Remember PowerPenz? The SOG Baton Q1 Multitool Pen is a bit like those, but actually useful (and also, you know, not a cheap plastic toy). Part of SOG’s new Baton collection, the TSA-friendly Q1 thrives in office and work settings, functioning as an ordinary ballpoint pen, albeit one with a pressurized ink cartridge. Split it in two and it transforms into a spring-assisted scissor. Its two other functions (totalling four in all) include a bottle opener and a medium flat screwdriver, so while it won’t saw through wood or help filet a fish it’s still more capable than whatever pen is currently in your pocket. If you can do without a pen and want a few more tools in a slender package, however, check out the rest of the Baton collection.
Learn more at SOG Knives – $54
You don’t need to work on airplane engines to appreciate the versatility of the Grypmat Tool Mat. This bright orange polymer-silicone mat is non-magnetic, chemical resistant, and anti-static, but most of all it’s flexible and, as hinted by its name, highly grippy, sticking to a variety of uneven work surfaces to keep your tools in close proximity. Its non-absorbent material won’t suck in grease or dirt so cleaning is generally as simple as wiping gunked-up surfaces with a damp cloth. Get it in three sizes: a small version with six compartments, a medium sized one as well as a large, with the latter two featuring integrated rulers in both metric and imperial.
Find it at Kickstarter – $30+
The Millennium Falcon isn’t in the best of shape. Short of having an R2 droid onboard to handle repairs, the Star Wars Millennium Falcon Multi-Tool Kit should do nicely. The die-cast zinc alloy Falcon replica stashes two carbon steel screwdrivers — one a flathead and the other a Phillips — in its escape pods, four hex keys that stash away in its cargo bay (and that are accessible via a magnetically closing door), and a wrench that’s adjusted by a worm gear on the ship’s underside. And it’s just in time to stuff some stockings.
Grab one at ThinkGeek – $30
It’s downright tiny, yet the Titanium Little Pinch More is completely packed with features that you wouldn’t expect from a tool of its stature. Functions include scissors, tweezers, a flathead screwdriver as well as a Phillips, a small knife, a bottle opener (though you’ll need a loop, like a keyring, for leverage), a wire stripper, and can also be used as a lever or even as a can opener with a bit of ingenuity. Until you need the above it can sit dormant on your keychain or even on a zipper as a zipper handle, waiting.
Find it at Kickstarter – roughly $60
Don’t expect it to help much with larger, more daunting projects, but if you need a particular screwdriver on your keychain the Key-Bit Keychain Tool is the one with which to carry it. The pill-shaped Key-Bit is made of either knurled copper or aluminum and fits most standard 1/4-inch bits. It won’t come apart in your pocket since two neodymium magnets hold the halves together with a separation force of over 6 pounds, and the same magnetic force secures the bit. Includes one Phillips hex bit; anything else, you’ll need to pull from your toolbox.
Find it at Kickstarter – $15
Cutting square holes into drywall is a must for light switches and sockets, but there’s been no easy way to do so until the Quadsaw Square Hole Cutter. Quadsaw functions like a bit for your power drill (ideally that can spin at 1,800rpm or higher) with the difference being that you’ll need to hold its handle stable as you drill. Four blades — mounted to cut rectangularly — start moving as the drill bit is spun, cutting efficiently and just deep enough to get through plasterboard without slicing neither wires behind it nor pipes. It’s even got integrated spirit levels to ensure you’re cutting straight.
Learn more at Quadsaw – roughly $240
The Gerber Center-Drive Multitool’s name comes from the fact that it’s long center-axis driver, when open, aligns with the center of the tool (see second image) like a real dedicated screwdriver and unlike the off-center ones on most other multitools. But usability improvements don’t end there. It’s also got a thumb-accessible 3.25-inch fine edge blade and needlenose pliers on an x-channel rail system that slide out with the press of a button and flick of the wrist, sparing you the need to twist the tool open as with so many others. Other tools include carbide wire cutters, a fine and coarse sided file, a serrated blade, an awl, a pry bar + nail puller, and a much-needed bottle opener, amongst others.
Since the locking mechanism on vice grips is just about the best feature of any handheld tool, Crescent decided to slap it on a wrench. If you’ve ever used a wrench before, you know how annoying adjusting the wrench to the size you want can be, and that it stays tight for the first turn and a half only. The addition of the locking handle, and fourteen different locking positions, lets you efficiently clamp down on nuts and bolts of just about any size with two times the gripping power of a standard wrench. Not to mention it just looks cool. Or, for a few bucks less, there’s also this bare steel alloy Stanley model ($16).
Grab one at Home Depot – $25