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Thread: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

  1. #1
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    Default Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    I'm looking for a small, light multi tool with pliers and a blade.

    And yes, I have an embarrassing number of multi tools that each have pliers and a blade. What I'm looking for is something crazy small and light to carry in my bicycle tool kit. The ONLY items it needs is pliers and a blade - the reason is that I carry other tools that have everything else I need - but lack the pliers and blade that I've needed a couple of times now on recent rides.

    This is the right idea:
    http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-30-0000...d_sim_sbs_sg_5

    But still too big and heavy (yeah, I know. The term is "weight weenie"). Take one blade out and shrink it by 1/4 and this would be ideal.

    The tool doesn't need to be ultra durable. It DOES need to be of reasonably high quality though. It won't see a lot of use. But it needs to be useful when I need it!

    If anybody has a brilliant idea for me, I'd love to hear it!
    thanks!
    - Darell, the EVnut
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Darell No brilliant ideas, just a suggestion. I like these for what they are. Minimal, small, effective and not perfect. You won't be dropping a tranny with it, of course. Good to pair with a Photon. They don't break the bank and fit on a keychain.

    http://www.amazon.com/IDL-Tools-Inte...pr_product_top

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Hey Nighshade! Sorry to tell you, man. That IS brilliant! The only way I'd make it better is to lose half of the stuff offered, but man - this is REALLY close to my ideal. Ya done good! It appears to have TWO blades? Did they run out of creativity? Seriously, the weight and size are looking really good.

    The gauntlet has been thrown down. Can anybody beat this?!
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Oh..don't forget the LM Mini. http://www.leatherman.com/product/Mini_Tool
    Now discontinued, but can sometimes be found on Ebay for a somewhat decent price.

    The IDL tool is carried by a few lads at work, so is the LM Mini, usually as a supplement to a Victorinox or Wenger Swiss Army knife.
    Or in my case, a Spyderench.
    The second blade like tool on the IDL is actually a metal file. It can be sharpened or ground to a awl if desired.
    Good luck on your search, let us know what you settle on.

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Yes, the Leatherman Mini is great. I have two of them. Too big and too heavy for what I'm looking for - but awesome to have with you at camp! I'm probably the first guy in history to be looking for the most incomplete "multi tool" available.
    - Darell, the EVnut
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    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    leatherman style PS. its under 2 oz.

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Hey! I've got a Squirt around here somewhere! I always thought they were scissors only. Looks like they've improved them a bit. Thanks for the tip!
    - Darell, the EVnut
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Would a LM Freestyle be too big? Just pliers and a blade. One YouTube video has a LM employee discussing the Freestyle, and he says he carries the tool when mountain biking to augment his dedicated bike tools.

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    I carry a blue Leatherman Squirt PS4 and my wife carries the same in red.
    Norm

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike 208 View Post
    Would a LM Freestyle be too big? Just pliers and a blade. One YouTube video has a LM employee discussing the Freestyle, and he says he carries the tool when mountain biking to augment his dedicated bike tools.
    Well, I love it... but twice the size and weight that I'm looking for. I carry one of my "full size" Leathermans on my mtn bike. My road bike kit is way smaller and lighter.

    Neat that they make something that is just the two tools that I need. Now if they would just make the same two tools in a MINI tool, the search would be over!
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Does anybody have any experience with these little Gerbers?
    http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-31-0006...1337696&sr=1-1
    - Darell, the EVnut
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Here's another decent quality one for cheap:

    http://www.meritline.com/16-in-1-mul...--p-49034.aspx

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by Darell View Post
    Does anybody have any experience with these little Gerbers?
    http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-31-0006...1337696&sr=1-1
    Bleh, I have a negative experience with a Mini-Gerber Multi-tool (The Vise to be specific). The nail nicks on the tools for the Vise were very hard to use to pull the tools out (because they were too shallow and smooth) so I decided to try and loosen them up by slightly unscrewing the Torx screws. *snap* The Torx screw snapped right out of the handle.
    On the other hand I've been using a Leatherman Squirt P4 (discontinued unfortunately) for many years with good results. I know a lot of people complain about Leathermans being more expensive than Gerbers but they are for good reason. I've owned many Gerbers and Leatherman tools throughout the years and small things, like the nail nicks I mentioned earlier, add up together and make a huge difference in quality between the two brands. Also small things like the small flathead bit being machined on both sides on the Leatherman but only on one side on the Gerber shows you the difference in attention to detail that both companies have for their products.

