I'm looking for a good multi-tool for my father, who has lost much use of his left hand. I'd like to get him a little multi-tool that's easy to use one-handed, which he can attach to a belt loop with a carabiner and reel. The most important feature would be scissors or a small blade, but it has to be foldable/retractable so nobody gets hurt by accident. Does anyone have a suggestion?0
The Zilla Tool from Columbia River offers one-handed opening knife and a non-folding pliers that might work well for your father. Others one-handers include the Gerber Flik, Buck 730 X-Tract, or the Victorinox One Hand Trekker Multi-Tool.
The biggest issue you're going to run into here is finding a pair of scissors on such a multi-tool, but I've got a great solution for you: Many fabric stores and sewing suppliers offer pen-style thread snips that have the same form factor as a Sharpie marker. Once the cap is off, they're a simple pair of squeeze-to-cut scissors, and many offer pen clips so they can be kept in a shirt pocket, or be readily available in a pants pocket.
The SOG multitools work on a gear, which affords a smoother action. This allows you to open it like a butterfly knife, ie. one-handed with a flip. The small tools on the inside can mixed and matched to suite your needs. They also have a model that has a "power assist" for accessing a blade- basically it is a spring assist to make the blade easier to open one-handed.
Take a look at Gerber's catalog of tools. They have many which are designed for one-hand use with a slide-open mechanism. I have one of their original "multi-plier" models from 15+ years ago which is still in decent condition.
Check out a LeanLever. Lift, scrape, support tools with one hand.
Try a LeanLever to lift, scrape, support tools with one hand.
I can't evaluate any of the other choices, but thinking this through one-handed, how is he going to manipulate opening scissors in a multitool of any kind? The idea of a carabiner clip plus lanyard is a good one; tension on the lanyard might allow him to get a fingernail into place in order to open the scissors, but then it's a bit of a dodge hoping it doesn't fall and stab him in the leg.
Why hasn't anyone suggested the Skeletool? It has an externally accesible blade that flicks open beautifully with your thumb. You can open in to pliers with one hand (I just tried, to be sure). It also has a swappable screwdriver bit (I tested that as well, but it was easiest to swap with the use of my teeth to pull it out!) It's limited in tools but also has a clip at one end...
The Skeletool is a great suggestion -- I think this would be perfect for your father to use if he has limited use of his left hand, yet you want something that is safe. A belt sander that is powerful and provides precision would also be an option -- http://bestbeltsander.net/review-of-makita-9903-variable-speed-belt-sander/
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