Multi Tools, Love or Hate ?

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Forum topic by racerglen posted 11-13-2011 12:50 PM 6980 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3112 posts in 2807 days

11-13-2011 12:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand tools multi purpose resource

I thought this could be an interesting one. Multi purpose hand tools, ones that have two or more functions.
Some have been around for over a century, some apear and disapear just like Christmas wrapping.

The box tool. On the left a Bridgeport Hardware #99 Tomahawk, well used and likely early 1900’s. On the right todays version, still available. Hammer, pry bar, nail puller and axe all in one.

Fence pliars, hammer, staple puller, wire cutter, crimper.I’d wanted a pair for some time after using them on the family farm in Alberta, but every time I spotted a pair at the auction some old rancher’d bid them up..rusty, bent handles or not, so I finaly broke down and boughtthe new version. The tool’s been around as long as barbed wire..1850s I think.

Combination squares, nuff said.

Power of the Christmas fads that lasted barely into the new year, but actualy can be handy if you aren’t near a shop with a vice…(a gift..)

I have lots more, beautys and beasts..Whats yours ?

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

19 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10540 posts in 3455 days

#1 posted 11-13-2011 02:38 PM

See my Avatar.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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jim C

1472 posts in 3125 days

#2 posted 11-13-2011 02:55 PM

This beats them all

View Brit's profile (online now)


7386 posts in 2869 days

#3 posted 11-13-2011 03:02 PM

I think the concept of combination tools is good, but all too often the tools don’t compare to having dedicated tools to do each function. Then there’s the fuss factor. I could buy a shoulder plane, a bullnose plane and a chisel plane and switch between each of them with ease. Or, I could buy a vintage Record 311 or the modern Clifton equivalent and have to mess around fitting the bullnose end to the plane when I wanted to use it. I prefer dedicated tools whenever possible.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3602 days

#4 posted 11-13-2011 03:51 PM

I’m with Jim C.
I have two Swiss Army Knife Champion models and they can save you in a pinch anytime.

For the shop, I don’t think I have too many multipurpose tools other then things like die grinders that use many different bits.
Brit has a good point as well. There are few tools that work as good and are as easy to use as a dedicated tool.

Thanks Glen.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2590 days

#5 posted 11-13-2011 03:58 PM

I’m more of a leatherman man than a swiss army knife guy. I feel they are a lot more substantial even if they don’t have as many functions, i just like the fact that a leatherman feels like a real tool in your hand. I keep one on my hip at all times when working and pull it out all the time to just do something quick.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2807 days

#6 posted 11-13-2011 04:05 PM

Couldn’t agree more Andy and Woodwrecker on dedicated tools, but they keep making the multis..

Hammer with screwdrivers inside..dollar store, looks like brass but my bench magnet will pick it up. Somewhere my wife has a real brass one, many years old, with a ball peen head.

Hammer, adjustable wrench, pry bar..

Hammer, pliers, wire cutter..
Still being sold..actualy has good ballance as a hammer and the cross grained, non slip hammer head dimpled my anvil top.

(I warned you there were more ;-)
Ben, the leatherman was on my list as well..a sucsessful multi tool for sure..

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2665 days

#7 posted 11-13-2011 04:28 PM

With a few notable exceptions (shopsmith for instance which does many functions quite well but does have the set up issues) most multi-use tools do two or more functions poorly!!

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2807 days

#8 posted 11-13-2011 04:32 PM

Agreed Bob. But you must admit the ingenuity of these guys n’ gals can be intreguing ..

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

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1180 posts in 2665 days

#9 posted 11-13-2011 04:43 PM

Yup, some of them sound wonderful—-solve all your problems—-send send in your whole paycheck to lol ;^)))

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View helluvawreck's profile


31393 posts in 2893 days

#10 posted 11-13-2011 05:21 PM

For the most part I like tools that are made for one purpose. There are some that make the grade to me – the claw hammer drives nails or pulls nails.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2659 days

#11 posted 11-13-2011 05:34 PM

I like the leatherman, but once I bought the gerber, the leatherman collects duct:

Also, the K-Bar is the preferred multi-tool of many Marines. Mine sure took a beating, but is far from used-up. I still use it all the time for general utility stuff.

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2824 days

#12 posted 11-13-2011 06:29 PM

If you have a Leatherman, a Swiss Army Knife and a ShopSmith, you can do anything.

Wouldn’t be without any of them.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3702 days

#13 posted 11-13-2011 07:05 PM

Nobody on a farm or ranch in his right mind would be without the fence tool above ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2807 days

#14 posted 11-13-2011 07:20 PM

Topa it fits right in with my trailer kit, used again and again to repair fencing at the race tracks..
Dang mice anyway


-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2480 days

#15 posted 11-13-2011 08:51 PM

I’m not much for multi-tools but they do work in a pinch. I keep a couple in the junk drawer in the kitchen to keep from having to go the shop for the right tool. I have more fun giving these to my mechanically-impaired in-laws and watching them trying to figure what they are and how to use them. Most of them have to read the directions to change a light bulb! It also keeps them from asking to borrow my tools (THAT”S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!)

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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