Imagine you had just seconds to grab your essentials before a raging wildfire engulfed your home. It would be chaos, right? That’s why we have get-out-of-Dodge bags at the ready. But the one thing we won’t be hauling with us is the garage — our man cave of power tools, manual implements, and other equipment.

Sure, if you’re bugging out in an RV or off-road rig, you probably have a tool kit preloaded. But if you’re fleeing on foot from impending doom, you’ll be lucky to make it out with the clothes and pack on your back.

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That’s why in this edition of Pocket Preps we’re focusing on wallet-sized tools. These little devices are super slim and featherweight but can often serve various duties when things go awry — or be used for more mundane things like popping open a brewski. Plus, these multitools are portable and can fit pretty much anywhere a credit card can. That means you can have a mini toolbox in your pocket no matter where you go.

Crawford Knives Credit Card Kara Bit

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Material
Titanium

Dimensions
3.25 by 2 by 0.03 inches

Weight
0.5 ounce

MSRP
$70

URL
www.crawfordknives.com

Notes
As a prepper and a combatives instructor, this author is conflicted about the Credit Card Kara Bit. Its design as a covert knife is innovative. It’s carried in a Kydex sheath — though our review sample didn’t come with one — which attaches to one’s belt loop via paracord. To deploy, just pull it out like a chain wallet. Sadly, its ergonomics are disappointing and the lack of integrated tools is a wasted opportunity. Overall though, the Kara Bit features top-notch manufacturing and provides a unique concealed blade option.

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Pros:

  • Razor sharp knife fillets cardboard into ribbons
  • Titanium body is light yet incredibly strong
  • Out-of-the-box design
  • Ideal for concealed carry

Cons:

  • Awkward finger placement
  • The flat of the card could have housed built-in tools, such as hex wrenches and a bottle-opener.

Hutan Supply Co. Hutan Pressure Tool

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Material
Titanium

Dimensions
3.54 by 2.24 by 0.11 inches

Weight
0.99 ounce

MSRP
$89

URL
www.hutan.co

Notes
If a bug-out vehicle is in your preparedness plans, the Hutan Pressure Tool is worth consideration. Made out of titanium with a diamond-like coating, this little device gets its name from its primary function: releasing air from a tire’s Schrader valve. Having the right tire pressure is key to safely driving over rough terrain, whether you’re fleeing a disaster or heading out on an overland journey. It has several other tools, including a nail remover, a multi-size wrench, and a bottle-opener. Plus, it comes with a fine leather sleeve.

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Pros:

  • Efficiently designed with almost every inch featuring a different tool
  • Slim, yet thick enough that the edges don’t dig into your fingers
  • Strong, tough, and lightweight
  • Quality leather sleeve lets you stow the tool safely in your pocket, pack, or vehicle.

Cons:

  • Vehicle-specific design means niche appeal and adaptability

Tool Logic Credit Card Companion

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Materials
ABS plastic and stainless steel

Dimensions
3.375 by 2.125 by 0.09 inches

Weight
1.4 ounces

MSRP
$15

URL
www.toollogic.com

Notes
It’s hard to beat the appeal of a tool that’s easy to use, affordable, and actually useful not just in a pinch, but in daily life, too. The Credit Card Companion is an everyday carry (EDC) item with nine tools in total, all of which are housed in a compact-yet-durable ABS body. While you won’t win any geocaching contests using the compass, it can give you at least a general clue of where to go if you’re lost. There are also tweezers, a screwdriver, a combo can/bottle-opener, a 2-inch serrated blade, and more.

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Pros:

  • Abundant number of tools in such a slender package
  • Tools seamlessly tuck into the card for convenient carry.
    Sharp blade is great for cutting fibrous material, like rope or branches.
  • Price tag won’t break the piggy bank

Cons:

  • To use most of the tools, you have to separate them from the card. And because they’re small, they offer limited grip space and leverage, especially the piece that holds the can-opener, bottle-opener, and screwdriver.

