The right multi-tool

SWISS ARMY PENKNIVES are very cute and make great birthday presents for 13-year-olds, but they’re much too clumsy to use as serious tools. Far better are multi-tools of the Leatherman/Gerber style, which incorporate a strong pair of pliers (the most useful tool of all).

multitoolAll multitools come with screwdrivers and knives, and most have a woodsaw and file included (which is surprisingly useful for cutting metal). Forget the bottle openers, USB sticks and other irrelevant attachments; the only extra tool you really need on there is a bradawl, which will allow you to make pilot holes before driving screws into wood.

Beware of cheap multi-tools (those you can get for a tenner or less). They often don’t have a mechanism to lock the blades in the open position, which means they can easily snap closed when you’re using them and cut your fingers.

My favourite multi-tool is made by Victorinox, makers of the Swiss Army knife, and called simply Swiss Tool.

Keep one in your car and you’ll always be able to fix things.



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