Every Day Carry

Favorite Pocket-Size Tools

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Best everyday carries

Here are some of our readers’ favorite pocket-size tools. — MF


The Gerber Dime Multi-Tool ($29) has become and item I carry everyday. At times I carry bigger multi-tools, but even then, everyday I always have my Gerber Dime with me. The size of the tool is just over 2 inches when folded up so it fits comfortably in the watch pocket of my jeans. Because of this size you will find you always can carry it with you. Light enough to carry even with dress pants on. — Tom Parks


The Gerber E-Z Out Jr Knife ($27) has been my daily carry knife for 16 years. It is a small light weight belt clip knife with a serrated blade that lets me cut anything from paper to rope and straps. The thumb slot in the blade allows you to open the knife one handed. The lock release makes it easy to fold the blade back in one handed. The belt clip is handy but secure. — Peter Lucas


The Swiss Army Victorinox CyberTool 29 ($67) has a nice long 5mm driver that uses four double-ended bits, including my favorite Phillips #2, two smaller Phillips bits, a straight bit, three Torx drivers (#8, #10, #15), and a 4mm hex bit. It also includes the classic straight-blade screwdriver, can opener, awl, two knife blades, corkscrew (yes, I use it fairly regularly!) and a tiny screwdriver ingeniously tucked in the corkscrew. I really like that the straight-blade screwdriver and Phillips driver are at opposite ends. Having the two screwdrivers open at the same time often makes the task go quicker. — Rurik Spence


When saving ounces, the Leatherman Squirt ($35) is the lightest multi-tool kit to carry. It’s got your knife, pliers, wire cutter, scissors, file, and two screwdrivers in only 2 ounces (57 g). Some folks use it as a keychain fob; I primarily carry it while backpacking and biking. — KK


Smaller than most pocket knives, and with the ability to unfold into a completely handy pair of snips, the stainless steel Micra ($30) contains two functional flat-blade drivers (micro and “regular”) and a #2 Phillips-equivalent screwdriver, so I can achieve most anything I need to do inside a server closet or at a customer’s desk. — Steve Sussex


Got the DoohicKey Keychain Multitool ($4) over 6 months ago and it has been attached to my keyring ever since. It is almost invisible and barely noticeable, until you need it. The wide screwdriver tip, the bottle opener and the box cutter are perfect additions to my Leatherman Style PS Multitool, which also comes with me everywhere, including planes, as they are both TSA clean. The DoohicKey also comes with a wrench and a ruler. — Jesus Climent


Everyone has heard of the legendary Space Pen, which was developed for the space program and writes upside down, underwater and in extreme temperatures. They make many different varieties of the Space Pen, but the most useful and elegant is the Bullet ($18). The Fisher Bullet is in two pieces: the actual pen, and a cap that fits on the back of the pen to make a full-size writing instrument. When closed, it makes a compact, tight-fitting, gasket-sealed capsule that easily fits in your pocket. It comes with a shirt pocket clip that can be removed, so it’s less obtrusive in your pants pocket. You can get it in chrome, but the matte black finish is so much cooler. — Curtis Galloway


S-Biners ($2) are much lighter than conventional carabiners and have two attachment points, which really comes in handy when you need to quickly attach and detach things. — Cormac Eubanks


The Split Pea Lighter ($21) is the “world’s smallest lighter,” a stainless steel tube 1.3″ high and 0.5″ in diameter. Unscrew the top, flick the flint wheel, and behold! Fire! — Mike Everett-Lane


The Spyderco Bug Knife ($16) is the smallest knife I have ever found and is just big enough for general scraping, tiny hole poking, and little thing slicing you need to do on a daily basis. It does not have a lock mechanism, but as long as you know that, you can use it in a way that will not cause it to close. It is stainless steel, so it is tough and corrosion resistant. — Mark Nordhaus


At around $10, the Pelican Progear Keychain Flashlight is the right price for a piece of gear that my life could depend on, but if I happen to lose, they crying will be over the loss of a trusty piece of kit, not the loss of a small fortune. And believe me, this is something that I will replace with the same item immediately if it’s ever lost. — Mark Krawzcuk

I’ve been using various models of the Chive ($40) for 6+ years. It’s perfect for how I use it — everyday carry all around convenient small sharp thing. It has a small (~2″) 420HC blade, light, spring-assisted assisted opening (with a small flipper) and stainless steel so I can run it under hot water or otherwise clean and wash it with less concern about rust. The steel is a a big deal for me. Other small folders I’ve used have relatively softer blade steel, whereas the 420HC is a nice balance between holding an edge and easy to sharpen. — Steve

What surprised me about this cheap, tiny microscope ($7) is how much fun it can be to just take it to anything out in the world — the wood grain on a table, the tread of a bike tire, the print in a comic book — all these little hidden worlds open up and you can just instantly peek at them. If you have kids, it’s a slam dunk. Even if they already have a standard microscope, like my kid, the reaction to this was totally different. Beyond the novelty, I’ve found this useful a few times for inspecting electronics projects and troubleshooting connections or reading little component values or serial numbers. — Donald Bell


If you’re in IT, the need for small Phillips and Flat screwdrivers is common. Megapro, which makes the recently reviewed Megapro Stainless 15-in-1 Driver ($8), also makes a handy and inexpensive Pocket Driver. The bits cover two sizes for both Phillips and Flat head. The bits are well made. The handle is comfortable, just big enough for the job, while not being too big for a shirt pocket. The caps snap over each other, so you can put them on the tool when removing them and are less likely to leave them behind. The caps also rotate smoothly, making it easy to apply pressure with the palm of the hand while twisting with the fingers. The holes in the sides of the cap let you check which bit is in which end of the tool. There’s a clip for putting in your shirt pocket. I bought five so that I could hand them out to co-workers so they would be less likely to steal mine! — Toby Ovod-Everett


I wanted to have a set of tweezers I could put on my keychain. It needed to be sharp enough that I could dig out a stubborn sliver broken off under the skin and go with me hiking and camping and through the TSA too. I found it in the Pocketweez ($20). Like any tool once you use it you find others things to use it for. I dropped a tiny machine screw inside the electronics I was repairing that was non ferrous and not retrievable with a magnet. Worked great. — Kent Barnes

12/5/19