What Is the EDC Multi-Tool? Why You Need an EDC Multi-Tool

Multi-tools are among the most versatile tools you will ever come across. Imagine an all-in-one contraption that comes with a blade, screwdrivers, files, bottle openers, pliers, among other things. It is like walking around with a miniature version of a complete toolbox. Multi-tools are some of the most reliable things you can carry around with you, especially if you are the adventurer type of person who loves the outdoor life.

Our focus for today is on everyday carry multi-tool. We are going to explore what it is, look at the history, look at how it works, and then the types that exist. We will also look briefly at the many uses one can put them to and the main reasons for needing it in the first place. If you have always entertained the idea of owning a multi-tool, then you are in the right place.

What Is an EDC Multi-Tool?

A multi-tool is the perfect embodiment of an everyday carry. The reason people carry these types of tools in the first place is to have something they can turn to when the situation demands it. It can be used for just about anything that pops up along the way. If you need to open that can of beans while camping, or if you want to cut a piece of cloth with a pair of scissors, you will find an appropriate tool hidden away somewhere in there.

In a nutshell, an EDC multi-tool is a combination of different tools that are connected to one hinge that you can open and close as you wish. You just need to single out the exact tool that you need and fish it out for use, then put it back in its place. It is a convenient way of having everything in one place without the risk of losing a single tool or the inconvenience of having to carry a bag of separate pieces.

So what are some of the specific tools that one can find in a single multi-tool? The average multi-tool has the following tools.

  • A knife blade that’s never more than 3-inches unless the entire tool is larger.
  • A reamer, which is basically a rotary tool for cutting that is mostly used in metalworking to make specific cuts on thin metallic sheets and lids.
  • A bottle opener that can be used on wine bottles as well as opening other types of bottles and containers with very tight lids.
  • It also comes with a can opener for people who love carrying canned food when going outdoors.
  • A pair of scissors that can be used to cut softer materials like clothes or small strings.
  • A nail file for sharpening small blades and at the same time for filing and cleaning nails.
  • Some even come with a magnifying glass that you can use to start a fire.
  • Other uncommon tools you may find in some variations include a toothpick, screwdriver bits, tweezers, among many other functional tools.

What Is the History of the EDC Multi-Tool?

The exact timeline of when the multi-tool was invented is hazy as there have been different types that have been found over the years that originate from different regions that were locations for known ancient civilizations.

The first multi-tool ever made dates back to 3000 BC. A discovery in the Alps was found in the form of a neolithic pocket knife that came with a hole to string it up for carrying. The oldest form of the modern multi-tool dates back to 1900 years ago. It was an intricate knife that was dated to 200 AD in the Roman Empire. It had a silver body and an iron blade, and it had a spoon, a fork, a retractable spike, a small toothpick, and a spatula.

This was quite advanced for that age, and it formed the basis for all the modern multi-tools. There was a period where the making and usage of multi-tools disappeared for a while as there are no records on them for that length of time. It wasn’t until the 15th century that they were again revived by German craftsmen who may have been inspired by early designs.

That particular multi-tool was designed in Nuremberg, and it contained a total of 14 small anchored tools that ranged from 3 rasps, a jig saw a pointed winder, a key, a knife, a square spade, a gimlet, and 4 files.

But it wasn’t until the Swiss got their hands on the multi-tool that the knife truly transformed into the reliable tool that it is today. The Swiss army purchased the knives for their soldiers as they were small, and a number of tools could be added for use in the 1880s. Known as the Victorinox, the knife came in very handy when it came to opening canned foods and disassembling the rifles they were carrying for cleaning and maintenance.

Slowly, the multi-tool started gaining popularity among the public, and it wasn’t long before knife makers started producing them for public use. They assumed the name Swiss army knife and have since undergone countless changes to become the very versatile knives that can be used in any environment and situation.

At first, there was no Swiss company that had the capacity to make these knives in huge numbers. So the work was given to Wester & Co, a company from Germany. It was able to deliver 15,000 pieces to the Swiss army for the first order, and that was the start of one of the most famous EDC knives ever created.