    Anyways, with that said, I recommend the Squirt PS4 as the Squirt P4 is unfortunately unavailable. Funny story on how I came across a new Squirt PS4 though... I bought a used Squirt P4 to be a backup to my backup P4 on ebay for about $10 and it came in the mail broken so I sent it into Leatherman for warranty work. They sent me a new PS4 instead since the P4 was discontinued. I basically got a new PS4 for $10!

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by torchjunkie View Post
    Here's another decent quality one for cheap:

    http://www.meritline.com/16-in-1-mul...--p-49034.aspx
    I really don't much care about the price. Size and weight yes. Quality, yes. In this case, I'd rather pay more for less, if I can get what I want!
    - Darell, the EVnut
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by Imon View Post
    Bleh, I have a negative experience with a Mini-Gerber Multi-tool (The Vise to be specific).
    Fair enough. I'll take your advice! And I have you down as another vote for the PS4.
    - Darell, the EVnut
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    I carry a blue Leatherman Squirt PS4 and my wife carries the same in red.
    Norm
    This is the exact one I thought of when I saw the OP's requirements.
    If a normal Leatherman is too big, the Squirt series are a great option.

    Another one I have sitting here right now that will cover needle nose work is the Squirt E4 wire
    stripper model, which has needle nose grips on the end, decent quality, minimal size/weight,
    a usable pen knife blade and a file.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by kaichu dento View Post
    This is the exact one I thought of when I saw the OP's requirements.
    If a normal Leatherman is too big, the Squirt series are a great option.
    Well, yes. But you may have missed the part where even the Squirt is still bigger than my ideal. Full-size tools have never been a consideration. I already own about 15 of them for starters!

    Another one I have sitting here right now that will cover needle nose work is the Squirt E4 wire
    stripper model, which has needle nose grips on the end, decent quality, minimal size/weight,
    a usable pen knife blade and a file.
    I've owned one of those since they first came out. It would work, certainly. I'm just always looking for the "perfect" though. Quality pliers (needle would be best) and a blade. Small. Light. End of story. I'm willing to accept ONE more tool just to put something in the other handle. An awl would be handy.
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    Why do you carry pliers on your road bike?

    Neal

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by neal71 View Post
    Why do you carry pliers on your road bike?
    I could come up with about 20 reasons if you really want to suffer. I'll leave you with just one:



    This thing went through the tire, then both "legs" splayed out like a brass brad. I had to bend the legs back together just to remove it from the tire. No amount of pulling with my teeth would get it done. I finally reshaped it by clamping it between my chain tool and a rock. It wasn't pretty.

    19 more reasons if you want them. But I don't have pretty pictures for all the rest. Next up will be the quick release cone spring episode if you're willing.
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    That is gnarly, I always take a tire and a tube with me. I figure since you only lose a few seconds on a very steep climb for every pound of weight it is worth it. That way I do not have to repair anything on the road. If I would have picked that go in my tire with any kind of speed, use would have almost certainly messed up a lot more than my tire though.

    And I love reading about cycling horror stories, prepares me for what could happen.
    Neal

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by neal71 View Post
    That is gnarly, I always take a tire and a tube with me. I figure since you only lose a few seconds on a very steep climb for every pound of weight it is worth it.
    Well, every ride is different. For long ones, I'll carry an extra tire and two tubes. And a shift cable. And a second pair of socks. And a patch kit. And two co2 canisters. Fiber spoke. And a bigger pump. And more tools.... For shorter rides, I'm not going to carry all that. As for a "few seconds on a very steep climb" I guess that all depends on what "very steep" means, and the BIG difference is for how LONG are you climbing that "very steep" hill? I regularly climb over 10,000' on my rides. I'm not going to bring the kitchen sink with me after all the effort I put into maintaining my body weight! I already ride a steel bike in crowds of ultra-light carbon.

    If I would have picked that go in my tire with any kind of speed, use would have almost certainly messed up a lot more than my tire though.
    We were going better than 20mph. It sure sounded cool when it happened.

    And I love reading about cycling horror stories, prepares me for what could happen.
    Neal
    Well, that's just it. What could happen? It is why I want some light pliers to take with me on my road bike. There are many times when I've found that I need to pull something with more grip and strength than my fingers could ever manage. You say you carry a tire with you... do you also carry a spoke? A spoke wrench? A master link? A chain tool? An extra derailleur hanger? A pedal wrench? You can't prepare for everything, so you have to choose the most likely. I'll choose a tool (chain tool, pliers, etc) over a spare part (chain, tire) just about every time. The tools can be used for several tasks, where the parts can usually only be used for a single fix. I always carry pliers with me on the mtn bike. And I've used them to yank chain out of being wedged between the cassette and the rear drop out. I've used them as a spoke wrench. I've used them to pull bits of cable out of my shifter. Each time, this simple tool has literally saved my ride out in the middle of nowhere. Walk 15 miles in bike shoes... or ride out? Well worth having the pliers.

