers, Nail File / Cleaner, Flat Phillips Screwdriver, Extra Small Screwdriver, Medium Screwdriver, Bottle Opener, Ruler (Inch / Metric), Lanyard Attachment. Length: 2.5 in closed. Weight: 1.75 ounces
Above you see the Leatherman Micra Multi-Tool.was introduced in 1996 and has been a top seller ever since that time. Instead of being built around a set of pliers, the Micra is built around a nice pair of scissors. When closed, the Micra becomes a small, smooth & light weight key fob that will not get in your way yet will be every available to fix a wayward piece of clothing, work on crafts, tighten a loose screw and a million other modern emergencies.
Leatherman Squirt PS4
The Squirt PS4 is built around a small set of pliers that can not only grip round item but pick up tiny objects with ease. It includes Wire Cutters, Knife, Scissors, Medium Screwdriver, Flat/Phillips Screwdriver, Wood/Metal File, Bottle Opener & Key Ring. The Squirt PS4 measures2.25 inches closed and weighs only 2 ounces.
Next we have the Leatherman Squirt PS4 which is close to the Micra in size but is built around the classic set of needle nose pliers. This tool also closes into a compact, key fob sized object but just like the Micra, it is ever at the ready to solve life's challenges. If your emergencies include small nuts, retrieving lost items, and bending.clipping thin wire, the Squirt PS4 is your Multi-Tool!
Victorinox Midnight Manager
The Victorinox Midnight Manager is a small tool that has some amazing features you will find handy any time of the day or night! Other than the blade, scissors, nail file/screw driver, bottle opener, Phillips screw driver, wire stripper and key ring it also includes a retractable ball point pen and a LED flashlight!
2.3 in by 0.55 in by 0.77 in (W x H x D), weighs 1.1 oz,
The Victorinox Midnight Manager will come in handy no matter what your job may be at the moment. It is a very small Multi-Tool that includes the standard tools but adds a ball point pen and LED flashlight! Think about how often you need to see in the dark and how handy a small flashlight will be. As well, how often do you beg a pen from some random person next to you in line?
Victorinox Huntsman Lite
This is a little larger model of Swiss Army Knife but the tool count jumps to Twenty! There are two blades - medium and small, scissors, can opener, bottle opener, flat screw driver, Philips screw driver, awl, package hook, wood saw, tweezers, toothpick, straight pin & eyeglass screwdriver.
Plus, with a flashlight and a ball point pen you have everything you need to survive in the city or the country!
Another option is a slightly larger Swiss Army Knife fr those ho never know where they might end up. Today it is the mall and shopping but tomorrow it's on a hike in the woods! That's the spirit of the Victorinox Huntsman Lite with an added wood saw, LED flashlight, ball point pen, tweezers, and even a straight pin!
Don't believe me?
I hope I have provided some education, entertainment and opened your mind to the stylish aspect of carrying a Multi-tool. There are really dozens of choices out there today and more every year as the tool industry expands to include models that not only satisfy the needs of men who (think) they can solve everything but of women who do solve life's problems every day and look great at the same time!
© 2014 Robert Zimmerman