Vargo Swing Blade Tool – Bolt

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Materials
Titanium and 420HC stainless steel

Dimensions
2.8 by 1.75 by 0.06 inches

Weight
0.9 ounce

MSRP
$30

URL
www.vargooutdoors.com

Notes
Vargo makes some stellar outdoor gear, from fire-starters and portable wood stoves to backpacks and camping pots. It also makes cool tools, including this one. As an upgrade to the original Swing Blade Tool, the Bolt version is so named because of the 8mm, 10mm, and 13mm wrenches on one end of its titanium body for turning bolts and nuts. It also features a bottle-opener, two screwdrivers, a keyhole ring, and the eponymous razor blade. The latter tool is tension locked for safe storage, but can rotate out when needed.

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Pros:

  • The 420HC stainless steel blade is sharp out of the box and easy to hone.
  • Titanium platform is lightweight and durable.
  • Multiple tools make this more than just a tiny knife.

Cons:

  • Not the smartest knife-opening mechanism; your right thumb rotates the blade toward your left thumb, which needs to stay put to push down on the lock-bar to let the blade come out.
  • Blade pivot is annoyingly tight.

Zootility Co. Wildcard

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Materials
Stainless steel

Dimensions
3.06 by 2.06 by 0.03 inches

Weight
1.2 ounces

MSRP
$35

URL
www.zootility.com

Notes
The Wildcard is similar to the Vargo Swing Blade Tool in that it’s a card-shaped multitool with a rotating blade. But the Wildcard’s knife opening mechanism is more akin to a traditional folding knife, with the edge moving away from the user’s other hand. Zootility’s patent-pending FlyOff technology means you can quickly remove the blade if it becomes unusable or you forget you had it in your wallet at a TSA checkpoint. Plus, it has a built-in pry-bar, screwdrivers, bottle opener, and both metric and imperial rulers. Made in the USA.

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Pros:

  • Brilliant design combines card-style multitool with a folding knife.
  • Blade is sharp, easy to use, and replaceable.
  • No marketing exaggerations here; all the tools are practical and performed well for this type of device

Cons:

  • Blade has some lateral play and isn’t the thickest or strongest piece of stainless steel

Victorinox SwissCard Lite

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Materials
ABS/Cellidor and stainless steel

Dimensions
3.2 by 2.06 by 0.09 inches

Weight
0.9 ounces

MSRP
$38

URL
www.swissarmy.com

Notes
More than 100 years ago, Victorinox revolutionized the multi-use pocketknife when its founder created what would become the iconic Swiss Army Knife. The SwissCard Lite carries on that legacy by morphing the traditional multitool into a wallet-sized essential. Its moniker refers not to this being a smaller version of a bigger model, but rather to its integrated LED. With the included light, this device packs 13 functions — from a ballpoint pen to a magnifying glass — in a compact and convenient format.

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Pros:

  • Thirteen tools, all brilliantly stowed in a lean body
  • Translucent plastic lets you see the tool you need
  • Letter opener makes for a super sharp last-ditch blade
  • Its mini scissors cut effectively

Cons:

  • The LED was disappointingly dim.
  • The pullout unit that holds its four screwdrivers is tiny and provides little grip space or leverage.

Wazoo Survival Gear Burnable Business Card

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Materials
Birch wood

Dimensions
3.5 by 2 by 0.03 inches

Weight
Negligible

MSRP
$5

URL
www.wazoosurvivalgear.com

This tool has a narrow use, and it’s a one-time use at that. But that’s all it takes to save your life. As its name implies, this tool is the size of a business card and meant to be broken apart, assembled, and set aflame as kindling. It comes with a Fresnel lens and vinyl case, so carrying this barely noticeable card in your wallet gives you not only fuel, but also a platform to build a fire no matter what survival situation you end up in. It’s made in the USA out of birch wood.

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Pros:

  • Featherweight — when we repeatedly tried to weigh the card, the scale kept displaying 0.00 ounces!
  • Combined with the Fresnel lens, this clever card gives you all you need to start a life-saving fire.
  • Comes perforated so you can break it into sections and reassemble them into a fire lay.

Cons:

  • Due to its singular purpose, this card is the least versatile wallet-sized device in this buyer’s guide.

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