    One thing that is permanently in all of my bike kits that most people ignore: tweezers. I've used them to get thorns out of tires AND out of me. I've pulled countless bee stingers out of me, and one tick. So here again, a small, light tool meant that I could salvage my heavy bulky tire.
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    My multi tool has almost every tool I could ever need for my bike. I can disassemble and reassemble almost the whole thing with it. My speedplay pedals actually use a hex wrench or a regular pedal wrench. Only thing I couldn't take apart would be my BB, but if that breaks, my guess would be that I would be very broken as well. I live in Dallas so I guess I never really have to be more than 5km from the nearest bike store.

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by neal71 View Post
    My multi tool has almost every tool I could ever need for my bike.
    Does it have pliers? I have several great bike multi-tools as well. None of them has pliers or a blade. It turns out that you don't just need to carry tools for the *bike* - see tweezer account above.

    My speedplay pedals actually use a hex wrench or a regular pedal wrench
    If you can get enough torque to remove your pedals with a multi-tool, then you either have a pretty big tool, or your pedals are not torqued on properly!

    I live in Dallas so I guess I never really have to be more than 5km from the nearest bike store.
    You don't do all of your riding in town, do you?? If I did that, I wouldn't carry anything with me... just like I don't carry anything on my town bike already...
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    Not all of it, but Dallas is very big, can easily get 60 miles in without really ever leaving the city. When I go out of town usually it is outside of Denton where I go to school, luckily I always ride with someone and can always get a ride if I need someone to pick me up.

    Neal

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by torchjunkie View Post
    Here's another decent quality one for cheap:

    http://www.meritline.com/16-in-1-mul...--p-49034.aspx
    I have this one - http://www.meritline.com/6-in-1-mult...--p-25417.aspx - and for a leatherman knock-off, I'm pretty impressed with the quality. It's stayed together, none of the tools have broken on me, and the pliers are pretty substantial. But since you're not sweating the cost, I'm sure there are better choices than whatever meritline has.

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    When I was a kid biking a bazillion years ago I used to take a tool kit with full sized tools among other things because there were no specialized bike tools for riders back then. Woulda killed for a regular Leatherman let alone a Squirt. Hey, at least the wheels weren't made of stone (but bikes for the average rider weighed almost as much anyway). Rides of 30 miles or more made a man outta ya.

    If the Squirt P4 isn't small and light enough (2.25" closed and 2 ozs.) I can't think of anything else. Keeping the weight down is good but maybe there is a limit on how small and light. Have you considered possibly stripping down a Squirt? They're probably too small to drill out to reduce weight but maybe there's a tool you could remove or replace.

    Good luck with your search.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by chmsam View Post
    If the Squirt P4 isn't small and light enough (2.25" closed and 2 ozs.) I can't think of anything else. Keeping the weight down is good but maybe there is a limit on how small and light. Have you considered possibly stripping down a Squirt? They're probably too small to drill out to reduce weight but maybe there's a tool you could remove or replace.

    Good luck with your search.
    I fully realize that I sound crazy. And I'm OK with that. If we don't strive for our vision of "just right" then we're forever stuck with what we have, ya know? The Squirt IS a great solution, and I am now using exactly that for this situation. I don't need it much smaller. But it does have a bunch of tools that I'll never need. This whole process made me think about a new product - a "bike tool" that you could build a la carte. Chose only those tools you want, and somebody builds up your custom piece.

    A guy can dream.
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    Quote Originally Posted by 8secondride View Post
    I have this one - http://www.meritline.com/6-in-1-mult...--p-25417.aspx - and for a leatherman knock-off, I'm pretty impressed with the quality. It's stayed together, none of the tools have broken on me, and the pliers are pretty substantial. But since you're not sweating the cost, I'm sure there are better choices than whatever meritline has.
    Thanks for sharing. Great price!
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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    It's not crazy in the least.

    Like I said though, why not make life easy and just strip out and/or drill out a multitool that already exists? Not saying that the Squirt is the only one but using that as a basis you'd have a tool weighing less than 2 ozs. and frankly anything shorter than that (2.25") is probably going to be too small to use effectively.

    As for building a specialized item there's probably not enough business in that market to make a go of it but it might get someone bike toolmaker sainthood status for the effort.

    Good luck.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

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    Default Re: Seeking small, light multi tool with pliers and blade

    How about the Leatherman Freestyle?

    similiar to the Skeletool in design but no screwdriver/bottle open/carabiner.

    http://www.leatherman.com/product/Freestyle

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