Think of a one-piece pocket tool as a sidekick to your knife. At first glance, they’re often just a funny-shaped piece of steel small enough to slip on a keychain or drop in your pocket. They might not look like much, but they’re designed to shrink a handful of tools into an easy-to-carry package that keeps you running light and always prepared.

Even though a knife is the No. 1 tool you must carry in a survival situation, a blade has its limitations. A knife can chip, bend, or snap if used as a pry bar or screwdriver. And yes, if there are no other tools available, there may come a time to push your trusty blade to breaking point. But pocket tools are designed to pick up those tasks and then some, like turning hex bolts. Additionally, many pocket tools, because they don’t have sharp edges, can travel with you as you board planes, drop your kid off at school, or otherwise go where a knife is viewed as a weapon.

The result? For an ounce or two of weight, you’ll have more tools at your disposal than most college students can find in their dorm room. How’s that for preparation? Here, we examined seven tools to see how they navigate modern life.

One-Piece Multi-Tools

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    Cu Healthy Products The Copper Shark Utility 2nd Generation

    Make & Model - Cu Healthy Products The Copper Shark Utility 2nd Generation
    OAL - 3.375 inches
    Materials - Antimicrobial copper
    Weight - 1.45 ounces
    MSRP - $60
    URL - http://www.thecoppershark.com

    Thanks to pure copper's documented antimicrobial properties, the Copper Shark is said to provide a barrier between your hand and the germs that can make you sick.

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    Griffin Pocket Tool X

    Make & Model - Griffin Pocket Tool XL
    OAL - 4.3 inches
    Materials - Titanium
    Weight - 1.16 ounces
    MSRP - $70
    URL - http://www.griffinpockettool.com

    A big brother to the original tool, The Griffin Pocket Tool XL runs 1.3 inches longer and comes in stainless steel or titanium.

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    Kershaw PT-2

    Make & Model - Kershaw PT-2
    OAL - 3.25 inches
    Materials - 8Cr13MoV and glass-filled nylon
    Weight - 0.8 ounces
    MSRP - $10
    URL - http://www.kershaw.kaiusaltd.com

    It's clear how to use Kershaw's PT-2: Hang it from your key chain with the key ring and when duty calls, hold the tool by pinching it in the middle between thumb and forefinger.

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    Kikkerland Design Inc. Triangle Multi Tool

    Make & Model - Kikkerland Design Inc. Triangle Multi Tool
    OAL - 2.5 inches
    Materials - Stainless steel
    Weight - 0.917 ounces
    MSRP - $5
    URL - http://www.kikkerland.com

    In this keychain tool, Kikkerland brings nine tools wrapped up in one equilateral triangle.

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    NDuR Survival Tool with Compass

    Make & Model - NDuR Survival Tool with Compass
    OAL - 3.3 inches
    Materials - Stainless steel and a hard-plastic casing
    Weight - 1.5 ounces
    MSRP - $6
    URL - http://www.proforceequipment.com

    NDuR's Survival Tool has 12 useful functions. The portion of the tool encased in yellow plastic contains the sharp bits, such as a box cutter and can opener. I

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    Nite Ize Financial Tool Multi Tool Card

    Make & Model - Nite Ize Financial Tool Multi Tool Card
    OAL - 3 inches
    Materials - 420 stainless steel
    Weight - 0.6 ounces
    MSRP - $6
    URL - http://www.niteize.com

    In the age of computer-aided designs and drawings, Nite Ize goes analog by adding a drafting compass, protractor, and ruler in its Financial Tool Multi Tool Card.

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    SOG Specialty Knives & Tools MACV Tool

    Make & Model - SOG Specialty Knives & Tools MACV Tool
    OAL - 2.25 inches
    Materials - steel
    Weight - 0.6 ounces
    MSRP - $14
    URL - http://www.sogknives.com

    SOG packs 12 functions in a 2.25-inch-wide tool that resembles the beret-wearing skull

Cash Carry Considerations

one-piece-multi-tool-edc-wallet

If you read our Survivalist Spotlight on Les Stroud in Issue 21 you’ll remember how critical he said it is to carry cash as part of your EDC. However, we often overlook the importance of the tools we use to carry our money, credit cards, and IDs until they’re lost or stolen. Ask anyone who has experienced that headache and they’ll tell you it’s no laughing matter, particularly if you’re away from home. For more ways to integrate one-piece tools into your EDC gear, check out our OFFGRIDweb-exclusive review of three metal-framed minimalist wallets and a leather key fob bottle opener from Trayvax.
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