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The Best Compact Tools to Add to Your Toolbox

Jonathan Tayag
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The Best Compact Tools to Add to Your Toolbox

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Everyday carry is about being prepared to take on your daily tasks, and having the right tools for the job is very important. And on that note, sometimes the best tool for the job is a tool that’s dedicated to the specific thing you need it to do, whether that’s unscrewing and tightening fasteners, gripping things or slicing them as you need it. That’s because unlike a multi-tool that advertises itself as able to do many tasks, a dedicated tool is designed to get your most critical and common tasks done correctly the first time around.

But carrying around a large toolbox is out of the question for most people unless you’re an actual handyman or contractor on the job. That’s where compact tools come into play, tools that fit in your pockets or in your bag without taking up too much space while still being the best tools for the job at the same time. Some of these tools may have flown under your radar, so we’ve put together this guide to show you what small compact tools can do to improve your EDC. Don’t underestimate their size for lack of functionality: they’re work-ready and ready to help you out when you need it.


Knipex

Knipex Cobra XS Pliers

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Knipex
Model
‎8700100
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Knipex Cobra XS is one of the most popular compact everyday carry tools and one look at its small size and innovative design makes it easy to see why. This precision-crafted German tool measures 3.9“ in length, but has a quick-adjust box joint mechanism that lets you grip up to a 1“ wide item all the way down to a flat sheet of paper when in its minimum position. Because it’s designed to fit in the fifth pocket of your jeans, you can always have this tool on you as a backup, and it’s great to have underneath a sink as you’re trying to get at nuts and fasteners in awkward spaces without a lot of clearance where larger traditional tongue-and-groove pliers and wrenches would fail.
HOTO

HOTO P1 Screwdriver Set

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
HOTO
Model
P1
EDC Rating


Price
$
The HOTO P1 features a magnetic design that fits 24 precision Phillips, flathead, Torx, and security precision bits into a compact aluminum alloy body. The bits are made of tough S2 alloy steel with a hardness rating of 60 HRC, ensuring they stand the test of time even during frequent use with electronics and other small items. The magnetic design of the bit holder prevents it from flying out when you least expect it, and it allows the rear cap to turn as a way to keep you from having to twist your hands entirely in order to screw or unscrew what you need.
Vessel

Vessel Rachet Stubby Screwdriver

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Vessel
Model
‎TD-6700W-23
EDC Rating
Just released
For standard-sized screws, you will love having a stubby screwdriver on hand like this one from Vessel in Japan. This particular design measures just 3" long and it comes with a reversible PH No.2 and No.3 bit that magnetically attaches to a ratcheting system for added ease of use especially for tight spaces.
Engineer

Engineer PZ-57 Screw Extraction Pliers

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Engineer
Model
‎PZ-57
EDC Rating


Price
$
When people tell you to just use a multi-tool with pliers, a tool like the Engineer PZ-57 is a good example of a specialized tool that can do better. If you’ve ever had to extract a stripped or worn out screw or one that’s rusted beyond all recognition, a pair of pliers like the PZ-57 which feature a screw extraction groove in the center of the tips of the tool itself comes in very handy. And you can even use this pair of pliers to hold small objects or screws as you work around them in your own projects.
CountyComm

CountyComm 4" Titanium Adjustable Wrench

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
CountyComm
Model
N/A
EDC Rating


Price
$
This is arguably the smallest and lightest adjustable wrench you can get your hands on. The use of grade 4 titanium in its design means that this CountyComm tool weighs a mere 0.9 oz in total. And unlike the old wrenches in your hand-me-down toolbox lying in the shed or the garage, this tool is immune to rusting and tarnishing from the elements, making it a great choice for outdoors carry in wet and humid environments.
Irwin

Irwin VISE-GRIP Original Locking Pliers

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Irwin
Model
T1602EL4
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you need to lock onto something quickly and securely, these compact Irwin VISE-GRIP pliers are the tool to do it with. They feature hardened steel with grip channels and a locking mechanism that clamps down hard and holds things in place while you do other work. And at just 4" long while still having a 1.625" jaw capacity, you can stick this in places where traditional clamps and other pliers just can’t access.
Tsunoda

Tsunoda MC-125 Mini Flush Cutter

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Tsunoda
Model
MC-125
EDC Rating


Price
$
Whether you’re cutting through zip ties or you’re trying your hand at building scale models, the Tsunoda MC-125 Mini Flush Cutter is a great option with a design that features extreme attention to detail. Where other pliers manufacturers advertise their tools as flush cutting devices, the thin and slim nature of this compact tool combined with precision manufacturing means that you can make the cleanest flush cuts possible.
Leatherman

Leatherman Raptor Response Shears

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Leatherman
Model
‎832959
EDC Rating


Price
$$
Leatherman recently updated their Raptor folding shears with an integrated clip that lets you carry it in your pocket like a regular folding knife with no need for a dedicated holster on your belt. And owing to the emergency medical use case that spawned the original Raptor from Leatherman, this tool is ready to cut through material including tough textiles in order to help you get you and your companions to safety in an emergency.
Vessel

Vessel TD-70 Plate Ratchet Driver

Purchase
Specifications
Brand
Vessel
Model
TD-70
EDC Rating


Price
$
In awkward places with limited access like inside of cabinets and furniture, sometimes a slim right angle plate screwdriver is the best option, and this TD-70 model from Vessel also comes with a ratcheting system that makes a breeze to get work done quickly. All you have to do is pick the bit of your choice: it comes with a ton of extra bits and can carry two more in the handle. It even comes with a “speed ring” that lets you ratchet with your fingers for even the tightest spots.

#leatherman #tsunoda #irwin #countycomm #engineer #vessel #hoto #knipex #tools #multi-tools #buying-guides see all



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