I read J Kb’s post (Performative goon bullsh*t – Gun Free Zone) and one thing that immediately came to mind is for all the prepper mania, many people fail to carry useful tools. I am referring to something old and simple as a Swiss Army knife or equivalent.

My current blade from the Helvetic gnomes.


I am sure if you were at a reunion with several of your friends who may be in the same defensive mind range as yours, you would be offered a smattering of knives, folding or fixed from the best brands and reviews. Same reunion, same people and ask for a screwdriver or a corkscrew, and they would be at a loss.

Unless they carry a multi-function knife.

I commented in these pages how I have been carrying a Swiss Army knife since I was 11 years-old and I was given one by a relative.  A S.A.K. has helped from fixing cars. cut food, debride wounds, open packages and in a couple of occasions, modify bad behavior from third parties and all in a nice little package.

And I do have a Leatherman that I carry with me, but just not on me. It is a great complimentary tool, but I use it less and my pockets and belt are already overloaded.

The other reason to carry a multi-function knife id that you will not abuse your expensive tacticool knife doing stuff not designed to do and possibly damaging it. A defensive tool like that must be kept pointy and sharp to change the minds of those who seek to harm you and yours.

Old Fart Rant off.

If you have a favorite multi-function knife, let us know in the comments.

Amazon.com: Victorinox Swiss Army One-Hand Trekker Lockblade Pocket Knife (Black)

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

27 thoughts on “Carry what works, not what’s fashionable.”
  1. I’ve been carrying a Spartan for decades. The Philips screwdriver it far more useful than a corkscrew.

    I also have a Leatherman Juice on my key ring and a Benchmade for, um, other tasks.

    All of my jackets and vests have some sort of single blade folder in the right pocket.

    Do we even want to start with flashlights? 😉

    1. Getting into flashlights could be a dangerous topic. *looks around desk* Very dangerous.
      To paraphrase Danny Vermin, I got stuck in the dark once. Once.

      1. Long ago, and far away, I was a night shift ICU nurse. Twice, the sore power failed, AND the generator did not kick in. Oops.

        Did you know that ventilator ALARMS are battery powered? NOT the ventilator, itself, simply the alarm.

        I fell several times getting to my ventilated patients (yes, plural: a tale for another time), in the complete dark, that night.

        The next time the shore power failed, and the generators (again) failed to energize, I has a couple of lights on my person.

        To this day, as I sit here this afternoon at home, I have 5 (yes, five) flashlights on my person, and six when at work (one coin cell light on my badge)

        1. I started carrying a flashlight in the OR after the power went out and the backup didn’t kick in right away. We had no windows and I didn’t know which direction I was facing.

      2. My 2 for $20 gear lights that Amazon suggests I buy more of on every order outperform every $60-100 flashlight I have bought.
        Brighter than every expensive one. Even the Fenix and Olights claiming 1000 lumens.
        Simple on/off button. No cycling through multiple modes with different methods for different brands.
        Simple zoom to flood with a slide of the lens piece.

          1. Thanks for the reminder. I used to have a similar one that found its way to a better home than mine. Need to order another.

  2. Have carried an SAK since the mid 1970s some time. Usually some variation of the Tinker. Scissors are, for me, the most used tool, so the Trekker isn’t ideal.

  3. I fly so much, I’m somewhat ashamed to say I’ve somewhat gotten out of the habit. (Most of my trips these days are so short it’s carry-on only whenever feasible.) Sigh.

    I used to carry a Schrade multi tool plus a knife – very useful when working in a shop/lab environment and going back to my desktop toolset was inconvenient.

  4. Been a big fan of the oho trekker for a while. I ground the loop out in the front to make and Emerson dong out of it, work quite nicle for flicking open and as a bottle open in case anyone ask why and you don’t want to give the real reason.
    Leatherman k2 is also quite good and it just edges out the trekker for me. Emerson dongable blade and the tools all lock.
    My biggest want in a multitool knife after the blade is a screwdriver. Ive been looking for a manable and compact way to carry some sort of bit driver and a 1/4″ drive few bits in my pocket. So far haven’t come up with a ton. The ultra compact biking bit driver sets are promising but not quite it.
    Kershaw makes a knife with a 4″ folding bit driver and 4 bits that fold into the body but the blade isn’t dongable and the driver doesn’t lock. The blade steel also feels Meh. It is thin though which is nice and the leatherman and swiss army knife are pretty thick.
    Very much open to suggestions. Thin multi tool with locking bit driver and dongable blade or stand alone compact bit driver long enough to reach into an outlet recepticsl without scraping my knuckles too much.

