Life in today’s jungle always involves machines. A simple pocket knife is a big help in ordinary situations, but as life becomes more and more technical the little emergencies of day to day existence call for ever better tools. A few decades ago the Swiss Army knife was something people stared at a lot but were somewhat embarrassed to own. Today they happen to be one of the best options in a practical pocket folder.
Though Victorinox was the first to offer the do-everything knife, many other companies offer equally good alternatives today. Instead of including a tiny foldout pair of pliers as a blade, the knife blades and other tools fold into the handles of the well known Leatherman Multi-tool, a favorite of travelers and handymen. Specialty multi-tools are now designed for particular vocations, hobbies and emergency uses. While years ago the approach was to provide an assortment of tools for any situation, today blades and tools are put together in appropriate combinations. There’s a multi-tool for fishing, another for computer repair, another for golfers, and so on. Swiss Army followed the trend, but usually still includes their traditional parcel hook and toothpick, just in case.
Those who think outside the box can appreciate the renegades — new ideas in new forms, produced by companies you may never have heard of until they won the industry’s top honors for best knife.
The award-winning Tool-Zilla Jr. is our choice for Best Multi Tool. It’s from Columbia Knife and River provides strong basic tools and a good knife blade.
Columbia’s Guppie converts to a functional crescent wrench. Forget chewing things up with the pliers, use this.
The Swiss Army Rescue Tool from Victorinox is a great emergency knife for the urban traveler.