Prepping on $20 a Paycheck – Part 15 & 16 of 24

MT 4 - The Ready Center

Article Submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center

Fact:  Not all tools are equal.  A wood saw can never be a wrench.  A hammer can never be a screwdriver.  And a needle-nose can never be a hacksaw.  Period.

One of the things we discussed in a previous article (click here) is that nobody wants to carry a whole toolbox worth of tools inside their Survival Kit.  Doing so would 1) be stupid. and 2) add so much weight that it would literally render it unusable if you ever had to get the heck out of dodge.  That is why we previously suggested you only acquire the following light weight and basic hand tools for your Survival Kit: multi-head screwdriver, adjustable wrench, mini-hacksaw blade, mini-pry bar, and a spring-loaded center punch. 

Having those five essential tools in your kit will most certainly help you keep your head above water when things get nasty – but what about when you need a few choice hand tools and you’re nowhere near your Kit.  Then what?  Well, the answer is this:  You pull out your multi-tool.

MT 5 - The Ready CenterNow days, multi-tools come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and sadly – qualities.  To assure you truly get a quality product, we have decided to combine the $20 from paycheck 15 and the $20 from paycheck 16 to give you a total of $40 towards a well-built and name brand multi-tool.

Now there are many different “types” of multi-tools on the market right now, and they all have their purpose.  With only a 1 to 2 minute Google search you can easily find the credit-card style, the Swiss Army style, the keychain style, the folding style, and so on.  The multi-tool that we recommend you purchase is the folding style that usually comes with some sort of belt mounted sheath.  If you’re not completely sure what style we’re talking about, simply look at the images included with this article and you’ll get the idea.

The reason we recommend this style over the others is pretty much a no-brainer.

  • Most everyone can look at one of these, know what it is, and know how to use it.  This is not always the case with the other models.
  • Almost all of these models come with an included belt-mounted sheath.  This is a HUGE plus.  Once disaster hits, you can put one of these bad boys on your hip and forget about it until you need it – No need to carry a survival pack full of tools everywhere you go.
  • Lastly, these little work horses (which usually only weigh around 7oz.) can have upwards to 16 useful tools on them, depending on the configuration.  A list of the most common tools is provided below:
  1. Needle nose pliers
  2. Blunt nose pliers
  3. Wire cutter
  4. Fine edge knife blade
  5. Partially serrated knife blade
  6. Saw
  7. File
  8. Scissors
  9. Phillips head screwdriver
  10. Small flat head screwdriver
  11. Medium flat head screwdriver
  12. Large flat head screw driver
  13. Bit driver
  14. Wire stripper
  15. Wire crimper
  16. Hand drill
  17. Can opener
  18. Bottle opener
  19. Corkscrew
  20. Flashlight (yep, some come with a teeny tiny mounted flashlight!)
  21. Gun cleaning rod
  22. Gun cleaning brush
  23. Fish scaler
  24. Hook dislodger
  25. Hammer head
  26. Metric ruler
  27. Standard ruler
  28. Lanyard loop

MT 9AA - The Ready CenterHaving a well built multi-tool has helped me more times than I could honestly count (and that’s not because I don’t know how to count).  I’ve used mine for everything from making repairs on my pickup truck to modifying a damaged piece of clothing.  These things really are amazing.  As stated above, the budget for your multi-tool is $40 and finding a high quality product for that price won’t be difficult at all.  Doing a 30 second search on the internet, I pulled up these 4 right off the bat:

Gerber Suspension – $39.99

Leatherman Sidekick – $39.85

Leatherman Multi-tool – $38.31

Leatherman Juice C2 – $39.95

MT 1 - The Ready CenterAnd if you don’t like any of those, rest assured that there are MANY more out there.  Since 2006 I’ve been carrying the Gerber 07550 Needlenose Multi-Plier 600.  It is a rock solid product that has NEVER let me down.  Not once.  Ever.  And I’ve used this thing in multiple countries and in multiple harsh environments.  Stated plainly:  I highly recommend it.   The good news is that earlier tonight I managed to find it on  The better news is that it fits our $40 budget.  Check it out below:

Gerber Multi-Plier 600 – $40.56

However, if you are looking to provide a multi-tool to each member of your family while staying under your $40 budget, you may want to consider the less expensive and smaller version which has only 12 included tool options (which is still pretty dang good!)  Check link below:

Multi Function Tool – $6.99

With a solid multi-tool you can fix everything from your water heater and backup generator to your propane grill and your pickup truck (well, parts of it anyways).  MT 8 - The Ready CenterWhen it comes to bang for the buck, it’s just silly not to have one.

Well, you have all the information that you need to make a wise decision.  You are worth it.  And so is your family.  So, go do it and don’t be stingy.  Cough up the full $40 and get yourself a multi-tool you can be proud of.  Someday, it just may save your butt (and your pickup truck…):-)

Until next time…


The Ready Center

MT 4 - The Ready Center




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