Being able to adapt and overcome your environment is part of the EDC philosophy. Ideally, your pack will consist of the necessary equipment to help you accomplish this. I’ve compiled my favorite EDC tools that either made it into my EDC backpack, or that I carry on my person.
Here’s the criteria I used to develop this list of tools:
- Versatility – Can this tool be used for multiple uses
- Ease of use
- Quality construction
- Convenience of carry – Can it easily be carried on person, or in a backpack without hindering the user
Top Tools To Carry Every Day
- Leatherman OHT MultiTool – One hand operation and an abundance of fixed tools make this the MVP of EDC tools. Quality construction from an industry leader.
- Maglite RL1019 LED Rechargeable Flashlight – Everything you want in your torch. Powerful, not too big or small, and phenomenal run time. All this from a trusted brand.
- Off Grid Tools Survival Axe – This is the big brother of the multitool and is outfitted with a versatile set of tools. It’s suited to handle bigger jobs where more muscle and leverage is required.
- Gereber Mini Prybar – Coming soon!
- CARAPEAK Heavy Duty Locking Carabiner – Oversize is great, rated for climbing, can fit whole hand inside to use as handle, and more!
Leatherman OHT MultiTool
If you’re looking for a multitude of useful tools in a condensed package, then you want the Leatherman OHT. Designed to be operated with a single hand, this tool is super convenient when your other hand is already busy doing work that can’t be set down.
Opening up the pliers is simple, and requires a flick of the wrist to open up. It does take a few tries before getting the hang of it, but eventually it will become second nature. Putting the pliers away is a 1-2-3 operation. Pinch the pliers closed and press the retaining buttons at the top. Next invert the tool. Finally, let gravity do it’s thing to restore the tool to it’s natural state.
I refer to the pliers above, but in fact you’ve also got wire cutter/strippers built into the extending head. That’s not all, because there are a bunch of other tools. The first thing I like about this tool is the dedicated serrated blade that it comes with. Of course, you’ve got a straight edge knife as well. However, having a full length serration means you don’t have to account for this on your EDC knife. There’s also a saw attachment, for when a serrated edge won’t do. You won’t be sawing trees in half, but it is nice to have at your disposal for smaller wood items.
You’ll also have a couple flat head screwdriver options, as well as a Phillips head screwdriver. Another convenient feature on the Leatherman OHT is the wire brush insert. If you’ve got a firearm, and ever need to clean your sidearm, just screw in your wire brush to the handle. Here’s a list of a few other tools:
- scuba tank adjustment
- seat belt cutter
- philips head
- bottle opener
Each of these tools that extends from the handle has a locking bar, to prevent the tool from folding up while under pressure. It works on the same principle as most fold out blades. Compress the bar to allow free movement of the tool back to it’s resting position. It’s worth noting, that you do get a canvas carrying case that can be worn on belt, or I’ve used with the molle setup on my EDC bag.
If this tool doesn’t quite fit the bill, you can definitely look into the other Leatherman platforms. I opted for the Leatherman OHT (Amazon Link) because of the fixed version of the screwdrivers and one hand operation. If you’re looking for more tools, chances are you’ll have to sacrifice something this model offers.
For instance, I almost purchased the Leatherman Surge (Amazon Link) which has multiple interchangeable bits for the screwdriver. However, I wanted something with single hand operation not the traditional fold out method of accessing the pliers. Furthermore, I decided against having to carry around bits for my multitool. Just more things to lose.
Maglite RL1019 LED Rechargeable Flashlight
Off Grid Tools Survival Axe
If you work outdoors, or live in a rural area, this tool is a must have for your EDC kit. This heavy duty tool is the big brother of your pocket carry multitool I reviewed above. Definitely meant for larger jobs, the Off Grid Tools Survival Axe delivers on durability and functionality.
First off, lets talk about the bread and butter of the survival axe, the blade. As you can tell from the image above, this thing has been loved. The material is durable, and the blade itself can be sharpened should it ever lose some of it’s edge. It’s got a black oxide coating to help prevent nature from reclaiming it.
Beyond the hatchet, you’ve got a built in hammer, and the pry bar is also built into the top. There’s a dedicated nail puller, but I think the pry bar works best for this. It has a claw similar to the back of a hammer. Beyond that, you’ve got multiple hex head holes built into the top, should you ever need to pull a hex bolt.
Finally, you’ve got a seatbelt cutter built into the handle along with a glass breaker. There’s also a bottle opener built in, but I think I’ll opt for my Leatherman for cracking open a beer. Using an axe seems like overkill. Of note, there’s also a nylon sheath. I’m not sure if this comes with the axe, or if it’s been made an add on item. Apparently there’s the cloth and a leather version, which is why I think the casing might no longer be included.
All in all, the Off Grid Tools Survival Axe (Amazon Link) is a great addition to your EDC kit. Whether you live in the country, work construction, or just like to take road trips on your motorcycle and camp out, this tool needs a spot in your pack.
Gerber Mini Pry Bar
CARAPEAK Heavy Duty Locking Carabiner