When I was still a young child, I had a Swiss Army Knife with the spoon and fork on it (of course there was the knife too) with several other goodies also on it. I found that the hinge-points grunge'd up making it very difficult to move the pieces without breaking a finger-nail or needing to use a secondary-tool to rotate the tools into a usable position.
I then moved to a basic "survival knife" with the hollow handle with compass, fishing-line, hooks, etc and carried that all the time (ya, even to school, it wasn't a big deal back then).
Over time, I started to carry a full tool-kit (I was working in IT), so, I always had some kind of knife, screw-drivers, plyers, etc close-at-hand.
Now I have an office-job where I rarely leave my desk, so, I am now outfitted with a basic lock-back knife on my hip and two different MultiTools (both are Leatherman), a mini-tool with scissor and one with plyer.
I make the tools match my current needs and if my needs change, I would not have a problem with having a SAK again (I do have a Swiss-Card in my wallet for those minor-emergencies) ...
I always carry a pocket knife on my person, and have multitools in my BOBs. They range in quality from Letherman to Cabelas 3 for $9.99. It's amazing that a child can't even carry a pocket knife to school any more, I always did.
Fer me the multi tool works out best. But there be a couple things bout the swiss knife that work out well to.
I think it gonna boil down to what works out best fer you.
Were perty rural so the multi tool just works out better. I've had several, leathermans, sogs, gerbers. All have some features I like better then others. I guess a feller would have ta build one to have everthing he really likes eh? But in the end, I keep goin back ta leathermans.
I emailed Leatherman and asked them if they offered a custom built multi tool.
Reply was no but she would pass the idea on to the engineering department.
So who knows maybe one day we will be able to get a tool with just what we want.
Now to figure out what I would include.
No bottle opener, cork screw, fish hook remover, or saw for starters.
Many of my multitools can be dismantled. So, I was thinking about retiring some of them and using them as sources of some components . Then remove some unneeded items ( like fish scalers ) and adding a second blade for example.
In my case , pliers are always needed. This is why I have more MTs than SAKs.
SAKs are better for "core" EDC, which sould be very compact. In bigger kits, MT is a must. In my travel kit I have one SAK and two different MTs. One MT with hammerhead, and one with double plier head ( not Leatherman, maybe made in china). These two are VERY versatile.
NOTE 1: I have asked a workshop guy to hack off two thirds of the nail pulling claw because of safety reasons : it can injure your wrist when using the knife and other tools.
Note 2 : Notice the hexagonal hole on the face the hammer head. This MT has a few hex bits with it , which increases its versatility. I have added a bigger strip of hex bit from another MT which went into "core kits".
I've had the same Gerber Multitool for over 5 years now. I use it nearly everyday when at work and used it extensively while serving overseas. Even had to use it in a few sticky situations and would never use anything but. It's also great for camping trips, I use it when I'm fishing, hunting, and out in the bush. The only sad thing is the 'production' of Gerber products has gone to China.
I use a variety of multitools and had an extensive collection. I prefer the Gerber with the blunt nose, and I've used them since the mid or late 1980's and preferred them over Leatherman because of the rapid one hand opening-you can learn to flick them open. However, for some purposes I also like the SOG. Some of them are getting ridiculously expensive.
These multitools can wear out. They can be so heavily used or used for such a long time that they do become less than totally useful even without abuse.
One inexpensive way to get some more is by putting in very low, yet still reasonable bids in the online auction sites. Several years ago I blanket bidded them and won some. Take a good hard look at the photos so you know what you're getting. You can gauge wear in the photos. Generally follks don't bother to 'paint' or mark the black ones and with good photos you can see if there's any wear on used ones.
I also found that one should carry two when out in the field. It's easier to work things, especially metal and wire. If you don't have two, at least have a small set of pliers or long nose pliers as well.
One of my favorites I passed on to a missionary going to Africa. The notion was anything that went would stay, even with the missionaries came back so they'd have it forever. It was in the luggage, not accessible to the passengers yet TSA still took it. As they can be in luggage, I betcha this was theft rather than security.