Another well-known manufacturing company owned by a man called Karl Elsener even switched from making surgical equipment just so they could concentrate their efforts in making multi-tools under the Swiss army knife brand. That was a genius stroke as the company ended up being one of the most successful in the later years.

Today, every known knife manufacturer has their own version of the multi-tool in the market, and this should tell you all that you need to know about the efficiency of these EDC knives.

Why Do You Need an EDC Multi-Tool?

Why would you need an EDC multi-tool? How different is it from other types of EDC knives? And most importantly, is it worth it? The number of things you can do with a multi-tool is simply immense. They are the jack-of-all-trades of the knife world, and this is why they have become so popular over the years. The following are the benefits of multi-tools and why you should get on for yourself as soon as possible.

Greater Options

With regular EDC knives, the most you can do is cut, dig, or for self-defense, which is okay since that’s more than what most people need. But if you want a tool that handles more than just that without having to carry multiple knives, then a multi-tool is what you should be going for.

You get a can opener, pliers, scissors, nail files, a knife, among many other tools, all in one single contraption. The things you can do with this in your hand are simply hard to quantify on paper.

Multi-Tools aren’t Viewed as Dangerous

Walking with an EDC folding knife or a fixed blade into any public space is bound to cause you issues with authorities as they are categorized as weapons. Multi-tools, on the other hand, are not as menacing as their counterparts.

Opening a multi-tool in public will not cause any kind of alarm since you may be getting out a nail file to trim your manicure a little bit. Unsheathing a huge fixed blade knife in front of people, however, is bound to cause you a lot of problems. Therefore, if you need to walk around with a tool that will not cause you any trouble, then get yourself an EDC multi-tool instead.

They are Cheaper

Multi-tools cost almost the same as standalone knives, and this makes them a very cost-effective option to go with, considering the many tools and features you get in one package. If you go with regular EDC knives, then you will be forced to get a separate can opener, a pair of scissors, and pliers for any other tasks if you are out camping. However, with a multitool, you get all these tools in one palace, and that not only saves you money but also reduces the number of things you need to carry every time you want to go out for some adventure.

They are Durable

People who make multi-tools know exactly what these tools are used for, and it is never a small task. For this reason, they usually make sure that the materials used to make multi-tools are of the highest grade. When you have a tool that is meant to be used in any situation, then it has to have the tenacity to handle everything that is thrown at it.

A single multi-tool may last you for very many years, and you may never even take it in for replacement or repair as it is built to withstand just about any type of work. Even when you choose to go with other types of EDC knives, having a multi-tool as a spare backup is always a good idea.


Multi-tools may be a little heavy due to the combination of different tools, but at the same time, they are portable and can even fit in the pocket with ease. This makes it easy for you to move around as much as you want with a trusted and reliable tool you can turn to in any emergency. Rather than carrying all kinds of separate tools in your bag or pocket, a multi-tool coalesces everything into one. You can even attach other things like keys onto the multi-tool for easy access. If you don’t have any pickets, most of these tools come with clips that you can attach to any part of your clothes, like the belt.

Good for Emergencies

A multi-tool is a fully functioning emergency kit and the one thing you want to have with you if you find yourself in a tough spot. You could make life-saving incisions using the blade inside, open a first aid kit using the can openers, and even make use of the scissors to cut clothes off to access the injured parts of the body. If you happen to lock yourself out of your house, you can use the saw to cut off the padlock or the many sharp tools to properly open the lock from outside. Basically speaking, when it comes to handy tools, the things you can do with a multi-tool are only limited by your own imagination.

At the Ready

A multi-tool is always ready for use at any time, no matter the situation. They are easy to pry open, and you can quickly locate the exact tool that you need for that particular task that you need. At the same time, you can switch things up midway when you feel like it, and that’s what most of the other EDC knives are unable to replicate. If you are the type that loves being alert all through and you need a tool that can match that, then try getting a multi-tool. You will have everything you need at your disposal. With a good practicum, you can even cut down your reaction times, and that could be the difference in a tussle during an ambush, for instance.


It is clear that multi-tools are not ordinary tools, and they do more than other EDC knives in the market. They may not have the streamlined design and allure of folding knives, but they more than makeup for that with their functionality and reliability. For more information, check out our website and find everything you need on multi-tools.

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