Multi-Tools As Survival Knives

by D-Poc

By Dale Pocat (D-Poc)

In the early 90’s I was working overseas and I met an Englishman that had a Swiss Army Knife. Now he didn’t have just that standard one with 5 or 6 things on it. No, he had one that had about a million things on it, or so I thought when I saw it for the first time. He used that knife for everything under the sun. Every time I saw him he was reaching for it to use it on something. I was so impressed I bought one the very next time I hit a duty free store. I also bought one for my dad and one for my brother as Christmas presents.

They both used theirs in their chosen careers and eventually I bought one of the plier type multi tools as another gift for my father. He loved that thing and eventually quit carrying the Swiss Army Knife. He told me once that he used it so much that he couldn’t imagine being without it.

Now people don’t generally think of multi tools as survival knives. I know I didn’t, this was LONG before I ever thought about being a prepper. A survival knife is supposed to be big and menacing and able to chop down trees, right?

Not necessarily, just because society hasn’t collapsed and you’re not out in the woods somewhere trying to build a castle out of tree limbs and paracord doesn’t mean you don’t need some type of survival knife. Sometimes just surviving the day at work can be a challenge if you don’t have the right tools.

However, just for the heck of it, let’s look at a total societal collapse and what kind of survival knife you should have. As of about 2008 most people live in cities and that number is expected to climb rapidly. Which knife do you think would work to your advantage if you find yourself in a city trying to survive? I know what I would rather have, a multi-tool.

In a city, everything is manufactured. Everything from buildings to bridges to chairs are put together with some type of fastener. Man has done an excellent job at kicking nature out and only bringing it in where he wants it. A park here, some shrubs there, a few lawns, and some nice trees to line main street are about all the nature you’re going to find.

A big burly Rambo survival knife is not going to do you a whole lot of good here. It’s not that you can’t do some of the same things with it, but remember what I said about the right tools for the job? This just ain’t it.

A multi-tool, on the other hand, is specifically made to build or take apart all those things that are held together with fasteners. With all the different configurations and all the different tools available, there’s not much you can’t accomplish with a good multi-tool.

I was amazed at how much I actually used that first swiss army knife and how much I missed it if I accidently left it in my hotel room when I went to the job site. I used it to fix bad cables to get better TV reception in my hotel rooms, opened cans of food, took apart electronics, and I even used the hook on it to carry my laundry bundles from the cleaners.

Fast forward about 10 years and my father passed away. His wife brought me a few of his things and in the box were both of his multi tools. I plan on passing his Swiss Army Knife down to my son who is named after him and I carry the other one on my hip everyday to work.

These days I have an office and drive a desk. I don’t have as much use for my multi-tool as I once did but so far, just today, I’ve used the scissors to trim a label for a project and I used the phillips driver to tighten the arm on my chair. I also used the can/bottle opener to open my can of soda when the tab broke off in my hand (which prompted this article by the way).

There are so many different types of multi-tools out there today I doubt you could count them all and they are designing new ones all the time to fit into whatever niche they feel there could possibly be a need. Everything from weapon specific tacti-tools, to celebrity endorsed survival tools, to small multi-tools that fit on your keychain.

Really, it doesn’t matter if you live in the city or out in the country somewhere, if you don’t have a multi-tool as one of your preps I highly recommend you get one. Having a tool kit that sits on your hip and is ready at a moments notice is essential as a prepper.

One small note about the multi-tool I carry now. My dad must have had something on his hands one day when he went to grab his multi tool because his fingerprint is still tarnished onto the handle. I won’t ever clean it and someday it may rub off but each time I grab it, it reminds me of him.

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