Most MTs and SAKs in our markte are from China as well. Some are better ( or worse ) than others. Some are reasonable in quality and I am not that picky. By my standards, if it lasts me for 5 years, it is good. Many of my tools have been with me for longer than that mainly because i live in a city and use these MTs for light or average duty. Only daily routine and mundane tasks. Nothing super heavy duty.
One thing good about having cheaper alternatives that a mistake does not cost you much. I bought a scissors based ( Micra style) multitool a few months ago, and really didn't like it. Plus I have got to have pliers on me or near me all times. So, I ended up having a SAK and MTs with secondary scissors and in some kits, separate standalone scissors. That Micra style MT only cost me $3 , so I didn't hesitate much to toss it in the drawer.
I carry a Multi-tool in my purse every day. The pliers are the main reason. I do have a small pocket knife in my purse too, for opening boxes, packages at work because it is quicker to use than the multi-tool.
I have a few Leathermans, and between DW and I we have Gerbers, one SOG, and the Leathermans, plus a couple cheapies. My day to day tool is a Leatherman PST II that I've had-and beaten the tar out of-for years.
i carry a gerber diesel multitool that i purchased from ll beans at a greatly reduced discount since i work for them. i also carry a gerber gator, schrade old timer lockback knife, and a swiss army knife.
plus i have some winchester lockback knives and multitools. the cheap ones are for everyday use and the more expensive ones are for use out in the field
I have pretty much always carried a knife of some kind.
For the first twenty years, it was the Imperial Officers Ulster that my dad gave me on my 12th birthday. Then I got into a line of work that involved more desk time and shirt & slacks, so I switched to a Gerber Silver Knight (small drop point lockback) and carried that for another twenty or so years.
Then one day I realized I wanted to spend more time outdoors again, so I started researching and trying different knives and tools. Yeah. Watch that first step, dude.
Today, my daily load-out is a full-sized knife of some kind on one hip (horizontal pouch), a Leatherman Wave on the other, a smallish "gentleman's" knife in a front pocket, and a Swedish/Swiss (yes, really) SAK (blades by Wenger, scales by EKA of Sweden) sold by EKA as the Executive Major. And, every so often, there will be another knife in that mix, depending on whether I have the extra pockets.
What began as a "personal project" to discover what worked well for me turned into a permanent research effort. My days of carrying just one knife are pretty much all done.
Ironically, I spend my work days at a desk, writing device driver software and various utility & test programs. Given the "close-to-the-metal" nature of my development work, I actually get to use pliers and screwdrivers from time to time.
However, I found that by adopting a routine of making salad for lunch, I could try out different blades daily.
Today's selection: Case Sod Buster (large), Leatherman Wave, Case Pocket Hunter (a Peanut-sized knife), and the EKA/Wenger SAK.
Yesterday it was the EKA Nordic T8, the Leatherman, a Schrade Uncle Henry stockman-style knife, and the SAK.
And so on.
I've finally developed a short list of favorites among the pieces in my EDC rotation. Took longer than I expected.
As a kid (11/12 years old) I had a SAK. Being young I was stupidly hard on it and didn't really care for how it "didn't hold up". About 20 years ago my wife got me a basic Leatherman for work in the mill. It's been great every since although I don't use it as much because for the last 11 years I have moved into a job that requires more specialized tools. I do have a small pocket knife I got for x-mas 18 years ago that I use daily.
I have several, probably 4 Leathermans, three of them are the older ones and at one is the Leatherman Wave. I have broke several tools on Leathermans and to be fair probably doing something I shouldn't have done. I own a couple of Gerber Multi-Tools which I think are superior,...until someone gave me a SOG Power Lock Tool which is the best multi-tool I have seen on the market other than the Al Mar version of a multi-tool, which was I think, called the OSS tool? Haven't seen one in q5 years or so,...don;t even know if they are available.
I have several folding knives, which people call Tactical Folders. I consider myself decently equipped when I have a multi-tool AND a tactical folder or a small fixed blade. Each one of my harnesses has either a CKRT M16 folder or a Strider folder. Not a knife guy. I think these are good for my use, although alot of my friends spend plenty of dough on the latest push button auto opener. The CKRT's are cheap compared to Benchmades and others, but still quality.