Toolkit or Multitool?
You want to be prepared to carry everything you think you’ll need in an emergency (or to just be prepared). That said, you surely don’t want to carry a 30-pound toolbox with you. You could just carry a multi-tool and be done with it.
But why not carry both; a small toolkit AND a multi-tool? They’re both going to have to be small and light enough to pack around. Does this sound silly?
Should you carry a toolkit or just a multitool?
It depends on where you are and what you’re doing, deciding to carry a multi-tool and/or a tool kit. I haven’t seen a small good-enough tool kit that would be practical to carry. But I found some great ideas from EDCforums where these comments and pic was found.
Ideally, what I would like to have (in order of decreasing importance) is:
– Screwdriver with bits (Flat, Phillips, Torx)
– Needlenose pliers
– Regular pliers
– Wire cutter
– Wire stripper
– Bottle opener
– Can opener
The toolkit would be carried in a Maxpedition EDC organizer.
I always figured multitools were designed as ‘jack of all’ alternatives to proper toolkits – sure they aren’t as good as dedicated tools, but they are a lot easier to carry about…
As to whether it is a good idea, it depends on how much you need the tools. If you feel a multitool is not up to the task, then you are going to be looking at the larger and more solid tools, in which case even a very basic toolkit with a pair of pliers and a couple of screwdrivers is going to be a lot heavier and more bulky than a multitool, which doesn’t count all the extra tools like blades, saws, etc… You can buy smaller equivalent tools like small bit drivers instead of screwdrivers and light weight pliers, but even then you are going to end up with more bulk and not much bonus in quality over a good tool.
It does depend on how much you use it too, for occasional use a multitool will probably do the job especially considering the size, on the other hand if you are a tradesman, then the extra abilities of a full toolkit would be worth the extra hassle.
One alternative would be a bit of a mix and match approach – carrying a multitool alongside a few specific and commonly used tools will mean you have the pieces you need most regularly, plus the multitool as a backup for the other jobs.
The other thought would be what multitool(s) do you use at the moment? If you are used to a lighter weight tool like a Leatherman kick or one of the many off brand versions, then you will notice a huge difference in stepping up to something like a swisstool or wave, let alone something like a supertool 300.