Growing up I was a pocket knife guy. Boy Scouts taught me that practically anything could be done with a sharp blade. That's all well and great if you're still trying to get your whittling patch, but in the real world away from camp - you need a multi-tool - specifically a tool based around a set of pliers.
Nowadays there are plenty of multi-tool options out there, but I prefer the classic Leatherman. The company behind my go-to multi-tool was started by Tim Leatherman (yes, that is his real name) in 1983 when he was inspired to create a "Boy Scout knife with pliers," after fixing his broken down car too many times with a pocket knife. Since offering the first and very simple PST or Pocket Survival Tool, the company has exploded. Based around a set of pliers, each Leatherman typically has around 21 tools in the handle - from knives, to screwdrivers, to mini-saws - these things are powerhouses on the road or in the backyard.
- With a Leatherman nearby almost all household problems can be fixed. When I first started carrying mine around on weekends the amount of little projects that got done was staggering. Loose cabinet knob? Not anymore. New pack of batteries need opening? Done. You turn into a can-do handyman -your wife or girlfriend will love it.
- It's a no brainer if you're camping. I've cut fish and meat, mended bent tent poles and even cleared some brush with the serrated saw tool.
- The sheath. If you pick one up, spring for the leather sheath. It's a high quality grain that breaks in perfectly over a short period of time. You don't look like you're wearing a pager, just get it.
I personally have the Rebar model. With 17 tools and priced at $60 - it's a winner for household work, camping and everything in between. And with father's day coming up it makes a great gift. You can engrave it with you dad's initials to really hit a home run, or you can put it on your wish list for your own kiddos. Unfortunately Reggie is going to have to come up with something else to give me this (dog)father's day, because now that I have my first Leatherman, I'll never need another multi-tool.