  5. I used to carry a locking folder and a Gerber Dime as my functional carry. A few months ago, I started carrying a Gerber Armber Drive that has been one handy little thing. I’ve got a pair of Knipex 4″ pliers that I carry with them and I can do a whole lot with those two tools.
    Funny enough, my grandfather carried almost an identical setup for as long as I knew him. A swiss army style knife (was much closer to a Boy Scout’s pocket knife, but same idea) and a small pair of channel lock type pliers. Didn’t think about it until my brother mentioned it at Thanksgiving and I had to laugh at history coming back around.

    1. I got an armbar recently. Very happy I got it 50% off, too small for me. I’d have been disappointed to pay full price, but it is a very nice knife!

      1. I snagged mine for a similar deal. The Drive isn’t bad, but I could see a couple of the other variations being on the small side. I think the only failing I see in it is the lack of a lock on the driver portion. Not a deal breaker, especially for what I paid, but could be a bit better.

  6. I carry my S.A.K. every day. Have done so pretty much since high school, with a break when I lost it (and starting again when I found one on the road 🙂 )
    Decades ago I bought a blue one, with a Star of David instead of the Swiss logo, as a birthday present for a Jewish friend. I wonder if that variation is still made. Yes, it was an actual Victorinox, straight from the company outlet.

    1. BTW, Victorinox also makes Leatherman look-alikes. I have one, gift from my late father. And just like Miguel, I don’t usually carry it.

  7. I carried a Victorinox Explorer for so many years that stuff wore out and I had to buy a new one. At the time it was the most compact version with scissors and a Phillips screwdriver and the corkscrew and tweezers were a bonus. The corkscrew made a lot of friends at a Bully Hill Winery event, and impressed my wife when dating. Currently it lives in my Camelbak, since it was inconvenient while bicycling. I carry a Kershaw Leek in a pocket and have a belt buckle with screwdriver tips. I also generally have a Leatherman or my Swiss Army Knife when out and about. My son carries a Leatherman Wave since he has big pockets. He briefly carried a Kershaw Select Fire with the driver bits but went back to the multi tool since it often saves him a trip to the cage when tweaking a machine.

  8. In addition to a folder, I’ve been carrying a Leatherman Squirt PS4 for the past few years. I never realized often a small pair of pliers would come in handy until I had one. The screwdriver blades are used even more often. Who knew?

  9. I have a number of SAK Fieldmasters around. I always carry the small SAK along with my Benchmade and the little Streamlight in my pocket anytime I have pants on.

  10. Heads up; if you deliver pizzas for Dominate Pizzas, it was(is?) against policy to carry any pocketknife, no matter how small. I found this out the hard way back around 2006 when I was working for one of their stores in the Finger Lakes area of NY between engineering contracts.

    A$$hole manager saw me cutting open a box with the main blade, and told me that I was fired; I explained that I had carried this knife for over 30 years, including in some very sensitive DoD facilities. He was adamant about the firing, and the NY Labor Dept agreed.

    1. Every company I have worked for has a no knives or weapons policy in their manual. Every company I have worked for I have used my pocket knife in front of HR and they always say some variation of “is that a knife” or “why do you have a knife” to which I always respond, “its just a pocket knife” and we both go about our day as if nothing has transpired.
      Your manager was an ass, obv. I can see a stink being made if I’m wiping out my bali or an auto to open a box, but the ol swiss army or a standard folder come one. I guess that puts another point in the swiss army box for gray manning it and you can always says “its just a swiss army knife, I don’ see the issue… it has tools on it.”

  11. Since the majority of my trade requires ‘all things firearms’ I carry the Real Avid Gun Tool Max and the Real Avid Pistol Tool and also have not far away a Swiss Champ, which I’ve owned since……forever, and a Swiss Card in the wallet. Also at times, opt to carry the Gerber MP1 MRO when I want to carry less weight. Have a Medford Nosferatu Auto in the front pocket and a Winkler Pick hanging around the neck. Phone has a light as does my pistol and there’s one on the key chain. In my car I also have a Swiss Rescue Tool and a Winkler Rescue Axe.
    And since I teach an Essential Tools class once a month, I have what I consider as, the best of the best carry tools for self-defense and emergency operations, in a pack organized for students and clients to consider.
    I have a personal collection which I have acquired over the past forty years which I won’t bother to bore you with, and yes, I am a survivor of many interventions. and yes, I am a proud addict, who is beyond help.
    End of confession.

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