Pockets have never been more prepared. Thanks to the everyday carry craze as well as a host of new companies churning out excellent options, there are more multi-tools available than ever. As being a parent means you’ll have a lot of tiny toy battery screws to tackle, high-chair legs to tighten, Amazon packages to open, and other, random tasks that require the right driver or blade, carrying a small multi-tool makes sense. But which one suits your style and, more importantly, needs? Here, then, are eight multitools under $50 that are ready to handle a variety of task and fit every type of parent.
SOG Baton Q1 Tactical Pen
For the minimalist, this refillable pen has a small footprint but a large range of uses. The pair of spring-loaded scissors stoved inside, pop out when you need them, while the bottle opener, flathead screwdriver, and nail nick offer quick fixes to everything from a squeaky office chair to a stubborn post-work beer. The replaceable D2 ink cartridges are pressurized, so you can write without having to nudge the ink, while the light aluminum body measures just less than six inches. If anything fails, SOG has a lifetime service guarantee, which includes regular maintenance and replacement parts.
Weighing in at a mere half-ounce, this small 6-in-1 micro tool is among the lightest available. Featuring a straight blade, a serrated blade, bottle opener, micro driver, and two screwdriver heads, it’s all tied together with a patented, integrated quick-release mechanism that allows you to easily hook and unhook it to your belt, bag, or key ring. It’s perfect for minor repairs and assemblies, and, as it can weather both indoor and outdoor use, it’s good to go wherever the MacGyvering leads you.
Victorinox Swisscard Lite
The Swisscard Lite from pocket-tool masters Victorinox takes the brand’s already popular Swisscard and adds an illuminating twist — a mini, 18,000 mcd LED light. At just the size of a credit card, its 13 features seem impossible, but somehow include a magnifying glass, tweezers, ballpoint pen, letter opener, scissors, screwdrivers and more. Also, some of the tools — such as the blades and scissors — are detachable, so you can light with one hand and get to work with the other.
True Utility FIXR
Made from 420 grade black stainless steel, this glossy-looking gadget features 20 tools. Some highlights: five spanner/wrench combinations, a razor blade, wire strippers, a box opener, and six differently-sized screwdrivers. The gold-plated revolving disc allows each tool to be fully exposed while in use, so nothing is in the way when you need to fix whatever breaks next. The FIXR also comes with a stylish leather pouch and a quick-release clip.
Real Avid Pistol Tool
Featuring 19 different components, every element of this resourceful range tool is calibrated and designed to keep your trigger finger firing. Coated with titanium, the stainless steel peripherals include a 3” Tanto knife, 1911 Government and officer bushing wrench, assorted hex bits, keys for laser sights, metal file, tap hammer surface, and various picks and scrapers. You can also upgrade to a version that comes with a double mag pouch so you can store the tool and your ammo in the same compact compartment.
SOG SYNC II Belt Buckle
When you need a multi-tool, there’s no time to waste. Or, “waist”, in the case of this functional belt buckle that holds a dozen different pieces while holding up your pants. It features sturdy pliers, crimpers, assorted screwdrivers and more, and is designed to fit belts up to 1 ¾” wide. A lock keeps the base in place, so you can release the multi-tool for on-the-go fixes, then reset it securely when the job is done.
Griffin Pocket Multi-Tool
Packed with 11 tools, the Griffin Pocket Multi-Tool features all of the basics, including scoring tools, prying tools, pocket clips, wrenches, bottle openers, and drivers. But, we’ll let you in on a little secret: the space between the hex wrench and clip can also be used to turn bike nuts with ease. Definitely not the primary feature, but a great “plus one” to an otherwise stellar offering of options.
With a blade specifically designed to slice open annoying and stubborn clamshell packaging, The Dime already has our vote as a worthy investment. Its small and light construction, plus array of top notch features – including actual spring-loaded scissors – make this butterfly-opening all-in-one a no brainer for anyone looking to combine form, function, durability and quality craftsmanship. The eclectic assortment of colors also make it one of the more stylish multi-tool alternatives available.